Last night was such a fun night of NBA DFS, right guys? Right? Isaiah Jackson didn’t even log a minute of action for the Indiana Pacers as he was injured on the first possession of the game while being one of the highest rostered players on DraftKings and FanDuel. If you’re someone that faded Jackson, props to you for seeing the future.
And for those that had their dreams crushed immediately, just know that you’re not alone. All jokes aside, we hope that Jackson didn’t suffer a serious injury and can make a return to the Pacers sooner rather than later. In an attempt to forget about last night’s debacle, let’s look forward to Thursday’s six-game main slate on DraftKings.
Pay-up option: Chris Paul ($9.700)
Some people believe Chris Paul should be an MVP candidate this season for what he’s done in his second season with the Phoenix Suns. While I’m not one of those people, it’s hard to ignore just how well the veteran point guard has performed ahead of the All-Star break. Paul has played 37+ minutes in seven straight games and in those seven games, he’s posted 50+ DraftKings points in five of them. On top of that, the offensive maestro has recorded 13+ assists in four of his last five games and double-digit assists in seven of his last eight appearances. Paul should have no trouble having another producing outing in what should be a fast-paced game versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Value option: Gabe Vincent ($4,400)
It’s no secret that the Miami Heat miss having Kyle Lowry on the floor as they’ve struggled with him absent from the lineup. But while Lowry has been sidelined, Gabe Vincent has done a solid job in the starting lineup. Before finishing with only 10.5 DraftKings points versus the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, Vincent supplied at least 22+ DraftKings points in 13 consecutive games. Vincent is in a perfect bounce-back spot for the Heat on Thursday in what is a pace-up game against the San Antonio Spurs. We could see Vincent take on an even larger role if Jimmy Butler is ruled out for Miami. Tre Jones could also become a value option at the point guard position if Dejounte Murray is ruled out for the Spurs.
Pay-up option: Devin Booker ($9,300)
I’ve already mentioned just how good Paul has been for the Suns this season, but his efforts shouldn’t overshadow how well Devin Booker has been, too. Booker has scored 28+ real-life points in nine of his last 10 games en route to Phoenix winning 11 straight games. In terms of DFS, he’s notched 48+ DraftKings points in six of his last 10 contests. I’m not against playing both Paul and Booker in the same lineup on Thursday night, but I’d be careful deploying them together if Trae Young is ruled out for the Hawks. With not many high-priced options at shooting guard that are clear-cut choices, Booker makes the most sense if you’re spending up at the position.
Value option: Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4,900)
Speaking of the Hawks, they’ve altered their lineup a bit recently and it’s helped them offensively. Atlanta has moved Bogdan Bogdanovic to their bench, allowing him to operate in a sixth-man role. In his four games in a bench role, Bogdanovic has 16.3 points, four rebounds, 4.3 assists, and one steal per game for the Hawks. At the same time, he’s scored 32+ DraftKings points in three of those four outings. Even if Young is inactive for the Hawks, Atlanta will likely elect to have Bogdanovic come off of the bench to give them a scoring option in their second unit. You could go with either Devin Vassell or Lonnie Walker instead of Bogdanovic, especially if Murray is inactive for the Spurs on Thursday night.
Pay-up option: Jimmy Butler ($9,400)
At the time this article is being written, Butler carries a questionable tag for the Heat. Butler has been questionable in nearly every game for the past month, at least it seems that way. If the two-way forward can suit up for Miami, then he’s a fantastic high-salary option at the small forward position. With Lowry still out for the Heat, Butler is asked to be more of a facilitator and we know he’s always going to contribute points, rebounds, blocks, and steals. Butler will be in a pace-up game versus the Spurs following a disappointing loss to the Raptors on Tuesday. In the event that Butler is ruled out, you can go down to OG Anunoby or Andrew Wiggins.
Value option: Javonte Green ($3,700)
Besides the Heat, the Chicago Bulls have positioned themselves as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season. Despite injuries to a few of their key contributors, the Bulls have continued to find ways to win games. Javonte Green has gotten consistent minutes when he’s been active this season, logging 23+ minutes in every game since the beginning of December that he’s appeared in. Green has also produced 21+ DraftKings points in three of his last four games. Max Strus is another value option that could emerge on Thursday night if Butler is unable to play for Miami.
Pay-up option: DeMar DeRozan ($9,200)
I’ve said it before in one of my previous articles, but it’s awesome to see DeMar DeRozan get his proper due in his first year with the Bulls. The veteran forward has been remarkable this season with 26.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and five assists per game thus far. Nearly a week after facing his former team in the Raptors for the second time this season, DeRozan will face them again on Thursday night. DeRozan accrued 46.75 DraftKings points in his last matchup with Toronto and he was three rebounds and three assists short of a triple-double. Regardless of whether or not Zach LaVine plays, DeRozan is a smash play on Thursday night. If you are looking for another high-priced option, Pascal Siakam is viable and Keldon Johnson would be a solid choice if you are looking to save some salary.
Value option: P.J. Tucker ($4,100)
Along with Butler, the Heat also announced that P.J. Tucker is questionable to play in Thursday’s showdown with the Spurs. Tucker has played an integral role for Miami this season and has been surprisingly consistent — at least in spurts — in DFS. The defensive-minded forward has posted 22+ DraftKings points in each of his last five games and in nine of his last 13 appearances. The Spurs allow the seventh-most DraftKings points per game (47.42) to power forwards in their last seven games. If Tucker is held out by Miami, you could take a chance on Taurean Prince or go down to Jaden McDaniels.
Pay-up option: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000)
When it’s all said and done, Karl-Anthony Towns could be the most expensive player available on Thursday’s main slate. The gifted big man for the Minnesota Timberwolves has been priced up to $10,000+ for the first time since January 18th and it’s hard to argue why. Throughout his last five games, Towns has supplied 50+ DraftKings points in four of them, including a 69.25 point performance versus the Utah Jazz on January 30th. Towns gets an opportunity to face a Detroit Pistons squad that has an undersized center in Isaiah Stewart, so a double-double is in play for the talented center. Anthony Davis is a viable option if he’s active for the Los Angeles Lakers and Bam Adebayo has looked great since returning to the Heat recently.
Value option: Drew Eubanks ($3,300)
Ahead of Thursday’s contest versus the Heat, the Spurs have already ruled out Jakob Poeltl and Jock Landale at the center position. With both of them sidelined, that leaves Drew Eubanks as one of the only healthy centers for San Antonio. Eubanks isn’t going to wow with his scoring or his offensive game, but he should get plenty of minutes on Thursday night. In the three games that Eubanks has exceeded 24 minutes played this season, he hasn’t scored fewer than 23 DraftKings points. You could do a lot worse than Eubanks at $3,300 and he helps fit in more studs into your lineups.