Welcome back to the Friday edition of NBA Top Plays! We have seven games on tap tonight and already have some big injury question marks in Denver and LA.
As always, make sure to check out RotoGrinders DFS Alerts App to stay up with injury news, and tune into the RotoGrinders Court Report at 6:00 EST through lock to get updated thoughts on the night ahead as news comes in.
Point Guard – Goran Dragic ($7,500 on both FanDuel and DraftKings)
Tyler Johnson remains out of action and the Heat have replaced him in the starting lineup with Derrick Jones, leading to even more offensive responsibility for The Dragon. Dragic leads the team with a 31.6% usage rate with all inactive/non-rotation members off the floor, good for a 1.17 FPPM mark which could take a step up in a prime draw with Brooklyn’s back-court. In case you’re curious, Dragic gets a +3.4% bump in usage in that split and a +0.17 FPPM differential, which is very notable given his mid-range price tag across the industry. There is legitimate 40-45 FP upside here at a big discount to other elite options at the position. If you’re able to pay up at the PG spot, John Wall is an elite tournament play and one of the few studs at guard I’m making a point to pay up for in GPPs.
Shooting Guard – Will Barton ($7,700 on FanDuel, $6,500 on DraftKings)
We’ll need to wait for confirmation that Jamal Murray is going to sit before deploying Barton heavily in all formats, but I actually think he’s a viable target regardless. The $7.7K tag on FanDuel will keep him out of play for me if Murray is healthy, but assuming the Kentucky product needs another game to rest before returning from a concussion, Barton would figure to run the point again in a dream matchup with a fast-paced Suns team that ranks towards the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency. An up-and-down game sets up perfectly for Barton. He recorded a 27.3 AST% on Wednesday as the lead guard and while Harris (he racked up four assists) and Jokic are going to have the ball in their hands plenty, it’s not like Barton can’t add value through raw points. I like the Denver side a ton tonight and am hoping we can target them a little short-handed if Murray sits again. If you’re looking for value (or a pivot in the event that Murray plays), there is value on the Lakers given the injuries to Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Josh Hart should play upwards of 30-32 minutes and Jordan Clarkson is also a candidate to see increased run.
Small Forward – T.J. Warren ($6,700 on FanDuel, $6,400 on DraftKings)
Given that I’m going to be heavily exposed to the Denver side, I’m going to want at least some Suns exposure with the hopes that they can stay within striking distance late. Warren is fully expected to return tonight and re-enter the starting lineup, and it does not appear as of this writing that he’s going to be restricted at all in terms of minutes. Warren has missed the previous two games and missed another one on the 5th against the Spurs, but he’s otherwise been playing normal (and big) minutes lately. With Marquese Chriss out and Tyson Chandler consistently starting at center, the Suns have next to no offensive punch in the starting lineup outside of Booker, so things are going to have to continue to run through he and Warren. Dragan Bender has been very up and down offensively of late, but the downs have been more frequent of late.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Need more value in your NBA Friday lineups? Spencer Limbach ranks the best bargains of the night in the FanDuel NBA Bargains column.
Power Forward – Domantas Sabonis ($6,000 on FanDuel, $6,400 on DraftKings)
The production hasn’t been great since Sabonis entered the starting lineup for the injured Myles Turner, but a lot of that isn’t his fault. He had a tough draw with Jusuf Nurkic – who owns one of the best DRPM grades among centers – last night and was forced to face off with a slow-paced Jazz team the night before. In the game prior to that, he was held to 24 minutes in a blowout, a game in which none of the Pacers starters played more than 29 minutes. Three slow performances and a stagnant price tag may lead to decreased GPP ownership tonight, but I’m fully on board against the Lakers front-court. I’d expect this one to stay tight throughout and if Sabonis is able to step into 33-34 minutes tonight, he absolutely has 40 FP upside at a $6K price tag. He’s a lock-and-load play on FanDuel and can be utilized at PF or C on DraftKings.
Center – Nikola Jokic ($10,000 on FanDuel, $9,500 on DraftKings)
I’m going to have a ton of exposure to Jokic regardless of Jamal Murray’s status, but Jokic would benefit slightly if he sat. The Suns actually defend centers fairly well considering how they perform against other spots (best matchup on the board for PGs, SGs, PFs), but Jokic’s ability to contribute in all stat categories makes him a unique upside play at the center spot. There isn’t a whole lot of high-end value on the board tonight and I prefer Jokic to Drummond straight up, so most of my center exposure is headed in that direction. I don’t mind Willie Cauley-Stein as a GPP pivot (or Drummond for that matter) and will also have exposure to LaMarcus Aldridge at C on DraftKings.