This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Vegas lines are steering us directly to the POR/ATL matchup tonight, as it sports the highest O/U of the evening, and I've found several scenarios where I'm stacking this game with confidence. Surprisingly, my load of Hawks is higher than I would have expected at first glance. I'll outline those picks more specifically below. The IND/BOS matchup looks very fadeable with a 213 O/U, and I think the 6.5 point spread in Boston's favor could end up being a big misclick for the bookmakers on Tuesday. The usage here is a big jumble, but you'll likely find the lowest ownerships for players in this game.
Paul George (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE: When George missed time for three games, no clear pivot made an impact. This is more an opportunity for Russell Westbrook ($10.700) and Steven Adams ($5,500) to step up. And for value, I'd expect Markieff Morris ($3,300) to be the value pick if George sits.
Trevor Ariza (groin) OUT: Ariza will miss his second-straight contest tonight. This is good news for Bobby Portis ($5,300) and Jabari Parker ($6,200), but buyer beware as the Jazz are the toughest defense in the league against their positions.
Taurean Prince (foot) DOUBTFUL: A host of Hawks could see more time with Prince out, so I'd focus more on the starters as pivot candidates, with DeAndre' Bembry ($3,900) generating the best value off the bench.
I'm naturally in favor of Westbrook if George takes a seat, but here are three other picks I favor on Friday.
Trae Young, ATL vs. POR ($8,300): While I suspect ownership will be sky-high for Young, I still think he's a great cash option at this price. The game will likely be a shootout between Young and Damian Lillard, but the latter has only averaged four more DKFP per game over the last two weeks - which doesn't warrant a $1,800 pay jump if we assume the game will be close.
Jamal Murray, DEN at OKC ($5,900): Murray lacks the explosiveness I'd like, but with the Thunder potentially short-handed without PG13, the price for Denver's starting point guard looks a little too good to pass up. Murray has a reliable floor in the low 30 DKFP range, but I'm looking for something in the low 40s here for Murray to be genuinely profitable.
Dwayne Bacon, CHA at LAL ($4,300): Bacon's emerged as a go-to guy over the past few games, and has made a splash starting alongside Kemba Walker. Even though Nicolas Batum is expected back tonight, I think Bacon has earned a bit more playing time. I wouldn't endorse him if his salary crept upwards of 5K, but the value is reachable at this price despite Batum's return.
Kevin Durant, GS at MIN ($8,800): While I was tempted to put John Collins atop this list, I think you can find more stability with Durant despite the $1,900 price increase. His shot has been red-hot over the past two games, going 17-for-19 from the floor over that span. We'd need 40 DKFP for Durant to come close to value, and I'll admit that based on his recent output, it's a slightly risky play to make. That being said, the All-Star has averaged 45 DKFP over three games against the T-Wolves, which is a good indicator for him to hit that number.
Dewayne Dedmon, ATL vs. POR ($5,600): I'm slotting Dedmon here due to the plethora of favorable options at center. As previously stated, the pace of this matchup is high. And while the Blazers have found suitable options in Enes Kanter and Zach Collins to replace Jusuf Nurkic, Dedmon's on a respectable streak of 30-plus DKFP games and could find a little more room inside this time around against Portland.
Al-Farouq Aminu, POR at ATL ($4,700): A solid presence at the four is an excellent remedy for the loss of Nurkic, and Aminu has responded with a boost in points and rebounds in the aftermath. Expect Portland to lean heavily on him moving forward, and he's a cinch to hit value in this game script despite his slight increase in price.
Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. WAS ($7,800): I don't doubt Jokic or Towns tonight, but I think Gobert could equal value tonight at a far better price. A top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert should match up well against Thomas Bryant and company under the basket. I think the rostering of Utah's big man depends heavily upon how much you paid elsewhere. If you end up with sufficient cap space, I have no objection to going high for the more elite centers, but the higher chance of a value-beating score lies with Gobert on Tuesday.
JaVale McGee, LAL vs. CHA ($7,000): McGee is likely the only Laker I'll roster tonight - which saddens me a bit - but that's how desperate things have gotten here in my town, as fairweather fans flock to the playoff-bound Clippers. Even when LeBron sees the floor, McGee is excelling under center, and I was surprised at the insane 46 DKFP average he's sustained over the past five games. You could argue McGee could end up with the best value on the docket as he takes on the weak interior of the Charlotte Hornets.
Willy Hernangomez, CHA at LAL ($3,600): So I like McGee, but without Cody Zeller, I think Willy has the best chance to take over the role at center tonight. He doesn't need a whole lot to beat value, and I see him as only a value punt in those guard-heavy lineups you field on tonight's slate. Frank Kaminsky ($4,500) is an alternate option, but I like Willy's price much better when it comes to meeting value.
HIGH OWNERSHIP ALERT: Enes Kanter, POR at ATL ($5,500): Now that the situation has solidified a bit in Portland, I predict we'll see massive ownership for Kanter in this high-paced game. While attractive options like Towns will likely push him to the utility spot, I think he'll see one of the highest ownership percentages on the slate tonight. I don't doubt his potential either but until we see an eventual downturn from him, I think his name is just way too hot to go with - especially if you want to cash in GPPs. I can't fault him in cash games, but he might even be too hot for that format.