DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

We've got a great chance for profit on Thursday's four-game slate! Let's get right to it.

SLATE OVERVIEW

PHI (-7) @ WAS, O/U: 234

TOR (-2.5) vs. HOU, O/U: 230

DEN (-8) @ NY, O/U: 201.5

NO (-3) vs. PHO, O/U: 234

The DEN/NY matchup has a historically low Over/Under. When you consider that the other three games post totals of 230 or more, it's reasonable to just mark off the entire game as a fade and move on. Of all the available games, the Philly side of the PHI/WAS game is my favorite, and I can envision a lineup where I'd have three 76ers starters in play.  I also like the Pelicans side of the PHO/NO matchup as well.

INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR

Thomas Bryant (foot) OUT

The injury looks like it's going to sideline Bryant for at least a couple of weeks. With Moritz Wagner's (ankle) status up in the air tonight, one should assume that Isaac Bonga ($3,700) would see a boost, but I think Rui Hachimura ($5,700) could get an uptick on his already impressive stat line. I also have another thought here, and he'll be included below.

Josh Richardson (hamstring) OUT

In the three games since Richardson's absence, Furkan Korkmaz ($3,500) has averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds as a starter.  While his price is tantalizingly low, these meager totals don't equal enough value for me to pivot to him. The player who's really taken off in this game script is Ben Simmons ($8,000), who's seen a significant uptick in points and assists with Richardson out.

Danuel House (illness) QUESTIONABLE

If House returns, it ends the run to value town that was Ben McLemore ($4,500), who looked impressive in two consecutive starts. P.J. Tucker ($5,000) would also be a sound play if House sits.

ELITE PLAYERS

Despite the slim slate, I can see several avenues where rostering James Harden ($12,000) at the inflated price is unnecessary, so I'll regrettably categorize him as a fade this evening.

Joel Embiid, PHI ($9,700) @ WAS

Embiid's value skyrockets tonight, as the Wizards have no interior game to speak of with Thomas Bryant out and Moritz Wagner sidelined.  I don't think Isaac Bonga stands a chance against Embiid, although rookie Rui Hachimura will probably end up defending up at some point as well.  My target score here is around 50 DKFP, which would yield 5x value at this price.

Bradley Beal, WAS ($8,400) vs, PHI

Like Embiid, we're really hoping for somewhere close to 50 DKFP to reach and exceed value in this spot.  Beal hasn't been quite as consistent as he has in recent years, but with the interior game in flux, the team will need to rely on Beal to get things done. In four games against Philly last season, Beal averaged just above 40 DKFP per game.  That score would only generate about $217 per point, making him more a GPP play tonight in hopes of a ceiling-scratching score.

Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,400) vs. HOU

The previous three games were atypical stat lines for Siakam, as none of them eclipsed 30 DKFP, but a full day and a half of rest at home should put Siakam in a plum spot to rebound. I could find reasons to spend down from this spot snd go other ways on the Raptors, which I'll outline below.

Also consider: Brandon Ingram, NO ($8,200)

EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS

Kyle Lowry ($7,000) vs. Fred VanVleet ($6,600)

While not exactly a pick per se, this situation will be interesting to monitor as the season progresses. Lowry's return resulted in shifting VanVleet to shooting guard, relegating him to more of a shot-dependent target.  Lowry shot horribly in his first game back, but was enough of an assist magnet to put up a 41 DKFP score, significantly larger than VenVleet's total. Barring more Lowry injury setbacks, you seasonal people out there might want to consider VanVleet as a sell-high candidate. Right now, I'm on the Lowry bandwagon in this scenario.  We'll have to dodge some rest days here and there, but right now there's no indication that he'll have a minute restriction. He logged a full 40 minutes against Miami.

Tobias Harris, PHI ($6,500) @ WAS

As previously stated, I planned on including three Philly starters in a lot of my lineups, and I have a good amount of exposure on Harris as well.  His recent floor is just about at 5x value but I think we could see Harris go north of 40 tonight against the Wizards, who will already be in a bind trying to cover Embiid.

Davis Bertans, WAS ($5,900) vs. PHI

Bertans might be the guy to get the thunder with Thomas Bryant out.  Inconsistency is often the blemish on Bertans' record, but he also hasn't been given his due in terms of usage at his other stops in the NBA. That's not the case in Washington, and right now the team needs Bertans' help.  He has enough size to contribute inside, but also possesses a handy three-point stroke that helps stretch the defense. 

Lonzo Ball, NO ($5,300) vs. PHO

Ok, ok, just hear me out!  With the Suns on a road back-to-back, the Pelicans are already in a great spot.  In their last game, New Orleans did what I've been endorsing since Ball returned to action – they moved Holiday to the two and inserted Ball at the point where he's most effective.  I think a Ball/Holiday/Ingram setup is where the Pelicans can be the most productive. As Ball gets more time in the role, we're inevitably going to see his assist totals climb, and when he's locked in it will only help Holiday and Ingram.  New Orleans is ailing inside, so for tonight this trio is the highlight reel, with Ball getting the ball to his playmakers.

Also consider: Rui Hachimura, WAS ($5,700), Al Horford, PHI ($6,400)

VALUE PLAYS

Isaiah Thomas, WAS ($5,200) vs. PHI

The Wizards will need to deploy all manner of weaponry to stay competitive against Philly, and Thomas has been playing exceptionally well in his new home.  Thomas should get the green light against his former East rival as the starting point guard once again. With both Beal and Thomas at 100 percent, they're as deadly as any backcourt duo you'll find in the conference.

J.J. Redick, NO ($4,800) vs. PHO 

Redick is another guy for the Pelicans that will slide into the lineup, but I wouldn't endorse a stack with Ball or Ingram here.  I like exposure to the Pelicans, but not THAT much. I'd go with Redick if you're Toronto or Philly-heavy and want a piece of the action here, as he can certainly deliver some punch in the right situation. 30 DKFP is right where we'd want Redick to be to get value here.

Marc Gasol, TOR ($4,400) vs. HOU

I like Gasol in this spot as the Rockets are a middle-of-the-pack rebounding team that focuses much of its firepower in the backcourt. With Kyle Lowry back as the primary ballhandler, he should be able to find Gasol often, and I think the big man is a decent pivot over the higher-priced Siakam or the less-consistent Serge Ibaka.

SUMMARY

I think this slate is a great opportunity for cash play, as small slates tend to lessen the impact of GPPs with a lot of tie scores.  If you really want to go lower on ownership in GPPs formats, I'd recommend diving deeper into the Philly, New Orleans and Toronto lineups and take a flier or two on guys I didn't mention here. As always, check in with us at RotoWire for all the latest information prior to tip-off.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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