The NBA Trade Deadline is Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET, and after the hype and activity die down there are a handful of games on the fantasy basketball slate. The Magic are in New York to face the Knicks in the early game before the big matchup between the 76ers and Bucks in Milwaukee. The Bulls host the Pelicans, and the Spurs visit the Trail Blazers before the night closes out with a great matchup as James Harden ($12,400) and the Rockets take on LeBron James ($10,400) and the Lakers.
Make sure to check out the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com for news throughout the day about trades and player availability for these 10 teams. As you start to put your lineup together, here are my top studs and values at each position based on the information we have this morning.
StudDamian Lillard, POR vs. SA, $10,000 — Lillard cooled off on Tuesday in Denver with only 21 points and 39.5 DKFP in 30 minutes while shooting just 8-for-23 from the field. That performance snapped an eight-game streak of dominance, though, and I think he’ll be ready to bounce right back against the Spurs. In his previous eight games before Tuesday, Lillard had at least 34 points in each contest averaging 45.1 points, 9.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals for 72.3 DKFP per contest. He had at least 70 DKFP in six straight before Tuesday and five of those contests were at home, where he’ll try to carry the Blazers to another win in this matchup.
Other Options — Elfrid Payton ($7,300), Lonzo Ball ($6,900)
ValueMichael Carter-Williams, ORL at NY, $3,900 — With D.J. Augustin (knee) sidelined, MCW has been getting all the minutes as the Magic’s backup PG and been fairly productive off the bench. Since you may need to go extremely low to balance out some big spending at other spots, he’s worth a look at under $4K. He has played 20-plus minutes in five straight games and produced at least 18 DKFP in five of his past seven contests. He had 31.25 DKFP in 24 minutes in his most recent game Wednesday in Boston on 12 points, six assists, three steals and two blocks. If he plays 20-25 minutes against the Knicks, MCW should offer good returns at MSG.
Other Options — Tomas Satoransky ($5,400), Rajon Rondo ($4,100)
StudJames Harden, HOU at LAL, $12,400 — Harden has quickly moved past a rough patch in the middle of January with three straight games of over 70 DKFP. He had 35 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and 75 DKFP against the Mavs followed by 73 DKFP against the Pelicans and 79.25 DKFP against the Hornets. He hasn’t had a triple-double in any of those contests but has been knocking on the door falling just one assist and one rebound short in his past two games, respectively. He had 52.0 DKFP in his meeting with the Lakers in mid-January but comes into this matchup with much better form. He also could get a significant boost in usage depending on the status of Russell Westbrook ($10,200; thumb, questionable), who may miss this game as the Rockets start a back-to-back set. If Westbrook is out, even more of the offensive load falls on Harden, who can offer a solid return even at this elevated price if he keeps rolling.
Other Options — DeMar DeRozan ($7,900), CJ McCollum ($6,700)
ValueShake Milton, PHI at MIL, $4,700 — The 76ers added some shooting with Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III reportedly headed their way from Golden State, but Milton should keep getting good run until their fully up to speed. Milton has been filling in for Josh Richardson (hamstring) and went from out of the rotation into the starting lineup for the past five games. He has averaged 29 minutes per game over that stretch, producing 13.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 25.35 DKFP per contest. He went off for 46.25 DKFP against the Hawks during that stretch in the best game of his career and now has reached double-digit scoring in each of his past four contests. Since the new acquisitions probably won’t be available, Milton should get a heavy enough workload to have a nice ceiling against Milwaukee as Philadelphia tries to snap a three-game losing skid.
Other Options — Eric Gordon ($5,300), Avery Bradley ($3,200)
StudBrandon Ingram, NO at CHI, $7,600 — Whether Zion Williamson ($7,700) is slowed down by a sprained toe or not, his entry into the Pelicans’ lineup hasn’t taken much away from Ingram’s breakout season. Ingram has elite upside in a great matchup against the Bulls and is surprisingly affordable given his form. He started the week with 49.5 DKFP against the Rockets on Sunday and then posted 32 points and 48.25 DKFP Tuesday against the Bucks. He roasted the Bulls for 29 points, 11 assists, eight boards and 61.25 DKFP in his first game against them this season and continues to shine as the Pelicans start to get a good look at their full young core to build around.
Other Options — LeBron James ($10,400), Aaron Gordon ($6,300)
ValueJosh Hart, NO at CHI, $4,900 — Hart’s production hasn’t been reduced with Williamson’s arrival either. He has at over 28 DKFP in each of his past three games. Despite coming off the bench, he has averaged 10.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 29.0 DKFP over his past six games. He had 13 points, six boards, three steals and 28.5 DKFP against Chicago earlier this season and is a solid option under $5K with flexibility to fit either at guard or forward.
Other Options — Evan Fournier ($5,600), Danny Green ($3,800)
StudGiannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. PHI, $11,100 — Antetokounmpo struggled against the Sixers on Christmas Day and still had 50 DKFP. He has over 65 DKFP in four of his past five games with at least 14 rebounds in each of those contests. He is averaging 31.4 points, 15.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.0 blocked shots and 64.9 DKFP over his past nine games. His Bucks continue to lead the Eastern Conference and will try to avenge their Christmas Day loss.
Other Options — Zion Williamson ($7,700), P.J. Tucker ($6,200)
ValueKyle Kuzma, LAL vs. HOU, $5,000 — After an injury-slowed takeoff, Kuzma finally seems to be reaching cruising altitude. Assuming he’s not traded, the Lakers forward has good upside against a Rockets team planning to go small. Kuzma has scored in double digits in six of his past seven games and posted a pair of double-doubles against the Trail Blazers and Spurs for 35.25 DKFP and 40.5 DKFP, respectively, in his past two home games. He had 23 points and 35 DKFP when these teams met in mid-January. Kuzma has a high ceiling for a $5K player but does have some duds at times.
Other Options — Al Horford ($5,800), Thaddeus Young ($5,500)
StudLaMarcus Aldridge, SA at POR, $6,500 — The slate is stacked with elite centers, but don’t sleep on Aldridge, who offers elite upside in a favorable matchup at only $6.5K. Aldridge had a rough game on Tuesday against the Lakers with only 14.25 DKFP, but that game seems to be an outlier, and it came on the second night of a tough back-to-back. In the previous game, he had 50.25 DKFP against the Clippers with 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Aldridge will be returning to Portland where he started his career. He had 39.75 DKFP and 54.75 DKFP in two matchups with the Blazers earlier this season, and Portland has had little success slowing down any opposing big men all season. No team has given up more DKFP to opposing PF than the Blazers, and Aldridge will look to feast on this matchup and bounce back from Tuesday’s downer.
Other Options — Anthony Davis ($9,700), Joel Embiid ($9,100)
ValueLuke Kornet, CHI vs. NO, $3,900 — The Bulls are still without Lauri Markkanen (pelvis) and Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle), and Daniel Gafford ($3,300; ankle) is doubtful, leaving plenty of minutes for Kornet in a good matchup against the Pelicans. He has two games of at least 32 DKFP in his past four contests and has averaged 20.3 DKFP over his past 11 games. Kornet is a very low-risk option since he’ll get plenty of minutes and comes with decent upside as well.
Other Options — Dwight Howard ($4,800), Jacob Poeltl ($3,700)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.