We have reached the point in the NBA season where you should proceed with caution if you’re playing NBA DFS. The number of injuries is endless and players are late scratches due to various reasons. That is why – more so than ever – it is extremely important to keep track of the news going on in the league throughout the day.
During last night’s games, Jordan Clarkson was ruled out for the Utah Jazz despite not having an injury designation earlier in the day. Also, DeAndre’ Bembry, Fred VanVleet, and Talen Horton-Tucker were all suspended a game each for their involvement in a scuffle that occurred earlier this week. News like this can change the entire outlook of a slate.
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Most Value Per Dollar
For Friday’s nine-game slate, there are a few games that possess over-unders of 225+ points. The game that stands out among the rest is the upcoming clash between the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards. It’s a game that features the two fastest-paced teams in the NBA.
Seeing that Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry are listed as the two priciest point guards on FanDuel, I believe it will be popular to have at least one of them in your lineup. Additionally, the small forward position is lacking reliable options, meaning you could probably live in the low-to-mid-range at the position on Friday. The center position also has a couple of guys that could be massive value plays due to injuries.
If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros. Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.
Donte DiVincenzo (MIL) $5,500 vs. CHA:
It is undetermined if Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to miss his fourth consecutive game with a knee ailment on Friday. If I was to bet, Antetokounmpo will sit at least one more game, paving the way for someone like Donte DiVincenzo to garner more minutes again. DiVincenzo has surpassed 29+ minutes in each of his last five games and he’s hit 5x value at his current price the past three games in which Antetokounmpo has been sidelined.
Bobby Portis (MIL) $5,800 vs. CHA:
Another member of the Milwaukee Bucks that could benefit from Antetokounmpo being ruled out again is Bobby Portis. Portis just carved up the Dallas Mavericks to the tune of 42.8 FD points and he draws an even better matchup on Friday. The Charlotte Hornets have given up a league-worst 48.97 FD points per game to power forwards, which bodes well for Portis if Antetokounmpo is indeed ruled out.
Onyeka Okongwu (ATL) $4,700 vs. CHI:
Clint Capela is questionable for the Atlanta Hawks and being that his ailment is affecting his Achilles, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Atlanta hold him out. In that case, Onyeka Okongwu becomes a viable value option at the center position. After going with Chris Boucher on Thursday – who exploded for 67.3 FD points versus the Chicago Bulls – why would we stop using centers against Chicago?
Deni Avdija (WAS) $4,400 at GSW:
The Washington Wizards have finally figured out that it’s worth giving Deni Avdija more minutes in his rookie season. The rookie forward has logged 29+ minutes in all of his past six games and that shouldn’t change on Friday. He’s also hit 5x value in four out of his last six outings and he’s turned the ball over just twice in his previous 11 games. If you’re looking to find cheap pieces for the fast-paced Warriors/Wizards showdown, look no further than Avdija
Goga Bitadze (IND) $4,900 at ORL:
The Indiana Pacers have injuries to multiple starters right now, including Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner. With Turner already ruled out for the Pacers, Goga Bitadze is slated to start at center for Indiana again on Friday. Bitadze just recorded 31.1 FD points on Wednesday versus the Minnesota Timberwolves in 25 minutes. Barring an unforeseen lineup change, Bitadze could see 25+ minutes again, putting him in a prime position to severely exceed his value at $4,900.
Patrick Williams (CHI) $4,500 at ATL:
As I mentioned yesterday, Patrick Williams has shown plenty of potential on the defensive end for the Chicago Bulls. Due to his ability to produce steals and blocks, he’s a valuable player to use on FanDuel. Williams hit 5x value for the fifth time in his past seven games on Thursday night and FanDuel didn’t alter his price on Friday, making him an intriguing salary-saving option at small forward against the Atlanta Hawks.
Cole Anthony (ORL) $4,700 vs. IND:
Everyone was curious to see how the Orlando Magic would deploy Cole Anthony in his first action in nearly two months on Wednesday. Despite his long layoff, Anthony would play 25 minutes and was a key member of the team off of the bench. The first-year point guard would notch 23.7 FD points and with Orlando looking to play their young players more, Anthony should continue seeing more run on Friday against an Indiana that plays at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA.
Jeremy Lamb (IND) $4,200 at ORL:
On the other side of the court, as mentioned before, the Pacers are dealing with an assortment of injuries. If Brogdon is sidelined for another game on Friday, then Jeremy Lamb could be set up for a productive showing against the Magic. Orlando is the second-worst team to shooting guards this season and Lamb has accumulated 11 steals and blocks combined in his last two performances.
Davis Bertans (WAS) $3,900 at GSW:
There is going to be a bevy of shots being thrown up in the clash between the Warriors and the Wizards. Why not take a flier on a member of the Wizards that can put points in bunches from outside the arc? Davis Bertans has chucked up 27 three-point shots in the past three games, which has resulted in him averaging 23.9 FD points in that span. Not many guys under $4,000 bring the upside that Bertans does on Friday night.
Isaiah Thomas (NOP) $3,900 vs. PHI:
It is awesome to see Isaiah Thomas back in the NBA as the New Orleans Pelicans have given him a chance amid their injury woes recently. The veteran point guard has scored in double-digits in his first two games with the Pelicans and Lonzo Ball is questionable to suit up on Friday. If Ball is held out of Friday’s contest against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thomas becomes a decent value play at the point guard position, especially if Kira Lewis is also ruled out.
Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day
Studs Worth Their Salary
Russell Westbrook (WAS) $11,200 at GSW: Once again, stacking the expected high-scoring affair between the Warriors and the Wizards seems like a wise idea. If you’re able to fit Russell Westbrook into your lineup at $11,200, he could pay off his salary as he is capable of contributing a triple-double in the blink of an eye. Even with Bradley Beal expected to play on Friday, Westbrook boasts an impressive 31.6 percent usage percentage on the season.
Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,100 vs. SAS: There aren’t many players that can stuff the stat sheet like Westbrook, but Nikola Jokic puts up similar stat lines at the center position. Jokic is an MVP candidate this season and the Serbian big man is averaging 54.99 FD points per game thus far. The San Antonio Spurs have surrendered 59.5 FD points per game to centers in their past seven games (fifth-most in the NBA).
Stephen Curry (GSW) $9,600 vs. WAS: The first player from the Warriors to make the article is Stephen Curry and it seems he could be a bit underprice heading into Friday’s contest. Curry gets to play in a pace-up game against Washington and Golden State began running more screens for Curry in their last game, resulting in 50.2 FD points for the three-point extraordinaire. There is legitimate upside for Curry to score 50-60 FD points on Friday.
Notable Players to Fade
Joel Embiid (PHI) $10,200 at NOP: Joel Embiid has recently returned to the lineup for the Philadelphia 76ers as they prepare to fight for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. In his two games since his return, Embiid has recorded 42.7 and 41.6 FD points respectively, which is not what we’re looking for when spending $10,000+ on a player. The Pelicans aren’t an awful team against centers with Steven Adams defending (menacingly) the paint.
Kawhi Leonard (LAC) $10,000 vs. HOU: Yesterday, I listed Kawhi Leonard as a player to fade as his price tag hit $10,000, and he proceeded to score only 35.5 FD points versus the Phoenix Suns. FanDuel has kept his price the same on Friday and he faces the Houston Rockets. Besides the chance of a blowout, Leonard could also be rested on a back-to-back following a battle-tested game on Thursday. I would avoid paying up for Leonard again on Friday.
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Skyler Carlin is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Skyler, check out his archive and follow him @skyler_carlin.