After a big Wednesday night in the NBA, we have a small 3-game slate over on DraftKings tonight. Since Lebron James is the only player priced above $8,800 on tonight’s slate, identifying strong mid-to-high range plays to pair with him will be the key to tonight’s lineup build. Injuries have also opened up a decent amount of value so pairing James with other top options like DeMar DeRozan or Lou Williamsshouldn’t be too difficult.
As always, identifying top value plays is going to be key to building a winning lineup and affording our top targets. I am going to identify my two favorite plays, regardless of price, at each position and then a few value plays that can help round out our lineups.
Lou Williams (LAC): $8,300 at SAC
Assuming Blake Griffin sits out one more game, the Clippers will be extremely short-handed once again on Thursday night against the Kings. With Austin Rivers out and Milos Teodosic questionable, Williams will be forced to shoulder the load on offense once again, one night after scoring 50 actual points against the Warriors. In 319.7 minutes with Griffin, Teodosic, and Rivers off the floor this season, Williams has a 37.1% usage rate and has averaged 1.26 DK points per minute. He also comes into this game in great form, averaging 43.9 DK points and 21.3 shot attempts over the past 6 games. Williams should be in line for another big night against a Kings team that ranks 26th in DK points allowed to shooting guards and dead last in defensive efficiency rating this season.
Delon Wright (TOR): $5,100 vs. CLE
Wright did not disappoint as a chalk value play on Tuesday night, putting up 32.25 DK points in 29.5 minutes of action against the Heat. With Lowry set to miss another game, Wright should be a popular option yet again on tonight’s three-game slate. The Cavaliers have given up the ninth most DK points to opposing point guards this season and Isaiah Thomas is one of the worst individual defenders in the NBA. In 76 regular season games last season, Thomas had the lowest defensive real plus-minus (DRPM) ranking out of all eligible NBA PGs, ranking 78th out of 78. Even at an elevated price tag, Wright should have no problem returning 6x on his salary tonight.
Tyrone Wallace (LAC): $3,800 at SAC
Admittedly not a name I knew a week ago, Wallace has found his way onto the fantasy radar over the past three games. With the Clippers dealing with a ton of injuries, Wallace has averaged 28.1 DK points and 28 minutes over the past three games, while flashing 40 DK point upside last night against the Warriors. As long as Milos Teodosic sits out tonight, Wallace is in line to be a nice value on tonight’s small slate. The Kings surrender the fifth most DK points to shooting guards and they are ranked 30th in defensive efficiency rating. With Juwan Evans getting a bit pricey, Wallace grades out as a stronger point per dollar play.
LeBron James (CLE): $11,300 at TOR
Despite being held under 40 DK points in two of the past four games, James still grades out as the top overall option on the board tonight. James has the highest floor out of any player on the slate and is one game removed from a 75 DK point outing against the Magic. The Raptors are a tough matchup on paper, ranking fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency rating but they are actually 19th in DK points allowed to small forwards this season. He will likely see a lot of O.G. Anunoby, a good individual wing defender (ninth out of 88 SFs in DRPM), but James will spend a majority of his time working as a point forward, leaving Anunoby in unfamiliar territory. James is matchup proof and one of a small handful of players that offers 60+ DK point upside on tonight’s slate.
DeMar DeRozan (TOR): $8,800 vs. CLE
With Kyle Lowry (tailbone) doubtful to play tonight, DeRozan becomes the clear number two option on tonight’s slate behind LeBron James. In 237 minutes without Lowry on the court this season, DeMar DeRozan has a ridiculous 43.1% usage rate and is averaging 1.49 DraftKings points per minute. In addition to dominating the ball on offense, tonight’s matchup is elite. The Cavaliers have given up the third most DK points to shooting guards and are ranked 29th in defensive efficiency rating this season. With DeRozan shouldering the load on offense, he will be one of the most popular options on the slate and is close to a must play despite an elevated price tag. I will be plugging him in at SF or F with so many strong value options at guard.
Manu Ginobili (SAS): $4,400 at LAL
Ginobili sat out for rest on Monday but he should be ready to go against the Lakers tonight. Over the past two games, Ginobili has turned back the clock about a decade or so, averaging 37.9 DK points and 13 shot attempts per game. With Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker off the floor, Ginobili has a 24.0% usage rate and is averaging 0.97 DK points per minute this season. The Lakers are 15th in DK points allowed to shooting guards but Ginobili should have the ball in hands a lot in this matchup. The Spurs don’t play again until Saturday, so Ginobili should have 6-7x upside as long as his minutes are in the mid-20s.
LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS): $8,500 at LAL
With Leonard and Parker out, Aldridge becomes the most ball dominant player in the Spurs’ offense. In 172 minutes without Leonard and Parker on the floor this season, Aldridge has an elite 35.6% usage rate and averages a massive 1.39 DK points per minute. The Lakers have been atrocious against opposing PFs this season (30th in DK points allowed) and Aldridge has averaged 48.9 DK points over the past four games. He will be a great player to target with key injuries likely to keep this game competitive.
DeAndre Jordan (LAC): $8,400 at SAC
Over the past four games, Jordan has eclipsed 50 DK points two times and hauled in an average of 14.5 rebounds per game. He has clearly been the biggest beneficiary of the Clippers current injury woes and averages 1.37 DK points per minute with a 5.5% bump in usage when Blake Griffin, Austin Rivers, Milos Teodosic, and Danilo Gallinari are all off the floor. The Kings are a great matchup for Jordan to exploit, as they give up the fifth most DK points to centers and rank 27th in total rebounding percentage. With only three games on tonight’s slate, Jordan has one of the highest ceilings at the center position while also providing a safe floor.