The NBA is back on Friday with a giant 12-game slate, with only the Celtics, Nets, Nuggets and Rockets not in the player pool. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:
Target worth paying up for: Luka Doncic ($11,800) vs. PHO (14th)Doncic actually had a bit of a down game on Tuesday as the Mavericks lost to the Clippers, snapping their five-game winning streak. He only shot 4-of-14 from the field and 0-for-8 from 3-point range on his way to 22 points while still producing 43.5 DKFP. Before that, Doncic had dropped over 70 DKFP in three of his previous four games, including a mammoth 40-point triple-double that resulted in 78.25 DKFP. He has been playing at an MVP level and should find the Suns’ defense a much more favorable matchup than the Clippers elite defense. He should be poised for a big-time bounce-back performance.
Best value: Rajon Rondo ($4,900) vs. WAS (28th)Rondo failed to score in 19 minutes during his return to New Orleans on Wednesday, but he was rolling along and looking strong before that. He had 14 points and 33.25 DKFP against the Grizzlies followed by 13 points and 29.75 DKFP against the Spurs on the Lakers’ road trip before that sour finish. He should be able to log minutes in the mid-20’s as the Lakers’ host the Wizards in a matchup that should have plenty of points and potential for Rondo to go big in his style of up-tempo play.
Positional StrategyEvery position is fully stacked with options since this slate is so massive. PG is loaded with solid plays in the $5K-$8K range if you don’t want to spend all the way up to Doncic. A few options I like in that range are Chris Paul ($7,200) against the Pels, Mike Conley ($6,500) returning to Memphis, and Alec Burks ($5,600) taking his talents to South Beach. If you choose to go ultra-cheap, Darius Garland ($3,900), Shaq Harrison ($3,700) and Frank Jackson ($3,300) all have upside at their price and could get extra run.
Target worth paying up for: Kawhi Leonard ($9,300) at SA (30th)Kawhi returns to San Antonio for his first time as a Clipper. He had a season-high 38 against the Spurs on his way to 63 DKFP the first time he faced them this season in Los Angeles. He rested Wednesday after dropping 28 points and 45.5 DKFP on Doncic’s Mavs on Tuesday. Leonard doesn’t have to do all the heavy-lifting with Paul George ($8,800) back in the lineup, but he could be motivated to carry the load in a rematch against his former team. It also helps that the Spurs’ defense against opposing wings has been awful this season.
Best value: JJ Redick ($4,600) at OKC (6th)Reddick picked up extra minutes with Lonzo Ball (illness) out against the Lakers, and he stepped up with 18 points and 30.5 DKFP in his 35 minutes. With Ball listed out again, Redick should continue to get plenty of shots and has proven to be a key contributor as a veteran presence and sharp-shooter for the Pelicans. Redick has over 29 DKFP in five of his past six games while averaging 31.1 DKFP on 20 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 4.3 three-pointers made per contest over that span.
Positional StrategySG is just as stacked at PG with plentiful mid-range options with loads of upside. If you’re going balanced, check out Devonte’ Graham ($6,900), Dennis Schroder ($5,800) and RJ Barrett ($5,400). If you’re rummaging around the bargain bin this Black Friday, Furkan Korkmaz ($3,300) has upside if he starts in place of Josh Richardson ($6,100; hamstring, doubtful), Pat Connaughton ($4,200) could see more minutes with Milwaukee’s multiple injuries, and Jordan McRae ($4,500) has been getting nice run off the bench for the Wizards.
Target worth paying up for: Jonathan Isaac ($6,900) vs. TOR (23rd)With both Nikola Vucevic (ankle) and Aaron Gordon ($5,600; ankle, game-time decision) sidelined, Isaac has had to step into a much larger role in the Orlando offense. The third-year player has looked up to the task so far providing multi-category gems that give him elite upside. He has averaged over 40 DKFP per game over his past four contests which includes a matchup with the Raptors, who he’ll face again on this slate. He had 16 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and 45.75 DKFP in Toronto in that matchup and should be very active and involved in the rematch.
Best value: Donte DiVincenzo ($4,400) at CLE (27th)While Khris Middleton ($6,400) is back from his quad injury, he is expected to be limited to about 20 minutes off the bench for the next few games which should allow DiVincenzo to stay in the starting lineup and keep producing. With Sterling Brown (shoulder) and Kyle Korver (elbow) out, DiVincenzo should have no trouble finding plenty of opportunities on the wing in a favorable matchup in Cleveland. The Big Ragu has over 21 DKFP in six of his past seven games and is a reliable source of multi-category production for as long as he sees good minutes.
Positional StrategySF doesn’t have quite as many options as the over-stocked guard spots but it does have elite talent like Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000) and LeBron James ($11,200), who almost always make sense if you can afford them. Emerging stars like Brandon Ingram ($8,300) and Ben Simmons ($8,100) can save you a little salary while still offering elite upside. However, I think this may be a spot to spend down a little bit to save up for big-name guards or centers since there are lots of solid options between $4K-$7K.
Target worth paying up for: Anthony Davis ($10,000) vs. WAS (16th)Davis dropped 41 points against the Pelicans and had 61.25 DKFP despite falling just one rebound short of a double-double. He has over 60 DKFP in three of his past five games and over 47 DKFP in each of those contests. He’s listed as probable, which seems to be the new norm, but as long as he’s a full go, he should have no problem dominating the Wizards’ frontcourt in what should be a high-scoring game in Los Angeles. Davis is “only” $10K but has the same upside as some of the players priced even higher, so he makes sense if you can’t quite scrape together the salary to get to the Giannis/LeBron/Luka level.
Best value: Dario Saric ($5,900) vs. DAL (18th)Saric has put together back-to-back massive double-doubles and will look to keep rolling as the Suns host the Mavs. He had 18 points, 17 boards and 47.75 DKFP against the Nuggets on Sunday and followed that with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 44.5 DKFP against the Wizards. He has regularly produced when given over 30 minutes of playing time this season, but Aron Baynes ($6,000; hip, probable) is expected to return which could clog up playing time in the frontcourt. Still, Saric offers great upside in rebounding and 3-point shooting making him a mid-range play to target.
Positional StrategyPF is another very thick position with tons of options in the mid-range that offer viable upside. It gives you a great chance to target your favorite plays and build around them or pick and choose your matchups. If you go cheap, check out Rui Hachimura ($4,200), Chris Boucher ($3,900) or James Ennis III ($3,100), who could get extra run with Al Horford resting.
Target worth paying up for: Andre Drummond ($9,200) vs. CHA (30th)Drummond gets the best matchup in the NBA for opposing centers as the Pistons host the Hornets. In addition, Cody Zeller ($3,900; hip, questionable) could be less than 100% if he plays. Drummond just had 14 points, 21 rebounds and 52.25 DKFP against the Hornets on Wednesday and looks like a double-double lock with a 20-20 game a definite possibility. Drummond has 15-plus boards in four straight games and continues to be a beast even though the return of Blake Griffin ($7,500) has dropped his usage a bit.
Best value: Omari Spellman ($4,600) at MIA (20th)The Warriors have been a mess of injuries this season, but it has opened up some opportunities for developing players like Spellman to find plenty of time on the court. He had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 39.75 DKFP against the Bulls on Wednesday and has played at least 24 minutes in four straight while posting 20-plus DKFP in four of his past five. Spellman still has more room to grow but has found a big enough role to be worth a look under $5K in this matchup.
Positional StrategyCenter is another absolutely loaded position with good options at every price point. If you can’t quite get up to Drummond, Hassan Whiteside ($8,000) gets a juicy matchup against the Bulls and only needed 22 minutes to have 21 points, 16 rebounds and 43.5 DKFP against the Thunder on Wednesday. Montrezl Harrell ($6,400), Thomas Bryant ($6,200) and Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,000) are all solid mid-range plays, and there are some intriguing cheap options led by Chris Boucher ($3,900). With so much depth at multiple positions, it’s a great night to experiment with different lineup constructions, so go crazy and enjoy pinpointing the players and matchups you think offer the best chance for success.
Key news to monitor on DK Live:
QUESTIONABLECam Reddish (wrist)
Kyle Anderson (heel)
Ed Davis (leg)
Cody Zeller (hip)
Aaron Gordon (ankle)
PROBABLEJimmy Butler (illness)
Malik Monk (finger)
George Hill (back)
Dorian Finney-Smith (finger)
Kristaps Porzingis (knee)
Aron Baynes (hip)
Ricky Rubio (back)
Ryan Arcidiacono (elbow)
Toman Satoransky (toe)
Gary Trent Jr. (hamstring)
Anthony Davis (shoulder)
Ben Simmons (illness)
DOUBTFULSerge Ibaka (ankle)
Josh Richardson (hamstring)
JaKarr Sampson (back)
OUTReggie Jackson (back)
Michael Carter-Williams (hip)
Nikola Vucevic (ankle)
Kyle Lowry (thumb)
John Henson (hamstring)
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (illness)
Sterling Brown (shoulder)
Kyle Korver (elbow)
Elfrid Payton (hamstring)
Al Horford (rest)
Kyle O’Quinn (calf)
Edmond Sumner (hand)
D’Angelo Russell (thumb)
Damion Lee (hand)
Lonzo Ball (illness)
Derrick Favors (personal)
Hamidou Diallo (elbow)
Rodney McGruder (hamstring)
Landry Shamet (ankle)
Chandler Hutchison (shoulder)
Otto Porter Jr. (foot)
CJ Miles (wrist)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.