DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

PHI (-8.5) vs. CLE, O/U: 213.5

WAS (-2.5) vs. DET, O/U: 224.5

CHA vs. BKN (-3.5), O/U: 229.5

GS vs. MIA (-2), O/U: 219.5

ORL vs. NO (-9.5), O/U: 221.5

ATL vs. SA (-1.5), O/U: 220.5

DEN (-1.5) vs. LAC, O/U: 227.5

Thursday's DraftKings NBA slate tips off at 7:00 p.m. EST and includes seven games. James Harden (hamstring), Zion Williamson (thumb) and Bradley Beal (hip) are listed as questionable, while Paul George, Jarrett Allen, Larry Nance and John Collins have already been ruled out. Isaiah Hartenstein ($3,700) will be chalky with the Cavs short-handed in the frontcourt, and If James Harden gets ruled out, I'd expect Kyrie Irving ($9,800) to be the popular spend-up option.

The CHA-BKN matchup is an appealing target tonight, especially if Harden ends up sitting out. The Hornets are in a great spot regardless. Terry Rozier ($8,000), Gordon Hayward ($7,900) and Devonte' Graham ($6,400) have seen significant usage bumps since LaMelo Ball's injury. Kyrie Irving ($9,800) would be a smash play if Harden sits, and there would be cheap value on the Nets' side in his absence as well. Neither team plays much defense, and the game features the highest total on the slate.

Injuries to Monitor 

James Harden (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

Harden left yesterday's game with hamstring tightness and is listed as questionable for tonight. Tyler Johnson ($3,200) got the start last time Harden sat out. 

Zion Williamson (thumb): QUESTIONABLE

It sounds like Williamson will play through his thumb injury after there were initial concerns that he would miss several weeks. If he were to miss, Wes Iwundu ($3,000), Naji Marshall ($3,000) and Willy Hernangomez ($3,000) are candidates to enter the rotation. 

Bradley Beal (hip): QUESTIONABLE

Beal has missed consecutive games with a hip injury and is listed as questionable for tonight. Jerome Robinson ($3,500) has been starting at shooting guard in his place. 

Paul George (foot): OUT

George will miss his third consecutive game tonight. Luke Kennard ($4,200) has been starting at shooting guard in his absence. 

Jarrett Allen (concussion): OUT

Allen will miss his third consecutive game tonight. Isaiah Hartenstein ($3,700) will likely get another start at center. 

John Collins (ankle): OUT

Collins left Tuesday's game with an ankle injury and won't play tonight. Danilo Gallinari ($5,200) and Solomon Hill ($3,200) could see expanded roles in his absence. 

Larry Nance (illness): OUT

Nance will miss tonight's game due to an illness, while Kevin Love (calf) is listed as questionable. Dean Wade ($4,600) will likely get the start at power forward.

Lonzo Ball (hip): QUESTIONABLE

A hip injury has sidelined Ball for the past five games, and he's listed as questionable for tonight. Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($6,100) has been starting at point guard. 

Elite Players

Guard:

Russell Westbrook ($11,000)

Westbrook followed up his 94.5 DK points with 69.75 last time out. He has three consecutive triple-doubles and seven in his last 10 games. He's the clear-cut top play on the slate, as the Wizards have a favorable matchup against the Pistons. If Bradley Beal (hip) were to miss again, I wouldn't make a lineup without Westbrook in it. 

Kyrie Irving ($9,800)

It seems likely that James Harden (hamstring) will be out tonight after leaving yesterday's game early. Irving put up 60.5 DK points last night, and if Harden were to sit, he'd have all the usage to himself in a favorable matchup against the Hornets.  

Center:

Nikola Jokic ($10,600)

Jokic was disappointing again last time out as he's failed to reach 50 DK points in three of his last four games. The addition of Aaron Gordon ($6,200) may or may not have something to do with it. I wouldn't expect Jokic to be very popular tonight with Isaiah Hartenstein ($3,700) chalky and the more appealing spend-up options at guard. 

Forward:

Kawhi Leonard ($9,300)

Leonard has topped 43 DK points in five consecutive games, but we haven't seen him peak in a while. Paul George (foot) is out again, so Kawhi should continue to benefit from a bump in usage, and the Clippers will need him to play well to stay competitive with the Nuggets tonight. 

Zion Williamson ($9,200)

Zion is a viable option at forward or center tonight. He's topped 47 DK points in four consecutive games, as he's shown great consistency while taking his game to a new level. He's listed as questionable after injuring the thumb on his off-hand, and that's likely to make him less popular than otherwise for a favorable matchup against the Magic. 

Expected Chalk 

Isaiah Hartenstein ($3,700)

Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance have already been ruled out. Hartenstein put up 35 DK points while playing 26 minutes in his first start at center on Monday. His salary is far too cheap for the role he's likely to play tonight, and I'd expect him to be among the most popular plays on the slate. 

Luke Kennard ($4,200)

Kennard has played well in consecutive starts at shooting guard in place of the injured Paul George. He's scored 31.75 and 26.75 DK points while seeing at least 32 minutes in each and should be good value again tonight for such an affordable salary.  

Value Picks

Gordon Hayward ($7,900)

Hayward is coming off 51.75 DK points last time out. He's played at least 39 minutes in three consecutive games, and the Hornets have a favorable matchup against the Nets tonight.

Jerami Grant ($7,200)

Grant put up 47.5 DK points in 34 minutes yesterday. His salary has fallen to its lowest point in 10 games, and the Pistons are in a great spot tonight against the Wizards.  

Devonte' Graham ($6,400)

Graham has topped 30 DK points in four consecutive games. He and Terry Rozier ($8,000) have benefited from significant usage bumps since LaMelo Ball's injury, and the Hornets have a favorable matchup against the Nets tonight. 

Jakob Poeltl ($5,900)

Poeltl has scored at least 36 DK points in three consecutive games. It's a bit surprising to see his salary still under 6K for tonight's matchup against the Hawks.

Reggie Jackson ($5,300) and Terance Mann ($5,200)

Jackson and Mann will continue to see expanded roles in the absence of Paul George and Patrick Beverley. Jackson especially has considerable upside as he's likely to take upwards of 20 shots tonight in a tough matchup against the Nuggets. 

Saben Lee ($4,500) and Cory Joseph ($4,200)

Lee continues to start at point guard, and Joseph has scored at least 29 DK points in consecutive games off the bench. I don't have much confidence in either guy, but the salaries are cheap, and the Pistons are in a prime spot tonight against the Wizards. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan Belongia writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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