Jimmy Butler highlights trio of strong daily fantasy picks for Friday’s NBA slate

The first weekend of the 2023-24 NBA season is almost here and Friday’s main slate is jam-packed with action. Twelve games will tip-off, so fantasy managers will have a lot to take in. Looking to sort through the mess and build an optimal DFS lineup? We’ve got you covered with a trio of top stud, mid-tier, and value options on DraftKings here.

Jimmy Butler ($8,500)
Butler returned more than 5X value in his 2023-24 debut despite shooting an abysmal 6-for-18 from the floor against the Detroit Pistons. He scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the contest to go along with four assists and a pair of steals. He’ll face the Boston Celtics on Friday after averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists against them last postseason. Boston has added Jrue Holiday to bolster their perimeter defense, but Butler torched his Bucks for 37.6 points per game in a five-game playoff series last season. Miami is short on reliable forward, so DFS managers should expect a healthy workload for Butler ahead of the weekend.

Jalen Duren ($5,600)
Duren was dominant against the Heat earlier this week despite getting matched up with an elite defender in Bam Adebayo. The second-year big man scored 17 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and swatted four shots. Charlotte is a little undersized in the frontcourt behind Mark Williams and the Detroit Pistons don’t seem intent on giving James Wiseman much time. The former Golden State Warriors center notched a DNP in the season opener. Duren averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks against the Hornets as a starter last season. Expect another big night from him in this matchup.

Caris LeVert ($4,900)
LeVert logged 31 minutes off the bench in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ opening-night win against the Brooklyn Nets. He chucked up 17 shots on a poor shooting night and could see similar shot volume if Darius Garland (hamstring) sits out. LeVert averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game without Garland last season. Those figures could easily make him one of the best value plays on the slate.

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