What’s up guys! We have another short Thursday slate with just four games, so I personally will be dialing back my NBA exposure by about half or more tonight. Typically for me, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturdays are the days I play heaviest in NBA while I dial back on Tuesdays and Thursdays given the low amount of games we normally see. With that being said, let’s get to my favorite spots to attack on Thursday!
1. Russell Westbrook- Russ is Russ, he has triple double upside every time he takes the floor but the Celtics are an extremely good defensive team. He’s expensive, but will be drastically lower owned than LeBron/Joker.
2. Damian Lillard- He always a GPP play, nobody will touch him or McCollum tonight so I would filter them in if making a lot of lineups.
3. Lonzo Ball- Lonzo has a great matchup against Jamal Murray and he will benefit from a fast paced 230+ total game. I don’t see many people going to the mid tier at PG tonight so he gets a bump up in GPPs.
4. Jamal Murray- Similarly good matchup as Ball, and he finally got it going from deep in their last game.
5. DJ Augustin/Collin Sexton- The premier value plays at PG, Augustin is locked into minutes for the Magic and Sexton will continued to see increased run by the Cavs as they attempt to develop him. I love using Sexton at his price tonight because he will see run regardless of if the game is close or not, and he has shown that he can be aggressive driving to the basket.
1. LeBron James- His usage and assist rates both rise significantly without Rondo/Ingram as he takes over more as the Cleveland version of himself. The Nuggets are an extremely good defensive team, but this is the game to target once again with a 235 O/U. He wasn’t needed in the fourth quarter last night, that won’t be the case tonight.
2. Blake Griffin- He exploded on Tuesday night for 50 real points, but I weirdly feel like he won’t be *that* highly owned given the presence of LeBron and Jokic. Kevin Love has been ruled out, so if there was any chance of the Cavs staying in this game it’s gone now though I’m not some that typically worries about blowouts in DFS NBA. The spot is great again and he just flashed his ceiling, but I’s put him behind the aforementioned James/Joker.
3. Kyle Kuzma- People may be off him after the lackluster game last night, but his minutes got cut due to the blowout and that’s not going to happen tonight. This is the best game of the night and locking in as many pieces from it as you can is definitely a strong strategy.
4. Aaron Gordon- Nobody ever plays him yet he’s in the midst of what’s going to be a breakout season. He’s playing much more aggressive this season and he is a great GPP play tonight that will certainly go overlooked with all the other PF options.
5. Larry Nance (value)- Here’s your chalk value special of the night with Kevin Love out due to foot soreness. It’s hard for me to envision him not crushing value, but I will note he hasn’t played 20 minutes in a game yet this season. He’s a solid FPPM guy when he’s on the floor though, so if the minutes are there he will smash.
6. Cedi Osman- The sneaky play with people focusing on Nance, Osman has the ability to contribute to all categories and he will have the ball in his hands more tonight without Love.
7. Jonathan Isaac (value)- He’s had back-to-back solid games and the minutes have been there, 27 and 28. If he plays that many minutes tonight he should cruise to a good game and he will go overlooked due to Nance opening up.
8. Jerami Grant (value)- Pat Patt will start, but Grant is the guy that will play down the stretch if it’s a close game. He’s a solid bet for 20 or so fantasy points, but I was more interested before Love was ruled out.
1. Nikola Jokic- I would try to start my builds, especially on FanDuel, by jamming in LeBron and Jokic and going from there. He’s averaging almost 1.8 FPPM this season, which is insane, and the Lakers have been trashed by opposing centers so far this season (see DeAndre Ayton last night). He will benefit from a fast-paced game, and he possesses as much triple double upside as LeBron does at this point.
2. Javale McGee- The fantasy point per minute (FPPM) god has returned to his rightful crown. He dropped in over 40 fantasy points in 25 minutes last night, aided by 4 blocks, but they will need his size against a big Denver frontcourt, just hope he stays out of foul trouble.
3. Andre Drummond- The Cavs frontcourt honestly gets better with Love off the floor, but they are still under-sized and Drummond is the elite GPP pivot off of Blake Griffin,
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)