Friday is here, and there is a fantastic seven-game NBA slate to take on in DFS. This slate is full of injuries already and some big question marks that are yet to be determined. Make sure that you keep up with the news as the day moves along.
No Doncic? No Problem
Maybe Dallas Mavericks fans out there have a different feeling about the loss of Luka Doncic to an ankle sprain, but I really like the Mavericks Friday night in daily fantasy without their star player. Most sites’ pricing was done without the news, meaning that all of these players are underpriced around the industry.
Jalen Brunson is my favorite play of the day, and I would be pretty surprised if that changes barring some sort of strange starting lineup in Dallas. I could see a world where the Mavericks start Delon Wright over Brunson, but I think that is relatively unlikely.
Even if they did, Brunson would still be a top play, just like Wright is still a great play where he is cheap coming off the bench.
Kristaps Porzingis is very intriguing on this slate, and the only questions I have are his ownership and his minutes. Since returning from injury, Porzingis has yet to play more than 27 minutes in any game, and that is obviously a major concern.
I like him as a GPP play because his performance in the four games that Doncic missed earlier this season was out of control.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Delon Wright are both better FanDuel plays than DraftKings at their current salaries. I will be sprinkling both into a few lineups, but I would probably avoid using all four of these players in one lineup.
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The Pelicans-Grizzlies matchup should be a track meet, and that should mean that we get some nice value out of these players. When they squared off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day a few weeks ago, they accounted for 242 points, and I think that is very possible again Friday.
Zion Williamson has returned to the Pelicans, and that has really messed with some of the pricing on these players for now. Nothing really stands out to me as the Pelicans add back a huge piece of their offense.
Williamson is priced well on a few sites and has 50-fantasy-point upside with his minutes limit seemingly disappearing to the point where he should play 32 minutes or so in this game.
Although it is a small sample size, the other Pelicans have been understandably less consistent with a new player on the court with them. This doesn’t mean that their ceiling has decreased much, though, making them great tournament plays.
Williamson is going to put up numbers, but he isn’t a player that dominates a ton of possessions, and I expect a very large percentage of his points to be assisted on, which provides fantasy value.
My favorite plays on this team are Williamson for the upside and Lonzo Ball for the upside and the low ownership. Alvin Gentry has tried to play these guys together with the second unit, and we usually get about eight minutes a game that is solely Ball getting the ball to Williamson in opportunities to score. I think that their production is actually positively correlated.
The Grizzlies ran into some trouble in New York and will be without Jaren Jackson Jr. due to a suspension Friday night. This opens up a ton of time for guys like Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke, and I think that they will all be highly owned.
I think I will be underweight on Jonas Valanciunas because of the Pelicans’ ability to use Williamson at the 5 and keep Valanciunas on the bench. In just the first few games with Williamson, the Pelicans have run multiple bigs off the floor, and Valanciunas is not one to run around the court in a bad matchup.
Jokic Takes On The Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently questionable and easily the biggest news of the day that has yet to drop. We all saw what the Bucks’ supporting cast can do without Giannis in the lineup, and I would have very little hesitation jamming them in if he is ruled out.
On the other side of the ball, I love Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. in a tough matchup. Porter is ultra-talented, and I think that the Nuggets will need to utilize him early and often to stay in this game if Giannis were to play.
Jokic is still playing without Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray, and Mason Plumlee, and he is now the clear No. 1 facilitator and scorer on a good team. He is priced down for the matchup, and he is too good to pass up.