This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
I hope you all enjoyed a day off from NBA action and are ready to come out of your food comas for a monster slate Friday night. We have 13 games on the docket beginning at 12:00 PM Eastern time with the Celtics facing off against the Nets. The Wizards and the Lakers will close out the night in LA with tip slated for 10:30 Eastern.
Here's your friendly reminder that FanDuel has gone back to their old format, counting all nine of your player's scores within your lineup. With each selection counting towards your score, it'll be vital to make each and every choice count.
Let's dive into this appetizing slate.
While there are plenty of games on the slate, there are always a few that stand out as especially enticing based on the projected scoring total. Below are a few matchups expected to be profitable for DFS production based on FanDuel's Sportsbook:
Washington Wizards at Los Angeles Lakers (Projected total: 234.5)
It's unsurprising to see the Wizards are expected to rack up the points Friday night, as they're tied for the league lead with 119.4 PPG. The Lakers are also in the top half of the league in scoring, putting up 112.2 PPG. With stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis taking the floor for LA, it's not hard to see why they light up the scoreboard.
Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns (233.5)
Thanks to the phenomenal play of Luka Doncic, the Mavs are scoring 117.9 ppg so far this season. Dallas was held to just 99 points in Tuesday's matchup against the Clippers and should be primed for a big night against an opponent allowing 112.5 points per contest. Phoenix has more than enough firepower of its own, with Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio (back) leading the way. It's safe to expect both teams to put up 100-plus points in this one.
There's no shortage of talent within this jam-packed slate, as we see six players priced at $10K or above Friday night. There are plenty of elite and mid-tier players to be had. And of course there are always a few value plays to feast on, which we'll get to later on.
Luka Doncic sits atop the list at point guard for $12,200, and he's followed by Trae Young ($9,600), Damian Lillard ($9,300) and Ben Simmons ($8,900). There's no shortage of talent here, and you'll also be able to snag a mid-tier player like Eric Bledsoe, Ja Morant or Chris Paul if you're looking to save a few bucks.
We don't have a player valued at $10K or above at shooting guard, but there are a handful of All-Stars available in Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler (illness) and Donovan Mitchell, to name a few. There are also eight starting shooting guards to be had in the $7K range.
The same can be said at power forward, where Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard are available for $10K or more. Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis and Kristaps Porzingis are other options if you're looking to avoid a $10K hit.
Joel Embiid is the only player at center available for $10K, though Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gobert can be picked up for a more reasonable price. Myles Turner ($7,400) and Montrezl Harrell ($7,400) could be a few mid-level players to target at this position.
Injury Situations to Monitor
DeAndre Jordan, BRO
Jordan is on the injury report due to left ankle soreness, but he's expected to take the court Friday night against the Celtics. However, he's been held out of the last two contests.
Cody Zeller, CHA
Zeller has been battling a left hip bruise but is probable for Friday's matchup with the Pistons.
Aaron Gordon, ORL
Gordon has missed his last three games due to a bruised right ankle and is doubtful for Friday's clash with Toronto. Al-Farouq Aminu would figure to draw another start in Gordon's stead.
George Hill, MIL
Hill has missed the last two games due to a back issue but is on track to return Friday against the Cavs. He's averaging 22.4 minutes over 16 games this season.
Josh Richardson, PHI
Richardson isn't expected to be ready to go in time for Friday's matchup after suffering a right hamstring strain Wednesday. Furkan Korkmaz should step into a starting role assuming Richardson is held out.
Cam Reddish, ATL
Reddish is listed as questionable due to a wrist injury, though he has managed to start his team's last two games while dealing with the issue.
Jimmy Butler, MIA
Butler is in danger of missing his second straight game due to illness. He'll be a game-time decision.
Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL
Smith has been dealing with a finger injury, but the expectation is he'll be ready to roll for Friday's tip.
Ricky Rubio, PHO
Rubio returned from a three-game absence Wednesday against the Wizards, so it appears he's been added to the injury report as a precaution. He's probable for Friday.
Tomas Satoransky, CHI
Satoransky has been playing through a lingering toe injury and is expected to do so again Friday. The team is officially listing him as probable.
Anthony Davis, LAL
Davis continues to play through a shoulder injury, and he's on track to start Friday's matchup against the Wizards. He isn't expected to face any kind of restriction and is averaging 35.4 minutes over his last five games.
We have some of the league's best in action Friday, including Giannis, LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Luka Doncic as examples. On such a huge slate, we'll also have plenty of other elite players up for grabs to make it easier to differentiate your lineups. It's safe to say none of these stars are must-haves on a slate of this magnitude, as there will be many combinations that lead to success.
Luka Doncic will continue to be one of the hottest names in the DFS community with the tear he's been on this season, while Giannis is always a threat to erupt having scored 80 points over his last two contests. You can never go wrong by putting either of these studs in your lineup.
There won't be too much chalk on this packed slate with so much potential for differentiated lineups, though the stars of the league will inevitably be among those who are heavily owned. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Luka Doncic could be especially chalky picks given the projected scoring totals of both matchups.
The other heavily-owned plays are likely to come as a result of injuries around the league. It'll be important to check in with RotoWire throughout the day for all the latest injury news. Goran Dragic could be a popular value play Friday night with Jimmy Butler's availability up in the air. He can be scooped up for $5,500. Al-Farouq Aminu could also be a popular choice Friday with Aaron Gordon (ankle) on track to miss another game.
Brandon Clarke, MEM vs. UTA ($5,500):
If you're looking to pair either Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard with a value play, Clarke may just be your guy. He's drawn only one start on the season, though the Grizzlies have given him plenty of opportunities in a bench role. The former first-round pick out of Gonzaga has logged 20-plus minutes in four of his last five contests and is averaging 26.1 FD points over that stretch. His ability to score with efficiency at a 63.5 FG% and to contribute across the board makes him an enticing value play within this slate - and he won't break the bank.
Darius Garland, CLE vs. MIL ($3,900):
Garland hasn't been lighting it up when it comes to DFS production of late, but I like that he sees a heavy workload on a nightly basis at 27.8 minutes per game and his scoring ability. He's finished in double figures in the scoring column in seven of his last eight contests, and his ability to distribute the basketball only adds value. Garland's matchup Friday night is also favorable, as he'll take the floor against a Milwaukee team giving up 51.8 FD points per contest to opposing point guards. If you do end up rolling with a high-caliber point guard such as Luka Doncic or Damian Lillard, it might be a good idea to add Garland to the other slot given his high ceiling.