DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defense To Avoid

Memphis Grizzlies, vs. LA Clippers: While the Spurs are on Thursday's slate, they're up against the incandescent Russell Westbrook. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies surrender the fourth-lowest points (100.5) and third-lowest field-goal percentage (44.2), and the Clippers have endured their share of muted offensive performances lately. They've scored between 91 and 103 points in four of their last five games, suffering defeats in three of those contests. They're also playing on the second night of a road back-to-back, adding to the Grizzlies' advantage.

Offense To Use

Phoenix Suns, vs. Los Angeles Lakers: The Suns have put up 119 and 137 points, respectively, in their last two meetings against the Lakers, and are scoring 107.8 points per game, seventh-highest in the NBA. The Lakers give up the fourth-most points (111.0) and highest field-goal percentage (48.0), and the Suns backcourt duo of Eric Bledsoe (24.7 points) and Devin Booker (25.7 points) has thrived in three meetings against them this season.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: Pistons, Clippers, Spurs

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

Eric Bledsoe, PHO vs. LAL ($8,700): To be clear, Russell Westbrook ($12,500) transcends any matchup, so if you can make it work with his price tag, he's an outstanding choice. For those needing to go cheaper, Bledsoe offers a nice ceiling at a relatively reasonable price. He's scored over 40 fantasy points in four of the last 10, over 50 in another game, and over 60 in an additional instance during that stretch as well. He's particularly thrived against the Lakers, averaging 49.5 fantasy points on 52.2 percent shooting in three contests against them this season. Los Angeles continues to be a sieve against point guards as well, giving up the third-most fantasy points (47.6) to the position on the season and over the last five games (51.2), as well as the highest field-goal percentage (46.4).

Jordan Clarkson, LAL at PHO ($5,300): At the highest end of the mid-tier level, Mike Conley ($7,400) merits consideration despite the matchup against Chris Paul, as he's averaged a superb 52.8 fantasy points over three games versus the Clippers this season, while Clarkson's teammate D'Angelo Russell ($7,100) draws a great matchup against the Suns' vulnerable point guard defense, although his price has seen a bump lately. Devin Booker ($6,600), as alluded to earlier, is also highly appealing. Meanwhile, Clarkson presents as a great choice for those on a budget, as he's scored no less than 20 fantasy points and as many as 35.25 in nine of the last 10 games. Playing time is not a concern either, as he's seen no less than 24 minutes in the last eight contests. The Suns have given up the fifth-most points (22.2) to two-guards, and Clarkson is sporting a 27.3 percent usage rate and averaging nearly a fantasy point per minute (0.94) since Lou Williams left town at the trade deadline.

Sergio Rodriguez, PHI at POR ($3,300): Rodriguez has scored 26.25 and 21.25 fantasy points, respectively, in his last pair of contests, seeing 30 and 24 minutes in those games. He's just $300 away from minimum, making him very low-risk even if he sees a slight drop in minutes. He should benefit from what should be a fast-paced game against a Blazers squad that's surrendered the second-most fantasy points (54.9) to point guards over the last five contests, and second-most points (25.4) to the position on the season.

Kawhi Leonard, SA at OKC ($9,700): Leonard should be well rested after receiving the night off Wednesday versus the Kings, and will look to extend a torrid stretch in which he's scored between 54.75 and 69.5 fantasy points in four straight games. He already lit up the Thunder for 55 fantasy points in their one previous meeting this season, and he's boasting a 36 percent usage rate and averaging a whopping 1.43 fantasy points per minutes over his last 10 contests.
For those who need the savings, Dario Saric ($7,700) and Julius Randle ($7,000) both represent solid options Thursday as well.

Al-Farouq Aminu, POR vs. PHI ($5,700): Tobias Harris ($5,400) has been excellent off the bench for the Pistons over the last four games, making him an interesting option as well, while Aminu's teammate Maurice Harkless ($5,500) has been productive as of late but typically carries relatively limited upside for tournaments. Aminu has the ability to be a bit more explosive, particularly when he gets hot from long distance. He's scored between 23.25 and 39.75 fantasy points in nine of the last 10 games, eclipsing the 30-fantasy point mark on five occasions during that stretch. Aminu has shot a red-hot 60.6 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from three-point range over the last four contests, and the Sixers have given up the most fantasy points (47.1) to forwards over the last five games.

Justin Anderson, PHI at POR ($4,000): Anderson is still more of a tournament play because of the variance in his contributions since joining the Sixers, but he has provided a glimpse at his ceiling with totals of 31.25 and 30.5 fantasy points in two of the last three games. He's sporting a solid 19.7 percent usage rate over the last five contests overall, and the Blazers have been vulnerable to both shooting guards and small forwards this season, the two positions Anderson is typically deployed in.

Marc Gasol, MEM vs. LAC ($7,600): Blake Griffin ($8,100) and Jusuf Nurkic ($7,000) are also solid plays around Gasol on Thursday, but the Spaniard is also very viable at a price that lands in the middle of that pair. He's been over 40 fantasy points in four of the last 10, and between 35.5 and 39.75 fantasy points in four others during that stretch. Gasol has also averaged 45 fantasy points in three previous meetings against the Clippers this season, and Los Angeles has surrendered the third-most fantasy points (55.2) to centers over the last 10 contests, along with the third-most points (22.2) on the season.

Alex Len, PHO vs. LAL ($4,100): Len's teammate Alan Williams ($6,500) is bound to be a much more popular choice, given his stellar body of work over the last several games. While Williams makes for a fine play in his own right, especially in cash games, Len makes for an intriguing tournament pivot at a deep discount. He's averaged 32.5 fantasy points in three previous games against the Lakers this season, went off for 30.75 fantasy points against the Wizards on Tuesday, and has scored between 21.25 and 30.25 fantasy points in three other games in the last 10. The Lakers have been vulnerable to big men all season as well, surrendering the second-most fantasy points (52.9) and second-most over the last 10 (56.5).

Brandan Wright, MEM vs. LAC ($3,000): Finding a viable play below Len's price is a challenge on Thursday's shorter slate, but Wright offers at least some measure of consistency and a potential 5x-7x value at his minimum price. He's scored between 15.0 and 23.75 fantasy points in five of the last eight games and has played between 17 and 21 minutes in five contests overall during that stretch as well. While none of these numbers particularly jump off the screen, they make Wright a viable dart throw for tournaments Thursday.

INJURY REPORT

For the latest news on injured players heading into the games, check out our Injury Updates page.

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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