One Guy Left to Handle Scoring for Pelicans

Per usual, Friday features a large NBA slate. There are 11 games on the schedule, and seven of them have a game total of over 230 points. Expect a high-scoring slate, even though the elite pay-up options are limited due to injuries and, of course, no Luka Doncic.

With so many games on the slate, DFS players must follow Stokastic’s starting lineups page to see who is in and out of the lineup tonight. This article features a mix of NBA DFS fades and boom candidates, driven by Stokastic’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust Tool. Let’s look at some of the best NBA DFS picks for Friday’s action.

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NBA DFS Play: Giannis Antetokounmpo: $12,000 DraftKings/$12,000 FanDuel

32.3% DraftKings Boom/39.0% FanDuel Boom

Priced at $12,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Giannis Antetokounmpo feels too cheap for a player who has averaged 79.6 DraftKings points per game over his last four games. During that time, Giannis is averaging 43.3 points, 18.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. He has recorded 20-plus rebounds in three of those four games, and he now ranks second in the league in rebounds and third in scoring. That type of production for $12,000 feels like a steal, and Giannis not only leads Stokastic’s projections in fantasy points but is a great value as well.

For tonight, Giannis ranks second in boom percentage on FanDuel and fourth on DraftKings in a fantastic matchup against the Hornets. The Bucks are double-digit home favorites with the second-highest implied total on the slate at 120.75 points. Chris Middleton remains out, while Jrue Holiday is likely to play. Holiday should play more minutes than his 19 last game, but this is still the Giannis show, as he leads the entire league in usage rate (38.8%). The Hornets are allowing 51.9 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks 23rd in the league, and they also rank 19th in rebounding percentage. Expect another monster performance from Antetokounmpo.

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NBA DFS Play: CJ McCollum: $8,500 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel

25.0% DraftKings Boom/26.6% FanDuel Boom

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum looks like a great play in the mid-range, as he ranks inside the top eight on both sites in boom percentage. The Pelicans will continue to be without Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, which brings McCollum’s usage rate up a team-high 5.1 percentage points to over 30%. His production also skyrockets as the main ball handler. Recently, McCollum has been cooking from deep, as he has made 22 3-pointers in his last four games. McCollum still busts games periodically, which makes him perfect for this article and tournaments.

In his first full season with the Pelicans, McCollum is averaging a team- and career-high six assists while also scoring over 20 points per game for the ninth straight season. If the Pelicans want to keep this game competitive against the Nets — who just lost their first game since early December — it will need to be a big McCollum game. Despite playing at home, the Pelicans are 4-point underdogs. This game total is still over 230 points, and the Pelicans are implied for 113.5 points. McCollum will likely need to go shot for shot with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in this matchup.

NBA DFS Play: Daniel Gafford: $4,600 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel

46.1% DraftKings Boom/40.4% FanDuel Boom

Despite being center-only eligible on DraftKings and FanDuel, Daniel Gafford is by far the best value on the slate in Stokastic’s projectionsas he is in line to play nearly 30 minutes tonight. Bradley Beal is out for the next three weeks, which has a trickledown effect to Gafford, meanwhile Taj Gibson is questionable after missing three straight games. Over the last four games, Gafford is averaging 13.3 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and 30.3 DraftKings points per game while shooting 71.9% from the field and playing 27 minutes per game.

Gafford leads the slate in boom percentage on both sites, coming in at over 40%. He recorded his fourth double-double of the season last game and has a great chance to add a fifth in this matchup against the Thunder. With so many big men out for Oklahoma City, it currently ranks 25th in the league in points in the paint per game allowed (52.8) while also ranking 26th in rebounding percentage. Gafford will likely carry a lot of ownershipespecially if Gibson is ruled out again, but it is very much deserving.

NBA DFS Fade: Pascal Siakam: $10,200 DraftKings/$9,600 FanDuel

49.0% DraftKings Bust/42.5% FanDuel Bust

Normally the Raptors and Knicks would be flipped in the current standings, but it is the Raptors who are on the outside looking in for the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. With a 16-22 record and losers of 10 of their last 13 games, Toronto looks to bounce back as a 3.5-point home favorite against the Knicks. This game will be a slug fest, as it has the second-lowest total on the slate at 218 points. Both teams rank in the bottom eight in pace this season, while the Raptors are only scoring 111.1 points per game, which is the fifth lowest in the league.

It is going to be difficult to get exposure to anyone from this game, and that includes Pascal Siakam. On DraftKings especially, Siakam is priced over $10,000 and is the only center eligible, and there are so many strong center plays on this slate. He is reaching nearly a 50% bust percentage on DraftKings, which is by far the highest among his peers. His negative value is most glaring in Stokastic’s projections. There are too many pay-up options in better game environments, making Siakam a fade candidate on this 11-game slate.

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