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NBA DFS: Best plays for Friday, January 14th

Joel Embiid is chasing history on Friday night versus the Celtics and will be playing in front of the 76ers’ faithful at Wells Fargo Center.

Charlotte Hornets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

There is going to be playoff football on this weekend, giving us a chance to play some NFL DFS. But until the NFL games begin, we have a nine-game main slate to pick apart on Friday night. We have some enticing matchups on Friday, with the Golden State Warriors taking on the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics squaring off with the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Dallas Mavericks facing off against the Memphis Grizzlies.

There are plenty of notable players that we’ll have to make a decision on and there is news we’ll have to keep close tabs on. We already know that the Warriors will be without Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, so there could be some value options on Golden State. While there will undoubtedly be some news that could alter the outlook of the slate, here are my favorite pay-up and value options at each position on DraftKings’ main slate on Friday.

*Note: News is constantly changing throughout the day in the NBA and COVID-19 is still a concern this season. It is extremely important to pay close attention to the news in the NBA as things could change minutes before tip-off occurs.

Point Guard

Pay-up option: Luka Doncic ($10,900)

You’re telling me that I can get Luka Doncic for less than $11,000 on DraftKings? There was a point in the season where Doncic was approaching $12,000, so I’ll happily take him at a discount before his salary increases again. Doncic has produced 62+ points on DraftKings twice in his last four games and with Kristaps Porzingis already ruled out on Friday, Doncic will be asked to do more on both ends of the floor. Aside from Doncic having one of the highest ceilings of any player in DFS, he’s also going up against the Grizzlies, who have surrendered the seventh-most points per game (51.5) to point guards over their past 15 games.

Value option: Jalen Green ($4,800)

Rajon Rondo is on my radar as a potential value point guard on Friday night, but he’s questionable for the Cleveland Cavaliers with a hamstring ailment. If Rondo is unable to go for the second consecutive game, then Jalen Green is another value point guard I like on Friday night. The Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets face one another on Friday night in what could be a high-scoring affair between two dismal teams that don’t play much defense. Also, the Rockets play at the second-fastest pace in the league, while the Kings play at the 11th fastest pace. These types of games tend to give us plenty of guys to target in NBA DFS and Green is someone I really like. Green is fully capable of scoring 25+ on a bad team with his offensive skill set.

Shooting guard

Pay-up option: Tyler Herro ($7,800)

We will need to wait to see if Jimmy Butler can make his return for the Miami Heat on Friday night. If Butler is ruled out again, then Tyler Herro is my favorite play at the shooting guard position. Being that he performs better when coming off of the bench, it likely doesn’t matter much if Butler returns, but more shots, rebounds, and assists would be available for Herro if Butler is sidelined again. Herro is running away with the Sixth-Man of the Year award right now with 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. The young guard is squaring off with the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, a team he just notched 51.8 points against on Wednesday, giving him two straight games with 50+ points on DraftKings. Look for Herro to remain aggressive as the Heat look to extend their current winning streak to four games on Friday.

Value option: Lamar Stevens ($3,700)

With Isaac Okoro sidelined for the Cavaliers, Lamar Stevens has been getting more playing time as of late. Stevens has earned 20+ minutes in seven of his last 10 appearances, including Wednesday’s contest versus the Utah Jazz. While getting 30 minutes on Wednesday, Stevens proceeded to score 37.25 points on DraftKings at $3,500. He has returned 5x value at his current price in each of his last three games and he should have opportunities to score in what is a massive pace-up game versus the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, who play at the ninth-fastest pace in the NBA.

Small Forward

Pay-up option: Jaylen Brown ($9,000)

Much has been made about what the Celtics should elect to do with Jaylen Brown. Amid the rumors and speculation, Brown has been on fire in recent games, scoring 45+ points on DraftKings in six of his last 10 outings. That includes three games where he posted 58+ points on DraftKings. It will be a physical game between the Celtics and the 76ers on Friday night, and these matchups always tend to be competitive. We’ve seen Brown getting more involved on the glass in recent weeks as he’s grabbed at least five rebounds in nine of his last 10 games. With his shot going down and his increased rebound rate, a double-double is certainly a possibility on Friday night. If you don’t want to pay up for Brown, then Andrew Wiggins could be a nice mid-tier option with Thompson and Green sidelined for the Warriors.

Value option: De’Andre Hunter ($3,400)

The Hawks chose to trade Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks on Thursday for a bag of chips and some Skittles. With Reddish no longer residing in Atlanta, De’Andre Hunter is likely going to see his role increase moving forward. Hunter made his return from a lengthy absence on Wednesday, playing 24 minutes and scoring 21.75 points on DraftKings. We’ll likely see Hunter have a minutes restriction again on Friday, but we don’t need him to play insane minutes to return value at $3,400. In the event that Hunter is held out as a precaution, Danilo Gallinari and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot would become decent value plays on the green site.

Power Forward

Pay-up option: Jayson Tatum ($9,300)

There have been spurts this season where Jayson Tatum has been inconsistent, but he’s been finding his stride alongside Brown in recent games. Tatum has recorded 50+ points on DraftKings in three of his last six games. In his previous two meetings with the 76ers this season, Tatum has averaged 47.6 points per game on DraftKings. Philadelphia is a strong defensive team, but that likely won’t matter much if Tatum can build on his impressive performance on Wednesday where he had 55.75 points on the green site. I’m not against using Tatum and Brown in the same lineup on Friday night.

Value option: Marvin Bagley ($4,800)

Speaking of inconsistent, Marvin Bagley is a frustrating player to watch. The former first-round pick has gotten more playing time of late for the Kings. At times, Bagley shows why he’d be better off playing elsewhere for a team that can compete for a title. But in other moments, Bagley proves why he hasn’t had a robust trade market in the NBA yet. If Richaun Holmes is ruled out again for Sacramento on Friday, then Bagley could draw another start. Even if he doesn’t start, there should be plenty of opportunities for him to succeed against a Kings squad that has given up the fifth-most points per game (48.92) to the power forward position on DraftKings in their last 30 contests.

Center

Pay-up option: Joel Embiid ($11,200)

There isn’t a single team in the NBA that has the firepower to slow down Joel Embiid right now. Embiid has scored 30+ real-life points in eight consecutive games, tying Philadelphia’s franchise record of 30+ point games in a row. Provided that, it goes without saying that Embiid will be motivated to break Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson’s record on Friday night. When facing the Celtics, Embiid has scored 35+ real-life points in five of his last seven matchups versus Boston, and he’s recorded 10+ rebounds in each of those games as well. With a record on the line and the 76ers looking to defeat their division rivals at home, we could very well get a ceiling game from Embiid on Friday night.

Value option: Robin Lopez ($4,400)

The Orlando Magic could be shorthanded in the frontcourt on Friday night versus the Charlotte Hornets. Wendell Carter Jr. has already been ruled out for Friday’s contest with a hamstring injury and Mo Bamba is questionable to play with a toe ailment. That could leave the starting duties at center to Robin Lopez. Lopez isn’t the flashiest center in the league, but he can stuff the stat sheet in certain matchups, and his matchup on Friday is a favorable one. The Hornets allow 60.71 points per game to the center position on DraftKings (most in the NBA), If Bamba can return, then you could either P.J. Tucker or Kevon Looney as a value center instead of Lopez.