Thursday’s NBA slate is on the smaller size, with just six games to choose from. Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves ($9,800) – There are some big names at point guard to choose from on Thursday, but Murray stands out as arguably the best value. He’s been fantastic this season, averaging 1.35 DKFP per minute, and he’s logged at least 38.2 minutes in back-to-back games. He’s averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 9.5 assists in those contests, and he’s scored at least 60.5 DKFP in both games.
The game between the Spurs and the Timberwolves also stands out as one of the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. The total currently sits at 219 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Ja Morant ($10,000), Ricky Rubio ($6,900)
Patrick Beverley, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs ($4,200) – On the other side of that matchup, Beverley stands out as an elite value at $4,200. Beverley should see around 32 minutes in this contest, and he’s averaged 0.91 DKFP per minute this season. The Spurs have also been a below-average team against opposing point guards. Overall, he’s one of the strongest value plays on the entire slate.
Other Options – Bones Hyland ($3,400), Raul Neto ($3,200)
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers @ Memphis Grizzlies ($11,000) – George has served as the Clippers’ top option with Kawhi Leonard sidelined this season, and he’s filled that role admirably. His shooting efficiency is down a bit to start the year – his 34.7% from 3-point range is his worst mark since his rookie season – but he’s made up for it through sheer volume. He’s on pace to post a new career-high in usage rate, and his rebound and assist rates are also up from last season. Overall, George has averaged 49.4 DKFP through his first 14 games, which represents an increase of more than seven fantasy points compared to last season.
George draws an elite matchup on Thursday vs. the Grizzlies. They rank 29th in defensive efficiency this season, and they’ve also played at an above-average pace. George can do some damage in this spot.
Other Options – Fred VanVleet ($8,300), D’Angelo Russell ($7,400)
Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($5,800) – Sticking with the Clippers, they could also provide some value at the shooting guard position. Nicolas Batum is doubtful and Justise Winslow has been ruled out, which leaves the team a bit thin on the wing.
Bledsoe should see a solid handful of minutes – he’s played around 32 minutes per game recently – and he’s averaged 0.91 DKFP per minute this season. That should be enough for him to return value.
Other Options – Jordan Poole ($6,000), Terance Mann ($4,700)
Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors @ Utah Jazz ($6,600) – Barnes has had an impressive start to his rookie season, and he could be asked to play massive minutes on Thursday. The team will be without OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa, and Barnes was already routinely playing 38 minutes a night. He’s increased his production to 0.97 DraftKings points per minute with Anunoby off the court this season, so he has excellent upside.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($9,500), Anthony Edwards ($7,700)
Otto Porter, Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($3,500) – Andre Iguodala will get the night off for the Warriors, which means Porter should see a slight bump in playing time. I’m expecting around 20 minutes, and that should be enough for him to return value. Porter has historically been an excellent fantasy producer on a per-minute basis, and he’s averaged 1.00 DKFP per minute this season.
Other Options – Deni Avdija ($3,700), P.J. Dozier ($3,600)
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers @ Denver Nuggets ($8,800) – Joel Embiid will miss another game for the 76ers, which means Harris will serve as their offensive focal point. He struggled in that role in their last game, finishing with just 29 DKFP, but he was limited to 27.4 minutes in a blowout loss vs. the Jazz. That said, he dominated the Pacers in his previous contest, finishing with 51.25 DKFP.
Unfortunately, his matchup vs. the Nuggets is about as poor as it gets from a fantasy perspective. They’ve played at the second-slowest pace this season, and they rank third in defensive efficiency. The 76ers have played at the slowest pace, so this game could feature a minimal number of possessions. Harris has some upside in this spot, but he has some downside as well.
Other Option – Thaddeus Young ($5,500)
Jeff Green, Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($3,800) – Green is a potential value option for the Nuggets, who could be without Will Barton in this contest. Green is priced at $3,800, and he’s logged at least 31.4 minutes in two of his past three games. He should see at least that many minutes if Barton is out of the lineup, making him an appealing option.
Other Options – Doug McDermott ($3,800), Jarred Vanderbilt ($3,500)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($12,000) – Jokic has been priced up to $12,000 on Thursday, but it is hard to argue against him. He has put together a massive season, averaging 26.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists, and he has averaged 1.84 DKFP per minute. He is coming off 69 DKFP in his last contest, and he has scored at least 66.75 DKFP in three of his past four games.
He figures to be even better if Barton is ruled out. He’s averaged 1.91 DKFP per minute in that situation, so he’s producing at a level that is basically unmatched by anyone else on the slate. The matchup vs. the 76ers isn’t ideal, but Jokic is a very tough fade.
Other Options – Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,500), Rudy Gobert ($8,000)
Drew Eubanks, San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,600) – Eubanks is an outstanding value option for the Spurs. He’s priced at just $4,600, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 88%, and he benefits from the same elite matchup as Young. He’s averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he should see around 24 minutes on Thursday.
Other Options – Ivica Zubac ($5,100)
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