It’s a short slate, but we’ve got a few injury spots worth highlighting. Paul George will remain out for the Clippers, while the Suns won’t have Kelly Oubre Jr. (concussion). The New Orleans Pelicans injury report is lengthy, but they should get Brandon Ingram back, though JJ Redick and Jrue Holiday could both be out again. Here are five players to consider at each position for Thursday’s six-game slate on DraftKings:
Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks vs. Phoenix Suns ($5,500) — Payton has been a great fantasy producer for the Knicks in competitive games. The problem is the Knicks aren’t a great team and get blown out fairly frequently. This should be much of a concern playing at home against the Suns and the spread is relatively tight. Payton is scoring a fantasy point per minute, typically plays 30+ minutes in close games and the Suns allow the fourth most DKFP to point guards. This means it’s reasonable to project Payton to score over 30 DKFP, which is more than enough since he’s at his cheapest salary since before New Years.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns at New York Knicks ($9,000) — Booker is in the middle of his best scoring stretch of the season. He’s scored over 40 DKFP in nine of his last 10 games and is drawing a relatively favorable matchup against the Knicks. Booker scored 38 points and 51.25 DKFP against New York the last time this teams met and the Knicks have struggled on defense lately. They have lost six of their last seven games and allowed at least 117 points during every game of this stretch.
Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic ($10,100) — Once again, Paul George has been ruled out by the Clippers because of a hamstring injury. When he’s off the court, the Clippers rely on Kawhi to take over on offense. When PG is out, Leonard has a 36.5% usage rating and scores 57.46 DKFP per 36 minutes. It’s not a shock that Kawhi is averaging 56.75 DKFP since his All-Star teammate got injured.
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz ($8,400) — This isn’t an ideal matchup for Ingram, but that doesn’t mean he can’t succeed against the Jazz. He scored 56.5 DKFP when these teams played against each other two weeks ago and he figure to carry a big load on offense because Jrue Holiday has been ruled out for another game due to an elbow injury. When he’s off the court, Ingram carries a 30.1% usage rating and scores 47.73 DKFP per 36 minutes.
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns at New York Knicks ($7,700) — It’s only a matter of time until Ayton is back in the Suns’ starting lineup. Phoenix has constantly been tinkering with its starting unit to try to get something going and the latest switch was moving Ayton into a reserve role. When he was starting last, he was playing out of position at power forward alongside Aron Baynes and that fit didn’t make much sense. Ayton is still playing most of the center minutes and put up a 20-10 line last game in 33 minutes. If he does start again, he averages 40.55 DKFP as a starter this season.
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