Thursday offers a four-game NBA slate. Most eyes will be on the Rockets vs. the Clippers in what should be the highest scoring and perhaps closest game of the night. We’ll see the return of Stephen Curry for the Warriors tonight, though Draymond Green remains questionable. The 76ers will again be without Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Josh Richardson, which opens up some value, and the Raptors have Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka as questionable tonight as well. Devonte’ Graham’s status is up in the air, while De’Aaron Fox plans to play through his abdominal soreness again tonight. In this column, I generally set $6000 FD/$5000 DK as the bargain threshold, and I try to indicate when I think a position is particularly well-suited--or not--to using the cheap plays given the landscape of the particular slate. Tonight’s slate tips at 7:00 pm EST.
Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers at Sacramento ($5400 FD, $6500 DK)
The price discrepancy is notable here, as Milton is a true bargain on FanDuel while fairly priced on DraftKings. Milton wasn’t as good in the 76ers’ last game, a loss to the Lakers Tuesday night, but he was still fine for the price. He’s getting stats in every category and has made at least two three-pointers in each of the last four games. He should have a slightly easier time tonight given that the Kings rank in the bottom third of the league in defensive efficiency.
Reggie Jackson, LA Clippers at Houston ($4200 FD, $4300 DK)
I’m still stumping for Jackson, though he underperformed against the Thunder Tuesday night, he gets a far easier matchup with a Rockets team that gives up the eighth-most fantasy points overall and 10th-most to PGs. This game carries a 237-point total and just a one-point spread. It’s by far the fastest-paced game, as Houston ranks third in pace. Jackson played his highest minutes since the break (25) and took his second-most shots (8) Tuesday but it just wasn’t falling. I like a bounce-back effort from him tonight.
Also consider: Terry Rozier ($5800 FD, $6200 DK)
Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors at Golden State ($5500 FD, $6600 DK)
Powell’s price has shot up, but if VanVleet misses the game tonight, he has to be on your radar. Powell is averaging 38 minutes and 35 fantasy points per game over the last three contests that VanVleet has missed. The Warriors are a dream matchup almost across the board this season, but especially for opposing shooting guards, to whom they give up the fifth-most fantasy points.
Lou Williams, LA Clippers at Houston ($5300 FD, $5900 DK)
Much of the matchup argument I used for Jackson applies here too, but it’s even better for the two-guard. Williams is that steady guy with upside that just might be the perfect price to finish out your lineup tonight. He’s averaging 30 fantasy points per game vs. the Rockets this season (three games), and does enough in the peripheral categories to offset the rare night where his shot is off-target. Look for Williams to thrive in this high-scoring environment.
Because SG is a great place to save tonight, also consider: Cody Martin ($4300 FD, $4500 DK), Furkan Korkmaz ($4100 FD, $4500 DK), Buddy Hield ($5600 FD, $5900 DK), Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5000 FD, $5500 DK)
OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors at Golden State ($5800 FD, $6400 DK)
Anunoby’s price is also rising as he continues to make his mark. With a couple of 55-60 fantasy point games this month, he’s an easy tournament play in a sweet matchup. His usage has benefitted from the Raptors’ injuries as he’s taken at least 12 shots from the field in the last three games. But it might be his defense that pushes him over the value threshold as he’s averaging five steals and over eight rebounds per game in that same span.
Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets at Charlotte ($4800 FD, $4600 DK)
Millsap returned from a one-game absence to post a powerful 18-point, nine-rebound, three-assist effort against the Warriors. Tonight he should again see around 25ish minutes but the frontcourt matchup with the Hornets is one that you can’t fade. While that definitely means Nikola Jokic is a top player to spend on tonight, don’t overlook Millsap’s ability to take advantage here as well. Charlotte ranks seventh in turnover rate and is Top 5 in fantasy points allowed to big men. The slow pace and low point total have me off the guards in this game, but I love Millsap and Jokic.
Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto ($5700 FD, $5800 DK)
I’m trying to decide how much less I like Paschall if Green returns tonight. It’s not a lot less, given how good he’s been. I feel like his salary has been held in check pending the return of Green but his averaging well over 20 points per game with around five each rebounds and assists over the last four games is production this team can’t afford to be without. And there seems to be little incentive to push Green’s return.
Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors at Golden State ($4100 FD, $4300 DK)
As noted, I will be spending up for Jokic here, but if Ibaka remains out tonight, I’d be willing to gamble on Boucher’s getting enough run to reach value. Maybe not to the extent that he exceeded expectations on Tuesday (19 points, 15 boards), but enough to still get you 5-6X value at his low, low salary.