There are only four games on the main slate for Thursday night in the NBA and scoring may be scarce when we look at the matchups. The top two games feature top defenses in the NBA: Sixers vs. Celtics and Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets. Portland isn’t a great defensive team, but the Nuggets sure as hell are. We’ll go position-by-position, highlighting the top DFS and fantasy basketball picks on DraftKings for Thursday night.
Will Barton, DEN vs. POR, $6,300 — Jamal Murray (trunk contusion) left Tuesday night’s game vs. the Sixers and did not return. Chances are he’ll be questionable and may not play. If that’s the case, Gary Harris ($4,600) and Barton are the main ball-handlers in the backcourt. Monte Morris ($3,900) may start in place of Murray, so he’s a decent value. Barton scored 26 points in 40 minutes, finishing with 53.25 DKFP on Tuesday.
Note: Murray is questionable to play.
Other Options: Damian Lillard, POR at DEN, $8,500; Dejounte Murray, SAS vs. CLE, $5,600
Derrick Rose, DET at DAL, $5,700 — There aren’t many high-priced options at SG; the highest salary is DeMar DeRozan ($7,300). Rose is coming off a buzzer-beater on Monday night and he’s averaging 30.4 DKFP over his past five games. I think the Mavericks will up the pace of this game a bit and make the Pistons speed up, which plays to D-Rose’s strengths.
Other Options: Jaylen Brown, BOS vs. PHI, $6,600; Collin Sexton, CLE at SAS, $5,400
Luka Doncic, DAL vs. DET, $11,400 — Looking at the slate and how few high-priced options there are, I think you have to find a way to get Doncic in there. He’s got the highest ceiling of any player on the slate — his only competition would be at center. Doncic has been quiet lately, failing to top 50 DKFP in three straight. The Pistons don’t really have any guards or wing players to contain Doncic. I think he gets back on the triple-double train tonight.
Other Options: Ben Simmons, PHI at BOS, $7,600; Kent Bazemore, POR at DEN, $4,800
Kevin Love, CLE at SAS, $6,200 — It’s only a matter of time before the Cavaliers trade Love to a contender. At some point he needs to show the teams interested in him something. He has a combined 21 points over his past three games. Yikes. The Spurs are a good matchup, ranking 23rd in defensive rating this season. This price is really low on Love, so I think that makes him an appealing GPP play.
Other Options: Blake Griffin, DET vs. DAL, $6,700
Hassan Whiteside, POR at DEN, $8,100 — Outside of Doncic, center is where you’ll spend the majority of your cap on this slate. I think you should use your UTIL spot on a center, to be honest. Whiteside is in a good spot going up against Nikola Jokic, who isn’t the same player. Joel Embiid had a good night vs. Jokic on Tuesday and Whiteside enters this game hot. He has at least 41 DKFP in six of the past seven games.
Other Options: Andre Drummond, DET vs. DAL, $9,600; Tristan Thompson, CLE at SAS, $6,100