Yes, they are actually also playing professional basketball this week. With an eight-game slate on Friday, we have some intriguing matchups to watch. Here are a few players to consider as you start to build your DraftKings lineups, from every position and price range.
Rajon Rondo @ WAS ($6,500) – Listed as a stud to highlight the value that can be found at the position tonight, four of the guys priced above him are questionable or out, and others are available at more than one position. With Wade out, Rondo should be getting run, and he has put up just about 40 fantasy points in each of their last two games as a result. He could be going up against Brandon Jennings in this one, giving him an even better matchup than usual against Washington.
Other Options – James Harden ($11,800), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,900), Goran Dragic ($7,300)
Tyler Ulis vs. ORL ($5,700) – He got the start against the Kings with Bledsoe out and played 39 minutes, finishing with 13 points and 13 assists. He’ll have the same kind of opportunity tonight against a weak Orlando defense, giving him a chance at similar upside again in this one, with obvious value at the price.
Terry Rozier @ BKN ($3,000) – With Isaiah Thomas out for the next two games, there is a good chance we see Rozier get basically twice as many minutes as he is used to. He could see more than a handful of opportunities from three to give his potential value an extra boost as well.
Other Options – Brandon Jennings ($4,000)
James Harden @ NO ($11,800) – One of the six players priced over $9K tonight (which includes a questionable John Wall), Harden is just the guy to consider when you are looking for upside of 50+ fantasy points. What he brings to the table is obvious, but if you can find enough value on the board you like elsewhere, you can’t really go wrong with Harden if you have the room in your budget.
Bradley Beal vs. CHI ($8,200) – This is one, like Brandon Jennings, where you want to wait and see what happens with Wall before you decide how hard you want to ride Beal. If Butler gets this assignment, he has the size to bother Beal’s shot if Wall is out there with the ball in his hands. But Beal should see his usage go up enough in Wall’s absence with him being used more as a playmaker/creator, that he should be able to return value at this price regardless.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,000)
Marcus Smart @ BKN ($4,900) – One of three players on the Celtics I see a distinct boost for with IT out, I think Smart will be out there enough and getting enough extra looks on offense to make him a value at this price. One of the three is not Avery Bradley because while he might see a shot or two more, he usually is out there with IT anyway, and gets his value from defense and rebounding and things that IT doesn’t take away from him (but Thomas’ replacements might).
Other Options – Denzel Valentine ($4,100)
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ LAL ($9,900) – Both of the New Orleans guys are out for me as anything but GPP plays for the foreseeable future, which leaves the big lineup decision for me tonight as Giannis vs. Towns. Giannis has been impacted by the return of Middleton enough that he is more of an upside play, but the upside is certainly there against the Lakers, against whom he should be able to get to whatever spot he wants to on both ends of the court.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($8,800)
Khris Middleton @ LAL ($6,500) – He supposedly returned on a minutes restriction, but he has been playing 30+ minutes a night every single night for the past week, often sneaking up closer to the 35+ range. He has had a floor in the mid-to-high twenties, averaging 13 points and 6 boards over the past week, and in a plus matchup with the Lakers he should be able to surpass both of those numbers easily.
Caris LeVert vs. BOS ($4,200) – His minutes have been hovering around the mid-twenties of late, but his price has stayed low enough to make him someone who can give you some solid value as a cash play even in somewhat limited time. He’s been at 20+ fantasy points in each of his last three, and against this Celtics team, he could see a couple of extra rebounds, giving his overall potential a nice bump for the night.
Other Options – Jae Crowder ($5,400)
Dario Saric vs. DAL ($7,900) – Over the last week, he is averaging 22 points and 7 rebounds, and he has 40+ fantasy points in three of his last four. The matchup with Dallas seems to be the only thing keeping his price from taking a step up right now, so any trouble he could have with this defense is built into the cost, in my opinion. He hasn’t played fewer than 35 minutes in any of their last four games, and he is getting up more than 18 shots a night, and neither of those things should change tonight.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($10,200), DeMarcus Cousins ($9,800)
Harrison Barnes @ PHI ($6,300) – With 29 or more fantasy points in three of his last four, he’s getting you exactly the value you need to justify a price in this range. There isn’t a lot of upside here with the way Dallas plays, but in a nice matchup with Philly, he should at least see the high end of his normal fantasy scoring range, somewhere in the low thirties.
Other Options – Gorgui Dieng ($5,100)
Karl-Anthony Towns @ MIA ($10,400) – Towns is my single favorite high-end play tonight, with more upside to me than Giannis, more consistent usage than the New Orleans bigs and at just enough of a discount compared to Harden to make the savings worth while. He is consistently giving you a floor around 40 points and a ceiling of 70+, making him a viable option in any format contest. He went for 35 points and 8 boards the last time these two teams met, a two-point Miami victory back in February.
Other Options – Hassan Whiteside ($8,100)
Alan Williams vs. ORL ($6,300) – Williams is athletic enough to get up and down in an up-tempo offense, and has proven to be a nice fit in Phoenix. He has given you 29 or more fantasy points in seven of their last eight games, making him as consistent an option as you’ll find, if you expect that trend to continue. And there is no reason to expect that tonight is the night it ends, with Orlando and their decimated front court in town.
Nerlens Noel @ PHI ($5,500) – A revenge game in Philly? Certainly possible. He is an up-and-down fantasy option in Dallas right now, and surprisingly the variance is more with his rebounding than his scoring. However, with Saric left as the best big in town, the idea of Noel just dominating the glass tonight is definitely on the table, giving him a realistic chance at a double-double.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($6,800)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.