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: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks ($9,600)
Steph comes into a matchup against the Knicks running pretty hot — going for over 51.0 DKFP in two of his last three. One came last night against the Spurs, but Curry only had to play 31 minutes, so he should be fresh to face a Knicks team that’s really fallen off. On a slate with slim pickings, Curry’s ceiling as a scorer is more valuable.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors ($4,100)
Quickley has been a bright spot for the Knicks as a rookie, putting up some ridiculous numbers lately, even while playing limited minutes. Within the last eight days, Quickley has dropped 29.0 DKFP on the Nets in 22 minutes, 40.25 DKFP against the Cavs in 28 minutes, and 33.0 DKFP against the Celtics in 18 minutes. With limited value on the slate, and the Warriors ranking below-average defending PGs, Quickley makes for a high-upside value.
Worth Paying Up For: R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors ($6,900)
Donovan Mitchell ($7,900) is really the only star at the position, and he’s in a fine spot to get you 5x, just as he did when these teams played on Tuesday. Barrett’s gone for over 40.0 DKFP in consecutive games, and brings a high-floor due to his minutes and his high volume from the field. The Warriors rank 22nd in DKFP allowed to SGs, so the matchup works better here, and saves you a grand off a more popular D-Mitch play.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks ($3,700)
The SG value on the slate is thin, so KCP just gives us a solid starter with the ability to knock down some triples. He only attempted three shots last game, but prior to that, he’s scored 20-plus DKFP in three of four. Not a ton of upside here, but just getting someone this cheap that can go 5-6x is good value.
Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks ($9,200)
The Bucks are a tough matchup, but after having one of his worst fantasy games in recent memory in a bad loss to the Warriors, I like ‘Bron to bounce-back in a potential NBA Finals preview. He’s so, so cheap in this spot, and on a short slate, a great place to look for some safe points. LBJ’s topped 50.0 DKFP just once in his last six games, so this is about as cold as he’s run in a while, despite the Lakers remaining relatively dominant.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($5,000)
Bogdanovic has been solid lately, averaging over 26.0 DKFP in his last four games. He’s a lock for double digit field goal attempts, generally with more than half of them coming from distance. The Pels rank below average defending SFs, and Bogdanovic just went for 26.25 DKFP against them in 29 minutes. If he improves upon his 4-of-11 shooting in that contest, we have 30.0 DKFP upside here.
Worth Paying Up For: Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors ($8,800)
Randle’s pretty much only let us down once this season, otherwise he’s gone for 45-plus DKFP in each contest. He found his way briefly to $9.6K, but drops back down, despite some solid games. He should fare well against the Warriors on the interior, and a matchup with the Dubs brings a little more scoring upside compared to a recent slow-motion matchup against Orlando.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kelly Oubre, Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks ($5,700)
Oubre didn’t have the start to his career in Golden State that he wanted, but he’s finally been heating up. The scoring touch has finally come around, and Oubre’s found his way to over 35.0 DKFP per game while playing over 34 minutes in his last two contests. Knocking down threes and getting to the line has certainly helped. Nothing special about the matchup, but a solid mid-priced play on a short slate.
Worth Paying Up For: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz ($7,700)
Utah’s a solid defensive team, but it gives up far more points in the paint than you’d expect. Zion took advantage of that in his first matchup against the Jazz on Tuesday, going 14-of-19 from the field for 32 points. Somehow, his salary keeps coming down $200 over the last two games, so I’ll take advantage of the discount in a favorable matchup.
Best Bang For Your Buck: James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors vs. New York Knicks ($4,500)
Wiseman had a career game on Wednesday against the Spurs, finishing with 20 points, six boards and four assists in just 25 minutes. He’s down $100 on the second night of a back-to-back, despite the 33.25 DKFP. The Knicks rank 25th in DKFP allowed to opposing centers, so trotting Wiseman back out there in your lineups seems like a good idea.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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There aren’t as many ways to be different on just a three-gamer, but much like the four-game slate on Monday, this one’s very tight for value. Much of the value comes at center, where you might want to double-down, and even look to get extra center exposure at PF. Going a little less top-heavy and getting mid-priced plays into your lineup will help avoid having to roster too many cheap plays that just don’t have any upside.
Key Injuries to Monitor
— Anthony Davis is probable and LeBron James is questionable, but the Lakers put a designation on them every game, and we generally expect them to play through at this point.
— Alec Burks is probable to play for the first time since December after missing time with an ankle issue. Austin Rivers is doubtful due to an Achilles injury.
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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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