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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Friday (1/8)

Jan 8, 2021

Dennis Schroder is primed to see a nice uptick in usage against a Bulls team that bleeds DK points to guards.

Welcome to the Friday edition of DraftKings DFS NBA advice. After a moderate five-game slate on Thursday night, we get a robust ten-game slate to navigate on Friday. There are plenty of studs worth their price on this large slate, so we’ll have to dig for some value in the middle and lower-tier price ranges. As usual, let’s take a look at some positional values before discussing the studs to pay up for and the potential busts to fade tonight.

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Point Guard

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
George Hill (OKC) @ NY $4,800 ⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Cole Anthony (ORL) @ HOU $5,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM

Hill hasn’t been playing huge minutes, but the veteran point guard has been making the most of them. He’s the Thunder’s starting point guard and is shooting a rock-solid 43% from three-point range. He’s topped 27 DK points in two of his last three games, a number that would put him near 6X value if he can get there again tonight.  

Everything lines up for rookie Cole Anthony. Markelle Fultz suffered an unfortunate season-ending injury earlier this week and Michael Carter-Williams has already been ruled out with a bone bruise. Anthony will have all the opportunity he can handle against Houston, a team that gives up the fourth most DK points to point guards. 

Shooting Guard

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Terrence Ross (ORL) @ HOU $6,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW
Dennis Schroder (LAL) vs. CHI $6,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW

As mentioned above, Orlando will be shorthanded in the backcourt tonight. Ross will likely still come off the bench but should play big minutes and continue to hoist up threes. He’s averaging over six three-point attempts per game and hitting them at a 46.7% clip, a nice combination against a Rockets team that gives up the most three-pointers to shooting guards.

There’s a good chance that LeBron James and/or Anthony Davis sit out tonight on the second half of a back-to-back set. If either does, Schroder is primed to see a nice uptick in usage against a Bulls team that bleeds DK points to guards.

Small Forward

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Talen Horton-Tucker (LAL) vs. CHI $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ HIGH
Joe Harris (BKN) @ MEM $5,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM

As I just mentioned when discussing Schroder, the Lakers could very easily rest some of their studs tonight against an inferior Bulls team. It’s a bit risky, but this seems like the perfect spot for a big game from pre-season darling Talen Horton-Tucker.

Joe Harris blew up Thursday night for 46 DK points and there wasn’t time for his price to properly adjust. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remain out Friday and the Grizzlies allow the second-most DK points to small forwards, so everything points to another solid outing from Harris.

Power Forward

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Thaddeus Young (CHI) @ LAL $4,500 ⭐⭐ HIGH
Bobby Portis (MIL) vs. UTA $5,300 ⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM

Young hasn’t been putting up huge numbers with the Bulls this season, but the veteran big man will continue to get opportunities while Lauri Markkanen remains out. He becomes a much better play if Anthony Davis does get the night off.

Bobby Portis has quietly been one of the better offseason acquisitions for the Bucks. He’s averaged a double-double off the bench over the last three games and is somebody that will provide a safe floor and a high ceiling at a moderate $5,300 price tag.

Center

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Hassan Whiteside (SAC) vs. TOR $3,200 ⭐⭐ HIGH
Daniel Theis (BOS) vs. WAS $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM

The Kings have one of the deepest frontcourt rotations in the NBA and Whiteside has been near the bottom of it but starting center Richaun Holmes enters the night questionable after missing practice with an ankle injury Thursday. If he sits it could open up an opportunity for Whiteside, who’s been known to rack up 1+ DK points/minute with his rebounding and shot-blocking prowess.

Theis is another big man that could take advantage of extra time on the court Friday. As of this writing, both Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams are listed as questionable due to health and safety protocols. If they’re both forced to sit it would open up big minutes for Theis against the Wizards, a team that’s giving up the second-most DK points to centers.

Studs Worth Their Salary

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL), $10,900: The reigning MVP has topped 60 DK points in three of his last four outings. Now he faces a relatively unchanged Utah team that he averaged 40 points and 13.5 rebounds against last season.

Russell Westbrook (WAS), $10,400: Westbrook has been incredibly consistent this season; he’s yet to score less than 50 DK points in a game. He’s set up for another big outing against a potentially short-handed Celtics team.

Jayson Tatum (BOS), $9,200: Tatum has averaged nearly 53 DK points over his last three outings. He’s commanding an impressive 30.3% usage rate and shows no signs of slowing down headed into the matchup with the Wizards, who have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the NBA.

Brandon Ingram (NO), $8,500: Ingram has been on a tear lately, averaging more than 48 DK points over his last three games. There’s no reason to think he’ll slow down tonight against a Charlotte team that gives up the most DK points in the league to power forwards.

Khris Middleton (MIL), $8,000: Giannis Antetokounmpo is the unquestioned stud in Milwaukee but Middleton isn’t far behind him. It’s early in the season, but his 21.1 points and 6.1 assists per game are both pacing to be career-highs. He should be able to keep rolling against Utah tonight, who allows the second-highest three-point field goal percentage to opponents.

Notable Players to Fade

James Harden (HOU), $11,100: It’s always risky to fade Harden but as the most expensive player on a loaded slate, it’s tough to pay the premium price tonight, especially since he hasn’t topped 60 DK points since December 26.

LeBron James (LAL), $10,300, and Anthony Davis $10,100: Both Laker’s studs are highly questionable tonight on the second half of a back-to-back set in which they both played in game one. Davis hasn’t had a night off since December 27 and James is yet to sit one out this season. If you want to risk them in your lineup, make sure they’re in the flexible utility position to allow more options if you need to make a late pivot.

Devin Booker (PH), $8,200: Booker’s price just doesn’t make sense. He’s only topped 40 DK points one time so far this season while the Suns are playing at the slowest pace in the NBA. 

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Aaron Larson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @aalarson.

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