DraftKings NBA: Friday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

CLE vs. WAS (-7.5), O/U: 226.5

DEN (-9.5) vs. DET, O/U: 220.5

ORL vs. PHI (-13.5), O/U: 219.5

UTA (-13.5) vs. OKC, O/U: 221.5

LAC (-11.5) vs. HOU, O/U: 226.5

SAC vs. MEM (-8.5), O/U: 228.5

TOR vs. DAL (-13.5), O/U: 221.5

NO vs. GS (-5.5), O/U: 230.5

The Pistons, Rockets and Raptors will be significantly shorthanded while the Clippers and Warriors are likely to rest their stars. None of the matchups look overly appealing as most are expected to be blowouts, but Washington have been great targets this season. Russell Westbrook is clearly the best spend-up option on the slate, the Wizards play fast and don't play much defense while the Cavs are still missing players. The GS-NO game is also a good option as it offers has the highest total, tips off last and both teams are likely to be without their best players. The LAC-HOU matchup might be the most popular target if the Clippers end up resting Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and possibly other veterans for a matchup against the Rockets, who will only have eight bodies. 

With so many teams sitting players, there will be more viable 3K options than on any other slate this season. Spend down at center, pay up for Russ and go from there. 

Injuries to Monitor 

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Mychal Mulder (possible rest): QUESTIONABLE

Kelly Oubre (wrist): OUT

The Warriors are likely to rest most of their regular starters. It's unclear who would start, but the likes of Jordan Poole, Gary Payton and Juan Toscano-Anderson would be in line for extended run. 

Bradley Beal (hamstring): OUT

Beal will miss a third consecutive game due to a hamstring injury. Garrison Mathews and Chandler Hutchison have seen extra minutes during his absence. 

Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry and OG Anunoby (probable rest): DOUBTFUL

The Raptors are likely to rest their starters again. Chris Boucher and Gary Trent were active last time out and didn't see the floor. It's always difficult to predict what Nick Nurse is going to do, so keep an eye out for starting lineups. 

Christian Wood (ankle), Kevin Porter (ankle) and Danuel House (ankle): OUT

The Rockets will be short on bodies again. D.J. Augustin, Khyri Thomas, Jae'Sean Tate, Kenyon Martin and Kelly Olynyk are likely to start. 

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard (possible rest): QUESTIONABLE

The Clippers are projected to rest their two stars tonight. Reggie Jackson, Terance Mann and Luke Kennard are candidates to start. 

Brandon Ingram (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Ingram has missed four consecutive contests due to a sprained ankle and is listed as questionable. Naji Marshall has been starting at small forward in his place. 

Darius Garland (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Garland hasn't played since Apr. 30, but has a chance to return tonight. Brodric Thomas and Damyean Dotson have seen expanded roles in his absence.  

Harrison Barnes (groin), Richaun Holmes (knee) and Marvin Bagley (groin): QUESTIONABLE

Barnes and Bagley sat out yesterday's game while Holmes injured his knee and only played 11 minutes. If they miss tonight, Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones would be in line for starts.

Lonzo Ball (thumb): OUT

Ball will miss a second consecutive game due to a thumb injury. Nickeil Alexander-Walker got the start at point guard last time out.

Mike Conley (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

Conley hasn't played since Apr. 26, but has a chance to return tonight. Joe Ingles has been starting at point guard in his place. 

Mo Bamba (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Bamba has missed consecutive matchups due to an illness and his status for tonight remains uncertain. Wendell Carter has been starting at center while Donta Hall has seen extra run off the bench.

Jerami Grant, Isaiah Stewart, Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph, and Wayne Ellington (rest): OUT

The Pistons will rest their veterans again and will also be without Isaiah Stewart and Frank Jackson while Hamidou Diallo is listed as questionable. Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Sekou Doumbouya and Jahlil Okafor are expected to start. 

Luguentz Dort (knee): OUT

Dort will miss a third consecutive game tonight due to tendinitis in his knee. Aleksej Pokusevski will likely start at shooting guard in his place. 

Steven Adams (toe): QUESTIONABLE

Adams has missed four consecutive contests with a toe injury, but has a chance to return tonight. Willy Hernangomez and Jaxson Hayes have been splitting the center minutes. 

Elite Players

Guard: 

Russell Westbrook ($12,800) is coming off 70.25 DK points last game despite only grabbing five rebounds. He's topped 70 DK points in six of his last seven and the Wizards face a favorable matchup against the Cavs. Westbrook's salary is all the way up to $12,800, but there will plenty of value tonight to afford rostering him comfortably. He will be quite popular and rightfully so.

Center:

Nikola Jokic ($11,000) posted 59 DK points yesterday across 32 minutes. The Nuggets are playing the second half of a back-to-back against a depleted Pistons team they're projected to beat handily. It doesn't seem like the greatest spot for Jokic and there are more appealing spend-up options.  

Joel Embiid ($10,400) played 25 minutes and scored just 12 DK points in yesterday's disappointing loss to the Heat. The Sixers come in as big favorites on the second half of a back-to-back against the Magic. I don't see any scenario where I'd roster Embiid tonight.

Forward:

Luka Doncic ($10,800) is coming off 56.5 DK points in 31 minutes Wednesday. The Mavericks are likely to blow out the shorthanded Raptors. Looking at all the five-figure spend-up options, it's pretty clear Westbrook is in the best spot. It will be relatively easy to afford two of them and that makes Doncic more appealing, especially with very few options at small forward. 

Expected Chalk

Jahlil Okafor ($3,200)

The Pistons are without Mason Plumlee and Isaiah Stewart, meaning Okafor should start at center and see extended minutes. He's historically shown a ceiling in these spots historically and should see plenty of minutes and usage to smash value. I'd expect him to be popular in all contests.  

JaVale McGee ($3,000), if he starts

McGee was a surprise starter last night with Michael Porter ruled out and put up 33.75 DK points over 24 minutes. The Nuggets are playing the second half of a back-to-back against the Pistons and have no reason to risk Porter or Jokic for that matter. If McGee starts, he'll be popular as a pivot off of Okafor and I'd also expect people to roster them together. 

Value Picks

Kelly Olynyk ($8,200) and Kenyon Martin ($7,000)

The Rockets will be down to just eight bodies again. Olynyk has put up 40-plus DK points in nine of his last 10 games while Martin has topped 40 fantasy points in four of his last five. These two and Cameron Oliver ($3,200) should see all of the frontcourt minutes. 

Kevin Love ($6,100)

Love is coming off 59 DK points in 34 minutes on Wednesday. I'd expect him to go overlooked again tonight even though his salary only jumped $200 and the Cavs are in a great spot against the Wizards. 

Khyri Thomas ($5,800) and Armoni Brooks ($4,800)

As I mentioned above, the Rockets are in another great spot tonight. Thomas and Brooks both played 37 minutes on Wednesday and should be in line for even more tonight after DaQuan Jeffries was waived. 

Jordan Poole ($4,100) and Gary Payton ($3,000), if Curry, Wiggins and Mulder are out

The Warriors would be thin at guard if they rest Curry, Wiggins and Mulder. Poole would be expected to pick up the scoring while Payton would be in line for extended run at point guard. Both would be popular if they start. 

Tyler Cook ($3,300)

Like Jahlil Okafor, Cook stands to benefit from the absence of Mason Plumlee, Isaiah Stewart and Jerami Grant. He's seen 20-plus minutes in three of his last four contests and it wouldn't be surprising to see him play 30 tonight.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
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