The NBA is back after a turkey day hiatus with another massive fantasy basketball slate. With a dozen games on tap for this Black Friday, there are lots of options to consider as you decide which players will round out your roster. The Celtics visit the Nets in a holiday matinee which is available as a single-game Showdown, but the rest of the action gets underway at the usual 7:00 p.m. ET or later tipoff time. There are no matchups featuring two winning teams, but some of the top teams will return to action led by the 16-2 Lakers hosting the Wizards, the 15-3 Bucks visiting the Cavs and the 14-5 Clippers taking on the Spurs.
Whether you avoid the stores or embrace your inner shopaholic this Black Friday, everyone can appreciate a good bargain to complete their lineup. Here are my top four in play for under $4K this Friday:
PF/C CHRIS BOUCHER, TOR at ORL, $3,900Boucher has been a solid value while helping to fill in for Serge Ibaka ($5,000; ankle, doubtful) and likely has at least one more game of fantasy relevance before Ibaka is back. With Aaron Gordon ($5,600; ankle, questionable) and Nikola Vucevic (ankle, out) ailing for the Magic, Boucher will get a good matchup in Orlando on Friday.
In his most recent contest, Boucher had 13 points, 12 boards, four assists and 36.5 DKFP in 25 minutes against the Knicks. He definitely took advantage of garbage time but could be in a similar spot in this matchup. Boucher has at least eight boards and 22 DKFP in four of his past five games, so he offers solid returns with big upside from under $4K.
PG/SF SHAQUILLE HARRISON, CHI at POR, $3,700Harrison will likely be back in the lineup for the Bulls since Chandler Hutchison (shoulder) is listed out with a new injury he sustained on Wednesday in his return from shin soreness. In the four games Hutchison missed, Harrison started and has some impressive performances.
His best game of the run was his first start when he had 15 points, 11 boards and 45.25 DKFP against the Pistons, showing off his multi-category ceiling. He followed that up with 24.5 DKFP against the Heat before a couple of down games against the Hornets and Trail Blazers. Harrison isn’t as safe a play as Boucher or Johnson, but he does have a very high upside if he gets the starting nod and gets rolling and is in a good matchup in Portland.
SF/PF CAMERON JOHNSON, PHO vs. DAL, $3,500Johnson is listed as probable as he continues to battle knee soreness, but the 23-year-old rookie has been getting plenty of run despite the issue and working his way into fantasy relevance. Johnson had 17 points and 28.5 DKFP against the Wizards on Wednesday while playing a season-high 32 minutes.
He has reached double-digit scoring in six of his past nine games, averaging 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 21.2 DKFP per contest. The injury may have slowed him for a couple of quiet games, but he looked past the problem Wednesday. He’ll look to continue to establish himself as a contributor for the constantly-rebuilding Suns.
SG/SF FURKAN KORKMAZ, PHI at NY, $3,300Josh Richardson ($6,100; hamstring, doubtful) isn’t expected to play Friday night in New York which could open up a great matchup for Korkmaz, who had success when filling in for J-Rich earlier this season. Korkmaz had 17 points, four rebounds and 27.5 DKFP in his most recent start against the Spurs, knocking down four 3-pointers.
Korkmaz definitely has great upside against the lowly Knicks if he gets heavy minutes in place of Richardson, but he is very reliant on his outside shooting which makes him a little bit boom-or-bust. He started against the Knicks the game before his big game against the Spurs but only managed 3.0 DKFP. Even though moving into the starting lineup doesn’t make Korkmaz a lock to go off, he has too much potential to totally ignore if he does return to the starting lineup.
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.