This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have our usual jumbo-sized Friday night slate with 12 games on tap. However, a loaded injury report lends an air of uncertainty to the night from a DFS perspective. Fortunately, there's a massive player pool to work with, as 24 teams will be in action.
Miami Heat (-4) at Indiana Pacers (+4) (O/U: 226.5 points)
New York Knicks (+3.5) at Philadelphia 76ers (-3.5) (O/U: 219.5 points)
Cleveland Cavaliers (-6.5) at Detroit Pistons (+6.5) (O/U: 220.0 points)
Brooklyn Nets (+3) at Washington Wizards (-3) (O/U: 222.5 points)
Chicago Bulls (+7) at Boston Celtics (-7) (O/U: 223.5 points)
Los Angeles Clippers (-4.5) at San Antonio Spurs (+4.5) (O/U: 225.5 points)
Charlotte Hornets (+11) at Memphis Grizzlies (-11) (O/U: 227.5 points)
Golden State Warriors (+4) at New Orleans Pelicans (-4) (O/U: 234.0 points)
Toronto Raptors (+3.5) at Dallas Mavericks (-3.5) (O/U: 216.5 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (+10.5) at Phoenix Suns (-10.5) (O/U: 219.0 points)
Milwaukee Bucks (-3.5) at Minnesota Timberwolves (+3.5) (O/U: 227.0 points)
Utah Jazz (+3) at Los Angeles Lakers (-3) (O/U: 228.0 points)
As of early Friday morning, there many more matchups than usual with totals that had yet to be posted due to the large number of big names on the injury report and the truly questionable status for many of them. One appealing aspect of the lines is that all but one is seven points or less, which implies plenty of close games where stars should log heavy minutes. The Clippers-Spurs, Warriors-Pelicans, Raptors-Mavericks and Jazz-Lakers could be among the top scoring environments given the combination of talent and defensive questions.
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.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (knee): PROBABLE
Antetokounmpo is fully expected to play through his knee issue and log his usual amount of minutes.
Anthony Davis, LAL (back): QUESTIONABLE
If Davis were to sit out, LeBron James' already massive usage would see a boost.
Joel Embiid, PHI (illness): QUESTIONBABLE
If Embiid sits out another game, De'Anthony Melton would likely remain in the starting five. However, if the big man plays, he'll be in for even more usage than usual with James Harden (foot) out of action.
James Harden, PHI (foot): OUT
LeBron James, LAL (foot): PROBABLE
James is expected to play through his usual probable designation and log his usual workload.
Donovan Mitchell, CLE (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Kyrie Irving, BKN (suspension): OUT
Damian Lillard, POR (calf): OUT
In Lillard's ongoing absence, Shadeon Sharpe could remain in the starting five.
Rudy Gobert, MIN (illness): QUESTIONABLE
Jimmy Butler, MIA (hip): OUT
In Butler's absence, Max Strus could draw a start and usage of the rest of the starting five should be higher than usual as well.
Bam Adebayo, MIA (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Other notable injuries:
LaMelo Ball, CHA (ankle): OUT
Anthony Edwards, MIN (illness): QUESTIONABLE
Darius Garland, CLE (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Terry Rozier, CHA (ankle): DOUBTFUL
Anfernee Simons, POR (foot): QUESTIONABLE
Brandon Ingram, NOP (concussion): OUT
Fred VanVleet, TOR (back): QUESTIONABLE
Khris Middleton, MIL (wrist): OUT
Deandre Ayton, PHO (ankle): PROBABLE
Kawhi Leonard, LAC (knee): OUT
Ben Simmons, BKN (knee): OUT
Gordon Hayward, CHA (shoulder): OUT
We have eight players with five-figure salaries on Friday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000), Luka Doncic ($11,800), Anthony Davis ($10,600), Kevin Durant ($10,400), Jayson Tatum ($10,300), Stephen Curry ($10,200), Pascal Siakam ($10,000) and Joel Embiid ($10,000).
Antetokounmpo is expected to play through his probable designation and is averaging 61.9 FD points per game, giving him one of the safest and highest floors on the slate.
Doncic is putting up a slate-high 63.4 FD points per game and will be facing a short-handed Raptors backcourt potentially missing Fred VanVleet (back).
If Davis overcomes his back tightness, he's a very viable play against a Jazz side against which the Lakers should be able to rack up the points.
Durant's usage should be even more through the roof than usual with both Irving and Simmons out, and he already comes in averaging 50.9 FD points.
Tatum is producing 49.4 FD points a night and should once again log an extremely heavy workload in what could be a wire-to-wire battle with the Bulls.
Curry should continue to see massive usage as the desperate Warriors try to break their losing streak, and he's already averaging 50.7 FD points after his second straight effort over 50 on Thursday.
Siakam is averaging over 55 FD points over his last two games and just posted a triple-double against the Spurs, a tangible example of the career-best upside he's displaying
Embiid will need to overcome his illness. But if he suits up, he'll be in a favorable matchup against the Knicks and checks in with 45 FD points per game.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Ja Morant, MEM ($9,900)
Morant has recorded 47.1 FD points per outing and offers one of the safest floors at any position, which should keep him very popular Friday.
LeBron James, LAL ($9,700)
James should be able to play through his foot soreness yet again and is averaging 49.5 FD points. He could also potentially take the floor without Anthony Davis (back).
Donovan Mitchell, CLE ($9,300)
As long as Mitchell overcomes his ankle injury, he should be in plenty of lineups considering he's opened his Cavs' career with an average of 50.5 FD points - including three tallies over 50 - in his first seven.
Bam Adebayo, MIA ($8,300)
Should Adebayo push through his questionable designation, he's primed to be popular considering he sports a 25.5 percent usage rate without Jimmy Butler (hip) on the floor.
Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($8,200)
With Harden and potentially Embiid out, Maxey should be very popular.
Tyler Herro, MIA at IND ($7,000)
Herro's salary is a bit elevated by my usual "value play" standards, but he certainly could overdeliver in a game where he'll play without Jimmy Butler (hip). The sharpshooter has averaged 31.8 FD points thus far and is coming off a season-high 50.4 against the Kings on Wednesday. Herro also lists a 31.2 percent usage rate and averages 41.3 FD points per 36 minutes without Butler on the floor, and he'll face a Pacers team allowing the highest offensive efficiency rating to shooting guards (32.8) and NBA-high 42.8 percent three-point shooting.
Mikal Bridges, PHO vs. POR ($6,200)
Bridges is averaging 31.2 FD points and has already produced a couple of efforts over 35 FD points, putting him in play at this salary. The talented wing is shooting a jaw-dropping 64.2 percent, including 46.7 percent from three-point range, while the Trail Blazers rank 18th in offensive efficiency rating allowed to small forwards (22.9 percent) and have allowed opponents to make 40.4 percent of their three-point shot attempts the last three games.
Chris Boucher, TOR at DAL ($4,800)
Boucher has picked up the pace after a couple of slow outings following his delayed season debut, averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.7 steals across 22.7 minutes over his last three. The versatile big man is shooting 63.6 percent, including 50.0 percent from behind the arc, during that span, and he topped out at 25 minutes in his most recent battle against the Spurs while netting 37.6 FD points. The Mavs sit 20th in offensive efficiency allowed to power forwards (26.9) and Boucher can contribute in every category across the stat sheet, making him a solid selection to once again significantly exceed his salary.