DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

ATL (-3) vs. WAS, O/U: 222.5

DET vs. PHI (-10.5), O/U: 212.5

NYK vs. CHI (-1), O/U: 215

UTA (-9) vs. HOU, O/U: 221.5

SAS vs. DAL (-7), O/U: 220

MEM vs. GSW (-6), O/U: 229

Knicks-Bulls should be a competitive contest that will provide solid picks from top to bottom. With high-tier choices like Julius Randle of the Knicks, who should have an advantage at his position, and DeMar DeRozan of the Bulls, whose value could see a major boost if Zach LaVine (questionable) does not play. However, if LaVine is all set to go, then he and DeRozan are both still great options who should have the advantage over the defense while also playing at home. In the mid-range, the Knicks offer several choices that can out-perform their price tags, namely Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett. In the value range, look for Alec Burks of the Knicks to continue to produce off the bench. On the Bulls' side, Alex Caruso offers a reliable value option. 

Another contest to build around would be Grizzlies-Warriors. Stephen Curry is a great choice to headline a solid lineup on just about any night, as he is averaging 29.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals over his first four games. The Warriors also offer good mid-tier value with Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, while value options like Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter can rack up the fantasy points by impacting the game in multiple ways and are boosted by the fact that the Warriors are shorthanded in the frontcourt. On the other side, the Grizzlies' Ja Morant has been on a roll to start the season and will likely be able to rack up the stats as a high-scoring bout is expected. The Grizzlies offer a few solid mid-range options, highlighted by Jaren Jackson, who goes up against the smaller Warriors' frontcourt, while Steven Adams should also be able to dominate the paint. Desmond Bane and De'Anthony Melton also provide lower-priced options that can pop for some significant scoring totals. 

Injuries to Monitor

Jerami Grant (elbow): Questionable 

If Grant is to remain sidelined, look for Kelly Olynyk to jump into the starting lineup again and be in line for a nice boost in value. Saddiq Bey and Josh Jackson will also see a boost in their relative value thanks to a few extra minutes and offensive touches. 

Joel Embiid (knee), Shake Milton (ankle): Questionable

If Embiid should sit, then Tobias Harris will become a clear-cut focal point of the Sixers' offense, while Andre Drummond should see a boost in playing time. However, beware of the Sixers opting to go small as they go up against the Pistons, who do not have any overly imposing bigs. In addition, if Shake Milton is ready to go, he could take a chunk of minutes from Tyrese Maxey and even cut into the allocated playing time of Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz. However, if he remains out, look for those three mentioned to retain added value.

Daniel Gafford (quadriceps): OUT

In addition to Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura remaining sidelined, having Gafford out of the lineup will leave the Wizards very shorthanded in the frontcourt, which opens up big minutes for Montrezl Harrell and Davis Bertans, while Kyle Kuzma will continue to be a key focus at the forward position. 

Zach LaVine (thumb): Questionable 

If LaVine has to sit out, then DeMar DeRozan becomes the Bulls' go-to offensive option. Going up against the Knicks at home will be a favorable matchup for DeRozan regardless of LaVine's status, but he becomes a must-pick with LaVine out. Alex Caruso and Troy Brown would also likely see extra minutes and touches in LaVine's absence. 

Bojan Bogdanovic (illness): Questionable

The Jazz will likely look to Joe Ingles to step up in place of Bogdanovic, while Jordan Clarkson would also pick up a few extra minutes off the bench. If Bogdanovic sits, it will also mean extra shots to go around, and Donovan Mitchell will need to pick up the slack early on to help his team build a rhythm. 

Danuel House (foot): OUT

Without House in the lineup, the Rockets will lean more heavily on Jae'Sean Tate, David Nwaba and Eric Gordon to fill out the minutes at the wing. Gordon has already been playing the sixth-man role, and Tate is a starter, which would mean that Nwaba would likely see the most considerable boost in value. 

Doug McDermott (knee): OUT

With McDermott sidelined, the Spurs may look to Devin Vassell to fill in the starting slot, while Lonnie Walker, who is coming off a great game, will see an increase in his usage, perhaps being the one to take the majority of the available extra minutes. 

Kristaps Porzingis (back): Questionable 

If Porzingis is sidelined, then first and foremost, consider Luka Doncic as a high-tier choice, as he will be looking for his own shot a little bit more and perhaps feel less pressure in needing to keep a guy like Porzingis involved. Also, look for Maxi Kleber and Reggie Bullock to pick up some extra minutes, while Dorian Finney-Smith may slide down to the power forward position, as the Mavs go up against the Spurs, who are not a big team beyond the center position. 

Jonathan Kuminga (knee), James Wiseman (knee): OUT

As the Warriors remain shorthanded in the frontcourt, look for Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter and Juan Toscano-Anderson to continue to see added responsibilities, while the focus of the Warriors' offense will remain on the outside, with Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins

Elite Players

Guard

Luka Doncic ($11,000)

Doncic goes up against the Spurs, who have good defenders in the backcourt, but if Kristaps Porzingis (questionable) ends up sidelined, Doncic will likely flip the switch and look to take over the offense. Doncic is averaging 23.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game, and with the Spurs giving up an average of 111.3 points per game, he should find plenty of opportunities to reach his averages, whether Porzingis plays or not. 

Trae Young ($9,400)

Young goes up against the Wizards, who will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. He is coming off consecutive 30-point games while shooting an average of 46 percent from the field so far this season. The Wizards are shorthanded and will have their hands full with the Hawks' bigger frontcourt players, which should leave plenty of room for Young to find openings and get his shot off. 

Bradley Beal ($9,200)

Bradley Beal played 35 minutes and finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two assists, and a block in a win over the Celtics on Wednesday. Although they will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Wizards will have some momentum to build upon as they look to add to their 1-0 home record. Beal will no doubt be a critical factor in their success and should find an advantage lining up across from Bogdan Bogdanovic

Forward/Center

Julius Randle ($9,500)

Randle goes up against the Bulls in Chicago and will have an advantage in his matchup as the Bulls lack size beyond Nikola Vucevic, who is not a great defender and will be busy matched up against the Knicks' center. Randle has been off to a great start to the season, averaging 25.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. The contest against the Bulls should be a competitive one, pushing Randle to his full potential. 

Rudy Gobert ($8,300)

With a matchup against the Rockets, Rudy Gobert should find himself in a fast-paced contest, where he is a vital part of his team's success, as he will be tasked with going up against Christian Wood and Daniel Theis in the Rockets' frontcourt. The competition should allow Gobert to remain engaged in the action and rack up the points, rebounds and blocks. He is averaging 18.7 points and 19.0 rebounds per game and goes up against a Rockets team that is giving up an average of 10.3 offensive rebounds per game. 

Expected Chalk

Stephen Curry ($10,900) 

This season, Curry has been off to a great start, averaging 29.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. With Klay Thompson out of the lineup, Curry has consistently taken on the bulk of the scoring responsibilities for the Warriors and can be counted on to continue doing just that, as he is shooting 43.4 percent from the field, including 40.0 percent from long range this season. Curry goes up against the Grizzlies, who will be on the second night of a back-to-back, which should add to the Warriors' home-court advantage, and Curry's ability to outpace his defenders, especially when it gets down to the fourth quarter, where he so often comes up huge. Nonetheless, the Grizzlies have proven to be a worthy adversary this season and should push the Warriors to a high-scoring contest, resulting in higher totals across the board. 

Value Picks 

Lonnie Walker ($4,700)

Walker is coming off an outstanding performance in the Spurs' most recent contest, where he finished with 21 points, six assists and two rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench, while he is averaging 15.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Walker should see another opportunity to shine as Doug McDermott will be sidelined, which will open up a few more minutes and send a few more touches his way. 

Daniel Theis ($4,400)

The Rockets have a tough matchup against the Jazz, but one area where they may find an advantage is with Theis going up against Royce O'Neale at the power forward position. Theis is a big body and strong rebounder who can also finish close to the basket. He is averaging 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game but is also coming off a 15-point, 10-rebound outing in the Rockets' most recent contest. 

Killian Hayes ($4,000)

This season, Hayes has not been off to a great start, which has brought his price tag down despite being the Pistons' starting point guard. Hayes is averaging 4.7 points, 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 22 minutes per game, but going up against the 76ers, who are shorthanded in the frontcourt, will allow him to find some more breathing room. Hayes was putting up nearly double his current averages last season and will eventually find his rhythm. At the low price tag, he is worth a shot. 

Alec Burks ($3,700)

Burks is averaging 19 minutes per game as he continues to be a prominent option off the bench for the Knicks, providing instant offense and playmaking. He offers solid upside for the low price tag, especially in what should be a competitive contest against the Bulls. Burks is also active on the defensive end, and nabbing up a couple of steals or blocks can quickly boost his fantasy value. 

Davis Bertans ($3,500)

The Wizards are heavily shorthanded in the frontcourt, which will open up a chunk of minutes for Bertans in what should be a high-scoring contest against the Hawks. The Wizards will have their work cut out for them on the second night of a back-to-back, but Bertans would still likely see significant action in a blowout scenario.

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. Dan Bruno plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: duelingdan.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Bruno
Dan has been writing all things NBA for RotoWire since 2014. He is an active fantasy sports player, with a love for DFS. Dan is a certified Coach with the Ontario Basketball Association and is a recreation professional in his home city.
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