DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

NO (-7.5) vs. ORL, O/U: 223.5

PHI vs. MIL (-5.5), O/U: 226.5

PHX (-6.5) vs. BOS, O/U: 219.5

DET vs. SA (-7.5), O/U: 216.5

CHA vs. CHI (-2.5), O/U: 210.5

LAL vs. DAL (-1.5), O/U: 217.5

None of the six games on tonight's slate look especially appealing as things stand, but news could change that. The Pistons are playing the second half of a back-to-back and have rested multiple starters in these spots recently. There could end up being some value on the Celtics, too, as Jaylen Brown is considered doubtful and Jayson Tatum questionable. Anthony Davis is on track to play his first game since Feb. 14th. He's likely to be on a minutes limit, and that takes him and the Lakers out of play for me. The MIL-PHI matchup is the marquee game of the slate and features the night's highest total, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid both expected to play. 

Injuries to Monitor

Giannis Antetokounmpo (leg): QUESTIONABLE

Giannis was forced to leave Monday's game due to leg cramps and is listed as questionable for tonight. He's expected to be ready to go, but if he were to sit, Bobby Portis would likely start at power forward. 

Jayson Tatum (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Tatum has been dealing with an ankle injury recently but hasn't missed a game since Mar. 22nd. If he misses, Jabari Parker and Grant Williams would be in line for expanded roles. 

Anthony Davis (calf): QUESTIONABLE

Davis said that he plans to play tonight. He's been out since Feb. 14th, so he will likely be on some type of minutes restriction.

Jaylen Brown (shoulder): DOUBTFUL

Brown is listed as doubtful for tonight due to shoulder bursitis. Semi Ojeleye will likely start at small forward in his place. 

Ben Simmons (illness) and Tobias Harris (knee)

Simmons and Harris missed yesterday's game and are considered questionable for tonight. Shake Milton and Mike Scott got starts in their absence. 

Robert Williams (knee): OUT

Williams will be sidelined for a fourth consecutive game tonight as he deals with knee soreness. Tristan Thompson will continue to start at center. 

Terrence Ross (back) and James Ennis (calf): QUESTIONABLE

Ross and Ennis have missed the past two games and are considered questionable for tonight. Gary Harris and Dwayne Bacon have been starting. 

Detroit Pistons (possible rest)

Keep an eye out for news as the Pistons are playing the second half of a back-to-back and have been resting veterans in these spots recently. Mason Plumlee, Jerami Grant and Cory Joseph are candidates for rest, and that would see Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart come back into the starting lineup.  

Elite Players 

Guard:

Luka Doncic ($11,000)

Doncic is the most expensive player on the slate tonight, and he's starting to play like it again as he's scored at least 60 DK points in three consecutive games. The Mavericks are playing the second half of a back-to-back tonight, so Kristaps Porzingis may rest, which would make Doncic slightly more appealing. Either way, he has a decent chance to be the night's highest scorer, as there aren't many elite spend-up options on the slate.  

Center:

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) and Joel Embiid ($10,500)

Giannis is expected to play tonight after leaving Monday's game early due to a leg cramp. He's been underwhelming of late, failing to reach 50 DK points in six of his last eight games. The Bucks have a tough matchup against the Sixers tonight, and Joel Embiid's interior presence has given Giannis problems in the past, making it likely that I'll spend up elsewhere.

Joel Embiid is coming off 68.25 DK points yesterday as he's now topped 60 in three of his last four games. The Sixers are playing the second half of a back-to-back, but Embiid said that he plans to play. He can hit a ceiling easier than any player on the slate, and I prefer him over Giannis in a matchup against each other. 

Forward:

Jayson Tatum ($10,200)

Tatum's salary has reached a season-high for a tough matchup against the Suns tonight. He's scored at least 55 DK points in three of his last six games while topping 65 twice in that span. Jaylen Brown is considered doubtful, and the likely usage bump for Tatum makes him more appealing on a slate that lacks elite options. 

Zion Williamson ($9,900)

Zion has scored at least 44 DK points in five of his last six games, and the Pelicans have a favorable matchup against the Magic tonight. His salary is more affordable, and his floor is likely safer than the other spend-ups, and that makes him appealing, as 50 DK points are likely enough to be optimal considering the lack of cheap value. 

Expected Chalk

Killian Hayes ($4,200), if he starts

Hayes put up 28.75 DK points in 33 minutes on Monday, and he rested for the front-end of a back-to-back yesterday. The Pistons have been resting their veterans in these spots, and Hayes would be in line for another start if Cory Jospeh sits. There isn't much for cheap value as things stand, so the affordable salary and minutes projection make Hayes relatively more appealing. If he starts, I'd expect him to be one of the more popular value plays.    

Isaiah Stewart ($5,800), if he starts

Assuming Mason Plumlee rests and Stewart starts at center, I'd expect him to be quite popular, as he's topped 50 DK points in each of his last two starts. His salary keeps rising, but it's still too cheap for his role when the Pistons are shorthanded. He'd be among the most popular plays on the slate, and rightfully so.

Value Picks

Marcus Smart ($6,600)

Smart has put up at least 40 DK points in three of his last six games. He should be in line for a usage bump tonight with Jaylen Brown considered doubtful and Jayson Tatum listed as questionable.

Cole Anthony ($6,400)

Anthony has scored at least 35 DK points in three consecutive games. He's seen a bump in salary, but the usage is big, and the minutes are safe with Michael Carter-Williams still out. The Magic are in a pace-up spot against the Pelicans tonight. 

P.J. Washington ($5,900)

Washington has played at least 34 minutes off the bench in back-to-back games while putting up 33.75 and 45 DK points. The salary is still affordable, and value might be hard to find tonight. 

Coby White ($5,500)

White has seen at least 30 minutes in four consecutive games and has topped 30 DK points in three of them. The Bulls are on a back-to-back and have a favorable matchup against the Hornets tonight. 

Naji Marshall ($5,400)

Marshall has played 30+ minutes in four of the last six games and scored at least 30 DK points each time. The Pelicans are big favorites against the Magic tonight, and he should see plenty of run again. 

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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