FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We've got the first Friday night of the season with 10 games on the docket. There aren't many matchups with high totals, but there should still be plenty of great spots for DFS production - especially if some of the surprising performances we saw over the opening contests carry over.

Slate Overview

Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers (O/U: TBD) 

New York Knicks at Orlando Magic (O/U: 212 points) 

Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards (O/U: 228 points) 

Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics (O/U: 219.5 points) 

Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers (O/U: 230 points) 

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (O/U: 223.5 points) 

New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls (O/U: 222.5 points) 

San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets (O/U: 219.5 points) 

Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings (O/U: 225.5 points) 

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers (O/U: 222.5 points) 

Friday's big slate shapes up as a lower-scoring one based on today's NBA, if projected totals more or less hold true. The fact the Nets-76ers, Pacers-Wizards and Jazz-Kings clashes are projected as the three highest-scoring contests isn't surprising considering the pace and offensive talent on those six squads.

However, it's worth noting the Nets slogged to a 104-point total in their opener against the Bucks on 44.0 percent shooting while the Wizards played much better D than anticipated while limiting the Raptors to 83 on the road while only counting 98 themselves. Meanwhile, the Kings looked to pick right up where they left off a season ago in terms of questionable defense allowing 121 points to the Trail Blazers in a win Wednesday while also generating 108.1 possessions up from last year's final average of 103.2.

It also bears noting the one game - Hornets-Cavaliers - without a projected total as of this writing could certainly finish with one of the higher scores based on the fact Charlotte and Cleveland scored 123 and 121 points, respectively, while giving up 122 and 132 in their debuts. 

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following is a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate. 

Kyrie Irving, BRO (personal)/ Status: OUT 

Irving's ongoing absence will naturally lead to even more usage for James Harden and Kevin Durant in particular, as well as the rest of the starting five to varying degrees.

Joel Embiid, PHI (knee)/ Status: GTD 

If Embiid were to sit out again, Andre Drummond would draw a start at center while Tobias Harris would also see his usage bump up.

Ben Simmons, PHI (team decision)/ Status: OUT 

Simmons will not play for the 76ers for the foreseeable future, and  Tyrese Maxey should draw another start at the point with Shake Milton still sidelined. 

Bradley Beal, WAS (hip)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

If Beal were to sit with the hip bruise he sustained in the opener, Raul Neto would likely draw the start at shooting guard and Spencer Dinwiddie would see increased usage.

Terry Rozier, CHA (ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE

If Rozier were to miss a second straight start, Kelly Oubre would once again enter the starting five.

Darius Garland, CLE (ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE

If Garland is unable to get past the left ankle sprain from the opener, Ricky Rubio would draw the start at point guard and backcourt-mate Collin Sexton would particularly be set for more opportunities. 

Other notable injuries: 

Caris LeVert, IND (back)/ Status: OUT 

Pascal Siakam, TOR (shoulder)/ Status: OUT 

Zion Williamson, NOP (foot)/ Status: OUT 

Marcus Smart, BOS (knee)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Josh Hart, NOP (quadriceps)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Justin Holiday, IND (ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Nerlens Noel, NYK (knee)/ Status: OUT 

Kendrick Nunn, LAL (knee)/ Status: OUT

Elite Players

We have six players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate: Nikola Jokic ($11,100), Kevin Durant ($10,800), Joel Embiid ($10,700), LeBron James ($10,400), James Harden ($10,300) and Anthony Davis ($10,200)

Jokic opened the season with 48.6 FD points against the Suns on Wednesday, already seemingly in midseason form with a 27-point, 13-rebound double-double. He notably posted tallies of 56.5 and 59.6 FD points in two games against the Spurs last season.

Durant started off the campaign as one of the Nets' few bright spots with 56.5 FD points against the Bucks on Tuesday and unsurprisingly took 25 shots without Kyrie Irving on the floor. KD never faced the 76ers last year due to injury, but should be locked in for another significant workload again tonight.

Embiid's status will naturally have to be monitored ahead of tip-off, but he did get the new season off to a strong start with 41.7 FD points in only 25 minutes against the Pelicans. If he suits up tonight, he'll face a Nets team he posted tallies of 52.3 and 61.6 FD points against in two of three meetings last year.

The Lakers sustained a disappointing loss to the Warriors on Tuesday, but LeBron James' play was hard to fault with after he racked up a game-high 34 points and added 11 rebounds on his way to 56.7 FD points. James now faces a Suns side he averaged 45.3 FD points against during last summer's playoffs.

Harden was nowhere near as successful as Durant in the opener shooting just 6-for-16 from the floor on his way to a modest - by his standards - 20 points. He still delivered 46.6 FD points across 31 minutes and managed 48.6 FD points on 50.0 percent shooting in his one game against Philly last season.

Like LeBron, Davis did plenty to try and help the Lakers secure a season-opening win with a 33-point, 11-rebound double-double over 39 minutes and netting 58.2 FD points. AD produced 48.2 and 67.5 FD points in two of the three full outings he played against the Suns in the postseason.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the players just mentioned, other likely chalk plays include:

Jayson Tatum, BOS ($9,800) 

Tatum shot a nightmarish 7-for-30 in Wednesday's double-OT loss to the Knicks, but should still be extremely popular against a Raptors team that played poorly in its opener against the Wizards. 

Domantas Sabonis, IND ($9,700) 

Sabonis couldn't drain a game-winning bucket against the Hornets on Wednesday, but still spearheaded the Pacers' attack with a 33-point, 15-rebound double-double for 48 FD points.

Julius Randle, NYK ($9,500) 

Randle's stellar 60.1 FD showing against the Celtics in Wednesday's double-OT win should guarantee he's in plenty of lineups versus a vulnerable Magic frontcourt.

Russell Westbrook, LAL ($9,100) 

Westbrook opened his Lakers tenure with a forgettable showing that only generated16 FD points, but his name and team association alone should lead to being heavily rostered in anticipation of a bounce-back effort. 

Other likely chalk plays: Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($8,700); Nikola Vucevic, CHI ($8,700)

Key Values 

Evan Fournier, NYK at ORL ($6,100)

Fournier's Knicks career couldn't have gotten off to a better start by pouring in 32 points over 44 minutes against the Celtics en route to 57.7 FD points. A matchup with his former Magic squad now awaits, and Orlando just gave up 123 points to the Spurs. Fournier's shooting guard counterpart on San Antonio, Derrick White, finished with 29.8 FD points across 30 minutes on the strength of a 6-for-11 performance from the floor. The Magic allowed 43.3 percent three-point shooting overall in that contest, and Fournier's long-distance prowess could lead to a big night at a very reasonable salary.

Chris Duarte, IND at WAS ($5,300)

Duarte should once again get some run with the first unit in the absence of Caris LeVert (back) and is coming off a spectacular debut with 27 points over 33 minutes on his way to 36.5 FD points against the Hornets. The Wizards did defend well versus Toronto and Fred VanVleet only shot 5-for-20 from the two-guard spot, but Duarte's upside and potential regression to the mean for Washington could lead to another rewarding effort from the 2021 13th-overall pick.

Lonnie Walker, SA at DEN ($4,900) 

Walker was one of the Spurs who took advantage of the aforementioned vulnerable Orlando offense racking up 34.7 FD points in 25 bench minutes. The fourth-year guard broke out last season with new career highs in points (11.2), rebounds (2.6) and assists (1.7), and should be locked into a solid second-unit role throughout the season. The Nuggets surrendered 38 points and three double-digit scorers against Phoenix's second unit during their opening win, and Walker could pay off nicely if he once again sees minutes in the mid-20s. 

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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