DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

LAC (-5.5) vs. WAS, O/U: 236.5

TOR vs. BOS (-8.5), O/U: 216.5

DET vs. NY (-4.5), O/U: 210.5

DEN (-4.5) vs. IND, O/U: 225.5

MIL (-5.5) vs. MEM, O/U: 234

MIA vs. NO (-3.5), O/U: 224.5

OKC vs. SA (-5.5), O/U: 218.5

GS vs. PHX (-5.5), O/U: 224.5

SAC vs. POR (-4.5), O/U: 238.5

Thursday's DraftKings NBA slate tips off at 7:00 p.m. EST and includes nine games. Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Bam Adebayo and Jerami Grant are listed as questionable. The Raptors will be shorthanded again due to the league's health and safety protocols. Keep an eye on the DET-NY matchup. Both teams will be missing key players, and there will likely be popular value on both sides depending on starting lineups. 

The DET-NY matchup has the lowest total on the slate, but it's still an appealing game to target as both teams are shorthanded, and the healthy players are affordable and project for significant minutes. Dennis Smith and Svi Mykhailiuk are likely to be popular value plays, and the status of Derrick Rose (COVID-19) will determine value at guard on the Knicks' side with Elfrid Payton likely to sit out again. The TOR-BOS matchup could be one to fade. The Raptors will be shorthanded again, and that will likely make for a few popular options depending on who starts, but they are coming off a blowout loss last night, and Nick Nurse has been unpredictable with minutes and rotations. It's also the earliest tip-off, and I'd rather keep my lineups flexible for late-swap purposes. 

Injuries to Monitor

Jimmy Butler (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Butler has missed consecutive games due to knee inflammation and is listed questionable for tonight. Goran Dragic ($5,900) has been starting in his absence. 

Kawhi Leonard (back): QUESTIONABLE

Leonard was a late scratch on Tuesday due to back spasms and is listed questionable for tonight. Reggie Jackson ($3,900) started in his absence. 

Bam Adebayo (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Adebayo continues to battle knee tendinitis but hasn't missed a game since Jan. 14th. If he were to sit, Precious Achiuwa ($3,000) would be in line for an expanded role. 

Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

The Raptors will be shorthanded again tonight. Aron Baynes ($3,900), Terence Davis ($3,700) and Yuta Watanabe ($3,200) started yesterday, while DeAndre' Bembry ($3,800) saw extended run off the bench. Head coach Nick Nurse likes to switch things up, so I'd expect to see a different starting lineup tonight. 

Jerami Grant (quad): QUESTIONABLE

Grant missed yesterday's game with a quad injury and is listed questionable for tonight. Saddiq Bey ($5,900) and Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,100) started, while Sekou Doumbouya ($3,000) saw extra run off the bench.

Kelly Oubre (wrist): OUT

Oubre will miss a second consecutive game due to a sprained wrist. Kent Bazemore ($3,500) started in his place yesterday. 

Derrick Rose (COVID-19 protocols): QUESTIONABLE

Rose missed Tuesday's game due to the league's health and safety protocols, but there is a chance he could return tonight. Frank Ntilikina ($3,200) starting at point guard last time out, while Immanuel Quickley ($5,300) saw 29 minutes off the bench. 

Elfrid Payton (hamstring): DOUBTFUL

Hamstring soreness will likely keep Payton out of a fifth consecutive game tonight. Derrick Rose (COVID-19) is also questionable. Frank Ntilikina ($3,200) and Immanuel Quickley ($5,300) would be in line for expanded roles. 

Elite Players


Nikola Jokic ($10,900)

Jokic is coming off back-to-back monster performances that saw him put up 74.5 and 77 DK points. He's averaging a triple-double over his last four games as he seems to be staking his claim for MVP. The Nuggets will be shorthanded again in the frontcourt for tonight's matchup against the Pacers. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) is the other elite option at center. He's coming off a dud in the blowout loss to the Nuggets last time out, but tonight's matchup against the Grizzlies should be the perfect get-right spot. He's put up at least 60 DK points in eight of his last 10 games, and if Jokic is going to be more popular, it will make sense to have some exposure to Giannis. 


Damian Lillard ($10,700) and Russell Westbrook ($10,400)

Lillard's salary is a bit high, but the matchup against the Kings is ideal. The game features the highest total on the slate and tips off last tonight, so I'd expect Dame to be a popular spend-up option. If that's the case, I don't mind pivoting to Russell Westbrook ($10,400). He's been more consistent recently, as he's scored at least 50 DK points in eight of his last nine, with three games over 60 in that span. Tonight's matchup against the Clippers has a 236.5 total, and Westbrook always relishes a battle with Patrick Beverley

Stephen Curry ($10,100) is another elite option at point guard. He's struggled with his shot recently, and tonight's matchup against the Suns is a difficult one. We know Curry is matchup-proof and always has a ceiling in him, so I never mind taking a chance if he isn't going to be popular. 


Jimmy Butler (knee) and Kawhi Leonard (back) are both listed as questionable for tonight, and if they were to miss, that would leave Jayson Tatum ($9,200) as the only small forward with a salary above $9K. The Celtics have a favorable matchup against the shorthanded Raptors, and Tatum shouldn't be too popular. That being said, I prefer to pay up at center and guard. 

Expected Chalk

Dennis Smith ($4,800)

Smith will likely be a popular value option at point guard. Box score watchers are likely to be enamored with his triple-double yesterday that saw him score 51.5 DK points, but he's been consistent as well. He's played at least 26 minutes in four consecutive games, topping 30 DK points in each of them while starting for the injured Delon Wright

Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,100)

Mykhailiuk was a popular option last night, as he started at shooting guard for the shorthanded Pistons. He put up 28 DK points while playing 37 minutes, and I'd expect him to be popular again tonight, especially if Jerami Grant (quad) sits out again. 

If Kawhi Leonard sits again, I'd expect Reggie Jackson ($3,900) to be a popular play if he starts once more. Jackson put up 40.25 DK points in 37 minutes, and tonight's matchup against the Wizards is an ideal spot. 

Value Picks

DeMar DeRozan ($8,200)

The Spurs will be shorthanded again tonight. DeRozan has posted three consecutive double-doubles and scored over 40 DK points in each. 

Dejounte Murray ($7,900)

Murray has topped 40 DK points in four of his last five with two games over 50 in that span. The Spurs are still shorthanded and have a favorable matchup against the Thunder tonight. 

Norman Powell ($7,000)

Powell attempted 20 shots on his way to 46.25 DK points in the absence of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam yesterday. He should see plenty of minutes and usage again tonight. 

Michael Porter ($6,800)

The Nuggets are still shorthanded in the frontcourt. Porter had posted double-doubles and scored at least 30 DK points in four consecutive games before a blowout limited his minutes last time out. 

Will Barton ($5,500)

Barton has played mid-30s minutes in consecutive games for the shorthanded Nuggets. He's coming off 35.5 DK points last night, and the salary is still favorable. 

Isaiah Roby ($5,400)

Al Horford is expected to rest for the second game of a back-to-back tonight. Roby put up 38.25 DK points in 28 minutes when he started at center in Horford's place last week. 

Kent Bazemore ($3,500)

Kelly Oubre will miss a second consecutive game tonight. Bazemore got the start at small forward last night and scored 26 DK points in 31 minutes. That salary is very affordable if he's going to see that type of run again. 

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
Ryan Belongia
Ryan Belongia writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
DraftKings Sportsbook: Saturday Best Bets
DraftKings Sportsbook: Saturday Best Bets
FanDuel NBA: Saturday Value Plays
FanDuel NBA: Saturday Value Plays
DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks
Fantasy Basketball Podcast: Oladipo Hurt, Drummond Back, OKC FA's
Fantasy Basketball Podcast: Oladipo Hurt, Drummond Back, OKC FA's
Handicapping the NBA: Friday Picks
Handicapping the NBA: Friday Picks