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NBA DFS Primer: Friday (1/14)

by Alex Burns
Jan 14, 2022
Luka Doncic

Are you ready for some Friday night hoops? After only five games on Thursday, the NBA is back in full swing, with 18 total teams taking the floor on Friday night. Everyone would agree that the last month or so of fantasy basketball has been tricky due to Covid protocols and while it’s still not completely eradicated in the league, we are in a much better spot than we were a few weeks ago. This is great news for looking ahead and planning out DFS lineups as it gives us a better picture of what to expect come tipoff.

With nine games on deck, there should be lots of room for lineup flexibility. With that said, let’s jump right into my favorite DraftKings and FanDuel plays for Friday’s slate.

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Check out our consensus game odds as well as the odds from each sportsbook at BettingPros >>

Injury Report

Core Plays

Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $10,900 DraftKings, $10,500 FanDuel
Luka has been in and out of the lineup over the past couple of months but is off the injury report ahead of a matchup against the Grizzlies, who will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back set. Memphis also plays at a top-12 PACE, so this will likely speed up the slow-paced Mavs. Doncic is averaging more than 50 fantasy points over his last four healthy games, and that should represent his floor on Friday. With Stephen Curry on the second night of a back-to-back set as well, I’d much rather lock in Luka at a cheaper price.

Maxi Kleber (PF/C – DAL): $4,800 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
Much like Luka, Kleber should have more opportunities to rack up fantasy points with Memphis’ speedy PACE. Not to mention Kristaps Porzingis will remain out due to Covid protocols. Kleber has seen at least 30 minutes of playing time in seven of his last 10 games and is poised to handle another large workload on Friday. He’s averaging just under 24 fantasy points per game on DraftKings in the 11 games he’s played without Porzingis, and his price tag is nearly $1,000 cheaper than FanDuel. Pairing him with Luka is looking like a savvy stack.

Nikola Vucevic (C – CHI): $8,700 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel
Big Vuc had a down game in Wednesday’s loss to the Nets, but then again, so did the entire Bulls roster. With one night of rest, he’s set to take on a traveling Warriors squad who just surrendered a combined 50 points, 19 rebounds, 11 assists, and four blocks to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis in Thursday’s loss to the Bucks. Giannis is Giannis, but the Warriors are weak down low without Draymond Green, who will miss this game as well. Vucevic and the Bulls should be motivated after getting embarrassed by Brooklyn earlier in the week, so now seems like the best time to fire him up.

Cash Game Considerations

Evan Mobley (PF/C – CLE): $7,300 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
Mobley is about as safe as they come, posting at least 30 fantasy points on both sites in seven of his last eight games. He’s gifted a golden matchup against the Spurs, who currently surrender the second-most fantasy points to opposing big men this season. This makes Jarrett Allen a tempting play as well, but he’s priced a bit higher. I’d much rather take the safety and discount of Mobley in a plus matchup against the Spurs.

Robin Lopez (C – ORL): $4,400 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
Lopez was thrust into a larger role on Wednesday with Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. out of the lineup. He responded with his second double-double of the season and his fourth game with at least 30 minutes of playing time. We could very well see a similar scenario again on Friday, as Carter has been ruled out again and Bamba is questionable, leaving Lopez as the de facto center in Orlando. If that is the case, he’s a must-play while sitting under $5,000 on both sites. In case you needed any more convincing, the Hornets give up the ninth-most FanDuel and second-most DraftKings points to opposing centers this season.

Tyler Herro (PG/SG – MIA): $7,800 DraftKings, $7,300 FanDuel
Herro has dropped more than 50 DraftKings points in back-t0-back games, including 51.8 points against the Hawks on Wednesday. Both teams square off again on Friday and Herro should have little trouble getting up shots and acting as Miami’s main playmaker off the bench. His stock would rise even higher if Jimmy Butler is forced to miss another game. Simply put, Herro is cookin’ as of late, and his role is extremely safe. He remains a solid play on both sites.

GPP Targets

Stephen Curry (PG – GSW): $10,600 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
It feels weird not labeling Curry a ‘core play’, but he’s been in a rut as of late, except for Tuesday’s triple-double against the Grizzlies of course. Either way, the Warriors were just embarrassed on national TV on Thursday, and Steph scored 12 points on 11 shots. The blowout limited him to 29 minutes, so he should be ready to fine in Friday’s back-to-back set. Both the Bulls and Warriors rank inside the top-10 in PACE rating this season, meaning this should be a fast-paced game featuring two teams looking for vengeance after they were each embarrassed earlier in the week. Don’t be surprised to get a Steph blow-up game in this one.

Terry Rozier (SG/PG – CHA): $7,400 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel
Rozier is a high-upside player, to begin with, but has excelled in the two games Kelly Oubre has missed this season. He’s averaging 24.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and four assists in nearly 40 minutes of playing time during that span. Orlando has also given up the third-most DraftKings points per game to opposing guards, so he finds himself in a great spot to produce. While the pricing discrepancy on both sites is only $300, DraftKings is friendlier to his skillset.

Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF/C – MEM): $7,200 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
JJJ has been a monster on the defensive end of the ball over his last four games, averaging just under five blocks (!) per game in the span. He’s also scored 20 or more points in four of his last six, so he’s giving you production on offense as well. His skill set is better suited for FanDuel, where he’s $1,000 more expensive, but he should have no problem putting up big numbers against the Mavericks backup big men. With Ja Morant shaken up in Thursday’s win and this being the second night of a back-to-back set for the Grizzlies, they could be forced to lean on Jackson a bit more than usual.

Value Plays

Chuma Okeke (SF/PF – ORL): $4,900 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
Okeke finds himself in a fantastic matchup against the Hornets, who surrender the most FanDuel and second-most DraftKings points to opposing forwards this season. He’s averaging just under 30 minutes of playing time over his last three games and the Magic could use his help down low with Wendell Carter Jr. out and Mo Bamba questionable to play. He’s a great play on both sites in what should be a fast-paced matchup.

Alperen Sengun (C/PF – HOU): $4,900 DraftKings, $4,000 FanDuel
The talented rookie has been on the shelf due to an ankle injury since New Year’s Eve but is not listed on the injury report ahead of Friday’s game against the Kings. Before his ankle injury, Sengun was routinely racking up fantasy points and was priced in the high $5,000s as a result of his play. After seven missed games, his salary is laughable on FanDuel, where he averaged 1.14 fantasy points per minute. A reduced workload is always a concern after missing two weeks, but it’s tough to pass up his cheap price in this one. Not to mention the Kings have given up the most FanDuel and third-most DraftKings points to opposing big men this season.

Onyeka Okongwu (C – ATL): $4,800 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
Okongwu has been seeing increased playing time with Clint Capela out of the lineup and he’s put up at least 20 DraftKings points in six of his last eight games. A rematch with the Heat isn’t the best matchup on paper, but Bam Adebayo‘s absence will force Okongwu to match up against Omer Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon. He’s a better play on FanDuel and should be able to return fine value in the MIA/ATL rematch from Wednesday.

Advantageous Pricing

  • LaMelo Ball (PG – CHA): $8,900 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel
  • Zach LaVine (SG – CHI): $8,400 DraftKings, $7,200 FanDuel
  • Cade Cunningham (PG/SG – DET): $7,600 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
  • Myles Turner (C – IND): $5,800 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel
  • Saddiq Bey (SF/PF – DET): $7,100 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel

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

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