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NBA DFS Primer: Friday (11/12)

by Alex Burns
Nov 12, 2021
Nikola Jokic

It’s certainly been an interesting week in the NBA as far as scheduling goes. There were only three games on Tuesday and Thursday, with a monster 13-game slate sandwiched between on Wednesday. With 11 games on tap for Friday, it’s sure to be a wild night in the association, and there should be ample opportunities to win some money in DFS. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the slate to see if anything sticks out.

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Schedule and Odds

  • CHA vs. NYK (-2) O/U 224
  • BOS vs. MIL (-2) O/U 214.5
  • DET @ CLE (-5) O/U 202.5
  • OKC vs. SAC (-4.5) O/U 218
  • NOP vs. BKN (-7.5) O/U 215.5
  • PHX @ MEM (-1) O/U 220.5
  • HOU vs. POR (-6.5) O/U 223.5
  • SAS vs. DAL (-2.5) O/U 217.5
  • ATL @ DEN (-4.5) O/U 217.5
  • CHI @ GSW (-5.5) O/U 222.5
  • MIN @ LAL (-3.5) O/U 224.5

Highlighted in green are the games I am attacking on Friday. They should all be competitive, up-tempo matchups that, in turn, raise the fantasy ceilings of the players involved. The games highlighted in red are ones that I will be limiting my exposure to. It isn’t to say that it’s impossible for players in these games to be fantastic DFS plays, but rather their floors are lower due to either looming blowout or low-scoring contest. It’s important to take a look at game totals from Vegas while setting your lineup, as it could be the deciding factor in choosing between Player A and Player B.

Another way to get a leg up on the competition in DFS is to pay close attention to the injury report. Not only will you know when a specific player is ruled out, but you’ll also be aware of when to take advantage of the value said player’s absence opens up. Let’s take a look at Friday’s injury report.

Injury Report

With all that said, let’s cut the jargon and dive into my favorite plays for Friday night hoops!

Core Plays

Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF/C – MEM): $6,200 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
After a brutal stretch of basketball, Jackson has turned it around by scoring at least 32 FD and DK points in each of his last four games. With Steven Adams questionable to suit up with an ankle injury, Jackson should benefit the most if he were to sit. This season, the Suns have surrendered the fourth-most DK points to opposing big men, and Jackson is likely to match up against Frank Kaminsky with Deandre Ayton doubtful. Enough said.

Zach LaVine (SG/PG – CHI): $8,000 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
LaVine has been solid and efficient to start the season but should see a slight uptick in value with Nikola Vucevic entering the league’s health and safety protocols. It’s a small sample size, but LaVine is seeing his usage rate increase by more than 12% in his time without Vucevic on the floor. This should be a high-scoring, fast-paced game against the Warriors, and he will be leaned on heavily to produce.

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $11,700 DraftKings, $11,400 FanDuel
The Joker is back! Believe it or not, he’s not even the highest-priced player on either DraftKings or FanDuel. He’s essentially a lock for 50+ fantasy points and is going up against the Hawks, who are currently the third-worst defensive team in the league in multiple metrics. Jokic is a safe option to build around in Friday’s slate.

Cash Game Considerations

Bobby Portis (PF/C – MIL): $6,000 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Portis has been remarkable since entering the lineup two weeks ago, but his play has been extra special this week, as he’s scored at least 41 fantasy points in two of his last three games. With Brook Lopez set to miss another game, Portis should again play a major role against the Celtics. His ability to stretch the floor and grab rebounds makes him a relatively safe play.

Jayson Tatum (SF/PF – BOS): $10,100 DraftKings, $9,600 FanDuel
Tatum is clearly a better value on FanDuel, but the high-floor with upside makes him very safe on Friday. In three games without Jaylen Brown in the lineup, Tatum averages 28.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and two combined blocks and steals with a 31% usage rate. Expect similar numbers against the Bucks if Boston has any chance of winning.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SG/PG – OKC): $8,800 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel
SGA has really put it together after a slow start to the season. He’s notched at least 40 fantasy points in five of his last six games and gets a plus matchup against the Kings, as both teams rank top-10 in PACE. If the game is competitive, he’ll likely flirt with 40 minutes and will be the Thunder’s primary source of offense.

Will Barton (SG/SF – DEN): $6,900 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel
Are you ready for Barton’s numbers without Michael Porter Jr. in the lineup? 27.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in just under 35 minutes. MPJ will miss another game Friday with a back issue. While Nikola Jokic will return from his one-game suspension, Barton is locked into a massive role against one of the worst defensive teams in the association. Consider him a free space against the Hawks.

GPP Targets

Anthony Edwards (SG/SF – MIN): $8,100 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel
Edwards is coming off of his best game of the season, dropping 48 real-life points and 62 fantasy points against the Warriors on Wednesday. All signs point towards him keeping it going against the Lakers, who play at the fastest PACE in the league. The upside here is tremendous, though don’t be surprised if Edwards’ ownership is a bit chalky on Friday.

Ricky Rubio (PG – CLE): $5,700 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
Rubio has been tremendous as of late and put up greater than 35 fantasy points in his first game without Collin Sexton. He figures to handle a ton of minutes alongside Darius Garland moving forward and gets an excellent matchup against the lowly Pistons on Friday. We saw his upside after his 37 point, 60+ fantasy point performance last week, and he finds himself in a great blow-up spot once again.

Frank Kaminsky (PF/C – PHX): $5,500 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
We all saw what Frank the Tank did against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, right? Without Deandre Ayton in the lineup, Kaminsky went for 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and one block in 32 minutes. While it will be tough to replicate another outing like that, Ayton is doubtful to play, and Kaminsky should once again be given a ton of playing time against the Grizzlies in what should be an up-tempo affair. The upside is obvious!

Value Plays

Drew Eubanks (PF/C – SAS): $4,700 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
Eubanks has done an admirable job filling in for Jakob Poeltl as he’s spending time in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. With the former expected to miss Friday’s game, Eubanks should be gifted another start at center against the Mavericks, whom he scored greater than 1.2 fantasy points per minute against earlier this month. He’s yet to see more than 25 minutes in a game this season, but he’s producing at least 5x value, and really that’s all you can ask.

Tony Bradley (C – CHI): $3,000 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel
This is an absolute dart throw, but Bradley is priced at the minimum on DraftKings. As previously mentioned, Nikola Vucevic will be out, and Bradley is the only true center on Chicago’s roster. While Alize Johnson and Javonte Green should mix in, Bradley should get some extra run against the Warriors. I’m pausing a bit more before playing him on FanDuel than on DraftKings, however.

Desmond Bane (SF – MEM): $4,900 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
Bane averaged 16.3 points in 30 minutes per game this season, but that all came to a screeching halt when Dillon Brooks returned to the lineup. In Brooks’ first game, Bane was limited to just two points in 20 minutes En route to just two fantasy points. With that said, Brooks has been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Suns, making Bane a bit more of an attractive play. If he can produce at the level he was before Brooks’ presence, he’ll be a smash play priced under $5,000 on both sites.

Advantageous Pricing

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Alex Burns is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Check out his archive and follow him on Twitter.


DFS, DraftKings, FanDuel, Featured, Featured Link, NBA