It’s Thursday night and we have a five-game slate over on DraftKings tonight. There are some high totals on the board and a few spreads that are close, so there should be plenty of fantasy goodness to go around. The one matchup that really stands out here is the Thunder’s home game against the Suns that features a 228.0 total. With so many projected points and the most talented player on tonight’s slate in this game, it is going to be difficult to talk me into a Russell Westbrook fade.
With this in mind, I have focused on identifying my two favorite plays at each position that can give us an edge in tournaments on tonight’s slate, while helping to squeeze Westbrook into our lineups.
Russell Westbrook (OKC): $11,800 vs. PHX
With only five games on the slate, I don’t think I am going to be able to fade Westbrook in a home matchup against the Suns. With Westbrook coming off a down game – at least for his standards – against the Rockets on Tuesday (47.0 DK points), this feels like a great spot to hop on board despite his premium price tag. The Suns are ranked dead last in DK points allowed to PGs this season and the addition of Elfrid Payton (75th out of 99 PGs in DRPM) certainly hasn’t made them any better. In Westbrook’s last game against the Suns less than a week ago, he put up 76.5 DK points in 40 minutes of action. In a larger slate, I would consider a fade based on his price, but that seems too risky tonight.
Jamal Crawford (MIN): $3,900 vs. BOS
Since I’m going all the way to the top of the board to grab Westbrook tonight, we’re definitely going to need some value in our lineups. Crawford is in the middle of a three-game rough patch in which he’s averaged 12.9 DK points. Despite this, I’m still encouraged by the minutes he’s seeing with Butler out of the lineup. Over the past four games, Crawford has played 26.4 minutes per night and he is still a very capable scorer at this stage in his career. Plus, he still has a 24.6% usage rate on the season which is also encouraging. This is not a great matchup for Crawford on paper, but he is still an elite value play on tonight’s five-game slate based on his potential volume.
Nicolas Batum (CHA): $7,100 vs. BKN
Batum’s price tag may look a little steep, but he has been red-hot over the past few weeks. Batum has put up 38.5 DK points per game over his past five and he gets a dream matchup against the Nets tonight. Batum will primarily be matched up with D’Angelo Russell who has a -2.42 DRPM rating, which ranks 93rd out of 99 guards. In a matchup against the Nets in mid-February, Batum went for 30.75 DK points, but I like him to exceed that total tonight. He will be an excellent tournament option against a weak Nets team that likes to push the pace.
Josh Richardson (PHI): $5,300 vs. PHI
This feels like a misprice by DraftKings, as Richardson has been one of the most consistent players on the Heat for the majority of the season. To put it in perspective, this is Richardson’s lowest price point since mid-December. He is obviously priced down for a matchup against Robert Covington – who is an elite defender, but the Sixers DvP numbers tell a different story at this late stage in the season. The Sixers are surprisingly ranked 23rd in DK points allowed to the small forward position. Richardson is a solid player who offers an extremely safe floor at his cheap price tag, which makes him a strong play on a smaller five-game slate.
Draymond Green (GSW): $7,300 vs. SAS
A lot of people will be quick to write off some of the Warriors due to a matchup against the Spurs, but Green has a strong track record against this team and tonight’s game has a 221.0 total, which is the second highest on the board. In a matchup against the Spurs in February, Green put up 48.0 DK points and was only two rebounds shy of a triple-double. He will also have to play heavy minutes tonight, as he will be tasked with staying in front of LaMarcus Aldridge on the defensive end. Green hasn’t been in the best form over the past few weeks but his discounted price tag of $7,300 still puts him in play tonight.
Hassan Whiteside (MIA): $7,600 vs. PHI
Whiteside has quickly become one of the most frustrating players to roster in DFS, but his minutes seem to trend up against bigger, more traditional centers. With Joel Embiid manning the middle for the Sixers, Whiteside is firmly in play for me tonight. In two meetings against this team over the past four weeks, Whiteside has averaged 41.6 DK points and 31.1 minutes per game. Despite Embiid’s fifth-ranked DRPM at the center position, Whiteside seems to get up for this matchup and as long as he can stay out of foul trouble, he should have the opportunity for massive double-double upside.