The NBA season is rolling right along and the second week of action has included a few great games and plenty of surprises. On Friday night’s DraftKings slate we have two big names (with high price tags) in Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Both names have been elite this season and are worth considering.
I’m going to break down the top optimal DraftKings NBA lineup for Friday, October 26, and offer some insight into the strategy on the night as well. Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that there are a few players whose status remains up in the air, and each is worth monitoring. If any key injury news or general updates come which impact this, I will update the lineup, so be sure to check back.
Let’s jump in with the optimal lineup followed by some other potential names to target.
DraftKings NBA Optimal Lineup – Friday, October 26
- PG: John Wall ($8,500)
- SG: Zach LaVine ($7,900)
- SF: Carmelo Anthony ($4,900)
- PF: Otto Porter ($5,800)
- C: Wendell Carter ($4,300)
- G: Kemba Walker ($8,200)
- F: Gerald Green ($3,400)
- UTIL: Clint Capela ($6,700)
My original thought in building was to start around Anthony Davis. And while I’ll still have the New Orleans Pelicans star quite a bit, things just weren’t shaping out how I liked them. I have no issue with a stars and scrubs approach, but there are too many strong plays currently in the $6k-$8500 range to do so if creating just one lineup.
The lineup is focused fairly heavily on a few key spots that jumped out, one of which included the decision to go with John Wall over Chris Paul. Everyone is going to use Paul, and understandably so. I love Paul’s spot tonight without James Harden, but I think Wall will go incredibly low-owned, he’s in a great matchup against the Sacramento Kings and should play angry tonight.
The Wizards were blown out in their last game by the Golden State Warriors and Wall’s poor showing will push fantasy players off him. The same goes for the Otto Porter Jr. play, but the absence of Dwight Howard and Ian Mahinmi possibly be sidelined helps his spot as well. The Kings and Wizards rank fourth and fifth in the NBA in pace, respectively, so we should see plenty of points.
I opted to do a two-man stack of the Chicago Bulls, as injuries to both Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis open things up quite a bit. Jabari Parker at $5,500 is squarely in play tonight, but there’s no question the Bulls offense runs through Zach LaVine, who’s posted over 40.75 DraftKings points in every game this season and is averaging 19.25 shot attempts per game.
As for LaVine’s teammate Wendell Carter, his minutes jumped to 31 and 29 over the past two games and with Portis out they should be securely around that mark. The matchup with the Hornets is solid as they’ve allowed the ninth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing centers, per Swish Analytics.
Stick with the Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets game, I’m not sure there’s a way to fade Kemba Walker in this spot, and that’s always scary. Walker had a “bad” game (technically) shooting 5-14 from the field against this Bulls team on the road two days ago, yet still posted 40.6 DraftKings points.
Now, the Hornets star heads back home for this game, and as StatMuse shows, he’s averaged nearly two points and 0.8 assists per game more when playing in Charlotte. Walker has also shot the ball better both in general and from behind the 3-point line at home, helping to make an already-exceptional spot even better.
And finally, we move on to my three-headed monster of Rockets players, none of which feature Paul or Eric Gordon. Don’t get me wrong, both players will be in lineups tonight for me, but I think Clint Capela is drastically underrated. The matchup with the Clippers isn’t exceptional, but he and Paul running the pick and roll together should equate to big things Friday.
For good measure, Capela has played 33, 33, and 37 minutes over the past three games and his usage without Harden in the lineup jumps from 19.3 to 21.9 this season, per Basketball Monster.
Speaking of an increase in usage, Carmelo Anthony gets a nice bump without Harden, going from 18.6 to 22.9. I’m not a huge fan of using Anthony in daily fantasy on most nights, but this is an exception. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni is apparently also considering starting the veteran against the Clippers, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
Anthony played 38 minutes last game and finished with 39.25 DraftKings points. I’m not sure he’ll play that much again, but he should see 33-35 minutes without question.
The increase of minutes brings me to the final target in Gerald Green, who averaged 28.5 minutes per game last season with Harden sidelined. His price of $3,400 is simply too hard for me to pass up, as it won’t take much for him to hit value. Green’s minutes have increased in every game this season and he saw 27 minutes of court time Wednesday night.
While Green has been a bit hit-or-miss, Harden being sidelined will open up a lot of shots, some of which will be taken by Anthony. Even still, expect the backup guard/forward to lay 26-plus minutes Friday and see 8-10 shot attempts.
Additional DraftKings Targets
I’ll likely expand beyond these names, but I’ve included a few of the top plays both in the top, mid and value tiers currently.
Additional targets (top tier): Anthony Davis ($11,600), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700), Chris Paul ($9,200), Kawhi Leonard ($9,300)
Middle tier: Kyle Lowry ($7,800), Nikola Mirotic ($7,400), Tobias Harris ($7,300), Eric Gordon ($6,100), De’Aaron Fox ($6,800), Khris Middleton ($7,000), Caris LeVert ($6,300), Julius Randle ($6,300)
Value tier: Jabari Parker ($5,500), Derrick Rose/Josh Okogie (if Jimmy Butler and/or Andrew Wiggins out), Jarrett Allen ($5,700), Brook Lopez ($4,800), Markieff Morris ($5,600), Justin Holilday ($4,700), Damyean Dotson ($4,200), E’Twaun Moore ($4,300)