We made it, guys! The NBA returns on Thursday evening with a two-game slate featuring matchups between the Jazz and Pelicans and the Clippers and Lakers. Obviously, this is unlike any situation we’ve had before, but the process of playing DFS isn’t all that much different.
Follow along with all the news at DK Live and you should be all set to build your lineup. Of course, I’ll try and help with my thoughts on some targets as well. Here are some plays that standout.
UPDATE: Montrezl Harrell is not with the team and is out. Ivica Zubac ($4,500) and Marcus Morris ($4,700) should both benefit from his absence for the Clippers. Patrick Beverley (self isolation) is questionable. If he joins Lou Williams as out for this game, Reggie Jackson ($4,600) becomes a significantly stronger play. Anthony Davis (eye) is officially questionable. He appears on track to play, but if things go the other way, LeBron James and all the Lakers’ bigs see giant boosts.
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Stud: LeBron James, LAL vs. LAC ($10,700)
There isn’t much I need to do to sell you on LeBron. He actually averaged slightly below his usual output in three games against the Clippers this season, but he’s looked fantastic in limited scrimmage minutes in the bubble and has been consistent for the Lakers away from home (57 DKFP per game). The only downside here is potentially less minutes for LeBron with how large of a lead his team has in the standings. LBJ was playing some of his best ball prior to the shutdown. With good guard value, I may try and slot LeBron in the forward spot, but there’s another SF stud I wanted to make sure to feature.
Value: Patrick Beverley, LAC vs. LAL ($4,100)
Beverley is some of that previously mentioned guard value. We know the Clippers will be without Lou Williams for their first two games, as Lou broke protocol while on an excused absence from the bubble. Pat Bev should see some extra minutes and potentially be called upon to score more on the early going. Trickledown effect could also lead to more opportunity for Reggie Jackson ($4,600) and Landry Shamet ($3,200) — although Shamet is arriving in Orlando late after testing positive for COVID-19.
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Stud: Donovan Mitchell, UTA vs. NO ($7,000)
One of the bigger injuries for DFS and player prop implications that nobody is talking about is Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist) being sidelined for Utah. Bogdanovic was potentially the quietest 20 PPG scorer in the NBA, and the Jazz will have to figure out how to fill that void. Part of it will mean asking for more offense from Mitchell, their best scorer. Even a slight boost for Mitchell would make him a terrific play, because he’s already checking in at his cheapest price since mid-February. Mitchell was $7,500 in his last game and $8,100 in early March.
Value: Jordan Clarkson, UTA vs. NO ($4,200)
Clarkson’s provided a huge spark off the bench scoring the ball for the Jazz this season. Whether he now mixes in more with the first unit in some of Bogdanovic’s minutes or is counted on to do more for the second unit, there’s going to be a trickledown effect here that results in more shots for Clarkson. He’s been a hit-or-miss GPP play this season, but now becomes more safe to roster. Clarkson was $5,700 in late-February and brings 40-DKFP upside to the table in a paced-up matchup.
Stud: Paul George, LAC vs. LAL ($7,200)
George was $7,700 in his final game before the shutdown, so we get him at a slight discount in a spot that the Clippers should lean heavily on him. This is a huge game for the Clippers, and they’ll be without some key rotation players, most notably Williams. That likely means some extra scoring duties fall on PG, who’s been terrific against the Lakers this season. George scored 50.5 DKFP in 37 minutes against the Lakers on March 8.
Value: Josh Hart, NO vs. UTA ($3,900)
Hart’s minutes can be inconsistent, but the Pelicans do rely on him to play 30-plus minutes from time-to-time. He’s a nice GPP play, checking in at a solid price point. Is he a must-play guy in normal conditions? No, but you need someone like this on just a two-game slate. Hart’s been as much as $5,600 in his last 10 games and dropped 42 DKFP in his second to last game prior to the shutdown.
Stud: Anthony Davis, LAL vs. LAC ($10,000)
PF is probably the weakest position on the slate, so I turned to something safe here in AD. Davis should be good for his usual 50 DKFP here, but you likely have to make a decision between him and LeBron. In all likelihood, I’ll dig for some value here since I’m low on the position. Every pricy target comes with some kind of question mark.
Value: Royce O’Neale, UTA vs. NOP ($4,900)
O’Neale is definitely a little more expensive than I’d like him to be, but that just means he’s fairly priced with the Bogdanovic absence. Expect him to play plenty of minutes, but the problem can be that he doesn’t always produce. O’Neale was playing well above his average in three matchups against the Pels this season, averaging over 35 minutes, but still producing just about 20 DKFP.
Stud: Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. NOP ($7,100)
Say what you want about Gobert’s role in the league shutting down. It wasn’t a good look, but hopefully that pettiness just means people want to fade him in an awesome spot. Gobert was slightly above average in two games against New Orleans this season and should be priced around $8,000. The Pelicans rank just 22nd defensively against centers.
Value: Joakim Noah, LAC vs. LAL ($3,100)
Noah has latched on with the Clippers and could see a larger role than anticipated. Montrezl Harrell ($5,900) is looking less and less likely to be ready for this game after leaving the bubble. That could mean Noah slots into a bunch of his minutes. He’s worth the risk as a punt play in GPPs.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.