Thursday’s NBA slate is on the smaller side. There are three games to choose from, and the main DraftKings slate gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top options to consider at each position.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns ($10,400) – Thursday’s slate is a small one, so the stud options are going to be limited. That said, you have a few different options at your disposal at point guard. That includes Doncic, who is coming off back-to-back monster performances. He racked up 67.25 DKFP over 38.7 minutes two games ago, and he followed that up with 72.5 DKFP in his last outing. Overall, Doncic has averaged 1.58 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is the top mark at the position by a sizable margin.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,500), Chris Paul ($7,500)
Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks ($4,200) – Payne has a wide range of outcomes on most nights. He doesn’t typically play many minutes, so he needs to be extremely productive when he’s on the floor to pay off his price tag. Luckily, that’s something Payne is capable of. He’s averaged 1.01 DKFP per minute this season, so he can pay off his $4,200 salary with limited playing time.
Other Options – Kemba Walker ($6,100), Devonte’ Graham ($5,100)
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks ($8,300) – It’s rare when one of the highest-priced players at a position also stands out as one of the best values, but that’s the case with Booker on Thursday. He’s been on a tear recently, scoring at least 30 points in three straight games, and he finished with 71.75 DKFP in his last contest. That said, his price has actually decreased over that time frame. He’s down to just $8,300 for Thursday’s matchup vs. the Mavericks, and he has massive appeal at that salary.
Other Options – Caris LeVert ($7,900), Klay Thompson ($5,300)
Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers @ Golden State Warriors ($4,300) – Duarte returned to the Pacers’ lineup three games ago, and he’s been a nice source of value. He’s played at least 32.3 minutes in each of his past two contests, and he’s scored 26.25 DKFP or more in both. That includes a massive 47.75 DKFP-performance, giving him a strong ceiling for his price tag. Overall, Duarte has averaged 0.94 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he should be able to pay off his $4,300 salary pretty easily.
Other Options – Mikal Bridges ($4,800), Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($3,600)
Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans @ New York Knicks ($6,300) – I’m a huge fan of Hart. He’s an underappreciated fantasy asset who has the potential to stuff the stat sheet. He’s one of the best rebounding wings in basketball – he’s averaged 7.5 rebounds per game this season – and he’s also averaging career-highs in points and assists per game. Add it all up, and he’s averaged 1.00 DKFP per minute this season. Hart’s price tag has also decreased by $700 over the past two games, so he’s a strong buy-low candidate.
Other Options – Brandon Ingram ($8,000), R.J. Barrett ($7,200)
Jeremy Lamb, Indiana Pacers @ Golden State Warriors ($3,000) – Lamb has struggled to stay healthy during his tenure with the Pacers, but he’s back in the lineup for the time being. He’s coming off 24.7 minutes in his last outing, and he’s projected for a similar workload on Thursday. That makes him an appealing option at the absolute minimum. Lamb has also averaged 0.92 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s a bit more capable than the typical min-priced player.
Other Options – Torrey Craig ($3,800)
Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns ($7,600) – Porzingis is still working his way back from an injury, but his playing time is trending in the right direction. He logged 33.5 minutes in his last outing, which is more than enough for Porzingis to potentially pay off his current price tag. He’s averaged a position-high 1.31 DKFP per minute over the past month, and his $7,600 price tag makes him significantly cheaper than usual. This will probably be our last chance to target Porzingis before his price jumps back into the $9,000 range.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($9,100)
Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers ($4,300) – Kuminga moved into the Warriors’ starting lineup in their last game, and he could continue to hold that spot for as long as Draymond Green is sidelined. That makes him a very appealing value option. Kuminga has averaged 1.00 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 26.25 DKFP in each of his past four games. He should be penciled in for at least 25 minutes whether he starts or comes off the bench, making him underpriced at $4,300.
Other Options – Herbert Jones ($4,400)
Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans @ New York Knicks ($7,700) – Valanciunas is really your only option if you’re interested in paying up at center. He’s the only player priced above $5,200.
Luckily, Valanciunas does have some merit on Thursday. His per-minute production has been a bit down recently, but he remains one of the best in the business in that department. He’s averaged 1.27 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s coming off 33.3 minutes in his last outing. He responded with 46.5 DKFP points, and his price tag has decreased to $7,700 after peaking at $9,600.
JaVale McGee, Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks ($4,000) – The Suns have ruled out Deandre Ayton, which creates an interesting situation at center. McGee and Bismack Biyombo have both provided value with Ayton out of the lineup recently, with Biyombo coming off the better performance in the Suns’ last game.
Still, I give McGee the edge on Thursday. Both players saw roughly the same number of minutes on Monday, but McGee has been slightly better on a per-minute basis this season.
Other Options – Bismack Biyombo ($4,000), Isaiah Jackson ($3,000)
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