Friday features a 10-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
There is definitely a bit of sticker shock with Damian Lillard, who has been priced up to $11,600 on DraftKings. He was $11,900 in his last contest, and he is more expensive than he has been at any other point in his career. He’s only been priced above $11,000 one time prior to this season, so this is not a price tag that we’re accustomed to with Lillard. That could result in a bit lower ownership than usual vs. the Hawks.
This is also a spot where Lillard could erupt. The Hawks are up to ninth in pace for the year, and they rank tied for 21st in defensive efficiency. The total for this contest sits at 240.5, which is the top mark on the slate.
Lillard is also showing up in our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations.
The Blazers are also expected to be without Anfernee Simons, who is doubtful with an ankle injury. Lillard has increased his usage rate by +7.4% with Simons and Jusuf Nurkic off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.69 DraftKings points per minute. Paying a player with an unprecedently-high price tag is not usually a good strategy, but Lillard could be an exception.
Cole Anthony is coming off a monster performance in his last game. He played just under 33 minutes vs. the Bucks, and he responded with 43.75 DraftKings points. The Bucks possess the best defense in basketball, so if he can succeed in that matchup, he can succeed against anyone.
The biggest issue with Anthony this season has been his inconsistent playing time. He’s not expected to play quite as much on Friday, but he’s still projected for more than 25 minutes in our NBA Models. Given his average of 1.13 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, that should be enough to pay off his minimal price tag. He’s a steal at $4,100 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%.
Kris Dunn is the preferred value point guard on FanDuel. He checks a lot of the same boxes as Anthony. He’s projected for around 25 minutes and has been a phenomenal per-minute producer, averaging 1.28 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He also draws an outstanding matchup vs. the Thunder, who remain without Shai-Gilgeous Alexander. The big difference is that Anthony has been priced up to $6,200 on FanDuel, while Dunn remains very affordable at $4,500.
The Lakers are expected to get Anthony Davis back on Friday, but they’re still going to be without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell. That leaves plenty of opportunities for Dennis Schroder. He’s increased his usage rate by +8.0% with James, Russell, and Russell Westbrook off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.95 DraftKings points per minute.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Terry Rozier was unable to return value in his last contest, but his fantasy arrow is still pointing up. He played 38.2 minutes and posted a 30% usage rate on Wednesday, and he should continue to see an expanded role with LaMelo Ball and P.J. Washington out of the lineup. He leads the team with a 32.8% usage rate with both players off the floor, resulting in an average of 1.10 DraftKings points per minute.
The Clippers are going to be an important team to monitor on Friday. Not only do they draw one of the best possible matchups vs. the Kings, but they also have the potential to be pretty shorthanded. Kawhi Leonard has already been ruled out for injury management, while Norman Powell, Ivica Zubac, and Marcus Morris are all TBD.
That could result in a large workload for Eric Gordon. The guard hasn’t been asked to do much since being acquired by the Clippers at the trade deadline, but he did play 33.6 minutes Thursday vs. the Warriors. He responded with 20.0 DraftKings points, despite being fairly ineffective. He failed to record a single rebound or assist and shot just 2-10 from 3-point range, so he has the potential for a much stronger showing if the team is shorthanded again on Friday.
With SGA sidelined, Lu Dort has been asked to take on a large role offensively. He’s played at least 36 minutes in three of his past five games, and Dort has seen a team-high +5.3% usage bump with SGA off the floor this season. He’s averaged 0.92 FanDuel points per minute in that scenario, so he’s underpriced across the industry.
Cam Reddish is a possible option for the Blazers if Simons gets the night off. He played at least 29.4 minutes in four straight games with Simons out of the lineup recently, and he recorded at least 22.0 DraftKings points in three of them. He’s also displayed a ceiling of 38.0 DraftKings points in that stretch, so he’s a viable target at just $4,300 on DraftKings.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Paul George is one player who is expected to be in the Clippers’ lineup on Friday. He was extremely inefficient in Thursday’s loss vs. the Warriors, racking up just 11 points on 3-15 shooting from the field. However, George has still averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute for the year, and that figure should only increase with Leonard out of the lineup. He’s seen a team-high +2.8% usage bump with Kawhi off the floor this season, and he’s increased his usage rate by +3.8% in 16 full games without Leonard. He hasn’t seen a huge spike in production in those contests, but George wasn’t playing nearly as much as he is now at the beginning of the year.
George stands out as an excellent pay-up option on DraftKings, where he leads the position with 11 Pro Trends. His $8,300 salary also comes with a Bargain Rating of 81%, while his matchup vs. the Kings results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.98.
Kelly Oubre moved into the Hornets’ starting lineup in their last contest, and it didn’t take him long to get comfortable. Oubre is not shy about looking for his shot when on the floor, and he attempted 24 field goals in his 38.1 minutes. He only knocked down nine of those shots, but he still managed 41.75 DraftKings points.
Oubre is projected for another 37 minutes on Friday, and don’t expect him to be any less aggressive. He’s averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute for the year, so he has a great shot to pay off his $6,600 price tag.
Talen Horton-Tucker has posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.49 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s increased his production to 1.13 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He continues to play around 30 minutes per night with Collin Sexton sidelined, and he’s proven that he can consistently pay off his current FanDuel salary in that situation.
Brandon Ingram erupted for 40 points and 60.7 FanDuel points in his last contest, and he has been very aggressive on offense of late. His usage rate sits at 30.8% for the year, but he has increased that figure to 35.9% since returning to the lineup on Jan. 25. He remains underpriced for his ceiling on FanDuel, where his $8,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Lauri Markkanen has been underpriced for most of the season on FanDuel, and Friday’s slate is no exception. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.52 over his past 10 games, yet his price tag hasn’t budged an inch. His $8,600 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%, and Markkanen has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.21 with a comparable salary this season (per the Trends tool).
There’s no reason to expect much to change Friday vs. the Thunder. It’s an excellent matchup, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.88, and his 13 Pro Trends are the top mark at the position. Continue to fire him up with confidence.
Jonas Valanciunas is doubtful after missing the team’s last game, and Willy Hernangomez started for the first time all season on Wednesday. He managed to return value at his minimal price tag, finishing with 20.4 FanDuel points in just under 21 minutes, but he has the potential for so much better. Hernangomez has averaged 1.27 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s increased that figure to 1.56 over the past month. Before Wednesday’s outing, he had scored 26.6 and 26.2 FanDuel points in his previous two games, and he averaged just 14 minutes in those contests.
Hernangomez is projected for another 24 minutes in our NBA Models, and his upside is astronomical with that much playing time. Add in an elite matchup vs. the Warriors, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +9.72, and he’s a very tough fade.
De’Andre Hunter is one of the safer values at the position on DraftKings. His $4,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%, and he’s projected for a reasonable 32 minutes. Hunter has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.14 with a comparable salary and minute projection, including a mark of +3.87 this season.
Keegan Murray is arguably an even better value on DraftKings, where his $4,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. Murray has gotten better and better throughout his rookie season, and he’s increased his production to 0.86 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s scored at least 36.5 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he’ll have a chance for a three-peat against a Clippers’ team at far from full strength.
NBA DFS Center Picks
The Lakers decided to rest Anthony Davis in their last contest, and they were fortunate to win without him. Now that he’s back, expect him to carry a monster workload vs. the Timberwolves. Davis has racked up at least 60.75 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and that kind of production is basically expected with LeBron sidelined. He’s now played in 10 games without his superstar teammate, and he’s averaged 55.98 DraftKings points in those contests.
With that in mind, his $10,200 salary on DraftKings is comical. It results in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and Davis rivals any of the top options on this slate from a ceiling perspective.
Jaxson Hayes came off the bench for the Pelicans on Wednesday, but he and Hernangomez split the playing time pretty evenly. They’re expected to do so again on Friday, and like Hernangomez, Hayes has been an outstanding per-minute producer. He’s averaged 1.21 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he should command far less ownership than his teammate. That makes him arguably the superior option on DraftKings, where his $3,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%.
Clint Capela has been used pretty sparingly of late, but he played 35.2 minutes in his last outing. That may just be a one-game outlier, but Capela has a monster ceiling if he’s going to play that much moving forward. He’s averaged 1.18 DraftKings points per minute for the year, and he’s way cheaper than usual at $5,600.
Mark Williams continues to get the job done for the Hornets, posting an average Plus/Minus of +6.92 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. His salary continues to rise, but he’s arguably still too cheap at $6,800. He’s projected for around 30 minutes in our NBA Models and has averaged 1.24 FanDuel points per minute this season.