Thursday features a seven-game main slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
Use our PrizePicks promo code LABS to get a $100 sign-up bonus on NBA player props.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
After missing basically two full games with an ankle injury, Luka Doncic returned last game and picked up right where he left off. Doncic finished with 53 points while shooting 17 of 24 from the field and 5 of 11 from behind the arc. He accumulated 75 DraftKings points as he continues to rank second in scoring and usage rate per game this season. With Christian Wood still out for the Mavericks, Doncic will be a focal point in all lineup builds tonight.
In his last four games with Wood out, Doncic is averaging 39.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. His rebounding rate has increased dramatically, which provides even more upside for Doncic. The Pelicans rank seventh in Defensive Rating this season, but that hasn’t slowed down Doncic in this matchup. In his two games against the Pelicans, Doncic is averaging 35.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. He is an elite pay-up option yet again.
Priced at the stone minimum on DraftKings and barely over the minimum on FanDuel, Ty Jerome has the highest projected Plus/Minus on both sites. The Warriors’ main starters are likely to rest tonight, including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins. Make sure to monitor our news dashboard to confirm these players are out, but if they are, Jerome looks like the best value on the slate.
Jerome would likely take over at point guard in that scenario for the Warriors, who are 12-point road underdogs against the Nuggets. In his last start against a tough Cavaliers defense, Jerome had 22 points, eight assists, and over 40 DraftKings points. He hasn’t played since January 22nd, but Jerome is projected to play 33.9 minutes in our NBA Models, which has him looking amazing. Jerome is the salary saver we need in stars and scrubs lineup builds.
LaMelo Ball on FanDuel needs to be a priority. He’s coming off a monster performance in his last outing, finishing with a triple-double with 27 points, 11 assists,10 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. Priced at $8,700 on FanDuel, he has a 98% Bargain Rating after recording a Plus/Minus of +34.37 in his last game with 69.5 FanDuel points. His salary has increased, but he’s still too cheap against a Bulls defense that should not be feared.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
The shooting guard position, per usual, is a little weak, especially on DraftKings. However, Paul George is one of the better options on this slate, with both shooting guard and small forward eligibility. Over the last six games since returning from injury, George has averaged 45 DraftKings points with two double-doubles. He remains exceptionally priced on FanDuel at $8,300 with a 97% Bargain Rating.
Surprisingly, this matchup with the Bucks has a 230-point total, which is in the middle of the pack on the slate. The Bucks have the third-best Defensive Rating but rank just outside the top 10 in Pace. George seems to thrive in competitive games, and even though Kawhi Leonard is healthy alongside him, George can pay off this price tag.
Jordan Poole is another Warriors’ value player worth getting exposure to. Outside of Jerome, Poole has the second-highest projected Plus/Minus on both sites and provides value and a ceiling. Using our On/Off Tool, with Curry, Green, Thompson, and Wiggins off the floor, Poole increased his usage rate by a team-high +6.2%, climbing to an absurd 36%. Priced in the mid-range on both sites, Poole will likely be the highest-owned player on the slate.
Poole has taken that next step in his progression, averaging a career-high 20.8 points and 4.4 assists per game. In the 29 games that Poole has started this season, he is averaging 25 points on 19.1 field goal attempts per game. Over that span, Poole also has a 32.3% usage rate while averaging 33.3 DraftKings points per game. Poole can get it cooking from all over the court and deserves this high ownership as the Warriors’ offense’s focal point.
Zach LaVine is coming off one of the best games of his career. He nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, eight assists, and a career-high 14 rebounds. Now LaVine gets the chance to take on the Hornets, who rank 27th in Defensive Rating. They also rank sixth in Pace this season and are allowing 118.7 points per game. This is an excellent spot for LaVine to have another ceiling game with the Bulls implied for 122 points.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
LeBron James has been playing at an elite level as he tries to bring the Lakers up the Western Conference standings. James is averaging over 30 points per game for the second-straight year while shooting over 50% from the field. He is coming off his first triple-double of the season. James has also seen a major decrease in his salary across the industry, and a -$900 decrease on DraftKings has James sitting with a 95% Bargain Rating.
The Lakers are still four games under .500 but have a great chance to win back-to-back games against the Pacers, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games. Tyrese Haliburton is expected back for the Pacers, but the Lakers are two-point road favorites in a game with a slate-high 241-point total. Ranking second in the league in Pace (102.1) entering tonight’s games, James is poised to continue his quest for the All-Time Scoring Record.
Let’s keep it rolling with another Warriors value player at the small forward position. That would be Donte DiVincenzo, who is in his first year with the Warriors. DiVincenzo can stuff the stat sheet in a variety of ways and leads the Warriors with 1.3 steals per game. He has started 12 games for the Warriors this season, and he’s averaged over 28.7 DraftKings points in those contests. DiVincenzo is projected to start and play over 34 minutes in this spot.
This seven-game slate seems to be relatively easy from a cash games perspective. Lock in the highest ceiling players with a plethora of Warriors value. DiVincenzo easily fits in on both DraftKings and FanDuel due to his shooting guard and small forward eligibility. Those are the two most challenging positions to fill on a regular basis, so locking in DiVincenzo provides salary relief to spend up at the most important positions of point guard and center.
Kawhi Leonard is finally starting to take off, scoring 30+ points in four of his last six games while averaging 30.5 points per game over that span. We also saw Leonard display his defensive skillset with a season-high five steals last game playing 40 minutes. During the last 10 games, Leonard has shot 52.7% from the field and 46.3% from behind the arc. At his rising salary, Leonard is a strong tournament play on both DraftKings and FanDuel tonight.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Despite missing five-straight games with knee soreness in mid-January, Giannis Antetokounmpo is back and playing like the MVP candidate that he is. Since returning from injury, Giannis is averaging a massive double-double with 37.4 points and 13.8 rebounds per game while shooting 67.7% from the field. Giannis is leading the league in usage rate at 38.3% and also ranks second in rebounding behind Domantas Sabonis with 12.2 per game.
With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both healthy, this is a tough matchup for Giannis from a ceiling standpoint. However, the Clippers rank below average in points allowed in the paint this season, where Giannis does most of his damage. Playing at home also seems to put Giannis in a good head space. He is averaging 34.6 points per game while shooting 56.9% from the field at home compared to just 28.7 per game on the road. Even though this is a tough spot for Giannis, the upside is there for a huge game as a home favorite.
Jonathan Kuminga rates out as another substantial value for the Warriors, but we’ll go a little safer with Mavericks starter Dorian Finney-Smith. He also benefits greatly from the absence of Christian Wood, and Finney-Smith has seen his rebounding and field goal attempts increase in the games that Wood has been unable to play. Over the last three games, Finney-Smith is averaging 11.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Playing alongside Doncic will provide plenty of open opportunities from the perimeter since Finney-Smith does a great job spacing the floor. Over 70% of his field goal attempts this season have come from behind the arc, which should bode well for this matchup against the Pelicans. They allow 36.1 3-point attempts per game, which is tied for the sixth-highest in the league. Finney-Smith isn’t afraid to let it fly from distance.
In his fourth season with the Knicks, Julius Randle is averaging a career-high 24.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Scoring over 30 points in three of his last six games, Randle is playing heavy minutes with a 28.5% usage rate. This game features the lowest total on the slate at 213 points, as the Knicks are slight home underdogs. Even though both teams rank in the bottom five of Pace, Randle has been thriving as the Knicks star.
NBA DFS Center Picks
In need of an automatic triple-double? Let me introduce you to Nikola Jokic, who is finally averaging a triple-double this season with 25.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, and exactly 10 assists per game. Jokic leads the league with 16 triple-doubles and has recorded the elusive stat in seven of his last nine games. Like LeBron, Jokic has seen his salary dip on DraftKings down to $11,300, his lowest price tag since December 8th.
Despite being much cheaper than Doncic and Giannis, Jokic is neck-and-neck with both from a ceiling perspective. His triple-double upside also provides safety for those playing cash games. If the Warriors do sit nearly everyone as expected, Jokic look even better in this spot. He had a triple-double in their last meeting, and there is no reason to think he can’t do it again.
Steven Adams has missed the past five games with an injury, and Xavier Tillman has started and played a key role in the Grizzlies’ lineup. Tillman is averaging 24.5 DraftKings points per game during that time while recording double-digit rebounds in his last two games. Despite not having a double-double yet, Tillman has been awfully close, and that type of upside is worthy of some exposure at his cheap salary on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Tillman’s minutes have fluctuated a lot based on the matchup, but luckily, the Cavaliers have Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allenp. That should solidify his playing time. This is undoubtedly a tough spot for Tillman as the Cavaliers lead the league in Defensive Rating (109.6) and are allowing a league-low 106.8 points per game. However, Tillman is projected for over 27 minutes and is priced way too cheap on both sites.
Double-double machine Nikola Vucevic has averaged 24.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in his last two games, going well over 50 DraftKings points in both contests. Now he gets a cupcake matchup against a Hornets frontcourt that has allowed 50.9 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks 20th in the league. They also rank 21st in Rebounding Percentage, so if you need sure fire double-double at a mid-range salary, then Vucevic is your guy.
Get $100 Sign-up Bonus!