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DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.


Defense To Avoid

Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz: The Warriors put on a solid defensive display in Game 1, with Rudy Gobertís modest 13-point output serving as the high score for Utah. They also yielded just 92.7 points to the Jazz over three regular-season meetings and have allowed a modest 100.0 points and held their opponents to 40.9 percent shooting at Oracle Arena in three postseason games.

Offense To Use

Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics: The Wizards have averaged 108.7 points at the Verizon Center in the postseason and have averaged 115.0 points in the first two games of the current series. They also put up 112.8 points over four games against Boston in the regular season and will be playing with an enhanced level of urgency after falling into a 2-0 hole in the series. DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

John Wall, WAS vs. BOS ($10,600): Wall was spectacular in the Game 2 loss, racking up 76.25 fantasy points despite missing some shots late. The aggressiveness he flashed throughout the game is sure to be on display in a must-win game at home, where Wall has averaged 50.6 fantasy points, including 56.1 in three postseason games. Wall is also sporting a 33.2 percent usage rate in the postseason, including a 35.7 percent rate and 1.46 DraftKings points per minute in the first two games of the current series.

Marcus Smart, BOS at WAS ($5,600): George Hill ($5,700) is also a viable pivot at this price, but Smart has been impressively steady throughout the postseason, scoring between 22.5 and 32.0 fantasy points in eight playoff games and averaging 26.9 in the first two games of the current series. As customary, itís across-the-stat-sheet production thatís getting it done for Smart, who has logged at least 30 minutes in five of the Celticsí eight playoff contests. With Avery Bradley hurting due to a hip injury suffered in Game 2, Smart could even see a slight bump in his already solid playing time Thursday.

Terry Rozier, BOS at WAS ($3,500): Rozier has quietly been providing solid production off the bench throughout the postseason and has scored between 17.5 and 28.5 fantasy points in his last three games while playing over 20 minutes in two of them. Heís been particularly impressive on the glass in the first two contests of the current series, hauling in eight and six boards, respectively. At a modest price and with a seemingly secure spot in the rotation, Rozier is one of the better bench plays Thursday.

Kevin Durant, GS vs. UTA ($8,900): Durant has clearly been slowed by the Jazz this season, as heís averaging a solid (but modest by his standards) 37.9 fantasy points in four games against Utah. However, with his price dipping under $9K, he becomes a very viable play. Durantís upside is unquestioned, and his injured calf clearly benefited from the long layoff prior to Game 1. Heís averaging 49.6 fantasy points at Oracle Arena as well, furthering his case.

Otto Porter, WAS vs. BOS ($5,800): Porter has scored between 24.5 and 37.25 fantasy points in the Wizardsí last five postseason games, including 37.25 and 33.75 in the first two games against the Celtics. That production brings his average against Boston to 35.1 in six meetings, excellent returns on his current price. The solid numbers jive with the struggles the Celtics had throughout the season against small forwards, which included yielding the most fantasy points (56.0) to threes over the last 10 contests of the campaign.

Joe Johnson, UTA at GS ($4,900): Johnson is averaging 15.1 points (on 47.6 percent shooting), 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists across 30.8 minutes in the postseason and contributed 22.0 fantasy points in 22 minutes in Game 1. He already has three games over 30 fantasy points in the playoffs along with a 23.2 percent usage rate and appears to have a secure spot in the starting lineup, making him a bargain at his current price.

Al Horford, BOS at WAS ($7,800): Horford has yet to be slowed by the Wizards in the regular season or playoffs, as heís now averaging 40.8 fantasy points in five games against Washington. That includes tallies of 49.75 and 41.0 fantasy points in the first two games of this current series, giving Horford five games of over 40 fantasy points in eight postseason contests. Notably, only Isaiah Thomas is averaging more than Horfordís 1.15 DraftKings points per minute in the playoffs on the Celtics, furthering Horfordís case as the top center option on the board.

Marcin Gortat, WAS vs. BOS ($6,500): Gortat hasnít exactly struggled against Boston either, as heís now averaging 29.5 fantasy points versus the Celtics in six games after scoring 43.75 and 37.5, respectively, in the seriesí first two games. The Polish Hammer has averaged 29.3 fantasy points at home this season and already has four double-doubles in the playoffs, including two in as many games against Boston. The Celtics also facilitated above-average production from centers throughout the regular season, surrendering 51.5 fantasy points per contest to fives.

Boris Diaw, UTA at GS ($3,000): With Derrick Favors ($4,500) a bit iffy with his back issues, he becomes more of a tournament play due to the risk of him playing abbreviated minutes, as was the case in Game 1. Diaw hasnít been anything to write home about, but at a $3K price, he doesnít run you much risk. He also scored 20.0 fantasy points two games ago against the Clippers and 21.0 in the opening contest of that first-round series, giving you at least some hope of a 5x-7x return. Golden State also gave up some fantasy production to power forwards this season, surrendering 47.8 fantasy points, 21.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest to fours.


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

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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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