Win or go home. Those are arguably the four best words in sports, and we’ll have two of those games in the NBA over the next two days. The action gets underway with the Pacers vs. the Wizards on Thursday and wraps up with the Grizzlies vs. the Warriors on Friday.
DraftKings is offering up a two-day slate for those contests, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($10,600) – I certainly wouldn’t blame you for going with Russell Westbrook ($12,200), but I think he’s a bit overpriced for a playoff matchup. I’d rather go with Curry, who is significantly cheaper and only possesses slightly less upside. He put up 50.25 DKFP yesterday vs. the Lakers in a much tougher matchup, so he should be able to put together a better performance at home vs. the Grizzlies.
Other Options – Russell Westbrook ($12,200), Ja Morant ($7,900)
Ish Smith, Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers ($4,400) – Smith has been playing some excellent basketball recently. He’s scored at least 36.0 DKFP in back-to-back games, and he’s averaged 0.92 DKFP per minute over the past month. The Wizards played him a bit more than expected in their first playoff game — he logged 26.4 minutes — and he should be able to return value if he sees a comparable workload on Thursday.
Other Options – Jordan Poole ($4,600)
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors ($6,300) – The Grizzlies got Grayson Allen ($3,600) back in the lineup Wednesday vs. the Spurs, but it didn’t have any impact on Brooks. He finished with 39.7 minutes in that contest, which was his second-largest workload of the entire season. He also led the squad with 24 points scored, resulting in 43.25 DKFP. The Grizzlies’ offense has a chance to provide more value vs. the Warriors, who have played at the second-fastest pace this season.
Other Options – Bradley Beal ($9,000)
Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors ($4,500) – Shooting guard is a tough position to find value at on this slate. I would recommend going with one of the more expensive options, but if you can’t, Bane has some appeal at $4.5K. He’s been decent on a per-minute basis this season, and he played 24.8 minutes off the bench in the Grizzlies' last game.
Other Options – Raul Neto ($4,100)
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Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($6,700) – Wiggins’ performance Wednesday vs. the Lakers was a good microcosm of his fantasy career. He played well — scoring 21 points on 55.6% shooting from the field — but his lack of production in the peripheral categories ultimately killed his value.
That said, there are still reasons to believe he can improve vs. the Grizzlies. He’s averaged a very respectable 0.97 DKFP per minute with Kelly Oubre (wrist) off the court this season, and he played 39.4 minutes vs. the Lakers.
Other Options – Kyle Anderson ($5,500), Kent Bazemore ($5,000)
Justin Holiday, Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards ($4,700) – The Pacers have a few key injuries to monitor heading into tonight’s matchup. Malcolm Brogdon ($8,300; hamstring) and Edmond Sumner ($3,200; knee) are both listed as questionable even though they suited up on Tuesday. I’m fully expecting both players to be in the lineup, but the Pacers could provide more value than expected if either player is ruled out.
Regardless, Holiday is someone who can be relied upon. He played 25.9 minutes in their win over the Hornets, and he probably would’ve played more if that game was competitive. Holiday has averaged 0.79 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he stands out as one of the safer value plays on the slate.
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Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards ($10,100) – Sabonis isn’t quite as good as Nikola Jokic, but the gap probably isn’t as wide as most casual fans would believe. He has been dominant from a fantasy perspective recently, averaging 1.65 DKFP per minute over the past month and exceeding salary-based expectations by an average of 10.44 DKFP over his past 10 games. The sky is the limit for him vs. the Wizards with Caris LeVert out of the lineup due to health and safety protocols.
Other Options – Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,000)
Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers ($4,800) – Hachimura is an obvious buy-low target Thursday vs. the Pacers. He finished with just 11.5 DKFP in his last outing, but he was limited to just 16.6 minutes due to foul trouble. It’s conceivable that he doubles his playing time today, and he’s averaged 0.80 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Other Options – Doug McDermott ($4,900), Davis Bertans ($4,100)
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies ($7,300) – A lot of people will go back to the well with Jonas Valanciunas ($8,000) following his 23-point, 23-rebound performance vs. the Spurs, but this matchup vs. the Warriors is not a good one for him. The Warriors play a lot smaller and faster than the Spurs, so I would expect Valanciunas to see far fewer minutes.
I prefer Green in this price range. He had a classic Draymond stat line vs. the Lakers: two points, eight assists, nine rebounds, three steals, three blocks, five personal fouls, six turnovers, one technical foul and approximately 15,000 complaints to the referees. His 34.25 DKFP was slightly disappointing in that contest, but he shot 0-5 from the field. He had cracked double-digits in scoring in each of his previous four contests, so expect some positive regression in that department vs. the Grizzlies.
Other Options – Oshae Brissett ($5,700)
Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies ($4,000) – The Warriors have experimented with their center rotation all season, but now that the games actually matter, they’re leaning on old reliable. Looney was excellent over 20 minutes vs. the Lakers, racking up 27.75 DKFP. When the Warriors play a center, expect Looney to get the call.
Other Options – Daniel Gafford ($3,900)
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