This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We're set for a typically robust nine-game slate on Friday night, one that should feature several competitive matchups. The injury report has the potential to derail matters a bit in terms of elite players, as several big names sport questionable designations or have been ruled out as of early Friday.
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We have all but one matchup with spreads of seven points or fewer as of early Friday, which portends a night of mostly competitive games. Projected totals also offer reason for optimism, with five games sporting figures over 230 points, including two exceeding 240.
Injury Situations to Monitor
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LeBron James, LAL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
If James is unable to suit up, the usage of the remainder of the starting five will see a notable boost while Juan Toscano-Anderson could draw a start at power forward.
Trae Young, ATL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
If Young can't play, Dejounte Murray could potentially shift to point guard and take on primary ball-handling responsibilities while Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) could move into the starting five at shooting guard if he can overcome his questionable tag.
Donovan Mitchell, CLE (groin): QUESTIONABLE
If Mitchell sits a second straight game, Caris LeVert could remain a starter while Darius Garland's usage should continue to be especially elevated.
Domantas Sabonis, SAC (illness): QUESTIONABLE
If Sabonis were to miss out, Richaun Holmes would likely start at center while the usage of De'Aaron Fox and Keegan Murray could see a boost.
Christian Wood, DAL (thumb): OUT
In Wood's absence, Dwight Powell could fill in at center while the usage of the remainder of the first unit - even that of Luka Doncic - should see a boost.
Other notable injuries:
Kevin Durant, BKN (knee): OUT
Zion Williamson, NOP (hamstring): OUT
Brandon Ingram, NOP (toe): OUT
Tyrese Haliburton, IND (knee/elbow): OUT
Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): OUT
Mitchell Robinson, NYK (thumb): OUT
Jamal Murray, DEN (foot/ankle): PROBABLE
Franz Wagner, ORL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
We have six players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Friday's slate – Luka Doncic ($12,200), Nikola Jokic ($11,700), LeBron James ($11,400), Domantas Sabonis ($10,300), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,100) and Ja Morant ($10,000).
Doncic has "only" scored 42.2 and 39.8 FD points in his last two games, but he sports a 39.0 percent usage rate and averages 58 FD points per 36 minutes without Wood on the floor.
Jokic has topped 60 FD points in two straight and hasn't scored any less than 53.2 in any of the last five contests overall. He also draws a stellar positional matchup against the Pacers.
James carries a questionable tag, but he'll be looking to extend a streak of five straight games with at least 56.1 FD points if he can go.
If Sabonis overcomes his questionable designation, he'll be in an enticing matchup for centers with the Thunder, as they've allowed the sixth-most FD points per game to the position (55.5) on the season.
Gilgeous-Alexander has posted 42.6 FD points or more in seven of the last eight games and will be an integral part of a game with one of the highest projected totals of the night.
Morant hasn't scored any less than 40.4 FD points since Christmas Day, and he'll face a Lakers squad that's surrendered the most FD points per game to point guards in the last seven games (55.7).
Other likely chalk plays include:
Julius Randle, NYK ($9,900)
Randle has registered over 50 FD points in 10 of the last 14 games, making his salary especially appealing.
Stephen Curry, GSW ($9,800)
Curry notched between 27.3 to 33 FD points in his first three games after an extended absence due to a shoulder injury, but he's bounced back to score 48.4 and 56.3 in his last two contests.
Trae Young, ATL ($9,600)
Young is averaging 44.7 FD points per game this season and should therefore be in plenty of lineups if he's able to overcome his questionable status.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($9,400)
Leonard has scored over 48 FD points in three of his last five games, which should help keep him in plenty of lineups Friday.
Kyrie Irving, BKN ($9,200)
Irving just went off for 65.9 FD points in 38 minutes against the Suns on Thursday in his return from a one-game absence due to a calf injury, which should lead to a high rostering rate.
Aaron Gordon, DEN vs. IND ($6,600)
Gordon dipped to 18.1 FD points in 29 minutes against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, but he produced an average of 34 FD points in his previous 14 outings while shooting 55.1 percent, including 40.7 percent from three-point range. He exceeded 40 FD points on six occasions during that sample, offering a glimpse at the considerable upside he offers at his current salary. The Pacers make for good targets as well, considering they've allowed the second-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (29.1) along with the fifth-most FD points per game to the position in the last 15 games (48.5). Gordon also racked up 47.2 FD points against Indiana in the first meeting of the season.
Jalen Williams, OKC at SAC ($6,200)
Williams checks into Friday's favorable matchup running hot, as he's averaging 32.8 FD points across his last nine games while putting up a well-balanced line of 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals over 31.3 minutes. The Kings are allowing the 12th-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (27.1) and the most FD points per game to the position over the last seven games (53.7) as well. Sacramento could also be without Domantas Sabonis down low on Friday, and the Kings already check in allowing an NBA-high 55.8 points in the paint per home game, an area of the floor where over 62 percent of Wiliams' points are originating from.
Jeremy Sochan, SAN vs. LAC ($5,100)
Sochan has produced over 20 FD points in eight of his last 12 games, averaging 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 block across 28.1 minutes in that stretch. The rookie faces a Clippers squad allowing the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (28.6) and over 45 FD points per game to the position on the season. Sochan has already generated at least a 5x return on his current salary 10 times this season, with three of those coming in the last four outings.
ALSO CONSIDER: Santi Aldama, MEM at LAL ($4,600)