After a massive 24-team Wednesday night fantasy basketball slate that was full of drama and plenty of points, the NBA dials it back to just three games on tap for Thursday. The night gets started when the Bucks visit the 76ers, who are the only team playing for the second night in a row. While it is a potential playoff preview, it’s hard to say how much the teams will put into this matchup since both are fairly secure in their seeding in the Eastern Conference.
In the two later games the Kings host the Cavaliers while the Warriors travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers. While those matchups don’t have the same playoff pedigree, they do offer some solid fantasy options. As you build your lineup, make sure to check the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com since any availability news radically could change the slate with only three matchups on the board.
StudCollin Sexton, CLE at SAC, $6,200 — Sexton has taken back over the reigns as the key piece of the Cavs’ offense after Kevin Love (shoulder) was sidelined again. With Love already ruled out Thursday, Sexton gets a great matchup against the Kings, who have been the best matchup in the NBA for PGs this season. Sexton doesn’t have extraordinary non-scoring numbers but has been regularly getting plenty of points. He has at least 20 points in four straight games and in 12 of his past 13. In those 13 contests, he is averaging 24.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 32.8 DKFP. Other Options — Eric Bledsoe ($7,400), Rajon Rondo ($6,600)
ValueAlex Caruso, LAL vs. GS, $4,700 — Caruso has emerged as one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season and has turned in some good games over the past month while the team has dealt with multiple key injuries. The second-year guard from Texas A&M had a massive 44.75 DKFP on 23 points, three rebounds, six assists and four steals against the Pelicans on Sunday and followed that with another solid 30-DKFP performance Tuesday on 15 points, seven assists, two rebounds and two steals. It’s encouraging that he played 29 minutes despite the return of Reggie Bullock ($3,600). With Bullock headed for free agency, it makes more sense for the Lakers to give the time to Caruso, who could be a nice bench piece for them moving forward.
Other Options — Jordan Clarkson ($5,700), Tim Frazier ($3,200)
StudKlay Thompson, GS at LAL, $6,100 — With all the star power on the Warriors, Thompson sometimes can get lost in the shuffle, especially now that DeMarcus Cousins ($7,100) is back and putting up huge numbers in the middle. However, Thompson always seems to step up when visiting Los Angeles to take on the Lakers, who his dad Mychal Thompson played for for five seasons. Earlier this season, Klay dropped 44 points and 56.75 DKFP in L.A. and was over 30 DKFP in each of his trips to Staples Center to take on the Lakers last season. Quietly, he has had at least 27 DKFP in 10 of his past 13 games and should at least be able to return solid value in a great matchup against the Lakers’ porous defense. Other Options — Buddy Hield ($6,900), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,700)
ValuePat Connaughton, MIL at PHI, $4,900 — With injuries mounting over the past weeks, the Bucks have been without both Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) with an ankle injury and Khris Middleton ($7,300; groin, probable) at times, which has allowed other players to step up. Connaughton has impressed with more than 32 DKFP in three of his past four games and more than 24 DKFP in seven of his past eight. Connaughton got a spot start Monday and had 32.25 DKFP in 34 minutes. Middleton’s return could curb that playing time a bit, but remember the Bucks still are without Malcolm Brogdon (foot) and also will be trying to get their stars some rest over the next week before the postseason starts. Connaughton should remain involved enough to be worth this affordable salary.
Other Options — Sterling Brown ($4,400), Andre Iguodala ($3,800)
StudGiannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at PHI, $11,000 — The 76ers had no answers for the Greek Freak in their most recent meeting as Giannis went off for a career-high 42 points and added his typical strong non-scoring stats to get to a massive 91 DKFP. He did sustain an ankle injury that he has been monitoring closely since then, but he was able to play Monday against Brooklyn and produce 48.75 DKFP in just 30 minutes. If he’s back to a full workload, he’ll look to continue his domination of the Sixers and get his team closer to clinching home court throughout the playoffs. Antetokounmpo has at least 52 DKFP in six of his past seven contests, so don’t let the ankle injury scare you away. Other Options — Kevin Durant ($8,700), Tobias Harris ($7,000)
ValueBogdan Bogdanovic, SAC vs. CLE, $5,500 — March was not a good month for Bogdanovic, but he finished with a couple of good games against the Spurs and Rockets. He had 30.75 and 49.25 DKFP in those two games, respectively, before struggling a bit Monday in a rematch with Houston. As the Kings’ sixth man, Bogdanovic brings a high ceiling — especially with the Cavaliers’ defensive struggles. He is a bit risky but also comes with a high ceiling in a favorable matchup, which makes him a GPP consideration.
Other Options — JJ Redick ($5,600), Reggie Bullock ($3,600)
StudMarvin Bagley III, SAC vs. PHO, $6,400 — Bagley might not have made the radical impact of Luka Doncic or Trae Young, but the No. 2 overall pick from last year’s draft has had a strong run to the finish of the season despite some injury issues earlier in the season. He sat out Saturday due to illness but returned Monday with 33.5 DKFP in 28 minutes. He has at least that many DKFP in seven of his past nine games and has averaged 19.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 35.8 DKFP over that nine-game span. Bagley is getting plenty of looks and chances to score, so look for him to be a solid play just over $6K. Other Options — Larry Nance Jr. ($6,300), Draymond Green ($6,000)
ValueMoritz Wagner, LAL vs. GS, $4,200 — With Kyle Kuzma ($6,000; ankle) out for the past two contests and LeBron James shut down for the season, Wagner has started the past two games for the Lakers. With another game Friday, it doesn’t seem likely the Lakers will rush Kuzma back Thursday, although there hasn’t been an official announcement. Wagner has done well given the extra minutes and recorded 20.25 DKFP against the Pelicans and 20.5 DKFP against the Thunder. Wagner showed even more upside earlier in March when he got extra playing time. The Lakers should use the remaining games of their season to take a look at the German rookie and decide where he fits into their future plans.
Other Options — Jonah Bolden ($4,600), Nemanja Bjelica ($4,300)
StudJoel Embiid, PHI vs. MIL, $10,200 — Embiid should be rested and ready for his return Thursday against the Bucks. Nothing has been made official yet, but the original plan was for his return to be Thursday against the Bucks after resting during Philadelphia’s three-game road trip. If Embiid is cleared and ready to return, he likely will get a heavy workload as the focus of the offense. He has thrived in the role all season, averaging 27.5 points, 13.7 rebounds and 55.3 DKFP per game. He smashed the Bucks for 40 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and 78.75 DKFP when the two teams met a couple weeks ago. If he’s back and at full strength, Embiid could end up being the key piece to own on the slate. Other Options — DeMarcus Cousins ($7,100), JaVale McGee ($6,700)
ValueTristan Thompson, CLE at SAC, $4,200 — Thompson missed a lot of time with a foot injury but has looked solid since his return. The only question is his playing time, which is solved in this matchup by Love being sidelined. Thompson should get more than 20 minutes easily and has a good chance to get at least that many DKFP as well. He had 28 DKFP and a double-double Saturday and followed that with 15 points and 21.25 DKFP on Monday. The Kings’ interior defense has been a mess this season, and Thompson should be able to return value and offer salary relief at just over $4K.
Other Options — Brook Lopez ($5,900), Mike Muscala ($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.