The NBA regular season is winding down in the bubble. With the season almost done, DraftKings is hosting massive DFS contests every day and we have another big slate of action on Thursday.
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Damian Lillard, POR vs. BKN, $11,200 — With a win today, the Blazers lock up the top spot in the play-in game. They will go all out for a win, which is great news for Dame. With Portland playing in games that it needed to win, Lillard played big minutes and crushed for fantasy purposes. He comes into today with back-to-back games with at least 50 points and has a shot to do it again in an easy matchup against the Nets.
Markelle Fultz, ORL vs. NO, $5,200 — Locked into the No. 8 seed in the East, Orlando is playing without Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross today. This opens up an opportunity for playing time and usage that Fultz can fill. As is, his role is growing heading into the postseason. In the last two games, he’s averaging 37.38 DKFP with a usage rating over 30%. He also draws a great matchup against the Pelicans who allow the eighth most DKFP to point guards.
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Devin Booker, PHO vs. DAL, $9,800 — With playing time so uncertain in the final slates of the season, I want to roster players with something to play for. Not many teams need a win, but the Suns are one of them. To make it to the play-in game, the Suns need a win and a loss from the Blazers or Grizzlies. Expect full workloads from starters and Booker is averaging 54.75 DKFP in his last two games.
Nickeil Walker-Alexander, NOR at ORL, $3,700 — I am going to lean into a narrative here, which I rarely do. The Pelicans ruled out Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday for this game. Already eliminated and playing in their final game of the season, I don’t see much reason for the Pels to play veterans. Instead, it makes much more sense to play young guys. A rookie, NWA averages about a DKFP per minute. If he plays 25-30 minutes, he’s poised for a big value game and there is reason to think the young unproven players get extended run today.
Luka Doncic, DAL vs. PHO ($11,400) — Even though the Mavericks aren’t playing for anything, Luka isn’t on the injury report. However, Kristaps Porzingis is on the injury report. This leads me to believe that Luka is expected to play while KP is a potential rest candidate. If this is the case, Doncic could post a gaudy stat line. Without Porzingis on the court, he has a 39.1% usage rating and scores 60.99 DKFP per 36 minutes.
Joe Harris, BKN vs. POR, $5,200 — At least for now, the Nets aren’t expected to rest anybody. It looks like they will play everybody in an attempt to spoil the Blazers’ playoff hopes. As long as this is the case, Harris is a bit too cheap. With the Nets entering the bubble without a handful of core players, Harris stepped up in a big way. He’s averaging 31.65 DKFP in bubble games with an uptick in usage.
DeMar DeRozan, SA vs. UTA, $8,100 — The Spurs need a win and some help to advance to the play-in game. On paper, the matchup against the Jazz is not appealing although this shouldn’t be the case in reality. Since Utah is resting both Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert, this is likely a fairly easy matchup. Due to the Spurs’ spot in the standings, we can expect full minutes from DDR against backups.
Maxi Kleber, DAL at PHO, $4,400 — Since Porzingis is listed as questionable, the most likely scenario is that he will not play. If this comes to fruition, look for Kleber to either enter the starting lineup, or at the very least, see an increase in playing time. As a starter, he plays over 30 minutes per game and averages 24.89 DKFP. Kleber has also been really steady lately playing behind KP, scoring at least 21 DKFP in four consecutive games.
Jonas Valanciunas, MEM vs. MIL, $7,700 — The results for Valanciunas in the bubble have been disappointing. He’s only eclipsed 40 DKFP in one of the Grizzlies’ games in Orlando, which is a big reason why the Grizzlies have only won one game. They need more out of JV if they hope to advance to the playoffs. I think we might see him step up here. He was playing great before the shutdown and the Bucks could be resting everybody today after Giannis got suspended yesterday.
Tony Bradley, UTA vs. SA, $3,400 — With Rudy Gobert resting, Bradley figures to play extended minutes at center. In a game last week without Gobert, Bradley scored 41.75 DKFP against this same Spurs’ team. He did that despite coming off the bench and there is a chance that he moves into the starting lineup for this contest.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.