Two of the NBA's top contenders for the 2023 MVP Award topped Thursday's Fantasy leaderboard. While Nikola Jokic is the frontrunner, Giannis Antetokounmpo outpaced him during his hot stretch. The two big men are on track to set February ablaze. We'll brush up on their latest stat lines with who's hot before identifying who else is hot, who's not, and giving out a Friday DFS play here.
Antetokounmpo kicked off 2023 with a 55-point performance against the Washington Wizards in January and nearly matched that total in his first February game of the season. The Milwaukee Bucks forward led a comeback win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday by tallying 54 points, 19 rebounds, and a pair of assists. The two-time MVP is still thriving following Bobby Portis' knee injury.
It's almost impossible to not bring Jokic up following one of his games, as he keeps putting up one ridiculous stat line after another. He posted 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 16 assists against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday to notch his league-leading 17th triple-double of the season. He's fallen just two assists and two rebounds short of recording 10 straight double-doubles while shooting 70 percent from the field. He's doing the best he can to close the gap between him and Luka Doncic.
Jokic isn't the only Nugget on a roll. Murray has been officially back for a while now and January was his best month of the year. He averaged 22.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in 14 games last month while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 45.1 percent from deep. Murray kicked off February with 33 points, five rebounds, and eight assists against the Dubs. His outlook for the back half of the season is looking strong.
LaVine has flopped here and there throughout the season and didn't have a particularly hot shooting night against the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday. The Chicago Bulls guard scored just 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting in the contest. He's scored less than 20 points in four of his previous five games. His rebounding numbers have been up, but his production hasn't met the standards of a stud lately.
De'Aaron Fox won't play in the Sacramento Kings' Friday matchup against the Indiana Pacer because of personal reasons. While some people might swarm to Domantas Sabonis or role players who'll get a bump in minutes, Huerter is the safest bet. The Kings shooting guard is up against one of the league's worst shooting guard defenses and has averaged 19.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists on 37.1 minutes a night without Fox this season.
Still deciding who to lock in for your DFS roster? We've identified a player worth locking in and one to avoid ahead of tip-off below, but you can get my full selection of stud and value plays at each position by heading over to SportsLine.