Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Thursday’s main NBA slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.
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Worth Paying Up For: Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors ($8,000)
Paul’s been picking up the slack in the two games Devin Booker has missed due to a hamstring injury. CP’s attempted 41 field goals in those two contests combined, by far his highest number this season. Averaging 52.0 DKFP over that two-game span, let’s continue to roll him out there against the Dubs, even with his salary on the rise.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets ($4,200)
Simons has been filling in some of C.J. McCollum’s (foot) minutes, and doing a nice job. He’s averaging 29.0 DKFP in 26 minutes per game over the last two contests, and the Rockets allow the second-most DKFP to guards. Let’s keep searching for that 6-8x upside here.
Worth Paying Up For: Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons ($5,700)
SG is super thin, and with seemingly half of Miami’s roster questionable for the Heat game, you’ll want to keep an eye there for some strong plays in the backcourt. But with Anthony Davis (quad) ruled out already, Schroder become’s the Lakers’ second scorer, even if he’s not slotting in for AD’s minutes. There should just be more shots to go around, which favors Schroder.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Terance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Miami Heat ($5,400)
Mann was in the starting five on Tuesday when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were out due to health protocols, and that should be the case again on Thursday. Mann scored 31.25 DKFP in 34 minutes, and should be in a similar spot on this slate. As mentioned, Miami could wind up extremely thin, leaving Mann in an even better spot.
Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons ($10,400)
LeBron is questionable, as he is every game, but the difference is that this is the second night of a back-to-back. If he’s ruled out, more power to Schroder and Kuzma, but if LeBron does suit up, he’s in a terrific spot given AD’s absence in Detroit. ‘Bron’s obviously picked it up the last couple games on this east coast trip, and would be leaned on heavily in this one.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors ($5,500)
Crowder has slid into the starting five with Booker sidelined, and has been anything but shy getting up shots. Crowder’s played at least 33 minutes in both games Booker’s missed, shooting 10-for-24 from deep in those contests. Scoring at least 36.0 DKFP in each outing, look for Crowder to maintain this large role against the Warriors.
Worth Paying Up For: Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets ($5,600)
No need to reach at PF, especially with Davis out. AD was going to be a cheap stud target if he played in this one, but now we can find production elsewhere. Portland’s down a bunch of bodies, which has given ‘Melo plenty of opportunities in this last stretch of games. Anthony finished with 37.5 DKFP in 35 minutes against OKC last time out, and gets another revenge spot on Thursday.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons ($4,300)
Kuzma slots right into a massive role boost with AD out, leaving little to think about here. Kuz hasn’t been playing all that well lately, which actually gives us a discount. We know that regardless of matchup, Kuz can provide 30-plus DKFP in this spot.
Worth Paying Up For: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors ($7,800)
Ayton’s coming off a dud, and his price jumps, but we can afford it in a matchup against the Warriors. Ayton’s been playing 35-plus minutes in each game, and the rebounds are consistently there. Bounce-back with a good game from the field — like we’ve generally seen from him — and Ayton’s in a strong spot.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers at Detroit Pistons ($3,300)
Gasol did play a whopping (by his standards) 24 minutes last night in Philly, but without AD, there’s not much choice here. Gasol seems poised for a 25.0 DKFP, 25-minute type of game, which carries value at his salary. The Pistons have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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Only four games and some significant injuries with Booker and AD being somewhat unexpected. That gives us the value to make this a stronger short slate than we’ve seen. Value shouldn’t be quite as tight.
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