We have a robust 10-game slate Friday night with multiple intriguing matchups. It’s a good thing there’s a big player pool to work with since multiple notable names are already ruled out or are carrying questionable tags.
The spreads for tonight’s slate as of Friday morning are all over the spectrum, ranging from a one-point line for Bucks-Mavericks, a double-digit favorite in the Grizzlies, and everything in between. All spreads are firmly in 220s at minimum – something we like to see for DFS purposes – including a pair that are comfortably over 230.
Anthony Davis, LAL (illness): PROBABLE
Davis is expected to jump back into his mega-usage role after missing Wednesday’s game with illness.
LeBron James, LAL (ankle): PROBABLE
James is also expected back on the floor after sitting out Wednesday and should be well-rested as a result.
Donovan Mitchell, CLE (lower leg): QUESTIONABLE
If Mitchell were to sit, the usage for the remainder of the starting five would see a notable boost while Caris LeVert would be due for a start at shooting guard.
Kristaps Porzingis, WAS (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
In Porzingis were to miss out, the usage of the remainder of the Wizards’ starting five would see a significant bump, especially with Bradley Beal (hamstring) also out. Daniel Gafford would also likely start at center.
De’Aaron Fox, SAC (foot): QUESTIONABLE
If Fox can’t go, Davion Mitchell would likely draw a start at point guard while the rest of the Kings’ first unit would receive added opportunity.
Lauri Markkanen, UTA (illness): QUESTIONABLE
An absence on Markkanen’s part would see the rest of the Jazz’s first unit take on much more responsibility and Walker Kessler would get another start at center.
Other notable injuries:
Myles Turner, IND (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Brandon Ingram, NOP (toe): OUT
Dejounte Murray, ATL (ankle): OUT
John Collins, ATL (ankle): OUT
Desmond Bane, MEM (toe): OUT
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT
Bradley Beal, WAS (hamstring): OUT
LaMelo Ball, CHA (ankle): OUT
Cade Cunningham, DET (lower leg): OUT
Tyrese Maxey, PHI (foot): OUT
We have eight players with five-figure salaries on Friday’s slate – Anthony Davis ($12,200), Luka Doncic ($11,800), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700), Joel Embiid ($11,600), Ja Morant ($10,600), LeBron James ($10,400), Kevin Durant ($10,300) and Pascal Siakam ($10,000).
Davis is expected back in his usual starting role and checks in having put up 71 and 83.9 FD points in his last two non-injury-shortened games.
Doncic has scored at least 50 FD points in five straight and will be facing a Bucks team he dropped 45 FD points against in 35 minutes back on Nov. 27.
Antetokounmpo has managed at least 52.7 FD points in four consecutive outings and posted 49.2 in only 29 minutes against the Mavs in their first meeting.
Embiid recorded 58.9 FD points across 35 minutes in the double-OT loss to the Rockets last time out and has produced at least 58.1 in three of his last four. He also goes up against Anthony Davis, a matchup he’s done well with in the past.
Morant went off for 61 FD points on the strength of a triple-double on Wednesday and draws the second-most favorable matchup in the league for point guards in the Pistons.
James will be back in his standard role after resting his ankle Wednesday and checks in having scored at least 50.4 FD points in three of his last four.
Durant hasn’t registered less than 42.3 FD points in the last seven games and has posted at least 50.9 in three of the last five.
Siakam has exceeded 50 FD points in two of his last three outings with at least 23 actual points in five straight, including a pair of double-doubles.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Zion Williamson, NOP ($9,800)
Williamson offers the upside of a five-figure player and has produced at least 50 FD points in four of the last five, including two over 60.
Trae Young, ATL ($9,700)
Young will take the floor without backcourt mate Dejounte Murray (ankle), John Collins (ankle) and potentially De’Andre Hunter (hip), a scenario where he sports a massive 46.2 percent usage rate and averages 57.5 FD points per 36 minutes.
Tyrese Haliburton, IND ($9,500)
Haliburton dropped 56.9 FD points in his first game back from a groin injury Wednesday and is averaging 45.2 FD points for the year, which should keep him very popular.
Anthony Edwards, MIN ($8,800)
Edwards has been thriving so far in the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) by posting 48.6 to 63.1 FD points in his last three matchups.
Julius Randle, NYK ($8,200)
Randle just generated 64.9 FD points against the Hawks in 33 minutes on Wednesday and draws a highly favorable matchup against the Hornets’ frontcourt, which should put him in plenty of lineups at this salary.
Nicolas Claxton, BKN vs. ATL ($6,600)
Claxton faces a Hawks team that’s allowing an Eastern Conference-high 34.5 offensive efficiency rating to centers along with 52.8 FD points per game to the position on the season. Atlanta has also yielded the ninth-most rebounds (53.4), ninth-most blocks per home game (5.2) and second-most points in the paint per home game (55.7), all numbers that bode well for Claxton’s chances for a productive night. He’s averaging a career-high 8.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per outing, and he’s scoring 90 percent of his points in the paint this year. Claxton is also averaging 35.8 FD points across his last eight games, a sample where he’s eclipsed 40 on three occasions.
Mitchell Robinson, NYK at CHA ($5,800)
Robinson is another big man in a favorable position to deliver on his reasonable salary Friday, as he faces a Hornets squad that’s allowed an NBA-high 59.8 FD points per game to centers for the season and ranks in the bottom five in points (25.0), rebounds (16.1) and blocks (3.2) per game conceded to the position. Robinson has been doing a solid job avoiding foul trouble of late and is averaging 29.2 FD points from his last seven games while averaging 9.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks across 28.1 minutes. He also racked up 38.1 FD points in 37 minutes in his one previous meeting against Charlotte this season.
Keegan Murray, SAC at CLE ($4,600)
Murray’s rookie season includes averages of 11.4 points and 4.1 rebounds, and he’s been especially productive of late with averages of 14.8 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 49.1 percent, including 41.4 percent from behind the arc, in his last five games. He could also take the floor without De’Aaron Fox (foot), a scenario where he’s averaged 28.2 FD points per 36 minutes. The Cavs have also been about middle-of-the-pack in terms of preventing power forward production for the season and more vulnerable lately by allowing 46.8 FD points per game to the position in the last 15 games – the fifth-highest figure over that sample.
ALSO CONSIDER: P.J. Washington, CHA vs. NYK ($5,900)