There are seven games for Thursday’s main DraftKings NBA slate, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. There are four teams (the Hawks, Pacers, Grizzlies, and Wizards) playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DraftKings Sportsbook has one game with a double-digit spread, the Thunder (+14) at the Warriors. There are three games with an O/U of at least 230: Nets-Mavericks (234), Wizards-Raptors (235.5), and Hawks-Pacers (240).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors, $11,000 – I don’t care if he was playing the Bill Russell-led Celtics, or the Tim Duncan/Bruce Bowen Spurs, or the Kevin Garnett Celtics, or the Ewing/Mason/Oakley/Starks Knicks, or the Bad Boy Pistons. I’m playing Westbrook. This is akin to the shooter at the craps table who’s throwing loaded dice. Over his last three games, he’s put up 74, 81.75, and 81 DKFP. He’s three regular-season triple-doubles away from surpassing Oscar Robertson for the all-time lead. He’s triple-doubled 33 times this season and done so in 19 of the last 23 games. The Wizards have won 11 of the last 14 games and are 10th in the Eastern Conference, so the playoffs are a possibility. The Raptors play at the 11th-fastest pace and the last time he faced them, he went for 62 DKFP.
Brad Wanamaker, Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls, $3,400 – The Hornets are beat up right now. Miles Bridges, Cody Martin and Gordon Hayward are out, and Devonte’ Graham is unlikely to play. That’s going to give plenty of minutes to Wanamaker. He’s not sexy and only averages 0.81 DKFP per minute but he played 31 minutes last game, put up 28.75 DKFP, and should get a similar workload today. At $3,400, that ain’t bad, yo.
Other Options – Alex Caruso ($4,100)
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards, $8,000 – There’s tons of volatility with VanVleet because of the poor shooting efficiency on average. That said, he’s played 40 and 41 minutes the last two games and put up 25 and 24 shots. The matchup is a good one as the Wizards play at the fastest pace in the league, the DraftKings Sportsbook O/U is a healthy 235.5, the spread is only three points, and Westbrook is on the other side, and he’s in Hulk smash mode right now.
Other Options – Bradley Beal ($9,300)
Caleb Martin, Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls, $3,900 – Martin received the start last game, played 34 minutes, and put up 32.75 DKFP. With all the injuries, he should get another start in this one and play as many minutes as he can handle. He’s averaging 0.81 DKFP per minute. The matchup is decent as the Bulls are 13th in pace and boost the FPPM to small forwards by 3.64% above league average.
Other Options – Brad Wanamaker ($3,400)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks, $9,900 – It’s been 10 games since Durant returned from a 23-game absence. It took him a few games to get ramped up but I’d say that he’s good to go now as he’s played 37, 40, and 40 minutes in the last three games. Oh, he only put up 64.25, 62, and 58.75 DKFP over that span.
Other Options – Luka Doncic ($10,900), Bradley Beal ($9,300)
Gabriel Deck, Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors, $3,500 – All hands on Deck for the Tanktanic in Oklahoma City. Thank you. I’m here every Thursday. Deck has played in only four games this season. During that span, he’s received 15, 24, 19, and 16 minutes. The usage rate has been 16%, 21%, 16%, and 24%, though, so when he’s on the floor, he’s involved. He’s scored in double-figures in each of the last two games and notched a steal in three straight. He’s put up 26.75, 25, and 25 DKFP in the last three games. That’s not bad for $3,500. Could he disappear? Sure, but the Thunder will likely give him minutes to either develop him or see what they have.
Other Options – Caleb Martin ($3,900)
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $7,200 – I see Domantas Sabonis ($10,400) at the top of the pool and he’s enticing, especially since he’s gone for over 70 DKFP in two of the last three games. The matchup with Clint Capela is a tough one, though, and the price is expensive since I think Green could match or even exceed his production at $3,200 cheaper. We know that Green is scoring challenged but he stuffs the stat sheet in every single category. He averages 1.04 DKFP per minute and thrives in uptempo game environments. The Thunder are 5th in pace. Now, over the last four games, he’s gone for 39, 61.25, 36.25, and 36.25 DKFP, so somewhere in the 30s is the likely outcome, but the ceiling is in the 60s. The last time he faced the Thunder, he went for 61 DKFP. The Warriors are favored by a whopping 14 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, but guess what? In the last game between these two teams, the Warriors won by 38 points and Green went for 61 DKFP.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($9,900), Pascal Siakam ($8,100)
Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets vs Chicago Bulls, $5,100 – I’m not enamored with any of the sub-$5,000 players for potential value, so McDaniels it is. With all the injuries, McDaniels received the start last game and played 39 minutes, producing 36.5 DKFP. He should get the start today. On the season, McDaniels averages 0.81 DKFP, but minutes are minutes and he should get as many as he can handle today.
Other Options – Daniel Theis ($4,900)
Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers, $8,600 – Capela averages 1.31 DKFP per minute on the season. Over the last four games, the DKFP production has been underwhelming, as he’s gone for 35.5, 33.5, 39.25, and 34.75 DKFP. He only played 17, 30, 35, and 24 minutes, though, as two of those games were blowouts. It’s a pace-up spot for Capela as Indiana is 5th in pace. The last time he faced the Pacers, he went for 61.5 DKFP, and the Pacers boost the FPPM to centers by 31% above league average, the most generous in the NBA. Yummy.
Other Option – Draymond Green ($7,200)
Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards, $5,400 – Over the last seven games, Birch has started all of them and averaged 32.5 minutes per contest. Since arriving in Toronto, he’s averaged 0.91 DKFP per minute, and over the most recent seven-game stretch, he’s averaged 30.89 DKFP. The range has been wide, though, as the low has been 18.25 but the high has been 43.25. The game environment is a good one as the Wizards play at the fastest pace in the league and boost the FPPM to centers by 3.12% above league average.
Other Options – Dwight Powell ($3,500)
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