Thursday’s slate is a bit smaller than Wednesday’s, and DraftKings is offering up a six-game main slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs ($11,000) – Doncic got off to a poor start in his first game of the year, but he’s bounced back nicely over his past two. He’s finished with 58.25 and 60.0 DKFP, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 35.7% in both contests.
Doncic could be asked to carry an even larger workload on Thursday. Kristaps Porzingis is currently questionable with a back injury, and Doncic has increased his usage rate by +2.8% with Porzingis off the court this year. He’s averaged 1.68 DKFP per minute in that situation, which represents a slight increase from his average of 1.57 DKFP per minute over the past year.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,900), Lonzo Ball ($7,500)
Mike Conley, Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets ($5,900) – The Jazz are in a great spot Thursday vs. the Rockets. They own the second-highest implied team total on the slate, and the Rockets have played at the fourth-fastest pace this season. That makes Conley a nice option at $5,900. He’s historically outscored his price tag by +4.45 DKFP with a comparable salary as a member of the Jazz.
Other Options – R.J. Barrett ($5,500), Kemba Walker ($5,400)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks ($9,200) – Beal just can’t seem to get going this year. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in each of his three games this season, and his average of 19.7 points per game is his lowest mark since 2015-16.
Still, there are reasons for optimism moving forward. Beal’s still getting a ton of opportunities for the Wizards – his 36.4% usage rate would represent a new career-high – he’s just not making any shots at the moment. He’s shot just 33.3% from the field and 16.0% from 3-point range, both of which are well below his career averages.
Beal is going to start making some shots again, and when he does, he’s going to smash his current price tag. I will continue to buy low on him.
Other Options – Donovan Mitchell ($8,900), Derrick White ($6,300)
De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors ($5,100) – Melton finally let us down in his last game. He finished with just 15.75 DKFP over 25.3 minutes in a blowout loss vs. the Blazers, and he was 0-8 from the field. With that in mind, the fact that he scored 15.75 DKFP is actually kind of impressive. The minutes should be there for Melton as long as Dillon Brooks is sidelined, and he’s averaged 0.99 DKFP per minute over the past year. He continues to provide nice value at just $5,100.
Other Options – Derrick Rose ($5,300), Frank Jackson ($3,600)
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks ($7,600) – DeRozan has returned value in each of his past three games, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 31.8% in each of those contests. DeRozan could also be asked to do a bit more with Zach LaVine currently dealing with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Other Options – Saddiq Bey ($6,800)
Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors ($4,900) – Bane is another potential source of value for the Grizzlies, and he’s crushed it to start the year. He’s returned value in all four games, including his last game where he was limited to just 23.2 minutes. Bane has averaged 1.13 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s a bargain at just $4,800.
Other Options – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,900), Patrick Williams ($3,800)
Kelly Olynyk, Detroit Pistons @ Philadelphia 76ers ($5,800) – The Pistons are another team that could be a nice source of value on Thursday. Jerami Grant missed their last game with an elbow injury, and he’s questionable for tonight’s contest as well. Olynyk saw a nice spike in playing time in his absence, and he responded with 38.0 DKFP. Olynyk has always been an awesome contributor on a per-minute basis, so he’s always an appealing option when he’s expected to play big minutes. He’d be a steal at $5,800 if Grant is out of the lineup once again.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($9,500), Tobias Harris ($8,700)
Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz ($4,800) – Tate is popping as a strong option at just $4,800. He struggled in his last game, but he scored at least 31.5 DKFP in his previous two contests. He dealt with foul trouble for most of that game, which limited him to just 26.8 minutes. Expect him to return to his normal workload on Thursday, especially with Danuel House out of the lineup.
Other Options – Keldon Johnson ($5,400)
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets ($8,300) – Gobert has had his struggles during the playoffs, but he’s been dominant to start the 2021-22 regular season. He’s averaged 1.46 DKFP per minute, and he’s scored at least 44.5 DKFP in each of his first three games. He’s been particularly active on the glass, averaging a ridiculous 19.0 rebounds per game, and he should be able to dominate a weak Rockets’ interior. Overall, he has one of the best matchups on the slate.
Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($8,600), Clint Capela ($6,900)
Montrezl Harrell, Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks ($5,300) – Harrell is another player who has always excelled on a per-minute basis, and he’s getting the opportunity to play big minutes for the Wizards. He played 38.2 minutes in his last contest, and he unsurprisingly finished with 45.25 DKFP. He’s averaged 1.11 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he should continue to crush with that much playing time.
Other Options – Steven Adams ($5,600), Daniel Theis ($4,400)
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