Friday’s fantasy basketball slate has eight games. Notable players whose statuses will need to be monitored during the day include Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee), Devin Booker (hamstring), Kevin Love (toe) and Zach LaVine (ankle). Anthony Davis is expected to return to the Pelicans’ starting lineup amid trade rumors after clearing Thursday’s trade deadline. Khris Middleton (rest) is listed as out.
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up to the minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock.
Let’s take a look at some plays fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings.
Luka Doncic, DAL vs. MIL, $9,500 — After the Mavericks traded away all four of their other primary starters within the past week, Doncic appears to be in line for a role upgrade the rest of the season. In three games since the Mavs began their series of trades, Doncic has a heavy 36 percent usage rate, up from 29 percent in previous games.
A matchup against a lengthy Bucks defense that ranks as the best possession-adjusted team defense in the league isn’t ideal, but there are flaws in the Bucks’ defense, particularly from long distance. The Bucks have allowed the most 3-pointers per game to opponents and leave a lot of open space around the 3-point line.
The Bucks have allowed the second most wide-open 3s per game based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. Doncic is shooting 40 percent on wide-open 3s this year, a boost from 35 percent on all triples.
Milwaukee’s fast pace also pushes its points allowed to opponents to seventh best, down from the best pace-adjusted defense.
Other Options — Stephen Curry ($9,000)
Eric Bledsoe, MIL at DAL, $6,700 — Khris Middleton (rest) is listed as out Friday, which will make Bledsoe a candidate for more volume in the Bucks’ offense. Bledsoe’s usage rate is 26 percent in minutes with Middleton off the court this year, up from 21 percent with Middleton on the court. Bledsoe’s price locked in before news of Middleton’s absence came out, giving him some extra value.
Dennis Smith Jr., NY at DET, $5,800 — In his first game with the Knicks, Smith took a season-high 25 shots and posted a 33.5 percent usage rate, also tied for his season-high. Smith appears in line for a volume boost the rest of the season as the primary option for a poor Knicks club that views Smith as a part of its future. Smith scored 39 DKFP in his first game with the Knicks against the Pistons with the help of the boosted volume.
Other Options — Kris Dunn ($6,500)
Jimmy Butler, PHI vs. DEN, $7,300 — Butler’s fantasy appeal is partly dependent on the status of Joel Embiid (illness), who is listed as questionable to play. If Embiid is out, Butler will be in line for expanded usage, as his usage rate is nine percentage points higher in minutes with Embiid off the court with the Sixers this year. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on Embiid’s status.
Other Options — Bradley Beal ($8,800)
Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL vs. MIL, $4,900 — The trade of Harrison Barnes could open up space in the starting five for Hardaway, who has seen his price tank down to $4,900 after being no lower than $5,800 at any point this season with the Knicks. Hardaway scored 24.5 DKFP in 26 minutes off the bench in his Mavericks debut Wednesday and averaged 30 DKFP per game with the Knicks prior to his trade to Dallas. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news alerts on the Mavericks’ starting lineup Friday.
Other Options — Andrew Wiggins ($6,000)
Kevin Durant, GS at PHO, $9,100 — Durant’s matchup has substantial blowout risk, but so did the Warriors’ previous game against an overmatched Spurs team that rested its best two players, and Durant scored 54 DKFP in 29 minutes in a 41-point win. Durant faces a Suns team that has allowed the third most points and fifth most assists to opponents and is tied for the worst rebounding team in the league by the percentage of missed shots they rebound.
Other Options — Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400)
Justise Winslow, MIA at SAC, $5,500 — Sacramento’s fast pace will help create extra possessions for Winslow to score and assist. The Kings have allowed the fourth most points to opponents due to their fast pace combined with their poor defense. The Kings also have been poor on the glass, ranking as the sixth worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound.
Winslow leads the Heat in potential assists created per game since taking over as point guard.
Other Options — Josh Richardson ($6,100)
Anthony Davis, NO vs. MIN, $11,200 — Davis is a risky play, as he has been out for about three weeks due to a combination of a finger injury along with the Pelicans holding him out of the lineup amidst trade rumors. It’s not clear if he’ll be limited in his first game back, or if the Pelicans will decide to limit his minutes the rest of the season in an effort to protect his trade value for the summer — ESPN’s Adrain Wojnarowski reported that will be the case to some degree. That said, Davis has about as much upside as anybody on the slate if not limited, and his 62 DKFP average leads the next closest player by 5.0 DKFP. The Pelicans face a Timberwolves team that has mediocre rebounding numbers and ranks as a slightly below-average defense.
Other Options — Blake Griffin ($8,900), Lauri Markkanen ($7,000)
Josh Jackson, PHO vs. GS, $5,900 — Jackson has started seven straight games due to an injury to T.J. Warren (ankle) and has played heavy minutes recently, averaging 37 minutes per game over his past three. With Devin Booker (hamstring) out of the lineup in the Suns’ most recent game, Jackson exploded for 51 DKFP in a tough matchup in Utah. If Booker remains out again Friday, Jackson will be a candidate for another expanded role. Jackson’s usage rate jumps from 19 percent with Booker on the court with him to 26 percent with Booker off the court, with it at 29 percent in the Suns’ most recent game with Booker out of the lineup.
Other Options — Dwight Powell ($4,400)
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at NO, $10,000 — Towns has destroyed the Pelicans in three previous games against them this season, averaging 67 DKFP per game on 27 points and 20 rebounds per game. Towns peaked at 79 DKFP in his most recent game against them Jan. 12 and has scored no less than 53 DKFP in any of his previous three matchups vs. the Pelicans. The Pelicans have allowed the fifth most points to opponents on the back of their fast pace combined with their poor defense.
Hassan Whiteside, MIA at SAC, $6,800 — The Kings are poor on the glass, ranking sixth worst by the percentage of missed shots they rebound, and their fast pace has them allowing the most rebounds per game to opponents. Whiteside destroyed the Kings on the glass in his previous game against them, grabbing a season-high 24 rebounds in a 58.5-DKFP outing.
Other Options — Nikola Jokic ($10,400)
Larry Nance Jr., CLE at WAS, $5,800 — Cedi Osman’s ankle injury has opened up more playing time for Nance recently, playing 28 and 29 minutes over his past two games with Osman hurt, scoring 37.5 and 30 DKFP, respectively. Kevin Love (toe) is getting close to a return, but Osman is out again and if Love remains out Friday, Nance will be in line to continue an expanded role against the Wizards, who are tied for the worst rebounding team in the league by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. Nance’s 18.6 player efficiency rating is solid.
Other Options — Jarrett Allen ($5,000)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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.
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