Friday is the first of back-to-back days with 10 NBA games on tap, so buckle up and get ready for some busy fantasy basketball slates. The 10 contest on Friday night include Jimmy Butler going back to Chicago for the first time since joining Miami as a free agent this offseason, LeBron James leading his 12-2 Lakers into Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder, Luka Doncic and the Mavericks hosting the Cavaliers, and James Harden and the Rockets traveling to Los Angeles to face the Clippers, who should have both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George available.
With all that star-power in action, you’ll want to spend up for some big names, but you will need to balance out your salary to stay under the cap. To help you find the best bargain options, take a look at these four in play for under $4K.
SG/SF BEN MCLEMORE, HOU at LAC, $3,900
The Rockets likely will go back to McLemore in the starting lineup with Danuel House ($4,500; shoulder) now dealing with a new injury. House started doubtful but was upgraded to questionable Thursday. If the Rockets give House the night off, McLemore would be a nice option. He started three games two weeks ago and averaged 30.8 minutes per game, producing 16.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 25.2 DKFP per contest.
Since House returned to the lineup, McLemore still has had decent minutes off the bench, although his production dropped due to a couple of rough shooting nights. With Eric Gordon (knee) still sidelined, McLemore should get enough run off the bench to be a solid value play under $4K, but he has a much higher ceiling and comes with much less risk if House is out and he gets a spot start.
SF/PF JAMES ENNIS III, PHI vs. SA, $3,700
The Sixers acquired Ennis from the Rockets at the trading deadline last season and re-signed him as a free agent this past offseason. Ennis has been a regular part of the Sixers’ second unit and played at least 15 minutes in each of their past seven games. He has averaged 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 15.0 DKFP over that span.
In each of his past two games, Ennis has hit multiple 3-pointers and grabbed four rebounds leading to identical totals of 22.0 DKFP in each contest. He has scored in double digits in three of his past four games and usually gets a nice boost when the Sixers are up big and the second unit gets more time. He’s a solid option against the Spurs, although he doesn’t have as high a ceiling as some of the other options on this list since he is established in his role and doesn’t look like a threat to move into the lineup or get more time if injury news breaks his way.
PG/SG YOGI FERRELL, SAC at BKN, $3,500
Ferrell has the highest ceiling of any player in my four under $4K for this slate as he returns to where his NBA career started and takes on the Nets. Farrell played 10 games with the Nets before a stop in Dallas and then heading to Sacramento prior to last season. He started this season out of the rotation but stepped in as backup PG after the injury to De’Aaron Fox (ankle). Cory Joseph ($4,900; heel) has been starting and logging heavy minutes since Fox’s injury but is questionable with an injury of his own for Friday’s contest.
Since getting more run, Ferrell has played more than 15 minutes in each of his past four games and scored at least nine points in three of those contests. He had a season-high 20.25 DKFP in 29 minutes against the Lakers last Friday but will be set up to surpass those numbers if Joseph is forced to sit out this contest. Ferrell can produce fantasy points in bunches with contributions in multiple categories when he’s at his best, but he is a boom-or-bust play depending on CoJo’s status, so be sure to stay tuned to live.draftkings.com and the DKLive app for all the latest news leading up to tip-off.
SF/PF VINCE CARTER, ATL at DET, $3,500
After a five-game absence to deal with a personal matter, the 42-year-old Carter returned for the Hawks and played a season-high 24 minutes against the Bucks on Wednesday. He had 13 points, two assists, a rebound and 18.25 DKFP. Carter has the green light when he’s on the court as evidenced by his 13 shots against Milwaukee and should continue to be a key scorer off the bench for Atlanta.
Carter could be in store for more than 20 minutes again in this matchup with Kevin Huerter (shoulder) out and Cam Reddish ($4,200; wrist) and Even Turner ($3,300; Achilles) still battling injuries as well. He still is capable of lighting it up against second units like Detroit’s, so the grizzled vet is worth a look as a solid play at this salary — especially if McLemore and Ferrell don’t get the injury breaks they need to open the door for them.
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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.