DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Thursday's slate only gives us four games, but it's packed with elite talent.

SLATE OVERVIEW

UTA (-6) @ ATL, O/U: 225

MIL (-4.5) vs. LAL, O/U: 225

SA (-3) vs. BKN, O/U: 219.5

LAC (-5) vs. HOU, O/U: 233.5

All four games have sufficient money lines and narrow spreads.  You'll see below just how many elites we have on the docket, but there's not a lot at the value level. Unless we get some uncharacteristic pops from a value guy, I don't think we'll see many scores over 300 tonight.

INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR

Aside from ongoing injury situations, the only real question mark that affects our builds is the overall health of Anthony Davis (ankle).  He sat out on Thursday and there's currently an expectation he'll play based on his own statements, but we won't know for sure until later in the day. Davis has played hurt during his career and if the team thinks he can suit up, he'll come out and put in his usual time.

ELITE PLAYERS

Thursday is packed with elites, especially for such a small slate.  The backlog of elites makes using them almost unavoidable, which will require us to be on point with our value considerations.

James Harden, HOU ($12,400) @ LAC

Your per-player salary average slides down to just over $5,300 by simply clicking on Harden, but after 37- and 47-point games against the Clippers, he's AVERAGING 71 DKFP per game against them.  That comes out to 5.7x value and about $175 per DKFP, which is about as good as it gets for Harden. You'd need to find some deep value in the 4k range to leave room for a couple of mid-range guys, but I'm giving Harden exposure today. Can I get behind Russell Westbrook ($9,300)?  He didn't fare as well as Harden against the Clippers, but you could certainly consider him if you're fading all the 10k guys and need more support.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11,300) vs.LAL

We'd need 60 DKFP from Giannis to make this pick worthwhile, and there are two facts I can draw from to justify this pick.  One, he already averages two DKFP more than that total at home, and unlike other blowout contests where he fades in the late stages, this will be a hotly-contested game with an uncertain outcome.  With a Harden/Giannis stack, the rest of your lineup would have to fall in the 4k area, and I am going to do my best to provide what I can in that range, but to be honest, you're going to have to choose one or the other to make headway tonight.

LeBron James, LAL ($10,000) @ MIL

At a flat 10K, I can now start to see the legitimacy of a double-elite stack using James and one of the aforementioned studs. AD is either out or somewhat limited, so LeBron will need to step it up to stay within striking distance of the Bucks.

Assuming I can get around 45 DKFP from him, I can endorse Paul George at $8,500, but I am giving pause to Kawhi Leonard ($9,200) who is just a tad on the pricey side compared to what I need at that price.

Also consider: Trae Young, ATL ($9,800)

EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS

Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($8,000) @ ATL

It's certainly not my favorite game on the slate, but I favor Mitchell over a guy like Spencer Dinwiddie for a few reasons.  While Dinwiddie has a solid floor, he doesn't have the explosiveness potential of Mitchell, who can go north of 40 DKFP on a regular basis. Although his totals have been a bit erratic in recent weeks, he has an excellent matchup against Atlanta, who still clocks in as one of the worst defenses in the league.

LaMarcus Aldridge, SA ($7,300) vs. BKN

Although the Nets have improved under the basket, I still like exploiting Jarrett Allen by rostering the opposing big man. Aldridge is consistently outpacing his averages, and I think something above 40 DKFP is totally reasonable here when you look at his recent production. That's all I need from him to exceed 5x value.

Joe Ingles, UTA ($6,000) @ ATL

I like Ingles as long as Mike Conley is out of the lineup. As a member of the starting five, he's definitely earning his keep, averaging 12.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds over six starts. Anything over 30 DKFP would be acceptable at this price.

Lou Williams, LAC ($5,900) vs. HOU

The league's premier sixth man seems to be 100 percent after missing a couple of games, although he came slowly out of the gate in his return two days ago.  He righted the ship in the second half, and will probably get back to his usual complement of minutes tonight as he looks to get the rest of the rust off.

VALUE PLAYS

Donte DiVincenzo, MIL ($5,200) vs. LAL

With Eric Bledsoe still out, DiVIncenzo is still the best option at point guard for the Bucks, and he should be able to beat value at this attractive price. He popped for 38.5 in his last game, but you'd be placing your expectations a bit high to expect that kind of score. I would expect something in the 25-28 DKFP range tonight with hopes of some upside.

P.J. Tucker, HOU ($4,700) @ LAC

Tucker provides the stable production we'll need at the budget level. It won't be flashy, but on a slate where 300 DKFP probably won't be necessary to win your cash lineups, Tucker can give you a stable floor in the 25 DKFP range and should help us afford the higher-priced plays.

Royce O'Neale, UTA ($4,100) @ ATL

O'Neale has come alive in the past two games with 52 DKFP over that span. Going 50 percent from beyond the arc in 10 attempts has helped that cause. Usage will be the key to O'Neale's success, so while there's risk involved, you've got to embrace some variance if you want to afford the higher-priced targets.

Jakob Poeltl, SA ($3,400) vs. BKN

Poeltl will come off the bench and probably only see 15 minutes or so, but we can justify his usage by playing off of Brooklyn's poor rebounding.  He grabbed 11 rebounds in just 16 minutes last week, so he could definitely salvage his line with a few grabs. You're holding your nose when you click on him, but you're also saving a lot of coin for better targets.

Vince Carter, ATL ($3,400) vs. UTA

Can Vince turn back the clock tonight? He's coming off a day of rest and the team has been utilizing him liberally of late. If we can get 20-25 minutes from him, he could very easily turn in a value-beating number.

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
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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