DraftKings NBA: Friday-Saturday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Friday-Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Friday's NBA slate begins at 8:30 p.m. EDT with Game 5 between the Heat and Celtics and also includes Saturday's Game 5 of the Nuggets-Lakers series. The Heat have won three of four tightly contested games, leaving them one game away from the NBA Finals. Like Miami, LA won Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead, though it's worth noting Denver has already overcome a pair of 3-1 series deficits this postseason.

Slate Overview

Game to Target

Lakers (-6) vs. Nuggets O/U: 215.5

Both games are expected to be played at a similar pace, but this contest offers the more appealing elite lineup cornerstones and some go-to value options closer to the bottom of the salary spectrum. These teams have combined for at least 220 points in three of this series' first four games, and the 240 combined points in Game 1 represented the peak for any game in the 2020 Conference Finals.

Game to Fade

Celtics (-3.5) vs. Heat O/U: 212.5

Both teams get it done by committee more than the Lakers and Nuggets, so this matchup has more appealing middle options. This has been the lower-scoring series, even with an extra five minutes of basketball courtesy of Game 1 going to overtime.

Positional Breakdown

PG: This position is neck-and-neck with shooting guard for the deepest at the top, as each features five players priced at $6,900 or more with only two overlapping options.

SG: Like point guard, shooting guard offers plenty of high-end talent while also having some enticing value options lower on the list. However, Jamal Murray is the top option at the position at just $8,700.

SF: Five small forwards are at $6,500 or more, so this position rivals the guard spots in terms of depth at the top.

PF: There's a big drop off after Anthony Davis ($10,700) and Jayson Tatum ($9,700) down to Gordon Hayward ($6,500), so you're either locking in a superstar power forward or looking for a value guy at the position.

C: Center is structured similar to power forward, with a major drop off after the third-highest center Bam Adebayo at $8,400 down to Daniel Theis at $5,300.

Injury Situations to Monitor

LeBron James is probable for the Lakers with a groin injury, but the injury is nothing new and can be considered a non-factor.

Bam Adebayo got his left arm tangled with Jayson Tatum late in Game 4, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has said the big man will play Friday.

Danny Green has a ring finger injury on his left hand, but he's considered probable for the Lakers. Teammate Alex Caruso's also probable with right wrist soreness.

Denver's Will Barton continues to rehabilitate a knee injury outside the bubble and has been ruled out through at least the rest of the Western Conference finals.

Elite Players

LeBron James ($11,000) is averaging near a triple-double in this series, with 24.3 PPG, 9.0 RPG and 8.8 APG. He scored 69.0 fantasy points in Game 3 thanks to a 30-point triple-double and is capable of a similar effort on any given night.

Anthony Davis ($10,700) has been a major scoring threat all series, but it's hard to trust him at his lofty valuation given his recent lack of rebounds. After averaging 9.5 RPG in Games 1 and 2, Davis has pulled down only 3.5 RPG over the last two.

Nikola Jokic ($10,400) might finally be running out of gas, as he produced his worst game of the series Thursday with just 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Then again, he has played his best basketball with his back against the wall throughout the playoffs. Consider Jokic a high-risk, high-reward option given that context.

Speaking of high-ceiling options, Jamal Murray ($8,700) has locked into a groove, with 30.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 10.0 APG over the last two games after averaging 23.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in Games 1 and 2. Given his upside when hot, Murray certainly looks like the more appealing elite Nuggets option - especially at $1,700 less than Jokic.

Game 4 was a tale of two halves for Jayson Tatum ($9,700), who scored all 28 of his points after halftime after going 0-for-6 from the field. He still surpassed 50 fantasy points for the fifth time in the past six games, but Tatum will need to put together a more complete performance to play up to his lofty valuation in Game 5.

Bam Adebayo's ($8,400) well-rounded contributions make him by far the safest fantasy option on the Heat and a nice high-floor consolation prize for fantasy managers who don't quite trust the two more volatile elite centers from the Nuggets-Lakers. James is the only other player to top 40 fantasy points in every game of the conference finals, and Adebayo's lowest total of 43.5 beats James' lowest of 40.5. The key to Adebayo's consistency is his ability to help you in every category, as he's averaging 21.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.3 blocks and 2.0 steals per game against Boston.

Expected Chalk

Tyler Herro ($7,000) took over Game 4, pouring in a game-high 37 points in Miami's 112-109 victory. While this marked the rookie shooting guard's best performance, he's proven a strong all-around producer throughout the series by averaging 20.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 5.3 APG in 36 minutes per game.

Rajon Rondo's ($5,200) consistent contributions this series in assists (8.3 APG) and steals (1.5 per game) make the veteran point guard a high-floor value play. His role has expanded as the series has progressed, chipping in 10.0 PPG and 3.5 RPG over the last two games after contributing a paltry 5.0 PPG and 2.5 RPG in the first two.

Jerami Grant ($4,800) has emerged as a surprising third option behind Murray and Jokic for Denver the past two games, averaging 21.5 PPG in 39 minutes per game. He's not a liability on the defensive end like fellow Nuggets' forward Michael Porter ($5,000), so Grant should continue to see significantly more minutes than Porter - especially if he maintains the hot hand offensively.

Key Values

Dwight Howard ($3,600) was promoted into the starting lineup over JaVale McGee in Game 4 and responded with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double in 23 minutes. The Lakers will almost certainly start Howard again in Game 5 after the move paid off, and so should you.

Duncan Robinson ($4,600) has been a feast-or-famine option for the Heat, but the affordable wing is capable of significantly outperforming his valuation on his best days. The sharpshooter averaged only 4.5 PPG in 20 minutes per contest in Games 1 and 4 against Boston, but that production climbed to 15.5 PPG over 30 minutes in Games 2 and 3. When Robinson's shooting well, he also earns more playing time and allows him to rack up more secondary stats.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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