This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Tonight's eight-game slate is chock full at the guard position and somewhat scarce in terms of big men, so spending up inside may be the way to go tonight. Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo are our only $10K-plus players here, and while both are ok plays, they have tough matchups and are better as GPP options grouped with low-salary/high upside players. While I'll reach into the $8-9k area for a more balanced approach to cash games, I'll present players at multiple price points for every position.
D'Angelo Russell, BKN at POR ($7,600): Russell has dropped back down to this price after peaking at 8.2K earlier in the week. The Vegas Over/Under of 222.5 points points to a relatively high-scoring matchup. You could spend up with Damian Lillard ($9,400) here but you can spend that $1,800 elsewhere. Russell should come in at around 40-plus DKFP.
Elfrid Payton, ORL at PHO ($6,900): Tonight is a perfect night to let Payton loose against Phoenix after he missed over two weeks with a hamstring injury. This game has the highest O/U for the night, and it has several great guard options, with Evan Fournier ($7,200) and Devin Booker ($7,700) as highlights, but Payton will slip under the radar, making him a great GPP candidate, although I like him in cash as well.
Mike James, PHO vs. ORL ($5,100): My favorite budget option also comes from the previous matchup. Jones has the ability to go for 30-plus DKFP in the right situation, and the O/U line of 224 favors him. I'm taking him over others in this range due to the lesser quality of matchups at the price.
Aaron Gordon, ORL at PHO ($7, 700): I'm making this game almost a stack, and that's not such a bad idea. If you've watched the Magic at all, you know that Gordon is playing out of his mind. I don't think I'm playing every Orlando player in cash, but he sure is exciting to watch. Gordon is approaching matchup-proof status.
Tobias Harris, DET vs. ATL ($6,600): Harris' potential inside makes him dangerous here. The Hawks don't fare well in the paint, and we've seen an uptick in his numbers over the past two games despite his price remaining stagnant. He's a great deal at the DraftKings baseline price.
Bobby Portis CHI vs. IND ($6,100): Feeling lucky? Welcome back, Bobby Portis. No, I don't expect him to put up double-doubles like he did two days ago, but with Luis Markkanen on a likely minute restriction, I'll take a flier on him. Probably not the smartest cash option at this price, and he is limited by sole eligibility at PF, but he definitely warrants a close look.
Andre Drummond, DET vs. ATL ($8,800): Here's my spend-up pick of the night. The Hawks have no answer inside for Drummond, and he will once again be a rebound machine in this matchup. He's playing at an MVP level, especially in the past week. I'm playing him everywhere, all day.
Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. BKN ($6,800): Aside from liking the pace of this matchup, Trevor Booker is a game-time decision and their other options inside, while ok, don't have a dominating presence like Nurkic's. He's been a little underused this season, but tonight is an excellent spot to utilize him.
Pau Gasol, SA vs. MIL ($5,800): At this price Gasol has some value with the potential to double-double here. The Spurs are tough at home and the Bucks need an upgrade inside. Look for the veteran big man to be reliable as ever in this one.
Don't get stung by late scratches! Always check your lineups before tip-off. Have a great weekend, everyone!