The NBA wraps up another great work week of fantasy basketball and heads into a very busy weekend with a 10-game slate on Friday night. There are some great matchups on tap highlighted by the Raptors visiting the Rockets and seven inter-conference matchups as familiar opponents go head-to-head. The 20 teams and 100 starters provide plenty of options for your fantasy lineup this Friday, but you still might find yourself short on salary as you round out your roster. To help you find solid plays at affordable prices, here are my top four in play under $4K for this Friday.
C GUILLERMO HERNAGÓMEZ, CHA AT MIL, $3,900With Cody Zeller (hand) still sidelined, Hernangómez has settled into a productive role off the bench behind Bismack Biyombo ($4,100). Hernangómez has more offensive potential and has been efficient while playing minutes in the high teens or low 20s in most contests. He has at least 22 DKFP in three of his past four contests with good points and rebounds. He showed off his high ceiling when the Hornets gave him 26 minutes against the Kings, and he produced 38.0 DKFP on 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Hernangómez didn’t seize the starting role and turn into a fantasy beast while Zeller was out, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid bargain play with good upside as the Hornets visit the Bucks in Milwaukee. He has been very efficient lately and should return good value if that continues in this matchup.
SF/PF TREY LYLES, DEN VS. PHO, $3,800Another bench player whose role has been big enough to make him a good play lately is the Nuggets’ Lyles, who has played at least 19 minutes and produced at least 20 DKFP in each of his past three contests. He has taken at least 10 shots in each of those contests and scored at least 12 points despite not really locking in from long range.
Especially if the Nuggets can get a big lead early, there should be plenty of minutes for Lyles in a favorable matchup against the Suns’ banged-up frontcourt in this matchup. He has a high ceiling and contributes in multiple categories when he’s at his best as a key part of the Nuggets’ second unit.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nikola Jokic has been suspended for tonight’s game vs. the Suns.
PG/SG JERRYD BAYLESS, MIN AT UTA, $3,600The Timberwolves suddenly have given Bayless expanded minutes in the backcourt, and the veteran has produced nicely over his past three games. Jeff Teague ($5,800; foot), Tyus Jones ($4,000; ankle) and Derrick Rose ($6,000; ankle) all are battling injuries and might not play against the Jazz as Minnesota finishes its back-to-back out West.
So far on the road trip, Bayless has produced 35.5 DKFP in 28 minutes against the Suns and 33.5 DKFP in 30 minutes against the Lakers. He has averaged 15 points, 7.5 assists, three rebounds and 1.5 steals in those two contests. If Minnesota’s backcourt again is depleted by injuries, Bayless is a great play with a high ceiling even in a tougher matchup against Utah.
PG ELIE OKOBO, PHO AT DEN, $3,000If you decide to pivot off Bayless or the Timberwolves get backcourt reinforcements, Okobo is another cheap guard with good opportunity possible Friday. He has been playing backup PG behind De’Anthony Melton ($3,500; ankle), but Melton left Thursday’s game with a sprained ankle and wasn’t able to return. If he is out for this contest in Denver, Okobo would be in store for a larger role whether he moved into the starting lineup or continued to come off the bench.
In 28 minutes Thursday helping to fill in for Melton, Okobo had 12 points, seven rebounds, a steal and an assist for 25.75 DKFP. He has had an up-and-down rookie season and struggled when given a bigger role earlier this season. However, after a strong showing Thursday against the Trail Blazers, he appears ready to play a larger role. At the minimum salary, he won’t have to do a lot to bring a good return on investment in Denver.
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.