Friday brings us an 11-game slate, packed with really strong targets in all price ranges. That opened up a lot of strategies, but I’ll share what stands out most to me. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:
Target worth paying up for: Damian Lillard ($9,000) vs. BKN (23rd)
Lillard’s coming off a rare slate where he failed to reach value, but he comes back with a price slash in a better matchup. The Nets have been involved in plenty of barn burners, leaving Dame with one of his highest ceilings of the early season.
Best value: Raul Neto ($3,400) at DEN (21st)
Ben Simmons (shoulder) has been ruled out, so this is a simple value play to plug in. Neto went for 25.25 DKFP in 30 minutes when Simmons got hurt on Wednesday and he has a slightly higher upside in this game since he’ll be in an expanded role for the entire game.
Neto will be an extremely popular value play, which opens up room to pay up at a position worth doing so. Isaiah Thomas ($5,100) is the other top value to consider, in what should be a high-scoring game. I didn’t highlight LeBron James ($10,600) at any position, as his salary is up $1,000, but he makes sense to pay for if you can find the cash.
Target worth paying up for: Jimmy Butler ($7,400) at LAL (13th)
Like Lillard, Butler is underpriced on the second night of a back-to-back. After being priced over $8,000 on three consecutive slates, his salary inexplicably dropped, and we can keep capitalizing on that. He’s scored 46-plus DKFP in three of his last four.
Best value: Furkan Korkmaz ($3,400) at DEN (8th)
This is some trickledown effect from the Simmons injury, but Korkmaz had already been producing. He scored 21 or more DKFP in three straight games, before actually busting in the Utah game. But his salary is down, and he has the potential for 30 minutes in this one.
The only pure SG play I’m considering on this slate is Bradley Beal ($8,600). The game against the Cavs projects as a shootout, and the Cavs rank 25th in DKFP allowed to SG. Every other play gives you flexibility, with either PG or SF eligibility.
Target worth paying up for: Brandon Ingram ($8,100) vs. TOR (30th)
Ingram’s been fantastic this season, and he has a great matchup. Ingram already played a solid game against the Raptors in the season opener, and he has only improved since. Ingram’s scored 56-plus DKFP in three of his last five, and the Raptors allow the most DKFP to SF.
Best value: Markieff Morris ($4,400) at IND (15th)
Morris finally perked up for a matchup against his brother, dropping 39 DKFP against the Knicks on Wednesday. He’s underpriced with all the injuries in Detroit, and just showed us what he’s capable of. There’s plenty of upside here.
I’m more inclined to pay up at SF, targeting the likes of LeBron, Butler or Ingram. There just seems to be better value at guard and center, but if your build requires forward value, Morris tops the list.
Target worth paying up for: Kristaps Porzingis ($7,600) vs. NYK (16th)
Porzingis is appropriately priced for his averages, but has been inconsistent thus far. He’s put up some big games and some busts, and I’m inclined to believe a matchup against the Knicks leaves him in a spot to go off. I’ll take the stroll down Narrative Street here.
Best value: Skal Labissiere ($3,200) vs. BKN (20th)
Another underpriced play on the second night of a back-to-back. He’s shown 25-DKFP upside, and the game total and matchup against Brooklyn leaves him in a fantasy-friendly spot.
I think PF is the weakest position on the slate, and there aren’t even many center plays we can slide over to this spot. I have my eye on that Ingram/Porzingis price range, otherwise just punt on a play like Skal or Morris and hope for the best.
Target worth paying up for: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,300) vs. GSW (11th)
KAT’s essentially shown a 50-DKFP floor when he plays the full game, and this matchup against the Warriors is perfect. Golden State’s one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and doesn’t have a body that can come close to checking Towns.
Best value: Hassan Whiteside ($6,500) vs. BKN (20th)
Whiteside has consecutive games with 40-plus DKFP, and is pretty underpriced on this slate. The Nets are an ideal matchup for a big that lives in the paint, particularly with DeAndre Jordan (ankle) sidelined. Look for another big game from Whiteside, who could easily cost an extra $1,000 in this spot.
I can’t imagine not rostering two centers on this slate. Outside of the two highlighted plays, there’s stud and value plays across the board. It’s probably pretty contrarian not to use UTIL on a center play.
Key news to monitor on DK Live:
Myles Turner (ankle)
Shabazz Napier (hamstring)
JJ Redick (knee)
Dion Waiters (illness)
Avery Bradley (leg)
Dewayne Dedmon (knee)
Jordan Bell (shoulder)
PROBABLED’Angelo Russell (ankle)
Gary Harris (ankle)
Tyus Jones (ankle)
Cam Reddish (shoulder)
Lonzo Ball (leg)
OUTJeff Teague (illness)
Ben Simmons (shoulder)
Jeremy Lamb (ankle)
DeAndre Jordan (ankle)
Justise Winslow (concussion)
Goga Bitadze (concussion)
Mitchell Robinson (concussion)
Get all the news and analysis up to the minute on DK Live.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.