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 vs. Orlando Magic ($10,800)
The Nets are now riding a seven-game winning streak, the last five coming without Kevin Durant (hamstring). Harden’s been leading the charge during those five games, scoring at least 67.0 DKFP in four of those contests. Keep rolling him out there against the Magic, with a potential blowout the only thing I can see that’d slow him down. Orlando ranks 23rd in DKFP allowed to PG.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings ($4,100)
With Elfrid Payton ($4,600; hamstring) doubtful, a huge portion of backcourt minutes potentially open up in the Knicks’ rotation. Payton was second on the team and led all guards with 34 minutes on Tuesday against the Warriors. We’ve seen Quickley have some crazy efficient games, most recently scoring 31.5 DKFP in 21 minutes against the Rockets. With some extra minutes likely heading his way, there’s plenty of upside against the struggling Kings.
Worth Paying Up For: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($8,200)
This one could set up for a blistering pace if the score gets up near the total, and Middleton should likely factor in as a big piece of the puzzle. He’s flashed 60.0 DKFP upside twice in his last nine games, and the matchup against New Orleans could help him scratch that potential again. Middleton went for 42.0 DKFP in the first matchup, but shot just 6-of-17 from the field, including 1-for-6 from deep. A better shooting night at least gets him over 50.0 DKFP in this spot.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Derrick Rose, New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings ($4,600)
It could be worth doubling down on the Knicks backcourt, depending how much more injury news we get before lock. D-Rose has been inconsistent as a member of the Knicks, but is coming off his best game on Tuesday — 37.5 DKFP in 27 minutes. I’d be concerned maybe the minutes do go to younger players and Rose might not pass the 30-minute mark, but the upside is certainly there, and the matchup helps.
Worth Paying Up For: Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans at Milwaukee Bucks ($7,900)
Sticking with some star power in this game, as this should be a good one to stack. Ingram finished with just 39.0 DKFP the last time around in this matchup, but shot a modest 7-for-15 from the field, and didn’t record a rebound in over 35 minutes. Expect both of those things to change. Ingram’s averaging almost 49.0 DKFP over his last two contests, playing over 40 minutes per. This matchup should keep that momentum going.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards at Denver Nuggets ($3,100)
Davis Bertans ($4,900; knee) is questionable for this game, and if he winds up inactive, it gives us a very cheap flyer in Avdija. The rookie has been extremely inconsistent — he has a combined 25.0 DKFP in his last two games, scoring 24.75 DKFP in one and 0.25 DKFP in the other — but if Bertans is ruled out, Avdija should see 25-plus minutes. That’ll give him a much safer floor in a solid matchup.
Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($11,000)
While the Bucks are struggling without Jrue Holiday ($7,200; health protocols), they’ve bounced-back over the last few games. Giannis has been finding his numbers during Holiday’s absence, regardless of the team playing well or not — scoring 65-plus DKFP in seven of his last eight games. Pelicans’ overs have been a popular trend this season, and Milwaukee is averaging 133.5 points over its last two. Giannis took care of business the first time around in this matchup, dropping 67.75 DKFP in 38 minutes.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Marvin Bagley, Sacramento Kings at New York Knicks ($5,700)
Hassan Whiteside will miss his second game due to health protocols, leaving some minutes in the frontcourt. Bagley has been heating up this month, averaging 33.6 DKFP over his last five games. The Knicks might not be an ideal matchup, but with the extra opportunity comes upside worth exploring.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Washington Wizards ($10,400)
Forget paying down at center, I’m just writing up two studs again. Jarrett Allen and Clint Capela came much cheaper on Wednesday, but I think the idea of playing both Nikolas could be valuable on this slate. Jokic has been quiet by his standards recently, but is also about seven DKFP better per game at home. The Wizards are atrocious on the defensive end, and have no size to combat Joker with. Washington ranks 24th in DKFP allowed to opposing centers.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets ($10,000)
The Nets rank just below the Wiz, sitting at 25th in DKFP allowed to opposing centers. A big that can score and rebound in the paint is kryptonite when it comes to Brooklyn, and we saw Vucevic smash in this spot earlier in the season. Vuce finished with 69.5 DKFP the last time he faced the Nets, and enters this game hot, dropping 60-plus DKFP in five of his last 10, with a pair of 70.0 DKFP games.
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