Friday’s slate of NBA DFS has a lot of moving parts and unique situations with a few key injuries and a few trade-deadline-based changes to teams that will be applicable moving forward. We have to try and determine the biggest mistakes people will make based on the deadline moves and take advantage before the mistakes are found.
Is It Wood’s Time?
The Pistons moved Andre Drummond to the Cavs in what was easily the strangest trade of the deadline. This should be an opening for Christian Wood to flourish as the Pistons’ starting center without Drummond in the lineup. The ownership and projection for Wood varies based on each site, but I think that there’s an edge to be had here.
When Drummond has missed time this season, the Pistons have started Thon Maker over Wood, and this has led to fewer minutes for Wood than we would like. However, I do think that this could change with the move, as I think that the Pistons should be trying out Wood as the center of the future without Drummond.
If Wood starts, I expect him to play 32-plus minutes and be a usage monster as the starting center, but if Maker starts, I’ll avoid the ownership and the price tag on most sites, as he’ll likely only play up to 28 minutes in a relatively tough matchup.
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The Celtics are expected to get Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart back Friday night, but they will be without Daniel Theis, Gordon Hayward, and Jaylen Brown. This is currently making Enes Kanter one of the most owned players on the slate. I do not mind the Kanter chalk because he did play 26 minutes last game, and this spot is phenomenal.
However, when Boston played the Hawks two games ago, the Celtics were very willing to go small. Without Brown and Hayward and with the Hawks getting another center in the mix, I think that is less likely, but I would not go overboard with Kanter.
If Damian Jones gets the start with Dewayne Dedmon coming back to the Hawks, I think that a flier on Jones, or Dedmon for that matter if he does start, is viable. These Hawks centers will not be highly owned, and they directly correlate with Kanter’s minutes upside in this matchup, and they both have upside of their own.
Harden is not projected for a ton of ownership Friday night, and I really do not understand why. He is very expensive, but his floor and upside in this spot are incredible. With Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela out this season, Harden has averaged 1.94 fantasy points per minute, and he plays anywhere from 38-40 minutes in games without Westbrook if we ignore blowouts.
I think that a projection of 74 is appropriate for Harden, and that is almost 20 points higher than any other player on the slate.
Philadelphia’s Road Struggles
The 76ers have lost 11 of their last 13 road games, and they have won eight straight at home. On Friday night, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are just clearly too cheap on DraftKings in particular. I love them both in this spot, even on a back-to-back. The 76ers need as many wins as they can get, and these two should see plenty of minutes.
I expect both to be heavily-owned, but I will be over the field on both if I can find more value throughout the day. I think that it is very likely that one of them hits 50 fantasy points Friday night against a Memphis team that will run up and down the court with the Sixers.