Thursday features a four-game slate starting at 7:30 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
The Nets are in an outstanding spot Tuesday vs. the Spurs. San Antonio has been one of the best possible matchups for fantasy purposes this season, ranking fifth in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency. The Nets are listed as 5.5-point road favorites, and their 118.75-point implied team total ranks second on the slate.
The Nets are also still playing without Kevin Durant, which opens up plenty of additional opportunities for the rest of the roster. Kyrie Irving should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He wasn’t particularly impressive in his first game without KD, finishing with just 34.5 DraftKings points in 38.1 minutes, but he should be able to bounce back in this spot. Irving has seen a +5.3% usage bump with Durant off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.24 DraftKings points per minute. Irving is a particularly appealing target on FanDuel, where his $9,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
Sticking with the Nets, Seth Curry is another player who should take on a larger role sans Durant. He’s seen a team-high +5.5% usage bump with KD off the floor this season, and he’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute in that scenario. Unlike Irving, he thrived in the team’s last contest, racking up 30.0 DraftKings points in just 26.9 minutes. The team will add Ben Simmons back into the equation on Tuesday – he missed their last game with back soreness – but Curry still stands out as one of the best value options on the slate.
Fred VanVleet is another potential pay-up target on FanDuel. He’s coming off a monster performance in his last contest, racking up 62.0 FanDuel points in an overtime win over the Knicks. He’s in another phenomenal spot Tuesday vs. the Bucks, who have struggled mightily against opposing point guards this season. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +8.25 on FanDuel, where his $7,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%.
James Harden is one of the few top point guards who is a better value on DraftKings than FanDuel. His $10,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 71%, and Harden has been an excellent source of value recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five straight games, scoring at least 56.5 DraftKings points in each. His matchup vs. the Clippers isn’t ideal, but this is simply too cheap of a price tag for Harden.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
There really isn’t a stud to consider at shooting guard on this slate. Paul George is the only player priced above $7,100 on DraftKings, and he’s currently questionable with a hamstring injury. He’s missed the past five games, so he’ll likely be limited even if he does return to the lineup.
After George, Royce O’Neale is the player with the top median and ceiling projection in our NBA Models. He ranks seventh at the position in salary, so that makes him an obvious target.
O’Neale has taken on a larger role than expected for the Nets this season, and he’s projected for more than 36 minutes vs. the Spurs. He’s capable of filling up every category of the box score, evidenced by his near triple-double in the team’s last outing. Overall, he’s averaged 0.75 DraftKings points per minute with Durant off the floor, so he should be able to pay off his current price tag.
Josh Richardson has been getting the job done for the Spurs recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.60 over his past 10 games on DraftKings, and he’s coming off more than 30 minutes in his last outing. He’s not expected to see quite as much playing time on Tuesday, but he should make up for it with his elite per-minute production. Richardson has averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and his $4,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%.
Josh Hart stands out on FanDuel at $6,000. He doesn’t provide the highest ceiling at the position, but he’s an extremely consistent performer. He’s averaged 0.85 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s projected for more than 34 minutes vs. the Nuggets. Hart has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.44 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
Bones Hyland is currently questionable with an ankle injury, but he’s always worth some tournament consideration if he’s able to suit up. He’s averaged a stout 1.14 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially pay off his $4,900 salary. The Nuggets are also in a fantastic spot vs. the Blazers, leading the slate with an implied team total of 122.5 points.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Keldon Johnson has had an up-and-down season for the Spurs. He’s taken over as the team’s top offensive option following the Dejounte Murray trade this offseason, and for the most part, he’s handled it well. He’s had a few stretches where he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, but Johnson has still averaged 0.98 FanDuel points per minute. Johnson is coming off more than 35 minutes in his last outing, and he’s played at least 30.9 minutes in four of his past five games. That should be more than enough to return value on FanDuel, where his $6,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%.
Doug McDermott missed the Spurs last game, and he’s questionable for Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Nets. However, he’s an intriguing value option at $3,600 if he’s able to go. McDermott has played at least 20.3 minutes in his past six contests, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of them. That includes at least 20.5 DraftKings points in his past two outings, so he’s a viable punt play in stars-and-scrubs roster constructions.
Michael Porter Jr. has been a bit of a disappointment this season, but he’s a solid buy-low target at $5,600 on DraftKings. He’s seen a -$500 price decrease over the past month, and his current salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%. Porter has still averaged 0.98 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s racked up at least 28.0 minutes in back-to-back games.
Scottie Barnes has played some of his best basketball of the season recently. He’s scored at least 46.4 FanDuel points in four of his past five games, and he’s increased his production to 1.06 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He always has the potential to play 40+ minutes under head coach Nick Nurse, so he’s still in play despite an elevated salary.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Is there reason to be concerned about Giannis Antetokounmpo? He’s posted a Plus/Minus of -7.23 or worse in three straight games on FanDuel, including an eye-popping 10.8 FanDuel points in a smash spot vs. the Hornets. Giannis typically gets 10.8 FanDuel points just rolling out of bed in the morning, so it’s not surprising that been dealing with an injury. He’s missed three straight games with a knee injury, and his status vs. the Raptors has yet to be determined.
Still, it’s hard not to be intrigued by Giannis if he’s able to return to the lineup. He’s been priced down to $11,400 on FanDuel, and Giannis has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.64 with a comparable salary this season. Very few players can fill it up like Giannis, and he should command far less ownership than usual.
Ben Simmons is our next stop on our tour of the Nets. Their entire roster has appeal in this spot, but Simmons stands out as one of their strongest options on DraftKings, where his $5,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
Simmons isn’t likely to see a huge boost in usage with Durant sidelined, but he’s capable of doing everything else. Specifically, he’s increased his assist rate by a team-high +6.5% with KD off the floor, so he should be able to hand out a few more assists. He managed to rack up 35.75 DraftKings in his last game despite failing to score a single point, which is pretty darn impressive. That gives him plenty of upside if he does get to double-digit points on this slate.
Pascal Siakam is another viable stud target at power forward. He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel, and he’s put together the best season of his career. He’s averaged 1.25 FanDuel points per minute, and very few players carry a larger workload. He’s currently projected for just under 39 minutes in our NBA Models, which is the top mark on the slate regardless of position.
If George remains sidelined for the Clippers, Robert Covington stands out as a nice value target at $3,600 on DraftKings. Covington has always been able to rack up fantasy points quickly due to his defensive prowess, and he’s increased his production to 1.01 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s logged at least 23 minutes in four of his past five games, and he’s scored at least 22.25 DraftKings points in each.
NBA DFS Center Picks
It doesn’t get much more studly the center position on Tuesday. In addition to Antetokounmpo – who has center eligibility on DraftKings – Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid also headline the position. Those are arguably three of the four best producers in fantasy, with the other being Luka Doncic.
Separating those players is always tough, but Jokic stands out as the top choice on Tuesday. He’s been the best of the bunch recently, racking up 1.79 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he possesses an elite combination of floor and ceiling. He’s racked up at least 58.75 DraftKings points in seven of his past nine games, and he’s always a threat to pop off for 80+. This matchup vs. the Blazers is a potential smash spot, while Giannis and Embiid own significantly tougher matchups.
Precious Achiuwa has carved out a role of around 20 minutes per game for the Raptors, and that’s enough for him to return value on DraftKings. Achiuwa has averaged just under a fantasy point per minute this season, and his $3,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%.
Jakob Poeltl is one of the toughest players to beg on a night-to-night basis. He’s typically very productive when on the floor – he’s averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute this season – but his playing time can be very volatile. However, he did see 31.2 minutes in his last outing, and he has plenty of upside on nights where he hits his minute ceiling.
Brook Lopez has been instrumental in the Bucks’ success this season, emerging as a legit Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He’s also been solid from a fantasy perspective, averaging 1.07 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s a viable target vs. the Raptors, and he would become even more appealing if Antetokounmpo is ruled out.
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