The NBA has four games on tap Thursday in the only limited slate of the whole week since every other day has at least seven matchups. These eight teams still give us a solid fantasy basketball player pool to choose from in what should be some entertaining matchups. The Celtics, Pistons and Spurs are playing for the second day in a row as they take on the Heat, Kings and Thunder, respectively. The other matchup should be a fun one, too, as the Nuggets welcome in the Clippers in a matchup of two teams currently in playoff spots in the Western Conference.
While you check through each of those four games for just the right matchup to play, take a look at my my top studs and values at each position. As always, situations can change quickly leading up to tip-off so make sure to check out the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com for any late-breaking news that should impact your lineup.
StudRussell Westbrook, OKC at SA, $11,300 — Westbrook has been in top form despite the Thunder going 4-5 in their past nine contests. Westbrook has double-digit assists in four of his past five, resulting in more than 59 DKFP in each of those four contests. He had 25 points, 16 assists but just five boards for 59.75 DKFP Tuesday in his most recent contest. He still finished with 59.75 despite his lowest rebound total since the beginning of November. He is always a good candidate for a triple-double and should help the Thunder bounce back as they head on the road to take on the Spurs for the first time this season. Other Options — De’Aaron Fox ($7,600), Lou Williams ($6,900)
ValueBryn Forbes, SA vs. OKC, $4,300 — Forbes has offered the Spurs steady scoring while starting all 42 games he has played in and averaging 27.6 minutes per contest. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in 10 of his past 11 games and averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 24.9 DKFP per contest over that stretch. He has been held under 20 DKFP only once during that run, making him a relatively low-risk play with a good chance to return nice value at this salary.
Other Options — Derrick White ($4,900), Monte Morris ($3,800)
StudBogdan Bogdanovic, SAC vs. DET, $6,200 — The Kings suffered an ugly road loss to the Suns on Tuesday, and Bogdanovic struggled to just 18.75 DKFP while shooting 3-for-11 from the field. He’ll try to help Sacramento bounce back as it takes on the Pistons at the Golden 1 Center, where he is averaging 30.4 DKFP in his 16 games, compared to just 25.6 DKFP per game on the road. Before his letdown Tuesday, Bogdanovic dropped more than 35 DKFP in four of five games, averaging 17.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 steals over that five-game stretch. He is a nice bounce-back candidate in a favorable matchup against Detroit. Other Options — Jamal Murray ($7,300), Josh Richardson ($5,800)
ValueJaylen Brown, BOS at MIA, $4,500 — After a miserable start to the season, Brown has turned things around lately for the Celtics, and the third-year wing offers great upside at this affordable salary. Brown appears to be turning the corner over his past five games with more than 20 points and 30 DKFP in three of those contests. He had 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and 40.25 DKFP against the Pacers on Wednesday in 29 minutes off the bench. He remains a high-risk play given his inconsistency this season but is trending the right way and making his upside very attractive.
Other Options — Reggie Bullock ($4,600), Patty Mills ($3,500)
StudDanilo Gallinari, LAC at DEN, $7,100 — Aside from the revenge narrative against his former team in Denver, Gallinari makes sense at $7K given his excellent recent form. He has more than 35 DKFP in five of his past six games and in seven of his past 10. In those 10 contests, he averaged 20.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.7 steals and 36.9 DKFP. He only had 32.5 DKFP when he faced the Nuggets during that stretch but only played 25 minutes since the game turned lopsided early. Gallinari has been shooting the ball very well lately and should remain a solid play as long as the Clippers and Nuggets keep this matchup more competitive. Other Options — DeMar DeRozan ($8,300), Jayson Tatum ($6,000)
ValueJustin Jackson, SAC vs. DET, $4,100 — Jackson has started 2019 with a strong run of results while seeing extra playing time while Iman Shumpert ($3,700; finger, questionable) has been sidelined. Jackson has scored in double digits for three straight contests and produced at least 20 DKFP in each outing. He had a career-high 28 points Saturday against the Warriors on his way to 39.75 DKFP and followed that with 20.0 and 26.0 DKFP against the Magic and Suns, respectively. He played a team-high 34 minutes Tuesday and is establishing himself as a key part of the Kings’ second unit. His ability to shoot from long range gives him a high ceiling and nice upside, especially if Shumpert is ruled out.
Other Options — Marcus Morris ($5,600), Torrey Craig ($4,000)
StudBlake Griffin, DET at SAC, $9,200 — Griffin struggled Wednesday against the Lakers with just 16 points, no rebounds and 26.0 DKFP. The clunker came out of nowhere since he had scored at least 25 points and produced at least 48 DKFP in each of his previous four games. During his time with the Clippers, Griffin made a habit of smashing the Kings, including a pair of games with more than 44 DKFP last season before being traded to Detroit and 50.75 DKFP when he visited the Kings as a member of the Pistons. As long as he is given his normal role on the second night of Detroit’s back-to-back, expect Blake to bounce back with a big night. Other Options — Paul George ($9,800), Montrezl Harrell ($6,500)
ValueBam Adebayo, MIA vs. BOS, $4,600 — The Heat have been getting Adebayo extra playing time lately, and he has been out-performing Hassan Whiteside ($6,800). Adebayo finished Tuesday’s game strong with 11 points in the fourth quarter, which he played every minute of while Whiteside watched from the bench. Adebayo has more than 21 DKFP in four straight and five of six, including three games with more than 30 DKFP during that stretch. He offers good points, blocks and rebounds and should be able to take advantage of a banged-up Boston frontcourt. The risk with rolling with Adebayo is that his minutes aren’t second in the second unit, but he should be able to deliver if he gets around 25 minutes again in this matchup.
Other Options — Jerami Grant ($4,800), Kelly Olynyk ($3,900)
StudNikola Jokic, DEN vs. LAC, $10,500 — Jokic is a great big-man to build around on this slate given his recent run of impressive results. He has more than 50 DKFP in six straight contests, averaging 26.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 60.7 DKFP per game. He did only manage 32.0 DKFP against the Clippers just before Christmas but only played 21 minutes. If he gets his usual 35-40 minutes in Denver tonight, he should be able to thrive and possibly approach a triple-double like he had Tuesday in his most recent contest with 29 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, the game-winning shot and 63.25 DKFP against the Heat. Other Options — Andre Drummond ($9,100), Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,600)
ValuePatrick Patterson, OKC at SA, $3,200 — Although he hasn’t been very involved yet this season for the Thunder, Patterson is expected to see a much larger role with Nerlens Noel (concussion) sidelined. Patterson will be the primary backup for Steven Adams ($7,000) and pick up most of Noel’s 13.4 minutes per game. Patterson is a career 36.7 percent 3-point shooter and could offer the kind of spacing the Thunder value. He is a good fit on paper and definitely brings potential but remains high-risk since we haven’t seen him in this new role yet.
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.