The NBA continues to roll through the week with another six-game fantasy basketball schedule this Thursday, the third slate of this size in the past four days. The Thunder, Magic and Jazz are finishing back-to-backs while LeBron James leads his Lakers into Toronto and Luka Doncic brings his Mavericks to Denver to take on the Nuggets in the two nationally televised contests.
There are some intriguing matchups across the board and plenty to examine from a fantasy basketball perspective as you look to lock in your roster. I’ve listed my top studs and values at each position to help you pinpoint the best places to target. As always, you’ll also want to make sure to check out the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com for any late-breaking news before tip-off to make sure each of your selections is in the best spot possible.
StudKyrie Irving, BOS vs. SAC, $8,900 — The Celtics play their first home game since the West Coast trip that might have turned their season around, and Kyrie gets a great matchup to show off his new attitude to his home fans. Irving missed the Celtics’ game against the Kings on the trip but returned with 56.26 DKFP against the Lakers and 39.5 DKFP against the Clippers. He had at least 40 DKFP in five straight before the blowout loss to the Clippers and should be able to bounce back with a big number in an up-tempo game against Sacramento, which has been a great matchup for PGs all season. Other Options — Russell Westbrook ($10,900), Rajon Rondo ($6,800)
ValueCollin Sexton, CLE at ORL, $5,000 — Sexton has been on fire lately with 82 points on 58 percent shooting over his past three games with more than 25 points and 30 DKFP per contest. His non-scoring numbers come and go, but he is getting plenty of run with the Cavs, who are letting him learn on the job after taking him in the first round. He has been a starter most of the season and is looking to finish on a strong run. He had 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 22.5 DKFP when the Cavs beat the Magic earlier this month.
Other Options — Darren Collison ($6,000), Jeremy Lin ($3,800)
StudDonovan Mitchell, UTA vs. MIN, $8,300 — Mitchell only had to play 34 minutes against the Suns in Phoenix and had 26 points and 38.25 DKFP as the Jazz cruised to a road win. He’ll try to finish the back-to-back with an even stronger game at home in a good matchup against the Timberwolves. Mitchell has scored at least 24 points in 10 of his past 11 contests, averaging 29.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 45.2 DKFP over that span. He has at least 39.75 DKFP in each of his three previous matchups with Minnesota this season and has averaged 45.3 DKFP in those contests. Ricky Rubio ($5,300; hip) returned from a two-game absence but struggled against the Suns, so “Spida” will have to continue carrying the load on offense for the Jazz. Other Options — Jamal Murray ($6,400), Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,200)
ValueJalen Brunson, DAL at DEN, $5,300 — Brunson scored a career-high 34 points Tuesday and added four assists and five rebounds to total 49.25 DKFP against the Spurs. Luka Doncic ($8,400; knee, questionable) seemed limited by knee soreness and could cede more of the workload to Brunson even if he plays through the issue again in Denver. Brunson has scored in double digits with more than 26 DKFP in four straight, averaging 20.3 points, 6.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 35.1 DKFP.
StudKawhi Leonard, TOR vs. LAL, $8,700 — Leonard’s workload has been managed carefully by the Raptors, but he has played well when on the floor. He has at least 36 DKFP in seven straight, averaging 28.0 points and 42.3 DKFP. His non-scoring numbers have been down a bit this season compared to his time with the Spurs, but he might have to pick up some extra work if Kyle Lowry ($7,700; ankle) is out or limited. Kawhi hasn’t faced LeBron and the Lakers this season but usually gets up for big individual matchups like this. He’s a great way to get a big piece of what is expected to be the highest-scoring game of the night, per projected totals on DraftKings Sportsbook. Other Options — Buddy Hield ($7,300), Kyle Kuzma ($6,300)
ValueCedi Osman, CLE at ORL, $5,700 — Osman has been turning in solid stat lines across the board lately after shaking off a mini-shooting slump late last week. He had 18 points, eight boards, four assists and 39 DKFP on Tuesday in Philadelphia just one day after 40.25 DKFP on 19 points, seven boards and seven assists against the Raptors. He also had a solid 33 DKFP earlier this month against the Magic and offers nice upside for a player priced under $6K.
Other Options — Jaylen Brown ($4,600), Keita Bates-Diop ($3,500)
StudPaul George, OKC at IND, $9,700 — In his much-ballyhooed return to Indiana last season, George struggled shooting the ball (3-for-14) and only had 27 DKFP. He’ll be fired up to perform much better this time around as he and the Thunder roll in after beating Brooklyn on Wednesday. PG13 had 25 points, nine rebounds and 49.25 DKFP against the Nets and has at least that many DKFP in seven of his past 11. He missed a few games in the middle of that run with a shoulder injury but looked back to full strength against Brooklyn just in time for a matchup he’ll look to dominate in against his former team. Other Options — Kevin Love ($8,100), Aaron Gordon ($6,500)
ValueJerami Grant, OKC at IND, $4,900 — Grant has flourished this season starting next to George in the Thunder frontcourt and is a great play, especially for cash games due to his consistency. Grant has scored double-digit points in nine straight games with more than 25 DKFP in three of his past four and six of those nine contests. During that span, he has averaged 14.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.8 blocks for 28.6 DKFP. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling since George and Westbrook do most of the work on offense, but he still finds ways to produce fantasy points almost every night.
Other Options — Jonathan Isaac ($5,200), Nemanja Bjelica ($4,900)
StudRudy Gobert, UTA vs. MIN, $8,000 — The Stifle Tower only needed 32 minutes Wednesday to post 47 DKFP on 18 points and 20 rebounds against the Suns. He has more than 42 DKFP in four of his past five contests and has fared well this season against Minnesota. While Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,200; knee, probable) has a higher ceiling than Gobert, Gobert’s defense could make it tough for KAT to reach value at his five-figure salary. It makes sense to go a bit cheaper and get Gobert, who has 51.75, 56.0 and 32.75 DKFP in three matchups with the Timberwolves this season. Other Options — Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,200), Nikola Vucevic ($9,200)
ValueDerrick Favors, UTA vs. MIN, $5,500 — Favors also had a solid game in Phoenix, finishing with 41.25 DKFP on 18 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. He bounced back after a couple of down games against the Grizzlies and Thunder helped lower his salary, which was more than $6K last week. Favors has had a solid season overall and has more than 35 DKFP in six of his past 10 games while averaging 14.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals. He has averaged 26.7 DKFP in his three meetings with Minnesota and can be used in tandem with Gobert as a mini-stack against the Timberwolves frontcourt or in place of Gobert so you can spend up at other spots.
Other Options — Dwight Powell ($6,100), Moritz Wagner ($3,400)
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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.