Happy Friday everyone! Hope the first week of 2018 has been awesome for you so far.

We have 10 games in the association tonight and it’s certainly provides a near-studless slate (meaning no Russ, Curry, Durant, Harden, Brow, Boogie, LeBron).

Now there are two high-priced studs to consider in Giannis and Embiid, but unless you are playing DRAFT, they aren’t going to be must-haves for tournament winning lineups tonight or even cash games.

There’s a lot of mid-range value on the table, plus some obvious value plays. There are some injuries that certainly will shift my eyes from some of my picks below.

The main injury tonight is Andre Drummond. If he doesn’t give it a go again, Boban is going to be the chalky value play of the night. This also would give Avery Bradley and maybe Ish bumps for me in an up-pace game against Philly.

But Boban would certainly be a lock in cash games.

None of those guys will be on the Index today because I don’t try to guess what will happen in these situations, so I avoid recommending anyone usually.

Like I mentioned on Wednesday, the Value Index will see a format overhaul after our coverage for football season ends. I will be breaking down games and provide as much information and research to you as possible and make recommended plays from there. Most likely, these picks will go ungraded. The reason for this, is again, because for NBA, providing picks with all of the injury news we have had this season close to lock isn’t ideal. If you are paying a premium, you should get premium-type content each day from me. I can’t possibly predict what might happen between when I write up the Index with picks (the night before a slate) and before lock (when things can change drastically, like Boban news on Wednesday did).

Anyway, be on the lookout for that. I am thoroughly excited to do this and hopefully it will benefit you all as well.

So let’s get after tonight’s action:

Kris Dunn – PG/SG – Chicago Bulls – $7,100

Analysis: Dunn is becoming a rising star in the association since he’s returned from injury and getting a full complement of minutes as the starting point guard. Tonight he and the Bulls get the surging Dallas Mavericks, who were a Steph Curry 3-pointer away from upending the Warriors for their 5th straight win. With Dennis Smith Jr, a raw and talent rookie and J.J. Barea manning the point for most of each game, there is a certain defensive liability for us to attack. Dallas also doesn’t have any rim protectors in the paint either. Dunn is coming off a down outing, but gets a Dallas team that is giving up almost 20 fantasy points more per game in their past 5 than their season average. With both teams really playing well right now, I can see this game be a sneaky close shootout despite the slower paces of the teams, especially the Mavs.

Donovan Mitchell – PG/SG – Utah Jazz – $7,500

Analysis: When something doesn’t work, but you truly believe in the product, you keep trusting said product. That product tonight is Donovan Mitchell, who didn’t smash and was serviceable Wednesday, but he didn’t meet my expectations. Tonight he gets another plum matchup against the Denver Nuggets. I wouldn’t really worry about altitude in this one as the Jazz are used to playing in that type of environment at home. With that said, the Nuggets are 6th overall fantasy points allowed to point guards this season. Mitchell has the highest usage rate on the team without Rudy Gobert on the floor (and likely woudl anyway). He’s a highlight reel and 50-point upside waiting to happen each night.

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