With 11 games Wednesday and 10 games on each of the next two nights, the NBA is in the middle of a busy stretch of the season, but Thursday provides a chance to catch your breath with a limited two-game slate. There are only four teams in action as the Trail Blazers visit the Bucks in the first game of the night and the Pelicans fly west to take on the Suns in the nightcap.
Even with such limited options, there are still good fantasy options to consider as you build your roster. There are also some important injury situations to keep an eye on so check out the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com for any late-breaking news that should impact your lineup. Given the information we have as of Thursday morning, here are my top studs and values at each spot.
StudCJ McCollum, POR at MIL, $7,500 — The injury with the biggest impact coming into the day is the back injury that will sideline Damian Lillard for a second straight game. To make matters even worse for Portland, Anfernee Simons ($4,700; ankle) and Hassan Whiteside ($6,500; hip) are questionable as well. Simons entered the starting lineup in Lillard’s spot last game but McCollum carried most of the offensive workload, taking 22 shots and scoring 22 points on his way to 42 DKFP. He has more than 40 DKFP in each of his past three games and could have to carry even more offense tonight if the Blazers hope to keep things close with the Bucks. Due to his increased work, he should offer good returns at this salary. Other Options — Jrue Holiday ($8,200), Eric Bledsoe ($6,800)
ValueDonte DiVincenzo, MIL vs. POR, $4,400 — DiVincenzo didn’t have much of a role when the season started but has played his way into more work lately. He has started the past four games for the Bucks and averaged 11.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 24.5 DKFP in 25.3 minutes per contest. He has posted at least 25 DKFP in three straight and provides solid complimentary stats while starting alongside Eric Bledsoe ($6,800) and Wesley Matthews ($3,800).
Other Options — Lonzo Ball ($5,000), Jevon Carter ($3,300)
StudDevin Booker, PHO vs. NO, $8,500 — Like McCollum, Booker likely will have to carry more work than usual due to the absence of his backcourt-mate. Ricky Rubio ($5,600; back) is doubtful against the Pels, which sets up a favorable matchup for Booker. He has scored at least 20 points in 11 straight contests and had 30 points, eight assists, five boards and 51.75 DKFP in his most recent game Tuesday in Sacramento. He has at least 42 DKFP in three of his past five games and offers a sky-high ceiling if he goes off against New Orleans.
ValueJJ Redick, NO at PHO, $5,200 — Reddick has been one of the Pelicans’ many walking wounded but has played well since returning from his toe injury two games ago. He had 26 points and 36.75 DKFP against Golden State in his first game back and followed that with 18 points and 29.25 DKFP against the Blazers on Tuesday. In five games since joining the starting lineup, Redick has produced an average of 32.4 DKFP in 33.6 minutes per game. It’ll be interesting to see if he keeps starting as the Pelicans get healthy, but he has nice upside for as long as he does.
Other Options — Anfernee Simons ($4,700), Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($4,000)
StudBrandon Ingram, NO at PHO, $7,000 — Ingram returned from a four-game absence Tuesday, when he led the Pelicans past Portland with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and 42.25 DKFP in 35 minutes. He has more than 41 DKFP in four straight contests and looked fully healthy in his return. If he’s at full strength, he’s a nice option at $7K against the Suns in what is expected to be the higher-scoring of the two games on the slate with an over/under of 235.
ValueKenrich Williams, NO at PHO, $5,300 — Kenny Hustle still played 34 minutes Tuesday despite Ingram’s return and continued to stuff the stat sheet. He had 13 boards, eight points, three steals, an assist, a block and 33.75 DKFP. He has posted more than 20 DKFP in six straight games and always finds ways to chip in even if he isn’t scoring a ton of points. Williams has been doing especially good work on the glass with double-digit rebounds in four of his past five contests.
Other Options — Dario Saric ($5,000), Mikal Bridges ($3,900)
StudGiannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. POR, $10,600 — Giannis continues to carry the load for the Bucks while Khris Middleton (quad) remains sidelined. In the four games since Middleton’s injury, the Greek Freak has averaged 32.5 points and 59.75 DKFP in a manageable 32 minutes per game. Antetokounmpo has posted a double-double at least 55 DKFP in 10 straight games, and the only real risk of him coming up short is if the Bucks turn this game into a laugher early. He’s actually a very safe play even at over $10K given his recent run of results and expected workload.
ValueNassir Little, POR at MIL, $4,100 — Even with Carmelo Anthony ($3,900) making his Blazers debut in the starting lineup and soaking up 24 minutes, Little found ways to get involved and logged 23 minutes of his own, outperforming the veteran and finishing with 35.25 DKFP on 12 points, 11 boards and two blocks. Little has worked his way into a growing role for the Blazers, and hopefully they don’t let him get eclipsed by Melo’s name value. Little is a big part of the Blazers’ future since he’s just 19 and should keep finding ways to contribute if he gets 20-plus minutes a game.
Other Options — Nicolo Melli ($4,500), Jeff Green ($4,000)
StudJaxson Hayes, NO at PHO, $5,100 — Hayes has stepped up into a bigger role with Derrick Favors (back spasms) out. The No. 8 overall pick in last year’s draft got his first NBA start Sunday against the Warriors and produced 31 DKFP on 10 points, 10 boards and three blocks. He followed that up with 27.75 DKFP in his second start, which came against Portland on Tuesday. With Favors still out and a good matchup against the Suns, who won’t have Aron Baynes (hip), Hayes should continue to be a solid contributor for the Pelicans. Other Options — Brook Lopez ($5,400)
ValueFrank Kaminsky, PHO vs. NO, $4,600 — Kaminsky likely will get the start in place of Baynes and offers nice value with good upside if he gets his long-range shot dropping. Kaminsky had 17 points, four boards and 25 DKFP on Tuesday against the Kings with Baynes out and should be lined up for a similar workload Thursday. He has scored at least 15 points and 25 DKFP in three of his past four games. He’s probable with a left hip contusion, but he’s worth a look at this salary if he continues to be able to play through the injury.
Other Options — Skal Labissiere ($3,600), Cheick Diallo ($3,500)
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