This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We're primed for an eight-game slate Friday night loaded with matchups sporting elevated projected totals, which is usually a good sign for DFS purposes. There are also a handful of big names on the injury report, but there's still more than enough depth to the player pool to keep our choices plentiful across the salary cap.
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With half of the night's eight games boasting a projected total of at least 235 points – including two over 240 – there are certainly bright prospects for multiple standout individual performances and productive DFS environments.
Meanwhile, most spreads also bring reason for optimism with respect to the chances of a night of heavy minutes for key players, as five games sport of 4.5 points or less.
Injury Situations to Monitor
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Joel Embiid, PHI (foot): QUESTIONABLE
If Embiid can't suit up, Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed would be in line to handle most of the minutes at center, and the usage of the rest of the starting five, particularly that of James Harden, would rise significantly.
De'Aaron Fox, SAC (personal): OUT
With Fox out of action, Davion Mitchell could draw a start at point guard and the likes of Harrison Barnes and Domantas Sabonis should especially be in line for bumps in usage.
Rudy Gobert, MIN (groin): QUESTIONABLE
If Gobert can't play Friday, Naz Reid would be in line for another turn with the first unit after posting 50.6 FD points in a spot start on Wednesday.
Jusuf Nurkic, POR (calf): OUT
In Nurkic's absence, Drew Eubanks and Trendon Watford should handle most of the minutes at center.
OG Anunoby, TOR (wrist): OUT
With Anunoby continuing to sit, Precious Achiuwa is likely to remain in the starting five.
Other notable injuries:
Devin Booker, PHO (groin): OUT
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT
Kevin Porter, HOU (foot): OUT
Jalen Green, HOU (calf): OUT
Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): OUT
Marcus Smart, BOS (ankle): OUT
Kelly Oubre, CHA (hand): OUT
We have three players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Joel Embiid ($11,500), Jayson Tatum ($11,000) and Damian Lillard ($10,200).
Assuming Embiid plays through his questionable designation, he'll be looking to build on a stretch where he's scored 46.5 FD points or more in seven straight contests, including 85.1 three games ago. He'll also be facing a Spurs team that's been among the most generous to centers all season and one that he posted 67.1 FD points against in a previous meeting.
Tatum is averaging 56.7 FD points over his last eight games, a stretch that includes four straight with at least 51.3 FD points and 30 actual points. He also produced 37 FD points in only 29 minutes against the Suns the last time he faced them.
Lillard has recorded between 53.4 to 85.4 FD points in four of his last five games, a sample in which he's shot 57.7 percent, including 46.7 percent from behind the arc.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Domantas Sabonis, SAC ($9,900)
Sabonis just produced 62.2 FD points against the Spurs and averages 47.8 per 36 minutes with De'Aaron Fox off the floor, two factors that should keep him popular Friday.
Anthony Edwards, MIN ($9,700)
Edwards could take the floor again without Rudy Gobert in addition to Karl-Anthony Towns and has scored 44.7 to 70.2 FD points in the last seven outings.
Trae Young, ATL ($9,500)
Young dipped to 38.2 FD points in his most recent game, but he's averaging 44.4 FD points per contest on the season and will face a Jazz squad that's been involved in plenty of wire-to-wire matchups.
Kristaps Porzingis ($9,400)
Porzingis went off for 60.3 FD points in his most recent game with the aid of five blocks and will face a depleted Trail Blazers frontcourt on Friday night.
Fred VanVleet, TOR ($8,900)
VanVleet is averaging 51.1 FD points across the last nine games, posting 59.3 FD points or more on three occasions during that sample.
Daniel Gafford, WAS vs. POR ($6,100)
Gafford's opposite number, Trail Blazers projected spot starter Drew Eubanks, will likely be the more popular choice of big men from this matchup given his salary is $1,500 less. However, Gafford shouldn't be overlooked, as Eubanks is far from a tough matchup down low and the Trail Blazers already come in allowing the seventh-highest offensive efficiency rating to fives (34.0) along with the third-most FD points per game to the position (57.3). Portland has been even more generous of late, surrendering 65.3 FD points to centers in the last seven contests. Meanwhile, Gafford has posted between 31.6 to 54.4 FD points in three of his last four games and will be well-rested after last taking the floor on Saturday.
Tari Eason, HOU vs. TOR ($6,000)
Eason is sporting a 22.9 percent usage rate and averaging 46.4 FD points per 36 minutes with Kevin Porter and Jalen Green off the floor this season. He enters Friday averaging 33 FD points over the last six games while putting up a near double-double of 14.0 points and 9.2 rebounds during that stretch. He also done a nice job supplementing his production with 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks in that sample. Eason just managed a career-high 50.1 FD points against the Thunder last time out, has produced three straight double-doubles and should be line for another high-volume role against a Raptors squad that's allowing 47.7 percent shooting to power forwards and 36.2 percent shooting from distance to bench players. The Raps are also giving up 44.7 FD points to fours across the last seven games, and Eason could even draw a spot start Friday with Jabari Smith a late addition to the injury report due to a hip pointer.
Harrison Barnes, SAC at IND ($5,700)
Barnes sees the second-highest usage increase (3.4%) on the Kings with De'Aaron Fox off the floor and is averaging 29.1 FD points per 36 minutes under that scenario. The veteran wing is shooting a blistering 48.1 percent - including 50.9 from behind the arc - over the last 10 games, a stretch during which he's scored 28.2 FD points or more on four occasions. The Pacers make for favorable targets, as they've allowed 38.5 percent three-point shooting to small forwards and the 11th-highest offensive efficiency rating to the position (23.1). Indiana is also giving up the second-most FD points per game to threes (43.3), including 45.7 in the last seven.
ALSO CONSIDER: Jalen Duren, DET vs. CHA ($6,000); Naz Reid, MIN vs. ORL ($5,600) *if Gobert sits*; Malik Monk, SAC at IND ($5,300); Drew Eubanks, POR at WAS ($4,600)