Damian Lillard

Thursday’s five-game NBA slate is one you’ll need to pay some extra attention to. It’s trade deadline day in the NBA, which means plenty of moving parts. We saw the deadline take its toll on Wednesday’s slate, so make sure you keep your lineups flexible. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:


Set your lineups here: NBA $400K Thursday Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

Point Guard

Target worth paying up for: Damian Lillard ($10,000) vs. SAS (16th)

Lillard’s streak of six games in a row with 70 DKFP came to an end against Denver, but he shot just 8-for-23 in 30 minutes in a blowout loss. That could scare people away from rostering Dame on this slate, but I’ll chase him to get back on track against a soft San Antonio defense.

Best value: Coby White ($3,800) vs. NOP (24th)

Kris Dunn (knee) has been ruled out for the Bulls, opening some extra minutes on the perimeter. I like White to benefit most, coming off 22.75 DKFP in 25 minutes in Toronto without even shooting the ball well. The matchup against New Orleans helps for fantasy purposes.

Positional Strategy

PG has the most plays to pay up for on the slate and also provides some good value with the Dunn injury. Russell Westbrook (thumb) is the big domino we need to wait for in the late game.

Shooting Guard

Target worth paying up for: Zach LaVine ($8,400) vs. NOP (21st)

LaVine also benefits from Dunn’s absence, but the matchup against the Pelicans is a favorable one for any top wing scorer. He dropped 51.25 DKFP in 36 minutes against New Orleans earlier in the season.

Best value: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,600) vs. HOU (30th)

KCP has the ability to play 20-30 minutes and score 20-plus DKFP on any given slate. The matchup against Houston should help his upside — he did go HAM for 35.75 DKFP against the Rockets earlier this season.

Positional Strategy

LaVine is the only potential pay up spot at SG, otherwise, I’m looking to take advantage of value at the position. Westbrook getting ruled out immediately shifts James Harden ($12,400) into the top SG play.

Small Forward

Target worth paying up for: LeBron James ($10,400) vs. HOU (28th)

LeBron’s the usual solid cash play on this slate, but Russell Westbrook’s (thumb) status could swing that. Upgrade James Harden ($12,400) to the slate’s top play if Russ is ruled out, but I’ll take LBJ if Russ plays. If you can find the value to game stack Harden with LeBron, go for it.

Best value: Chandler Hutchison ($4,300) vs. NOP (26th)

Hutchison’s been great over his last three games, averaging 26.75 DKFP. He gets the same boost for Chicago with Dunn out and a matchup against NOLA.

Positional Strategy

SF has some decent mid-price plays, as Brandon Ingram ($7,400) and Tobias Harris ($6,600) are both solid plays on what feels like a stars and scrubs slate.

Power Forward

Target worth paying up for: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) vs. PHI (15th)

Giannis has gone for over 60 DKFP in five straight and will look to keep rolling against Philly. I think he’s a good play for his salary, but plays like Harden and LeBron could wind up being more valuable. I do like the revenge narrative with Giannis facing the Sixers following an embarrassing Christmas Day game.

Best value: LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,500) at POR (30th)

LMA’s been putting up some brutal numbers lately, which has his salary down against the worst team defending PF this season, which also happens to be his former team. In two games against Portland, Aldridge is averaging 47.3 DKFP, setting up a great bounce-back spot.

Positional Strategy

PF feels like a pay-up spot between these two guys, the top C plays that are PF eligible, and Ingram/Harris being PF eligible. Trey Lyles ($3,200) is a potential punt play if you need one.


Target worth paying up for: Anthony Davis ($9,700) vs. HOU (14th)

The Rockets have decided to go uber small, which leaves nobody to cover AD. I just expect this one to be a physical mismatch, giving Davis the upper hand against anyone Houston throws at him. I much prefer AD to LeBron in tournaments.

Best value: Luke Kornet ($3,900) vs. NOP (9th)

Kornet has two games of 32 DKFP in his last four, but his salary is down $1,100 over the last three contests. It’s a buy-low spot on a guy with 8-10X potential.

Positional Strategy

Joel Embiid ($9,100) is tempting at this price tag, but he will be a fade for me. He’s played 26 or fewer minutes in two of his four games since returning. Milwaukee could also run away with this one, and limit him to 20 DKFP like we saw Saturday night in Boston.

Key news to monitor on DK Live:


Russell Westbrook (thumb)
RJ Barrett (ankle)
Mitchell Robinson (illness)


Robert Covington (traded to Rockets)
Reggie Bullock (illness)

*The Bulls constantly list a handful of players as probable that always play. They will not be listed in this injury report.


Denzel Valentine (hamstring)
Daniel Gafford (ankle)


Marcus Morris (traded to Clippers)
Kris Dunn (knee)
Kyle O’Quinn (personal)
Damyean Dotson (illness)

Get all the news and analysis up to the minute on DK Live.

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