• It is going to be a fun Friday tonight. Welcome back, it is March 9 and we have 10 games on tonight’s slate. There are a ton of injuries, which means we should have plenty of value to help us fit in the top studs tonight. There are always a few games I target more than others and you will see that the latter half of the night is where I will be looking to get most of my exposure. It is a great night for GPP’s and I recommend playing multiple lineups according to your bankroll. This is an early look and as always we are sponsored by DraftKings and will be using their pricing as a base, but let’s not waste any more time and jump right in.

    Point guard

    Frank Mason $3,800– Barring news, Mason will be my main source of value to help squeeze in tonight’s studs. De’Aaron Fox (back) is questionable coming in and we have seen the Kings sit Fox in the past even when dealing with minor injuries. The matchup is picture perfect for point guards and when Fox left the game and did not return in their last contest Mason finished with 29 minutes and almost 30 DK points. We are going to need Fox to sit in order for Mason to be in play, but we have another solid pivot at the same price in Shelvin Mack, but again we would need D.J. Augustin to miss tonight’s game as well. Monitor the news, but if they both sit I rank Mason higher than Mack.

    Rajon Rondo-$6,500– I don’t need to be the one to tell you this, but if you do not heavily target this game you will be in trouble. With Anthony Davis (ankle) looking doubtful for Friday’s game versus the Wizards we have a ton of usage that will be spread around. Without Davis and DeMarcus Cousins we see Rondo’s usage rate increase by 2.5 percent and he averages an extra 0.33 DK points per minute.  That would bring him to a usage rate of 19.1 and a 1.34 DK points per minute average. There is always risk with Rondo, but every time he steps on the court he has the chance of dropping a triple-double.

    Lonzo Ball $7,600– Like Rondo, Ball has the potential to drop a triple-double on any given night. These types of guards always catch my attention when building GPP’s for their potential upside. The matchup is a good one in Denver. Ball has averaged 42 DK points in two meetings with the Nuggets earlier in the season. With so many great games to target this one comes in with one of the higher totals at 229.5.

    Shooting guard

    E’Twaun Moore $4,400– When Davis is out the usage doesn’t only get spread through out the studs. Moore comes in with a usage rate of 25 percent and averages 1.05 DK points per minute. The position flexibility allows us to play him at either shooting guard or small forward and he should be a great source of value on tonight’s slate.

    Jonathon Simmons $4,700– Value is the theme on the night and Simmons enters as one of my favorite value plays. Aaron Gordon looks like he is going to be ruled out with a concussion and we already know Evan Fournier is out. With those two out Simmons’ usage spikes up 5.8 percent to 28.0 percent while averaging just under a DK point per minute. If we get the word that Augustin sits as well he will be forced to handle the ball a lot more and could see an uptick in assists.

    Jrue Holiday $8,500– I do not care how much DraftKings priced up Holiday, he will be a major play for me tonight. Without Davis Holiday is averaging 2.12 DK points per minute while sporting a usage rate of 45.6 percent. Now that is a small sample size, but it is indicative that the offense will run through Holiday. We have to imagine at least 20 shot attempts for Holiday in this spot.

    Small Forward

    Mario Hezonja $4,200– With all of injuries in Orlando we know that there will be players other than Simmons who will capitalize. Super Mario does not see the same usage bump as Simmons, in fact it only increase by 1.0 percent, but he will see a ton of minutes. Hezonja is capable of playing shooting guard, small forward and power forward and you have Magic head coach Frank Vogel praised Hezonja for his play while filling in for Gordon earlier in the season. He is only eligible for small forward and power forward on DK, but he will be another main source for value on tonight’s slate.

    Kyle Kuzma $6,400– Kuzma has been bursting through that rookie wall as of late and it could be attributed to Brandon Ingram missing games, but either way he is averaging close to a DK point per minute and the matchup is a solid one. We know where the scoring output will come from for the Lakers and Kuzma is clearly one of the go-to options. On a night he is hitting his shots he has 40-50 DK point upside. It is not going to be easy to fit him in over some other plays coming up, but if you are looking to get a mini stack of this game I would not leave Kuzma out of it.

    Kevin Durant $8,900– Fade at your own risk. We already have the news that Stephen Curry (ankle) is out and Durant is severely underpriced. I am talking stupid cheap. He will be the chalk stud of the night and for good reason. When Curry is off of the court Durant’s usage rate increases to an insane 40.2 percent while averaging 1.64 DK points per minute. Like I said, you can fade if you want, but I would not advise it.

    Power Forward

    Nikola Mirotic $7,000– It is a small sample size, but Mirotic has a usage rate of 25.7 percent and is averaging 1.41 DK points per minute without Davis on the floor. He is going to be one of the go-to options for the offense in the absence of their superstar and should be able to have a stab at a double-double with greater rebounding opportunity playing some center. He is going to be extremely chalky on tonight’s slate, but again, for good reason.

    Larry Nance Jr. $7,100– Nance is still not priced to the point where I am not playing him. Without Tristan Thompson he is locked into 30-plus minutes with huge rebounding upside. He runs the floor with LeBron James and is going to have to play a boatload of minutes against DeAndre Jordan tonight. On a team where the options have high variability, Nance and James seem like the only safe options. Earlier in the week I said I would consider fading him when he gets to $7,800. We are not there yet.

    Draymond Green $7,400– Green is another Warrior that becomes an obvious target with Curry being out. His usage rate actually drops 0.5 percent, but he averages 0.15 more DK points per minute. He will be forced to handle the ball and facilitate the offense and we have seen Green have triple-double upside in these situations before.

    Center

    Cheick Diallo $3,900– He may not start at center, but Diallo is averaging 1.38 DK points per minute and sports a usage rate of 29.9 percent with Davis off of the floor. He is another fantastic source of value, but understand he is not likely to log 30-plus minutes. I am open to playing up to four Pelicans in one lineup on tonight’s slate, but I did mention five in this article so mixing and matching will be key. It makes a lot of sense to play Diallo in any lineup that does not have Mirotic for obvious correlation.

    Nikola Vucevic $8,300– If we look at Vucevic’s average DK points per minute without Gordon and Fournier on the floor it would seem like an obvious fade as they decrease by 0.49 points per minute. The sample size is extremely small and the bigger take away is his usage rate of over 40 percent in that time. He will not be wrestling Gordon for rebounds and is in a great spot against the Kings. He will likely go overlooked on tonight’s slate because he falls into the middle-tier price window on what should be a stars and scrubs night.

    Nikola Jokic $9,300–  “Nikola can’t take seven shots a night for us,” Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said. “Granted, he is unselfish, he makes the right play and I love all that. But Nikola needs to be aggressive. I want him taking 15 shots, 18 shots and (looking) to score in the post. Now, when he draws a double- and triple-team, then make the right play.” Aggressive he was in the last game versus the Cavs when The Joker dropped and extremely efficient 36 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for over 61 DK points. It is going to be hard to pay up with all of the other studs on the slate, but if Jokic is going to shoot 15-plus times against the Lakers I am going to have to have some exposure.

    Honorable mentions

    Al-Farouq Aminu $4,600- In the last meeting that these two teams faced off Aminu played 36 minutes and dropped 31.25 DK points. Now I highly advise spending up at power forward a little bit, but if you were looking to stack this game up a little Aminu would be one of my first options to pair with Damian Lillard.

    Bradley Beal $9,100– It is going to be hard to get the money for Beal with a lot of these other options, but he is in one the better spots he could be in against the Pelicans in a pace-up game. It is clear the offense runs through him without John Wall on the court and it makes sense getting someone on the other side of all of these Pelicans plays.

    James Harden $10,600– I shouldn’t have to mention Harden, but I didn’t above and he is far too underpriced. This is one of the cheaper price tags we have seen in Harden in quite awhile and we saw him drop over 60 DK points against the Raptors earlier in the season. Now, that was without Chris Paul, but he still is capable of doing it on any given night.

    As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments. Good luck and have fun. This is a great slate.

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