NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Friday, November 18

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Friday, November 18

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We have a massive 11-game slate on Friday night, and though that provides an ample player pool to work with, the injury report is also extensive and loaded with big names. Consequently, it'll be one of those days where it's particularly important to keep an eye on news leading to tip-off.

Slate Overview

Miami Heat (-1) at Washington Wizards (O/U: 218.5 points)

Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers (-9.5) (O/U: 221.5 points)

Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers (-2) (O/U: 218.5 points)

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies (-6.5) (O/U: 233.5 points)

Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls (-9) (O/U: 222.5 points)

Indiana Pacers (-5) at Houston Rockets (O/U: 236.5 points)

Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks (-8.5) (O/U: 216.5 points)

Boston Celtics (-3) at New Orleans Pelicans (O/U: 227.5 points)

Phoenix Suns (-1.5) at Utah Jazz (O/U: 226.5 points)

New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors (O/U: TBD)

Detroit Pistons at Los Angeles Lakers (-7) (O/U: 225.5 points)

As could be expected on a slate of this size, we have a wide sampling of point spreads and projected totals, along with one matchup -- Knicks-Warriors -- that's off the board as of early Friday. Late-breaking injury news could naturally alter some of these figures, but the Thunder-Grizzlies, Pacers-Rockets, Celtics-Pelicans and Suns-Jazz clashes look to be especially fertile environments for DFS production due to explosive players and some vulnerable defenses.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following is a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section.

Anthony Davis, LAL (back): PROBABLE

Nikola Jokic, DEN (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

LeBron James, LAL (adductor): QUESTIONABLE

Paolo Banchero, ORL (ankle): OUT

Zion Williamson, NOP (foot): QUESTIONABLE

LaMelo Ball, CHA (ankle): OUT

Jrue Holiday, MIL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Bam Adebayo, MIA (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Cade Cunningham, DET (lower leg): OUT

Other notable injuries:

Desmond Bane, MEM (toe): OUT

Chris Paul, PHX (heel): QUESTIONABLE

Kevin Porter, HOU (back): QUESTIONABLE

Khris Middleton, MIL (wrist): OUT

Tyler Herro, MIA (ankle): OUT

Jamal Murray, DEN (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

Wendell Carter, ORL (foot): PROBABLE

Jarrett Allen, CLE (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Marcus Smart, BOS (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Malcolm Brogdon, BOS (hamstring): PROBABLE

Aaron Gordon, ORL (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Gordon Hayward, CHA (shoulder): DOUBTFUL

Dennis Smith, CHA (ankle): DOUBTFUL

Isaiah Stewart, DET (toe): OUT

Elite Players

We have nine players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Friday's slate – Luka Doncic ($12,000), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500), Joel Embiid ($11,200), Anthony Davis ($11,000), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,800), Stephen Curry ($10,500), Jayson Tatum ($10,500), Ja Morant ($10,100) and LeBron James ($10,000).

Doncic continues to churn out spectacular production with regularity, leading to a 61.6 FD-point average. He also faces a depleted Nuggets team on Friday, giving him even more appeal than usual.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 55.2 FD points and seems to have his knee issues behind him for the time being after appearing in consecutive games Monday and Wednesday.

Embiid is averaging 53.6 FD points per game and is coming off a jaw-dropping 103 FD points on the strength of a 59-point-11 rebound double-double on Sunday. Additionally, with the Sixers having been off since that contest, he'll come into Friday's showdown with the Bucks very well-rested.

Davis is expected to play through his probable tag and could once again take the floor without LeBron James, giving him even more appeal.

SGA should be locked into a back-and-forth affair with the Grizzlies and has posted between 58.8 to 64 FD points in his last three games.

Curry has been the lone bright spot in what's been a forgettable start for the Warriors, and he'll head into Friday having put up 53.3 to 69.8 FD points in three of his last five outings.

Tatum had a quiet game by his standards Wednesday against the Hawks with only 19 points, but he still found his way to 43.4 FD points and hasn't dipped below that total since Oct. 30. He also may avoid Zion Williamson in the Pelicans' frontcourt.

Morant has scored 54 and 57.6 FD points in his last two games and has exceeded 50 in three of his last four overall.

The fact James has been upgraded to questionable seemingly gives him a 50/50 chance of taking the court, and he just produced 50.1 FD points in his most recent game on Nov. 9. 

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Donovan Mitchell, CLE ($9,700)

Mitchell has already offered the upside of a five-figure player on multiple occasions. Even though he only managed 33.9 FD points in his last matchup, he went off for 50 and 60.5 FD points in the previous two.

Jimmy Butler, MIA ($9,200)

Butler only produced 19.7 FD points in his most recent game, but he registered 43.4 to 63 FD points in the four games preceding that performance.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND ($8,900)

Haliburton will be involved in a matchup with the highest projected total of the night and has put up at least 43.7 FD points in five straight games and seven of the last eight.

Myles Turner, IND ($7,800)

Turner has tallied 42.2 to 60.9 FD points in his last four outings and enjoys a premium matchup against the Rockets.

Key Values 

Max Strus, MIA at WAS ($5,600)

Strus faces a Wizards squad that's surrendering the second-highest three-point shooting percentage of any team on its home floor (39.2), and he should be in line to draw another start with Tyler Herro (ankle) still out of action. He's averaging 15.9 points (on 48.8 percent shooting, including 39.7 percent from distance), 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in his current seven-game run as a starter while posting at least 29.6 FD points on three occasions during that span. Washington is also yielding the fourth-highest offensive efficiency rating to two-guards (24.9), furthering Strus's case at his salary.

Jabari Smith, HOU vs. IND ($5,500)

Smith has managed 26 to 35 FD points from his last four appearances, a stretch during which he's averaging 10.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.0 block. He's already scored at least 24.7 FD points on seven occasions, and he'll face a Pacers team allowing the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (29.5) and the sixth-highest in the paint (60.8) as well.

Bruce Brown, DEN at DAL ($5,100)

Brown will take the floor Friday without both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, and there's even a chance Aaron Gordon (illness) also misses out. Murray's absence should afford Brown a start at point guard, which makes his salary even more appealing if he operates as the primary ball handler; moreover, it's worth noting he's sporting an impressive 24.5 percent usage rate without Jokic and Murray on the floor this season. The Mavericks rank 17th in offensive efficiency rating surrendered to point guards (26.6), and Brown already checks in averaging 23.8 FD points coming off the bench. He's posted 28.7 to 42 FD points in his last three games, and the Mavs are conceding over 41 FD points per game to ones thus far this season.

ALSO CONSIDER: Kelly Olynyk, UTA vs. PHO ($5,300)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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