Thursday features a four-game slate starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
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Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Ja Morant missed Monday’s game but practiced in full on Wednesday, and he doesn’t have an injury tag going into tonight’s game against the Bucks. He is the second-most expensive player on both sites, but it is deserving as Morant has averaged a career-high in points, rebounds, and assists this season. Over the last six games, he has recorded two double-doubles and three triple-doubles, leading to his salary rise across the industry.
The Grizzlies have won a league-best six straight games as they are tied for the best record in the Western Conference at 18-9. Their hot streak will be tested in a tough matchup against the Bucks, who have won eight of their last 10 and rank second in defensive efficiency. With Desmond Bane still out due to injury, expect Morant to continue with his career-high 35.6% usage rate. The Grizzlies are favored at home, where they are 12-2 this season, and Morant looks great despite a tough matchup.
Staying in that same game, Jevon Carter is the cheap value point guard on tonight’s slate. With no Jrue Holiday, Carter will likely start once again, and he has proven his upside whenever the Bucks are down one of their big three players. Priced under $5,000 on both sites, Carter is projected to play 30 minutes and be one of the best values on the slate. He has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus among point guards on DraftKings and the third-highest on FanDuel.
Carter hasn’t been shooting much recently, but he can stuff the stat sheet in multiple ways. In his second season with the Bucks, Carter has started 22 of his 27 games played this season while posting career-highs in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He may take a back seat in the scoring department, but Carter is a solid defender that will be tasked with guarding Morant most of the game. Carter is simply too cheap without Holiday in the lineup.
CJ McCollum is second in ceiling projections for all point guards on this slate as the Pelicans will continue to play without Brandon Ingram and backup point guard Jose Alvarado. In his first full season with the Pelicans, McCollum hasn’t been as effective as last season but still provides the upside needed at this price tag. Keep exposure to McCollum in tournaments, as he only has one game scoring over 20 points in his last eight.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
The shooting guard position is a bit of a dead zone with Devin Booker questionable. Instead, we’ll go a little lower in the pricing tier with Heat shooting guard Tyler Herro. Miami is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, and the team has the potential to be without Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Bam Adebayo. If all three are out, Herro will likely become the highest-owned player on the slate.
Herro had nine 3-pointers last game as he recorded a season-high 35 points in the Heat’s 110-108 victory over the Thunder. He will get another fantastic matchup against the Rockets, who rank 26th in Defensive Rating this season while allowing 115.5 points per game. Using our On/Off Tool, Herro has a team-high +2.6% usage rate with Butler off the floor this season, and that number would skyrocket if Lowry and Adebayo are also unavailable.
Grayson Allen is also worth some value consideration for the Bucks. Like Carter, Allen has started 22 games and is averaging a career-high in minutes, points, rebounds, and assists this season. Unlike Carter, Allen can fill it up by scoring the ball and doesn’t need to get peripherals to provide value and pay off his salary. He’s scored double-digit points in four straight and 15 of his 24 (62.5%) games played.
With Khris Middleton struggling since returning from injury, Allen will need to provide a bit of a scoring boost without Holiday playing. Allen has shot 50% or better in over half of his games this season and can get scorching hot from the perimeter. Playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Allen gets many open 3-pointers and driving lanes to work with. He has averaged at minimum two 3-pointers made per game over the last three seasons.
Jalen Green has the highest projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings as he has back-to-back games with more than 40 DraftKings points. The Rockets have won two-straight games against league powerhouses the Bucks and Suns. We’ll see if they can make it three straight at home against the Heat, who may be without most of their top players. Pairing Green with Herro may be the route to go in tournaments tonight.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Paul George is coming off his fourth career triple-double on Wednesday, finishing with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He only shot 4 of 13 from the field in the Clippers’ low-scoring victory over the Timberwolves. With the Clippers playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, the status of Kawhi Leonard is very much up in the air. He hasn’t played in a back-to-back all year, and it seems very likely that he gets the night.
With Leonard likely joining Normal Powell and potentially Ivica Zubac on the sidelines, George may threaten for another triple-double. Make sure to monitor our news dashboard since George would get a massive boost in that scenario. In 13 games without Leonard this season, George is averaging +5.8 additional points and has increased his usage rate by +5.1%.
Trey Murphy III has the highest projected Plus/Minus at the small forward position on DraftKings and is still a strong play on FanDuel. He is very boom or bust, which makes him much more of a tournament play than a cash play. Over the last 11 games, Murphy has nine games where he scored more than 25 DraftKings points and two games where he scored less than 10 DraftKings points. Playing without Brandon Ingram also benefits Murphy.
Most of Murphy’s production comes from his shooting from behind the arc. Nearly 65% of Murphy’s field goal attempts have come from downtown this season, and he is shooting a career-high 39%. He has taken a big leap from year one to year two, averaging 12.4 points per game while starting in 15 of 25 games played. The Jazz defense has been strong guarding the 3-point line, but Murphy can still provide value on this small slate.
Khris Middleton will play in his seventh game of the season, as it has been a slow start for the 31-year-old veteran. He is averaging only 12.5 points per game while shooting a career-low 36.9% from the field. Middleton did score a season-high 20 points in his last game playing 29 minutes, but he has only played over 30 minutes once. As he works his way back, we have Middleton projected for 31 minutes tonight, making him a solid value without Holiday.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Being the highest-priced player on both sites, it should be no surprise that Giannis Antetokounmpo has the highest ceiling in our Tournament Model. Jrue Holiday is out for the second-straight game due to an illness, but that didn’t slow Giannis and the Bucks down Tuesday as they beat the Warriors by double-digits behind the Greek Freak’s 30-point, 12-rebound performance.
Giannis is averaging a career-high 31.1 points per game this season while shooting over 52% for the seventh-straight year. The Grizzlies present a difficult matchup, allowing the eighth-fewest points in the paint as they anchor their frontcourt with Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. They also lead the league in Rebounding Percentage. Even in a tough matchup, Giannis has by far the highest ceiling on this small four-game slate.
Marcus Morris Sr. is another Clippers player who will be a solid value if Leonard is ruled out. Over the last five games, Morris is averaging 13.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while attempting 10.6 field goal attempts per game. With so many injuries on this Clippers team, Morris has had to step it up in the scoring department as he has averaged double digits per game for the 10th straight season.
The Clippers are starting to roll as they have won three-straight games and are one-bucket home favorites against the Suns tonight. Despite the close spread, this game total is only 217.5 points, which is the lowest on the slate. Getting exposure to a value play like Morris eliminates the risk in a low-total game. With a 19.1% usage rate this season, Morris still has the potential to have an upside type of game.
Zion Williamson has seen a significant price increase recently, but at the same time, he has been dominant. He is one of three players on FanDuel who is priced in the five figures on this small slate but has recorded a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in seven of his last eight games. Williamson is averaging 25 points per game while shooting 61.1% from the field. Over his last seven games, those numbers have increased to 30.4 points and 53.1 DraftKings points per game while shooting 67.2% from the field. He is a monster and deserving of the price hike.
NBA DFS Center Picks
The stud center position could be a ghost town on Thursday if Adebayo, Ayton, and Zubac are all ruled out. We will ride down the salary ranks and get to Jaren Jackson Jr., who has been very solid lately and has huge upside. Jackson is averaging a career-high 3.6 blocks per game after recording eight in his last contest.
Surprisingly, Jackson has yet to foul out of a game this season and has only two games with five fouls. Jackson is a weapon as long as he can stay out of foul trouble. He is also averaging a career-high 18.1 points per game while shooting a career-best 51.1% from the field. The Bucks are a fantastic interior defense, but Jackson has at least one made 3-pointer in all but his first game. The upside in his game is always insanely high.
Jonas Valanciunas stands alone with the highest project Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel at the center position. He has taken a bit of a back seat with Williamson’s recent eruption, but Valanciunas can still deliver value at this salary. His minutes have taken a hit, but Valanciunas has still recorded a double-double in six of his last 11 games. The falling salary makes him such an intriguing tournament option when fading Williamson.
The center position could be lacking talent without Ayton or Adebayo, who are the highest-priced centers on the slate. This is a perfect opportunity to pay down for Valanciunas and pay up for the likes of Giannis and Morant. This game also features the highest total on the slate at 231.5 points, while the Jazz have allowed a league-high 56.3 points per game in the paint this season.
Alperen Sengun also warrants consideration. He ranks second behind Valanciunas in projected Plus/Minus on FanDuel and third on DraftKings. Sengun is coming off a big double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds against the Suns. If Adebayo is out, Sengun should feast against the Heat’s backup center Dewayne Dedmon. He is another excellent tournament play to round out this slate.
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