DraftKings NBA: Friday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

PHI (-3) vs. ATL, O/U: 221.5

UTA (-1.5) vs. LAC, O/U: 219.5

We saw two upsets on Wednesday and the Hawks are now in a similar situation to the Clippers tonight as both are home underdogs with a chance to close out the series. Kawhi Leonard's injury has a major impact from a DFS perspective as it means the Clippers will be a popular source of value and rightfully so with the amount of usage up for grabs. The status of Donovan Mitchell will be important to monitor, but I'd expect him to play especially considering the Jazz are facing elimination. Popularity will be more condensed than usual for a two-game slate and that means getting leverage should be easier. I wouldn't give this advice during the regular season, but it makes sense to construct lineups based on who you think wins and by how much when there's two elimination matchups. It would also be a good idea to stack the contest you think stays close and plan for the other to be a blowout.  

Injuries to Monitor

Joel Embiid (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Embiid has been listed as questionable for every game this series, but has yet to miss any time or be limited when it comes to minutes. Expect him to start. 

Kawhi Leonard (knee): OUT

Leonard will miss his second consecutive contests while his future status remains unclear, but the Clippers fear he suffered an ACL injury. Terance Mann got the start at small forward in Game 5 while Luke Kennard saw 20 minutes off the bench. 

Donovan Mitchell (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Mitchell has yet to miss any time in the series, but he's listed as questionable tonight due to the ankle injury that kept him out for the latter part of the regular season. It's hard to see him sitting with the season on the line, but Jordan Clarkson would likely get the start if that happens. 

Mike Conley (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

Conley has missed all five outings this series due to a lingering hamstring injury and is listed as questionable. Joe Ingles has been starting in his absence while Clarkson has seen extra run off the bench. 

Elite Players

Center:

Joel Embiid ($11,000) is coming off his best performance of the series as he posted a 37/13/5 line and added four blocks and two steals on his way to 72.75 DK points. With the exception of Game 4, he's been great all series and has finally seen a significant salary bump as a result. I'm not sure that really matters for tonight. But as the center position is weak and Embiid projects as the top overall player on the slate, I'd expect him to be popular. 

SG:

Paul George ($10,100) had a monster game on Wednesday with 37 points and 16 boards en route to 71 fantasy points. A clear bargain on the previous slate for just $8,600, DraftKings has given him a drastic salary increase with Kawhi Leonard's absence certainly factored in. George will see as much usage as he can handle tonight and the Clippers will feel this is their chance to steal the series at home. 

PG:

Clearly, I was wrong to question Trae Young ($9,900) succeeding in Game 5 on the road against a tough defense. He got to the free throw line 19 times as he recorded 39 points, seven assists and 56.75 DK points. Young has now topped 55 fantasy points in four of his last six. Stars and scrubs will be the popular lineup construction tonight and it makes a lot of sense to pair Young with Embiid. 

Donovan Mitchell ($9,300) produced his worst performance of the postseason by only managing a 21/5/5 line and 37.75 fantasy points during Wednesday's loss. He shot just 6-19 from the field and was apparently bothered by his lingering ankle injury to the point he's now listed as questionable. This will likely lead to Mitchell being the less popular of the elite guards and that makes him a decent leverage option for tournaments. 

Expected Chalk

Terance Mann ($3,200)

Mann earned the start at small forward on Wednesday in place of Kawhi Leonard and put up 23 DK points across 26 minutes. The  salary is way too low and rostering him makes it easier to afford the top players. Not to mention Mann offers upside and there is little downside risk. All of these factors should lead to him being the most popular value play. 

Value Picks

John Collins ($6,300)

Collins is coming off his best game of the series as he posted 19 points and 11 rebounds on his way to 40.75 DK points. He's topped 30 fantasy points in four of five and looks like one of the safer value options on the slate. 

Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,900)

Bogdanovic attempted a whopping 17 three-pointers and scored 32 real points on Wednesday. With Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley hampered by injury, he could be in for a big role again tonight. 

Joe Ingles ($5,500), if he starts

Ingles has started five consecutive contests as Mike Conley has yet to play in the series. He's been the model of consistency by scoring at least 30 fantasy points in each of his last four. 

Reggie Jackson ($5,200)

Jackson is coming off 33.5 DK points on Wednesday as he saw a series-high 37 minutes. The Clippers need his scoring if they're going to be competitive without Kawhi Leonard and have no choice but to rely on him again tonight.

Marcus Morris ($5,100) and Nicolas Batum ($4,900)

The Clippers represent the best value due to Kawhi's absence. Morris and Batum each played 40 minutes on Wednesday. Morris has accumulated 35-plus DK points in back-to-back appearances while Batum has averaged 30 fantasy points over his last three. Between the two, Morris offers more upside but Batum is likely safer. You can also get away with rostering both.

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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