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FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

Slate Overview

Sacramento Kings (-1.5) at Charlotte Hornets (O/U: 228.5 points)

Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers (-1.5) (O/U: 213.5 points)

Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks (-1.5) (O/U: 223.5 points)

New York Knicks at Toronto Raptors (-1) (O/U: 209.5 points)

Milwaukee Bucks (-8.5) at Houston Rockets (O/U: 224.0 points)

Los Angeles Lakers (-6) at Oklahoma City Thunder (O/U: 215.5 points)

Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves (-1) (O/U: 212.5 points)

Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans (-6) (O/U: 212.5 points)

Boston Celtics at Phoenix Suns (-5.5) (O/U: 216.5 points)

In addition to the plethora of potential close games, the other aspect of the slate that jumps off the screen is that there's a fairly high degree of offensive expectations. Five games have expected totals of over 215 points, a notable development considering that scoring has been down overall this season. In terms of player availability, the injury report does have some notable names on it, but it's relatively light considering there will be 18 teams in action.

This season has already offered us plenty of reminders that any game has the chance to be highly competitive regardless of matchup, but Friday's ledger actually offers plenty of clashes between what would be considered pretty evenly matched teams on paper. Even the Bucks-Rockets contest, which sees Milwaukee as the biggest favorite of the night, could be a lot closer than projected – one only need ask the Brooklyn Nets, which suffered a 10-point loss to Houston on Wednesday.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (quadriceps): PROBABLE

Antetokounmpo is fully expected to take the floor against the Rockets and log his usual workload.

Devin Booker, PHO (hamstring): OUT

In Booker's fourth straight absence, Landry Shamet is expected to continue handling starting shooting guard duties, while the usage for the remaining members of the starting five should remain elevated.

LaMelo Ball, CHA (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

With Ball and backup Ish Smith both projected to be out, Cody Martin should draw another start at point guard.

Richaun Holmes, SAC (eye): OUT

With Holmes out, Tristan Thompson and Alex Len should log the majority of minutes at center.

D'Angelo Russell, MIN (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If Russell sits out another contest, Leandro Bolmaro could draw another start at two-guard, but Malik Beasley could be the biggest beneficiary off the bench.

Terry Rozier, CHA (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

In Rozier's ongoing absence, Kelly Oubre is expected to draw another start at two-guard.

Jaylen Brown, BOS (hamstring): OUT

In Brown's ongoing absence Friday, Dennis Schroder should be a direct beneficiary in the form of another start.

Other notable injuries:

Kevin Porter, HOU (thigh): OUT

Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL (ankle): OUT

Precious Achiuwa (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE

Cam Reddish, ATL (wrist): PROBABLE

George Hill, MIL (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Joe Harris, BRO (ankle): OUT

Kyrie Irving, BRO (personal): OUT

Jalen Green, HOU (hamstring): OUT

OG Anunoby, TOR (hip): OUT

Brook Lopez, MIL (back): OUT

Zion Williamson, NOP (foot): OUT

Patrick Beverley, MIN (groin): PROBABLE

Nerlens Noel, NYK (back): PROBABLE

Mason Plumlee, CHA (COVID-19 protocols/calf): OUT

Justin Holiday, IND (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

Ish Smith, CHA (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

Elite Players

We have five players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo($11,000), Kevin Durant ($10,600), James Harden ($10,400), LeBron James ($10,200) andAnthony Davis ($10,000).

Antetokounmpo is expected to play through his minor quad injury and checks into Friday coming off a couple of down performances by his standards (43.4 and 31.2 FD points). However, the matchup against the Rockets down low is one he should be able to consistently exploit.

Durant will be coming off a rest day Wednesday, so he could have a bit of extra spring in his step in a marquee matchup against the Hawks.

Harden has evened out his production for the most part after an inconsistent start to the season and has scored over 45 FD points in three straight, as well as over 40 in 10 straight.

James just posted 61.5 FD points versus the Grizzlies on Thursday over 37 minutes, but he will be on both the second night of a back-to-back and third game in four nights Friday. However, the matchup against the Thunder is a premium one for both he and Davis, especially on the rebounding front.

Expected Chalk

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

Luka Doncic, DAL ($9,900)

Doncic's salary drop is certainly eye-catching and could boost his already robust popularity even further. The star guard does have some conditioning issues by his own admission, but he's posted over 40 FD points in his first two contests back from a one-game absence while playing 36 and 35 minutes in those games.

Trae Young, ATL ($9,800)

Young has a pair of 50-FD-point tallies in his last four games along, and he hasn't been below 43.2 in any of his last eight contests. That track record coupled with the marquee matchup against the Nets should help ensure a high rostering rate for the star guard.

Jayson Tatum, BOS ($9,700)

Tatum will once again take the floor without Jaylen Brown and has scored no fewer than 47 FD points in any of his last five games, locking in his popularity.

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($9,500)

Towns has seen some fluctuation in his performance recently but does have tallies of 50.5 and 62.2 FD points in two of his last three games. He should be in plenty of lineups for what could be a highly competitive matchup against the Cavaliers and could enjoy more usage than usual if D'Angelo Russell misses another game.

Key Values

Cody Martin, CHA vs. SAC ($5,000)

As mentioned earlier, Martin is slated to draw another start at point guard with the Hornets missing both LaMelo Ball and Ish Smith due to COVID-19 protocols. Martin has scored over 30 FD points in two of his last three games alone, with one of those instances coming in his most recent start versus the 76ers on Wednesday.

The third-year pro is posting career-best figures across the board this season, including a 48.8 percent success rate from the floor, including 50.0 percent from three-point range. Martin is averaging 26.3 FD points over his last 10 games overall, and the Kings check in ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency allowed to PGs (25.1 percent) while allowing the eighth-most FD points per contest (48.1) to the position as well.

Herbert Jones, NOP vs. DET ($5,000)

Jones' teammate Josh Hart ($5,800) is also an intriguing cost-savings option to consider from the Pelicans, but I like Jones as a likely lower-rostered asset that could pay some nice dividends in a favorable matchup. The rookie has been coming on of late, scoring a career-high 38.9 FD points on Wednesday against the Nuggets and averaging 25.1 FD points over his last eight games overall.

Jones has shot 48.3 percent, including 50.0 percent from three-point range, over that span while providing a well-rounded line of 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.1 blocks across 31 minutes per contest. The Pistons could facilitate more of the same, as Detroit is allowing the eighth-most FD points per game to power forwards (48.9), along with the 10th-most points in the paint per game (46.8).

Tristan Thompson, SAC at CHA ($4,800)

As mentioned earlier, Richaun Holmes will miss Friday's game due to an eye injury, a development that will thrust Thompson into a larger role than usual, if not an outright start. The veteran filled in admirably for Holmes when the latter exited the Wednesday's game against the Magic early, racking up 31 FD points on the strength of a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double in just 21 minutes. Thompson has five tallies of over 20 FD points this season despite averaging just 14.2 minutes per contest overall, and the matchup against the Hornets could hardly line up better.

Centers have dominated Charlotte down low all season, with the Hornets surrendering an Eastern Conference-high 58.5 FD points per game to fives, along with the second-highest offensive efficiency to the position as well (35.7 percent). Additionally, they allow the third-most points in the paint per game (48.9), an area of the floor where Thompson is scoring over 75.0 percent of his points.

ALSO CONSIDER: Harrison Barnes, SAC at CHA ($6,000); Eric Gordon, HOU vs. MIL ($5,200)

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