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FanDuel NBA: Friday Value Plays

We're set for a typically busy Friday night in the NBA, one that appears to be especially beneficial for the DFS environment. We not only have the prerequisites of mostly modest point spreads, but there are three games with projected totals of at least 230 as of this morning. There are multiple big names on the injury report that already have been ruled out, but that also opens up opportunities for teammates to potentially overdeliver on salaries due to their expanded roles.

Slate Overview

Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Hornets (-5) (O/U: 220.5 points)

Chicago Bulls (-3) at Indiana Pacers (O/U: 231.5 points)

Boston Celtics (-8.5) at Detroit Pistons (O/U: 213.5 points)

Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors (-2.5) (O/U: 218.0 points)

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) (O/U: 234.5 points)

New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets (-6) (O/U: 221.5 points)

Brooklyn Nets at Utah Jazz (-4) (O/U: 230.0 points)

Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers (-8) (O/U: 214.0 points)

Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks (-1.5) (O/U: 212.0 points)


There are five teams playing the second game of a back-to-back set, so there may be some fatigue evident in those contests. However, the aforementioned narrow spreads portend a night of competitive action, and three games feature teams with winning records facing off.

That trio of clashes – the Cavs-Hornets, Nets-Jazz and 76ers-Mavericks – are all deserving of the attention they're drawing, but a couple of other intriguing tilts from a DFS perspective are the Hawks-Raptors and Rockets-Spurs. Both Atlanta and Toronto come in on clear upswings, while Houston and San Antonio are certainly defensively deficient enough to warrant the highest projected total.

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, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section.

Dejounte Murray, SAN (wrist): GTD

If Murray sits, Tre Jones could draw a second consecutive start while the likes of Derrick White and Keldon Johnson could see big bumps in usage.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC (ankle): OUT

In SGA's absence, Tre Mann should draw another start at point guard after posting a career-high 29 points in Wednesday's OT win over the Mavs.

Domantas Sabonis, IND (COVID-19 protocols): GTD

With Sabonis likely not going, Goga Bitadze should get the starting call if he can overcome his own foot injury while the remainder of the starting five should see elevated usage.

Rudy Gobert, UTA (calf): OUT

In Gobert's absence, Hassan Whiteside (back) is likely to draw another start if he's able to overcome his questionable designation.

Darius Garland, CLE (back): OUT

Without Garland, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Goodwin should handle the majority of the point guard minutes.

Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (knee): OUT

Maxi Kleber is likely to get another start at power forward in Porzingis' expected absence.

Zach LaVine, CHI (back): GTD

If LaVine sits out, Ayo Dosunmu could slide over to shooting guard while the usage for DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic should increase from their already elevated levels.

Other notable injuries:

Cade Cunningham, DET (hip): GTD

John Collins, ATL (shoulder): GTD

Damian Lillard, POR (abdominal): OUT

Gordon Hayward, CHA (conditioning): GTD

Jakob Poeltl, SAN (concussion): GTD

Josh Hart, NOP (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Lonzo Ball, CHI (knee): OUT

Kevin Durant, BKN (knee): OUT

Seth Curry, PHI (back): QUESTIONABLE

Hassan Whiteside, UTA (back): QUESTIONABLE

Lauri Markkanen, CLE (ankle): OUT

Myles Turner, IND (foot): OUT

Malcolm Brogdon, IND (Achilles): OUT

Elite Players

We have five players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Luka Doncic ($11,400), Nikola Jokic ($11,200), Joel Embiid ($11,000), Dejounte Murray ($10,500) and James Harden ($10,500).

Doncic carries a 39.8 percent usage rate and is averaging 60 FD points per 36 minutes with Porzingis and Tim Hardaway off the floor, and he'll check into the contest with three straight 60-plus FD-point tallies.

Jokic has been cleared of the toe injury that cost him Wednesday's game against the Jazz and enters having scored at least 50.2 FD points in 10 straight. He also draws a very favorable matchup against a Pelicans squad he's already averaged 62.7 FD points against in two outings this year.

Embiid is averaging 53 FD points while dropping between 52.3 and 77.4 FD in the last seven contests, and he will be involved in one of the night's more noteworthy matchups.

Murray missed Thursday against the Heat due to his wrist injury and is therefore considered questionable for tonight, making his status one to monitor throughout the day.

Harden is coming off a very poor four-point showing versus the Kings that could partly be the byproduct of his hand injury, but he should still garner plenty of attention.

Expected Chalk

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

Jayson Tatum, BOS ($9,800)

Tatum continues to contribute across the board and has posted over 50 FD points in three of his last six games, and he's also in a very favorable matchup versus the Pistons.

DeMar DeRozan, CHI ($9,600)

DeRozan could potentially take the floor without Zach LaVine and has managed over 40 FD points in eight straight, including 50-plus in three of those contests.

Trae Young, ATL ($8,800)

Young is coming off a 43-point outburst Thursday night against the Suns and has produced at least 40 FD points in five straight. He's also flashed a ceiling north of 70 this season to enhance his appeal at this salary.

Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($7,700)

Maxey has raised his profile with tallies of 60.6 and 45.1 FD points in his last two games, which should make him a very popular mid-salary play.

Other likely chalk: Nikola Vucevic ($8,700)

Key Values

Derrick White, SAN vs. HOU ($6,600)

White may once again take the floor without Dejounte Murray in addition to Jakob Poeltl, a circumstance where he's averaging 36.6 FD points per 36 minutes. He also draws an excellent positional matchup, as the defensively vulnerable Rockets are allowing the eighth-highest offensive efficiency to shooting guards (22.2 percent) and the most FD points per game to the position over the last 15 (44.9). Houston is also tied for the second-highest three-point shooting percentage surrendered in the last three games (41.0) while White boasts an improved 38.2 percent success rate from behind the arc over his last 10 contests.

Josh Giddey, OKC at POR ($6,000)

Giddey is averaging 37 FD points per 36 minutes with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off the floor this year and comes in having scored 33.4 to 37.4 FD points in the last three, all which have unfolded without his star teammate. Giddey should have another elevated role against a Trail Blazers squad he scored those 33.4 FD points against two games ago and which has allowed the sixth-highest offensive efficiency to shooting guards (22.3 percent), along with the fifth-most FD points per game to the position over the last seven (45.1). What's more, no Western Conference team has allowed a higher three-point shooting percentage on its home floor than Portland (37.1 percent), which could help accelerate Giddey's fantasy production tonight.

Terry Taylor, IND vs. CHI ($5,500)

Isaiah Jackson has already been ruled out for Friday's game due to his ankle injury, which should afford Taylor another solid allotment of playing time in an Indiana frontcourt that's also slated to be without Domantas Sabonis. Taylor has made excellent use of his opportunity the last two appearances by posting 27.6 and 49.7 FD points while logging 21 and 37 minutes. The Bulls make for an appetizing matchup, having allowed the sixth-highest offensive efficiency to frontcourt players (82.3 percent), and the third highest to PFs (28.3 percent).

ALSO CONSIDER: Marcus Smart, BOS at DET ($5,600); Tre Jones, SAN vs. HOU ($4,000)

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