Like most Thursdays, we have a small three-game slate today, with Sacramento at Miami (-8.5, 200.5), Milwaukee at Cleveland (-9.5, 194) and the Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers (+6.5, 212.5). With it being a short slate, there is sure to be plenty of player overlap, so bankroll management is a key. However, any slate with Stephen Curry on national TV, especially against their rival Clippers, is always going to be a fun one.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $11,000 - Speaking of Curry, this looks like a matchup where it would be highly advisable to play him, particularly in your cash games. This game carries the highest total on the NBA odds board on the night, and it’s expected to be the most competitive too. The Warriors have the highest team total on the night. Add on the fact that Clippers’ guard Chris Paul is doubtful to play, and this is a juicy spot for Curry to continue his assault on opposing defenses. Earlier this year, he produced 45 FanDuel points in 33 minutes against the Clippers with Paul on the court. There is a considerable defensive dropoff for the Clippers with Chris Paul out, so Curry should only build on his previous performance against them.
Given the lack of PF as well as the presence of a guy named LeBron James, I’m looking to save at the remaining PG spot. Jerryd Bayless at $4,400 is my target right now, but the return of Jabari Parker and O.J. Mayo have me a little worried, as Jason Kidd can be unpredictable. Bayless has been very productive over his last five games, and has played solid minutes in each contest, so he’s my preferred option, but I’m going to monitor the news coming out of Milwaukee until tipoff. Mo Williams is also listed as questionable for tonight’s game, so Matthew Dellavedova would become a great punt option if Willams sits. If both Bayless and Dellavedova fall through, Austin Rivers is dirt cheap, and while he’s not a good NBA player, his minute volume should carry him to at least 16 FD points or so.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers, $4,400 - Chris Paul and JJ Redick are listed as doubtful for tonight’s game, so Crawford should draw another start at SG. After starting off the year in a bad slump, Crawford has finally started to score the ball better over his past two games, and with the Clippers bench playing poorly, he played 41 minutes last game and had 27 FGA. On a short slate, that type of usage can’t be found elsewhere at his price point, and the SG position is thin overall, so I think he’s one of, if not the, premier values on the night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, $6,900 - The SG position is really tough tonight, as guys like Dwyane Wade and Klay Thompson, who have been great in the past, just haven’t been very good this season from a fantasy perspective and are difficult to trust. Of those two, I’d lean to Klay since his matchup with the hated Clippers could finally bring out the best in him, but he is still dealing with a lingering back issue. Giannis has actually flashed the most upside of any SG on this slate and has the ability to fill up the stat sheet in every category. As long as he can avoid foul trouble against LeBron James, he’ll continue to see a ton of minutes matched up against LeBron.
Also consider - J.R. Smith
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, $10,100 - Stephen Curry is my top overall play, and I’m debating between LeBron and Blake as next in line, so I don’t think he’s a must play since there is some value at SF. However, he brings by far both the highest floor and highest ceiling to the table at SF today, and he produced a big line against this Milwaukee team just a few days ago. This is a nationally televised game and the Cavs have shown no signs of limiting his minutes, so he should be in line to top 30 real points for his sixth time in seven games. With Curry playing on national TV after LeBron tonight, I wonder whether LeBron looks to give us a reminder that he’s pretty dang good in his own right.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors, $5,100 - This game should feature a great pace, and Barnes minutes have been on the rise; he’s topped 30 in seven of his last eight games. He’s scored double digit real points in seven of those games, and the Clippers are not a great defensive team. Barnes took advantage in their first meeting as he produced 32 FD points, and I’m looking for another quality outing from hit tonight.
Chris Bosh, Miami Heat, $7,900 - Barring late injury news, there is very little value at PF, so this is a position that I’d spend up on. The Heat draw the premier matchup on the day against the weak defense of the Kings, who have struggled to guard every position on the floor. They are 22nd in DVP against opposing PF and Paul Millsap just posted a monster line on them yesterday. Bosh struggled last game, but otherwise has played very well this season, and he has topped 40 FD points in three of his last five games.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, $9,700 - Griffin is in an interesting spot tonight; he’ll likely see a ton of the reigning NBA defensive player of the year in Draymond Green, and in terms of defensive efficiency the Warriors are actually very good. Based on that, this isn’t a prime spot and I wouldn’t blame you if you dropped down to say a Kevin Love. However, this is a short slate and Chris Paul is likely to be out, so Griffin will get all the usage he can handle in this one. He played a monstrous 42 minutes in his last game, and Vegas is telling us that the Clippers will keep this one competitive and top 100 points. If that’s going to be the case with Chris Paul out, it will be due to a big performance from Blake.
Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors, $5,200 - Guys like Hassan Whiteside and DeMarcus Cousins (make sure he’s not suspended due to an elbow last night) are all fine plays, but Curry is my top priority tonight, and there’s not much value at PF, meaning cap room is an issue. Given that, I think they’re quality GPP plays, but for cash games, I think saving with Bogut is a solid option. He’s played well since returning from a concussion, and while I wouldn’t expect huge minutes, he still should see 20 to 24 minutes. The Clippers have struggled against opposing centers, allowing the ninth-most fantasy points, and Bogut has hit 5x salary in each of his last two games.