DraftKings NBA: Thursday NBA Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Thursday NBA Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

LAL vs. MIL (-1), O/U: 228.5

NO vs. UTA (7.0), O/U: 216.5

NY vs. GS (-4.5), O/U: 215.5

Thursday's DraftKings NBA slate tips off at 7:30 p.m. EST and includes three games. The Bucks and Lakers will square off in the marquee matchup of the night. New Orleans and Utah will run it back after the Jazz blew them out on Tuesday and the Warriors will play the second night of a back-to-back at home to the Knicks. Alec Burks is probable to return while Austin Rivers is doubtful. 

The LAL-MIL matchup is definitely one to target. It's been rare to see these teams in competitive matchups this season and it has resulted in blowouts, decreased minutes and inconsistent fantasy performances. LeBron James is priced cheaper than at any point in recent memory while Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday have seen significant salary reductions. Just about every player on both sides is priced favorably and I'll be looking roster multiple pieces. 

I don't think it's necessary to completely fade on a three game slate but the Jazz blew out the Pelicans on Tuesday and both teams are at full strength without any injury concerns. If you're looking for a game to avoid, this could be it. 

Injuries to Monitor

Anthony Davis (ankle): PROBABLE

Davis is listed as probable with a sprained ankle but should be fine to start tonight.

LeBron James (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

James is once again listed as questionable but still hasn't missed a game this season and there is no reason to think he will sit out tonight. 

Alec Burks (ankle): PROBABLE

Burks has been sidelined since Dec. 27 but is slated to return tonight. He was playing 31 minutes per game before the injury but could be limited in his first game back tonight.

Austin Rivers (Achilles): DOUBTFUL

Rivers will likely miss tonight's game. Immanuel Quickley ($4,100) and Reggie Bullock ($4,300) should see more run. 

Elite Players

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,500) is the only five-figure player on tonight's slate. He has scored over 60 DK points in two of the past three and he played well against the Lakers in two games last season. His salary is actually a bit too low, likely because of all the blowouts that the Bucks have been involved in. The matchup with the Lakers should be competitive, making Giannis the best play on the slate tonight.

Anthony Davis ($9,400) played 37 minutes and LeBron James ($9,200) saw 38 in Monday's loss to the Warriors. Minutes have been a concern for both guys this season as the Lakers seem keen to play it safe with their stars after a taxing run in the bubble. Tonight's marquee matchup with the Bucks should see them play big minutes assuming it stays competitive. $9,200 is the cheapest that LeBron has been all season and seems like a bargain in this spot. Davis put up 59.75 DK points on Tuesday and always has the potential to be the slate's highest scorer. He makes for a great tournament play as he will likely be less popular than Giannis and LeBron. 

Stephen Curry ($9,600) is the only elite guard on tonight's slate besides LeBron. The Warriors will be playing the second night of a back-to-back after blowing out the Spurs yesterday. Curry played 31 minutes and I wouldn't expect him to limited at all tonight. People will be spending their money on Giannis and LeBron tonight making Curry an intriguing tournament option as he's likely to go somewhat overlooked. 

Julius Randle ($8,800) and Brandon Ingram ($8,500) are the only two players in the 8K range. Randle continues to be consistent as he's scored at least 45 DK points in four straight games and eight of the last nine. Ingram on the other hand hasn't topped 37 DK points in any of the past four games. I prefer Randle tonight. 

Expected Chalk

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,500) and LeBron James ($9,200)

James' salary has hit a season-low while Giannis seems to be priced for a blowout. Both guys played well each time they faced off last season. Tonight's game should be competitive and both players are in line for big minutes. On a three-game slate, they will be very popular in most contests and many people will try to roster them together. 

Value Picks

Zion Williamson ($7,700)

Zion has been remarkably consistent lately, averaging 34 minutes and 42 DK points per game in his last five while never scoring less than 39. His salary should be similar to Brandon Ingram's but you can roster him for $800 cheaper tonight. 

Khris Middleton ($7,600)

Middleton has seen his salary drop under 8K for the first time in five games. He has scored at least 40 DK points in six of last seven games and should be in line for significant minutes in a competitive matchup against the Lakers.

Jrue Holiday ($6,600)

Similar to Middleton, Holiday has also seen a reduction in salary for no apparent reason. The MIL-LAL matchup will be a popular target and it's hard not to like Holiday, especially if he's going to come in less popular than some of the other players in that game. 

Lonzo Ball ($5,500) and Eric Bledsoe ($5,300)

It might seem tough to click these names based on recent form but both players have seen a significant reduction in salary. Ball played 23 minutes in his return from injury and should see a bit more run tonight. Bledsoe has only had a few decent games all season but his salary has reached a point where it doesn't take much to hit value. 

Alec Burks ($5,300)

Burks has been sidelined since Dec. 27 with an ankle injury but is slated to return tonight. He will likely be on some type of minutes limit, but if he's starting, I would still have interest, especially with Austin Rivers likely to be out.

James Wiseman ($4,500)

Wiseman is coming off his best performance of the season in last night's win and that will likely make him more popular tonight but with so little for cheap value, he's still a good option. 

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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Ryan Belongia
Ryan Belongia writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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