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.
Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers ($10,600)
Harden’s averaging 67.7 DKFP over his last three games, and Kevin Durant remains sidelined for this game. This is a primetime game against the Lakers with a chance for the Nets to show they belong right there when it comes to NBA title odds — this is a game we should see the best out of Brooklyn, even without KD. Anthony Davis is missing on the Lakers’ side, so this one should be competitive. Harden has triple-double upside here, along with more scoring opportunities with KD off the floor.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Cory Joseph, Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat ($3,900)
Durant and Davis are the big name injuries on the slate, but the Kings have some rotation players out that’ll have an impact on finding some value. Both Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes are out, two starters that open up some minutes for role players. Over the last three games, Joseph is averaging over 29 minutes while posting 26.8 DKFP per contest. He’ll get the Heat on the second night of a back-to-back after a tough collapse at Golden State.
Worth Paying Up For: Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers ($8,900)
Kyrie’s mentality is frankly more important than whatever the matchup or numbers tell us. He should return after resting his back on Tuesday, and will want to show up in a primetime game against his former teammate on the big stage in Los Angeles. Irving’s salary is down $300 since KD came out of the lineup, and he dropped 40 in the last game without him on Monday.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat at Sacramento Kings ($4,300)
Joseph is my favorite guard value, and is PG/SG eligible. With options on the Nets, I don’t know if we need another guard, but Robinson is at least in a decent spot. Robinson’s played a total of 75 minutes in Miami’s last two games, and the Kings are a fast-paced team that struggles on defense — allowing the most DKFP to opposing SGs. Nothing not to like about the spot besides the west coast back-to-back.
Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets ($10,200)
LeBron is facing the league’s worst defense at home in a primetime game against the team favored to be waiting for the Lakers in the NBA Finals. This sets up as a LeBron night, especially with all the heavy lifting on his plate due to AD’s absence.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers ($4,100)
Brown’s played at least 25 minutes in each of the last two games with Durant out, but has shot a combined 2-of-9 from the field. Some positive regression in the scoring department could lead to a bounce-back game. Brown’s a fringe play for me, but if Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($3,900) winds up ruled out with a knee injury, Brown becomes a much stronger play.
Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors ($10,900)
Giannis might not win his third straight MVP award, but he’s playing a larger role for his team this season. We’re accustomed to too many 28-minute games from him, and now the Bucks have finally unleashed Giannis in the regular season. Over the last four games, Antetokounmpo has played no fewer than 36 minutes, and is averaging over 70 DKFP. That includes a 34-10-8 line with five steals and two blocks for 72.5 DKFP against the Raptors. Lock him in again.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Nemanja Bjelica, Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat ($3,800)
The absence of Barnes and Holmes opens up a much larger role for Bjelica, who barely played last game. This should be a spot we see him more, after totaling 55 minutes and averaging over 26 DKFP in the previous two contests. Miami ranks 20th in DKFP allowed to PF, and could be sluggish in this spot.
Worth Paying Up For: Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat at Sacramento Kings ($8,200)
One thing that remains consistent for the Heat is Adebayo, who’s seemingly always good for 40-45 DKFP, but brings the 60 DKFP upside. He finished with 45.25 DKFP in the first matchup against the Kings this season, but Sacramento ranks dead last in DKFP allowed to opposing centers. Plenty of upside here in the rematch.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Hassan Whiteside, Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat ($4,600)
This is the ultimate revenge spot, as Whiteside will face one of his former teams while playing for a former team that he began his NBA career with. Whiteside is coming off an insane 58-DKFP performance this week against Brooklyn, totaling 26 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks in just 24 minutes. He’ll almost certainly never match that efficiency again, but with two frontcourt bodies out, he’ll get a chance to play another large role in this contest.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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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.
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