Thursday features a four-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.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
The lack of pay-up options on this small four-game slate is alarming. On DraftKings, no players are priced above $9,900, making it pretty easy to fit anyone into lineup builds. We’ll lead it off with Thunder All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has put together the best season in his career. He is averaging 31.4 points per game, shooting a very impressive 51% from the field and over 90% from the charity stripe.
Thursday’s matchup against the Clippers will be a rematch from Monday night, where the Thunder held on to defeat the Clippers 101-100. Gilgeous-Alexander had 31 points in that contest and has shot 23+ field goal attempts in five of his last six games. With a career-high 32.7% usage rate, Gilgeous-Alexander is the main reason the Thunder have won eight of their previous 10 games, putting them in prime position in the Western Conference standings.
Not only is this slate lacking studs, but value is also difficult to find. However, Dennis Smith Jr., who is projected to play a modest 26 minutes, has the highest projected Plus/Minus at the point guard position on DraftKings. Smith Jr. has averaged 32 minutes per game over his last four games, so his minute projection seems a bit conservative.
The Hornets are the biggest underdogs on the slate playing on the road against the Pelicans. Despite an implied total of only 108.75 points, they play at the sixth-fastest Pace in the league, which should provide plenty of opportunities for Smith Jr. to acquire fantasy points. He has double-digit field goal attempts in five of his last six games and has recorded at least six assists in nine of his previous 11.
Smith Jr. is a strong value play with sneaky double-double upside if things fall in his favor.
Speaking of double-doubles, Nets’ point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been racking up assists with ease recently. Over his last six games, Dinwiddie is averaging 17.5 points and 11.2 assists per game, despite shooting just 39.6% from the field. He has a 23.8% usage rate while averaging 42.8 DraftKings points per game during that time, so if his shot starts to fall, Dinwiddie may be the best points-per-dollar play on the slate. The Cavaliers lead the league in Defensive Rating, but Dinwiddie dropped 19 points and 11 assists against them Monday night.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Donovan Mitchell led the way in the Cavaliers’ victory over the Nets on Monday, finishing with 31 points and five 3-pointers. For some reason, Mitchell has seen his salary on DraftKings dip to $8,400, resulting in a 97% Bargain Rating. His first season with the Cavaliers has been a success, as Mitchell is averaging a career-high 27.4 points per game.
The salary dip is due to Mitchell only averaging 36.5 DraftKings points per game over his last four games. However, he has massive upside, which we have seen numerous times. In March, Mitchell has three games of more than 55 DraftKings points. He may be a scoring-dependent fantasy producer, but Mitchell has a team-high 31.8% usage rate this season. Prioritize Mitchell on DraftKings, where he is significantly underpriced.
Veteran Eric Gordon is the best shooting guard value on the slate. He has averaged 13.4 points per game this month, shooting 50.6% from the field and 41.5% from behind the arc. During that time, he has averaged just 29.4 minutes a night, but that will likely increase with Paul George and Norman Powell sidelined for the foreseeable future. With those two off the floor, Gordon has a team-high +7.6% usage rate differential.
The Thunder have been susceptible to the perimeter shot all season long, allowing opponents to shoot 36 3-pointers per game. That’s the eighth-most in the league. Gordon has averaged 2.4 made 3-pointers in his last nine games, despite shooting just under six per game. With George and Powell out, the Clippers will need Gordon’s scoring, so expect him to let it fly against a team allowing a ton of 3-point attempts.
Mikal Bridges on the Nets has been a completely different player. Since being acquired, Bridges is averaging a career-high 25.4 points per game with a 28.5% usage rate. His peripherals have dipped recently, but Bridges always has the upside to grab several rebounds and flirt with a double-double. The matchup against the Cavaliers will be tough as this total is the lowest on the slate at 219.5 points. However, projected for less than 10% ownership on FanDuel and under 20% on DraftKings, Bridges is worth a flier with how many field goals he is attempting.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
One of the biggest storylines coming down the stretch is that the Clippers will have to survive the next few weeks without George. That will open the door for Kawhi Leonard to take on a more prominent role, and he’s increased his usage rate to 31% in six games without George this season.
Looking to avenge their loss Monday night, Leonard will now get full reigns off the Clippers’ offense. Since the All-Star break, Leonard is averaging 29.2 points and 47.6 DraftKings points per game while shooting 54.9% from the field and 50.1% from behind the arc. The Thunder have a few strong individual defenders, but given the extra usage and production without George on the floor, this is a great spot to target Leonard to get the Clippers back on track.
Leonard leads the slate with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel and nine on DraftKings.
Jalen Williams is quickly becoming a valuable asset for the Thunder. Among all positions, he has the third-highest projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings and the fourth-highest on FanDuel. Both sites are all over the place with his position eligibility, as he is a power forward only on DraftKings and has shooting guard and small forward eligibility on FanDuel. Regardless, Williams has recorded over 40 fantasy points in six of his last 10 games.
On Monday night against the Clippers, Williams had 20 points and eight rebounds while shooting 8-15 from the field. The rookie is averaging 13.6 points per game while shooting 51.8% from the field this season. He has also established himself as a tenacious defender, as Williams is averaging over two steals per game since January.
As the Pelicans try and rally to make the play-in tournament, Brandon Ingram is leading the way. Over the last four games, Ingram is averaging 44.6 DraftKings points per game while shooting 51.9% from the field. Ingram has the fifth-highest projected ceiling on both sites, and he owns a fantastic matchup against the Hornets. They rank 20th in Defensive Rating while allowing 117.4 points per game. In his only matchup against the Hornets this season, Ingram had a near triple-double with 28 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Julius Randle is another pay-up option that looks much better on DraftKings than FanDuel, as he is -$1,200 cheaper. At $9,100 with a 96% Bargain Rating, Randle has major upside, as shown in his game Sunday night against the Timberwolves. He racked up 57 points while shooting 19-29 from the field and 8-14 from the perimeter. He has also performed better on the road this season, averaging 3.3 additional points per game.
This is a back-to-back for the Knicks after losing to the Heat by seven points last night. Despite playing massive minutes, Randle has had plenty of success on back-to-backs this season, averaging nearly a double-double with 26.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game on no days rest. Even though the Magic have been tough against opposing centers, Randle has averaged 23.5 points and 13 rebounds per game against them this season.
P.J. Washington is another Hornets value player worth considering on this four-game slate. Mark Williams is out for the Hornets, solidifying the playing time and rebounding upside for Washington. In his fourth year in the league, Washington is averaging a career-high 15.1 points and 32.9 minutes per game. He has shown perimeter upside, making two 3-pointers per game while shooting a respectable 36.6% for his career.
Even without Zion Williamson, the Pelicans’ frontcourt has been fantastic at defending the paint and the glass. The Hornets will have their work cut out for them in this matchup. Luckily for Washington, he likely won’t be guarded by Herbert Jones, which should free him up for more offensive opportunities.
Our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations also like Washington’s scoring prospects on Thursday:
Paolo Banchero is a massive favorite to take home Rookie of the Year, and he has solidified himself as one of the best up-and-coming players the league has to offer. He is averaging a team-high 20 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while showing the ability to capture assists as well. Banchero had eight assists in his last game as he nearly had a triple-double. Watching bulldogs Banchero and Randle battle is going to be fun.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Center is the worst position for stud options, as most are priced in the mid-range on both sites. Jonas Valanciunas looks like the best choice, as he has an elite matchup against the Hornets’ frontcourt without Williams. They are allowing a slate-high 52.2 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks as the ninth-highest in the league. The Hornets also rank 25th in Rebounding Percentage, allowing 46.5 rebounds per game.
Capturing a double-double is what Valanciunas has done best recently. Over his last three games, Valanciunas is averaging 20.7 points and 14.7 rebounds per game while shooting 63.2% from the field. He also has six blocks and seven assists, highlighting his versatility. His playing time can be sporadic, but the Pelicans need to win games to make the play-in tournament, and they have a significant advantage with Valanciunas in the paint tonight.
Staying in the same game, Nick Richards remains a little too cheap on both DraftKings and FanDuel without Williams in the lineup. He is a great salary saver with massive upside at this price tag. Richards recorded a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds in his last game, going for over 40 DraftKings points.
This is a much tougher matchup than his last game, but Richards is averaging 9.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 70.8% from the field when starting. He can stuff the stat sheet in a variety of ways, which is tough to find at this salary on both sites.
Jarrett Allen gets a matchup with his former team, and he’s popping as the strongest value on DraftKings with the highest projected Plus/Minus at the center position. He finally returned from injury last game and picked up right where he left off with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Nets rank last in Rebounding Percentage (47.1%), which bodes well for one of the best rebounders in the league. In his seven games against the Nets since leaving for the Cavaliers, Allen is averaging a double-double with 13.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He should continue to feast in this matchup.