After a quiet night in the NBA on Thursday, we have a large 10-game NBA slate over on DraftKings tonight. With so many games on Friday’s slate, we can worry a little bit less about ownership and more on attacking the best match-ups on the board.
As always, identifying great value is going to be imperative in building a winning lineup and affording a few stud players. I am going to identify two of my favorite plays, regardless of price, at each position and then a few value plays that can help round out our lineups.
Damian Lillard (POR): $8,500 vs. ATL
Lillard played well in his return to the lineup on Tuesday night and now has a dream home matchup against the Hawks on Friday. The Hawks are one of the best teams to target at the point guard position, as they have given up the 6th most DraftKings points to point guards and Dennis Schroder is one of the worst defenders in the NBA, ranking 96th out of 97 PGs in defensive real plus minus (DRPM). Lillard has eclipsed 45 DraftKings points in six of his past 10 games and has an elite 29.9% usage rate. As long as he is able to rack up peripheral stats and avoid turnovers, Lillard is an elite play on tonight’s slate.
Goran Dragic (MIA): $6,600 vs. NYK
After struggling with an elbow injury and failing to play more than 30 minutes in 13 straight games in November and December, Dragic was recently shut down for a three-game stretch. He has come back and been on fire ever since – averaging 49.7 DraftKings points per game in 37.5 minutes over the past two games. On paper, a match-up against the Knicks isn’t ideal, as they give up the 9th fewest DK points to point guards and rank 14th in defensive efficiency rating. However, the Knicks are arguably the worst road team in the league and only have three road wins, which is tied for last in the NBA. Given Dragic’s recent form and the Knicks road woes, he should have 40+ DK point upside yet again.
Tyus Jones (MIN): $4,900 at BOS
Jones is coming off two duds against the Lakers and Nets in which he averaged 18.4 DraftKings points. Due to his recent struggles, a lot of people will be quick to write off Jones in tonight’s matchup against the Celtics. His price has trended down over the past week, but the Celtics have given up the 10th most DK points to point guards and Kyrie Irving is ranked 69th out of 97 point guards in DRPM. Using Jones in a tournament lineup is a great way to get cheap exposure to a game that features two of the most solid teams in the NBA.
Kawhi Leonard (SAS): $7,600 vs. PHO
The Spurs have been bringing Leonard along at a glacial pace, but after scoring 49.0 DraftKings points in 31 minutes against the Knicks earlier this week, it appears he’s pretty close to his full workload. Leonard rested on Wednesday night, so he should be fully ready to go against a Suns defense that is ranked 28thin defensive efficiency and 3rd in pace. In the 152.6 minutes he’s played this season, Kawhi Leonard has a 31.5% usage rate, ranking ahead of players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. This might be one of our last chances to get him at a price under $8,000.
Harrison Barnes (DAL): $6,600 vs. CHI
Over the past two games, Harrison Barnes has averaged 34.1 DraftKings points per game against Thunder and Warriors’ defenses that both rank in the top six in the NBA in defensive efficiency. He now gets a home matchup against the Chicago Bulls, who are ranked 23rd in the same category. Barnes has a 24.7% usage rate and attempts the most shots (15.3 per game) on the Mavericks. In a game that features a 213.5 total and four-point spread, Barnes is a solid play that could have single-digit ownership.
Frank Kaminsky (CHA): $4,600 at LAL
Kaminsky has been a solid source of production off the Hornets bench over the past three games, averaging 28.1 DraftKings points in 26.8 minutes per game. The Lakers are ranked dead last in DraftKings points allowed to power forwards this season and tonight’s game features a 216.5 total. Kaminsky should be able to return 6x to 7x on his salary if he sees minutes in the upper-20s.
Dwight Howard (CHA): $8,400 at LAL
Howard, one of the most volatile DFS targets in the industry, has been quiet over the past two games while averaging a mere 27.5 DraftKings points per game. However, he has a get-right matchup against a Lakers defense that has surrendered the 2nd most DraftKings points to centers this season and ranks 22nd in defensive rebounding percentage. Howard is only a few games removed from a three-game stretch where he averaged 50.2 DK points and 15.3 rebounds per game. He has a ton of upside in a plus matchup against the Lakers tonight.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA): $6,700 vs. NYK
Whiteside has played in four games since returning from a knee injury, averaging 26.0 DraftKings points but only playing 21 minutes per game. The minutes are a concern but three of the four games he’s played have been against teams ranked in the top six in the NBA in pace (the Magic twice and Nets once), which is not a great environment for a big rim protector like Whiteside. Tonight’s matchup features a fairly low 201 total and the Knicks and Heat both rank in the bottom half of the league in pace. Whiteside has failed to flash 40 DraftKings point upside since returning from injury, but this is a great spot for him to see a boost in minutes against a Knicks team that is ranked 26th in DK points allowed to centers.