The NBA gets DFS players ready for the weekend with a Friday slate featuring 10 exciting games to choose from. Some players have already been ruled out, including Grizzlies’ guards Mike Conley and Courtney Lee, but make sure to keep checking for updates on injuries to guys like Emmanuel Mudiay, D’Angelo Russell, Kobe Bryant and Tony Parker.
Without further delay, let’s take a look at the top value plays for Friday, January 8th.
Ian Mahinmi, Pacers ($8,400)
Ian Mahinmi is not a big name, but he’s quietly produced good numbers this season for the Pacers. The 29-year-old has career highs in points (8.2), rebounds (7.2), assists (1.4), steals (0.9) and blocks (1.0), and he’s done that in just 24.2 minutes per game.
In a game against Anthony Davis, Mahinmi will be called upon more that usual, resulting in an increase in minutes. If he can get 28-30 minutes, his per-36 numbers of 12.2 points, 10.8 boards and 1.5 blocks could be within reach. The 6’11” center is averaging 22.7 fantasy points since the beginning of December and should, at the very minimum, be able to equal that mark on Friday night.
Cameron Payne, Thunder ($6,400)
We touted Payne as a value play this past Monday, and he came through with flying colors. The rookie put up 11 points, five rebounds, a steal and a block, leading to a solid 23.35 fantasy points.
His situation Friday against the Lakers is similar to the one he was in Monday versus the Kings; the Thunder are favored by 13.5 points, which means lots of potential playing time for OKC’s bench and Payne, who is locked in as Russell Westbrook‘s direct backup. Add that the Lakers are the worst team in fantasy against opposing point guards, and you have the perfect player to take a chance on if you’re looking to save some salary.
Shane Larkin, Nets ($8,700)
The Nets’ new starting point guard didn’t exactly wow us in his first two starts replacing the injured Jarrett Jack, but he has a pretty good shot at changing that Friday night versus the Magic.
The Magic are 27th against opposing point guards over the past two weeks and have been torched by the position in their last couple of games, giving up 40.5 fantasy points to Monta Ellis and 60.1 fantasy points to the Pistons’ combo of Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings.
Larkin hasn’t been spectacular, but his minutes have been steady (29 and 26 in his two starts), and that puts him in prime position to reach value on Friday night. If Joe Johnson (quad) is forced to sit out, it would only serve to increase Larkin’s usage.