This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
The Knicks are the only team facing a back-to-back on Friday, so this 10-game slate is full of well-rested teams, and there's high-scoring potential all over the docket.
The first game worth discussing is actually the last game of the evening, in which the Knicks face off against the Suns. Although the comment was a bit cryptic, Suns coach Jay Triano was quoted as saying that there would be "changes to the Phoenix lineup tonight." While you could safely say that Devin Booker ($8,400) will be in, the other four starters are anyone's guess. On the other end, anyone who played Tim Hardaway ($6,100) on Thursday knows how frustrating that odyssey was – is he in? Is he out? Is he in again? The same question looms tonight, and the combination of these two factors makes me perfectly happy to avoid this game altogether, unless I play a night slate when I have more information.
With ample firepower on both ends, it's no surprise that the HOU/NO game sports the highest Over/Under of the night at 228.5, and three of our give 10K-plus players are in this one, with James Harden ($11,400), DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900) and Anthony Davis ($10,400) will be obvious plays in a fast-paced affair. As for the rest of our 10K elites, I'm looking past the current mess in Cleveland and calling LeBron James ($11,100) the better play, because his beef with Lance Stephenson ($4,600) will be a great motivation (and fun to watch), and his 60.8 DKFP average against Indiana is probably one of the best three-game averages against any team in the league.
Last but not least is Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,400), who's almost a lock to return on Friday, as reports say he has had a good week of rehabilitation and is ready to go. His reaction to Jason Kidd's firing has been well-documented, and it will be interesting to see how Giannis adapts moving forward. Lastly, Joel Embiid ($9,800) is on the cusp of 10K and while he's a reasonable play against a Spurs team he lit up for 50 DKFP earlier in the season, there's a lot of value below him.
I'll now highlight three players per position, along with an additional list at each spot that holds equal weight in my predictions. Wherever possible, I'll endeavor to include at least one value play to target.
Damian Lillard, POR at DAL ($9,100): There's a glut of talent in this price range on Friday but with Kemba Walker and Ben Simmons' pricing taking a huge uptick, Lillard is the pick of the litter here. Dallas is actually 13th versus point guards over the last five games, but the glaring exception of that bunch is Lillard's 50.25 DKFP game where he was one assist shy of a double-double. C.J. McCollum ($6,800) is also a great play and will have low ownership due to that big red "1st" amateurs will see under OPRK, but a closer look at Dallas' last five games reveals another story. They actually rank 28th against opposing shooting guards over the last five and have yielded big numbers to Harden, Beal, Gary Harris and – you guessed it – McCollum himself, who exceeded his season average with 37 DKFP.
As we move down, I find myself a little frustrated with Jordan Clarkson's new price tag of $7,300. Ball will be out again and I think he's the best bet for the Lakers against the Bulls, but this price is starting to make the dynamic role player cost prohibitive. Still, I am giving him a special mention as I scroll down the list.
Darren Collison, IND at CLE ($6,000): The fireworks will be between LeBron and Lance, but I believe Collison will get his in this matchup. He underperformed in his second tangle with the Cavs this season which is why his three-game average is only 30.2 DKFP against them, but the other two outings were superb for the starting point guard. When you consider that a lot of people will be avoiding this game due to all the uncertainty in Cleveland, Collision is a great value at this price.
Tyrone Wallace, LAC at MEM ($4,200): With Tyreke Evans uncertain on Friday and Andrew Harrison potentially carrying a larger workload, Wallace is a reasonable cheap option against the Grizzlies, who will be even weaker than usual against the off-guard. Jawun Evans is out and though Lou Williams ($8,000) will swoop in from the bench and light it up as usual, Wallace only needs to hit a DKFP in the low 20's to be worth adding, which is totally doable here.
Blake Griffin, LAC at MEM ($8,900): Friday's slate leaves a bit to be desired at small forward, so I'm favoring more big men for your other forward slot. The safest pick of the bunch below the elites is Griffin, who should have a good outing at the four with a motley crew of forwards replacing JaMychal Green (ankle). Jarrell Martin is also questionable. This differential definitely skews the OPRK listed for the Grizzlies against Griffin, so ownership will be lower due to DFS players who don't do their homework.
Lauri Markkanen, CHI vs. LAL ($6,600): Markkanen's high ceiling makes him a great value here, but my only worry is how well Bobby Portis ($4,700) is performing in relief. Nikola Mirotic ($6,200) has managed to find minutes at the four as well, but Markkanen has definitely logged the most usage. If you're looking for extreme value Portis would be a decent play, but Mirotic is way overpriced, and Markkanen is the safest option.
Frank Kaminsky, CHA vs. ATL ($4,100): Kaminsky has a good history against the Hawks, and the Hornets are 6.5-point favorites, but I think they'll easily beat the spread. If the Hornets get ahead early, Kaminsky should see increased minutes, but this is a play I'm only using as a filler in the GPPs.
I definitely favor spending up here in your cash lineups to make up for the value you are probably losing at the forward positions tonight, so Cousins and Davis warrant extra consideration.
Dwight Howard, CHA vs. ATL ($8,800): Howard may be the safest piece of this game to grab, as I felt Kemba's price has gotten a bit too high. My only knock on Howard was that despite Atlanta's weak frontcourt, Howard had a subpar game in his last outing against them. He hasn't seen a game below 40 DKFP in two weeks, so I suspect his shot won't let him down this time.
Clint Capela, HOU at NO ($7,200): I don't know why Capela has fared so well against the Pelicans' intimidating duo up front, but he has outperformed projections in four of his last five games against New Orleans dating back to last season. With Chris Paul now dishing out dimes inside, Capela should excel once again.
John Henson, MIL vs. BKN ($4,900): Henson would only show up on my radar if he was facing someone like Tyler Zeller and the Nets, and that's exactly who he faces on Friday. I'm not doing backflips over this pick, but if you've run out of cash he'll definitely get you 25 DKFP without much trouble, but I wouldn't expect more than that. The volatility over in Phoenix at this slot makes me pivot over to Henson in this price range.
Other centers to consider:Rudy Gobert, UTA at POR ($7,000)
As always, give your lineups a final look before the 7PM ET lock time for any late developments!