This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
After a rare league-wide Thursday off night for Thanksgiving, Friday brings a massive 13-game main roster. The large player pool makes for a full night of lineup building, and it could be a good night to play some express and late-night boards for those who prefer to grapple with a more modest number of matchups.
Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic (-3.5) (O/U: 217.0 points)
Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks (-4.5) (O/U: 222.5 points)
Los Angeles Lakers (-5) at San Antonio Spurs (O/U: 229.0 points)
Washington Wizards at Miami Heat (-3.5) (O/U: 211.5 points)
Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics (-8) (O/U: 237.5 points)
Atlanta Hawks (-7.5) at Houston Rockets (O/U: 236.5 points)
Chicago Bulls (-1.5) at Oklahoma City Thunder (O/U: 235.0 points)
Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks (-2.5) (O/U: 217.0 points)
Brooklyn Nets (-3) at Indiana Pacers (O/U: 235.5 points)
New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies (-2) (O/U: 229.0 points)
Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns (-12.5) (O/U: 226.0 points)
Utah Jazz at the Golden State Warriors (-7) (O/U: 237.5 points)
Denver Nuggets (-3.5) at the Los Angeles Clippers (O/U: 221.0 points)
Any team playing today will of course have at least one rest day, which should increase the chances of a quality game across the board. There are many breaches to watch out for, which helps keep forecast totals low and spreads wider than they would normally be. The good news, however, is that there are still eight games with totals over 225 points, including four with 235 and over.
Injury situations to monitor
A NOTICE: Injury reporting is particularly fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change over the course of a day. Therefore, while the following provides a basis for the most recent injury report at the time of writing, check RotoWire later today the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night’s roster, including those bearing injury designations not listed in this section.
Anthony DavisLAL (rear): LIKELY
If Davis plays through his persistent lower back tightness, he could continue to be particularly stressed when LeBron James (groin) sits.
Joel EmbidPHI (feet): OFF
Embiid’s absence, coupled with that of James Harden (foot) and Tyrese Maxey (foot), should result in massive drops in use for the remainder of the first five and additional minutes for Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell.
Nikola JokićDEN (hip): PROBABLY
Jokic should take his usual robust role in the center unless he experiences a pre-game setback.
Lebron JamesLAL (bar): QUESTIONABLE
If James were out, Anthony Davis would be arguably the biggest beneficiary in terms of expanded usage.
PaulGeorgeLAC (thigh): OFF
In George’s absence, Norman Powell and Terance Mann could be big beneficiaries.
Damien LillardPOR (calf): OFF
Without Lillard, Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic should receive massive usage increases, while Shaedon Sharpe could start at point guard.
Jimmy ButlerMIA (knee): OUT
With Butler unavailable, the rest of the starting five should get a significant usage boost.
CJ McCollumNOP (COVID-19 Protocols): OFF
In McCollum’s absence, Jose Alvarado and Devonte’ Graham managed most point guard minutes.
Bradley BealWAR (quadriceps): QUESTIONABLE
If Beal fails to walk, Corey Kispert could pull a start at shooting guard while the rest of the starting five should see an increased stake.
James HardenPHI (feet): OFF
Harden’s continued absence will keep De’Anthony Melton in the starting shooting guard role.
Tyrese MaxeyPHI (feet): OFF
Maxey’s absence should mean another start for Shake Milton at point guard.
Other notable injuries:
Bam AdebayoMIA (knee): PROBABLY
Jrue holidayMIL (disease): LIKELY
Cade CunninghamDET (lower leg): OUT
Kawhi LeonardLAC (Ankle): OFF
Desmond BaneMEM (Toe): OFF
ChrisPaulPHX (heel): OFF
Caris LeVertCLE (ankle): OUT
Tyler HerroMIA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Wendell CarterORL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Jalen GreenHOU (toe): PROBABLY
Michael PorterDEN (heel): QUESTIONABLE
John KoncharMEM (Wade): QUESTIONABLE
Max StraussMIA (shoulder): DOUBT
Jaden IveyDET (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Mike ConleyUTA (lower leg): OUT
Monte MorrisWAR (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Killian HayesDET (Calf): QUESTIONABLE
Alperen SengunHOU (bar): DOUBT
Bone HylandDEN (hip): PROBABLY
Isaiah StewartDET (toe): OUT
Saddiq BeyDET (ankle): OUT
CameronJohnsonPHX (knee): OUT
We have nine players with five-figure salaries on Friday’s list who seem to have at least a 50/50 chance – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000), Anthony Davis ($11,800), Nikola Jokić ($11,000), Lebron James ($10,800), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,600), Kevin Durant ($10,500), Stephen Curry ($10,400), Jayson Tatum ($10,200) and Yes Morant ($10,100).
Antetokounmpo has 50+ FD points in two straight games but pulls a tough defensive matchup against the Cavs.
Davis could potentially have the floor without LeBron James (bar), a scenario that has seen him amass 70+ FD points in two of the last three, including a stunning 89.2 against the Suns on Tuesday.
Jokic has scored 57.8 and 60.5 FD points in his first two games after a three-game absence due to COVID-19 protocols, which arguably makes him undervalued at that salary.
James has indicated he is targeting a return on Friday. And once he gets dressed, he’d probably be healthy enough to get back to his normal workload.
Gilgeous-Alexander averages 52.5 FD points and has eclipsed 60 in two of his last four.
Durant listed a rare, low-usage game in the Nets’ win over the Raptors Wednesday and was under 40 FD points for two straight years. With Kyrie Irving back and Ben Simmons also in good health, Durant’s salary may be a bit elevated for his current role on many nights, although of course he still offers an elite line.
Curry “only” scored 41.7 FD points in his last game after eclipsing 75 in his previous contest, but Friday’s matchup against the defensively-prone Jazz could certainly result in one of his top-percentile performances.
Tatum played a sore ankle and 64.1 FD points against the Mavs on Wednesday to take his season average to 50.7.
Morant lost 52.4 FD points in 33 minutes against the Kings Tuesday and was over-50 in four of his last six.
Other likely chalk games are:
De’Aaron FoxSAC ($9,900)
Fox broke down to 27.5 FD points in his last game, but in the previous matchup he scored 61.6 and has consistently proven he can score at least 40 FD points most of the time.
Trae YoungATL ($9,800)
Young is always a popular player regardless of roster, and he has over 30 actual points in two of his last three competitions.
Devin BookerPHO ($9,700)
Booker will continue to play without Chris Paul (heel). Despite scoring under 35 FD points in two straight games, he posted 75.6 three games ago.
Donovan MitchellCLE ($9,600)
Mitchell missed nearly 40 FD points on his last outing and recently scored 53.3.
Kyrie IrvingBKN ($8,600)
Irving’s salary is a steal given his cap, and with 23 and 29 actual points in his last two games, he appears to be working off the rust of his suspension.
Cameron PaynePHO vs DET ($6,700)
Payne will continue to start at point guard with Paul’s continued absence. And despite only scoring 21.9 FD points in 28 minutes in his last game, he’s managed 40+ in two of his previous three competitions. The veteran now draws one of the best matchups for those where the Pistons allow for an NBA-high offensive efficiency rating of 32.6 for point guards along with the third-most FD points per game at the position (52.3). Payne is also shooting elite 41.9 percent from three-point range, and Detroit are conceding an elevated 36.8 percent success rate from distance in their last three games. The Pistons are also tied for third-most assists allowed in the last three competitions (29.3), which could certainly bode well for Payne given his ball-handling duties.
shake MiltonPHI at ORL ($6,400)
Milton is another fill-in point guard who could top his current salary as of Friday as he also draws one of the league’s best matchups for the position. The Magic have allowed the fourth highest offensive efficiency rating of ones (29.5) and 51.1 FD points per game for PGs. Milton has already shown some advantage in the starting role, most recently with 45.9 FD points over 39 minutes against the Hornets on Wednesday and also with 31.2 and 29.7 in previous competitions. He has tallyed 36-39 minutes in his first three starts and shoots 57.8 percent — 50.0 percent of which is from three-point range. And the fact that Joel Embiid (foot) will also sit on Friday only makes Milton’s chances of a high-use game all the better.
Bruce BrownDEN at LAC ($6,100)
Brown should continue to post solid minutes – even if Jamal Murray returns after a game due to conditioning – and will face an undermanned Clippers side who will not have Paul George (hamstring) and Kawhi Leonard (ankle) on the defensive end. Brown just scored 53.6 FD points from a triple-double against the Thunder in an OT win on Wednesday and has over 30 points in two of his last three games. He’s already eclipsed 40 FD points twice coming off the bench this year, offering with a 40.0 percent win rate from three-pointers and the ability to contribute well to steals , many ways to achieve a strong salary return.
ALSO NOTE: Kevin HurterSAC at BOS ($5,800); Royce O’NealeBKN at IND ($5,800); Caleb MartinMIA vs WHAT ($5,400)
The author(s) of this article may enter Daily Fantasy competitions including, but not limited to, games that they have recommended or advised on in this article. While playing these games with their personal accounts, it is possible that they use players in their lineups or other strategies that deviate from the recommendations given above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy competitions with the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.