We have a massive 14-game NBA slate tonight heading into Thanksgiving. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:
Target worth paying up for: Trae Young ($9,900) at MIL (26th)Last season, the Bucks were one of the best teams in the league against point guards. This season, not so much. This rates out as a fairly easy matchup for Young, who’s been on fire lately. He’s averaging more than 60 DKFP in his past two games and has at least 45 DKFP in eight of his past 10 games.
Best value: Lou Williams ($6,900) at MEM (24th)With this being the tail end of a back-to-back, I am assuming Kawhi Leonard is getting the night off. He’s yet to play in consecutive days, and Williams has a 33% usage rating with Leonard off the court this season. We also have seen Williams move into the starting lineup in some of the games Kawhi has sat.
Positional StrategyRight now, it looks like this is a position to target the mid-tier. In addition to Williams, there are guys in the same price range to cheap making their way back from injuries. Both Kemba Walker ($6,700) and Malcolm Brogdon ($6,800) were much more expensive earlier in the season.
Target worth paying up for: James Harden ($11,800) vs. MIA (8th)It’s hard to completely ignore Harden even if he isn’t the best per-dollar play. He has at least 60 DKFP in nine of his past 11 games and could be easy to fit into lineups if enough of the players listed as questionable end up sitting.
Best value: Malcolm Brogdon ($6,800) vs. UTA (13th)Brogdon is cheaper than we are used to seeing for a couple of reasons. First, he missed a handful of games with a back injury and returned with a reduced price tag. Second, the matchup against the vaunted Utah defense is less than ideal. With that said, Rudy Gobert ($8,400) is questionable to play with an ankle injury. Without Gobert, the Jazz have a completely different outlook on defense. In the past two games without him, the Jazz are allowing 121 points per game. If Gobert plays, this isn’t a great spot to roster Brogdon.
Positional StrategyThere is a lot of overlap here with the point guard position. A lot of players have PG/SG eligibility and I mostly am looking to target the same guys in the mid-range.
Target worth paying up for: Paul George ($8,600) at MEM (15th)As mentioned above, I don’t think Leonard is going to play tonight. Like Williams, we can count on PG to play a larger role without Leonard. George has a 37.4% usage rating and scores 61.46 DKFP per 36 minutes without Leonard on the court. The minutes restriction George played with when he first came back from his shoulder injury is no longer a concern.
Best value: Danuel House ($4,500) vs. MIA (8th)Can House play without getting hurt? When healthy, House churns out great value. The issue is he hasn’t been able to stay healthy much lately. In the past 11 games, House has missed four with injuries and left two games early because of injuries. In the five games he was able to play all the way through, House averaged 30 DKFP. The injuries feel a bit flukey and I doubt this is going to be an issue all season.
Positional StrategyAs long as Leonard sits, George is easily the strongest option with the information we currently have. Small forward is one of the weaker positions on the slate, and George figures to be one of the highest owned players on the night.
Target worth paying up for: Blake Griffin ($7,000) at CHA (11th)Looking at his game log, there isn’t much to get excited about when it comes to Griffin. He’s yet to have a big game and his season started late after offseason knee injury. So, what is the reason to roster Blake? He’s an All-Star caliber player and he almost certainly is going to produce better once he works the rust off. His early fantasy totals were down in large part because of a minutes restriction. This is less of an issue after Griffin played more than 30 minutes in each of the past two games. More minutes should mean more production.
Best value: Miles Bridges ($5,000) vs. DET (17th)Bridges was competing for minutes with Nic Batum ($3,900), and it looks like Bridges has separated himself from the veteran in recent games. He’s played more than 30 minutes in four consecutive games and scored at least 25 DKFP in four of his past five games.
Positional StrategyThere figures to be a bit more value at this position when injury news comes out. Draymond Green ($5,700) and Kevin Love ($7,500) are both questionable to play. If neither of them suit up then we have value in the front courts of the Cavs and Warriors. If Love can’t play, Larry Nance ($6,300) is worth a look. He likely would move into Cleveland’s starting lineup, and he’s averaging 38.5 DKFP in three starts.
Target worth paying up for: Joel Embiid ($9,100) vs. SAC (5th)Contrary to what you might read on social media, Embiid does not suck. He did last game, but it was definitely more of a fluke than a sign of things to come. Embiid scored a grand total of zero points, the first time that happened to him in an NBA or college game. We have never seen a performance like that out of him before, and this is a chance to go to him as a contrarian play when the masses are scared off from his recent dud.
Best value: Hassan Whiteside ($6,600) vs. OKC (19th)This man needs a bit more love from the pricing algorithm. Despite averaging 35.5 DKFP, Whiteside has been priced under $7,000 for 13 of the Trail Blazers’ past 14 games. The pricing is off here, and he’s one of the safest picks on the slate to hit 5x value.
Positional StrategyAs per usual, there are a lot of good centers to go to. This is a great spot to spend up and there is reason to think Embiid, Anthony Davis ($10,000) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,300) all could have big games.
Key news to monitor on DK Live:
QUESTIONABLEKevin Love (knee)
DeAndre Jordan (ankle)
Rudy Gobert (ankle)
Tony Snell (hip)
Frank Ntilikina (groin)
R.J. Barrett (illness)
Clint Capela (illness)
Ja Morant (back)
Josh Hart (knee/ankle)
Derrick Favors (back)
Draymond Green (heel)
DeAndre’ Bembry (hip)
PROBABLEKemba Walker (neck)
Marcus Smart (finger)
Bogdan Bogdanovich (hamstring)
Malik Monk (finger)
Cody Zeller (hip)
Jimmy Butler (illness)
Justise Winslow (concussion)
Cam Reddish (wrist)
De’Andre Hunter (knee)
Josh Okogie (knee)
Treveon Graham (forearm)
Ricky Rubio (back)
Cameron Johnson (knee)
Anthony Davis (shoulder)
Lonzo Ball (illness)
DOUBTFULDanuel House (back)
Shabazz Napier (hamstring)
OUTSerge Ibaka (ankle)
Kevin Knox (quad)
George Hil (illness)
Shabazz Napier (hamstring)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.