The Western Conference is wild. We have nine teams battling for the final seven playoff spots, and they’re all within four games of one another. I’ve never seen something like that with less than a month remaining, and it will make these final few weeks amazing. With that said, we only have five games making up this Thursday card, and it will be a light day before a big weekend!
As of 10:30 a.m. ET:
- Kevin Durant (ankle) OUT
- Tyrese Haliburton (knee) Questionable
- Myles Turner (back) Questionable
- Jamal Murray (knee) Probable
- Brook Lopez (ankle) Questionable
- Jaden Ivey (H&S) Probable
- Marvin Bagley (ankle) OUT
- Isaiah Stewart (hip) OUT
- Buddy Hield (foot) Questionable
- Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles) OUT
- Bennedict Mathurin (ankle) OUT
- Isaiah Livers (hip) OUT
- Ben Simmons (knee) OUT
- Chris Duarte (ankle) OUT
Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF/C – MIL): $12,000 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
It would be silly to fade Giannis on such a short slate. The MVP candidate has scored at least 58 DraftKings points in five of his last six games while providing a 58-point average for the year. That makes him a worthy pick at any salary, but facing a 25th-ranked Pacers defense makes him impossible to avoid. In their one matchup earlier in the year, Antetokounmpo amassed 41 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists.
Pascal Siakam (PF/C – TOR): $8,400 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
This All-Star has struggled over the last two weeks but should never be this cheap. Siakam is still averaging over 45 DraftKings points per game, establishing a 35-point floor for most of the year. Those totals should be doable against Oklahoma City, owning a 29th OPRK against opposing power forwards. In their most recent matchup, Siakam scored 60 DK points in one of the best games of his career.
Devin Booker (PG/SG – PHX): $9,900 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel
Booker is one of the best scorers in our game, and he’s going to go crazy as long as Durant remains out. With Durant off the floor this year, Booker is flirting with a 40% usage rate, averaging 1.5 DK points per minute. That’s evident in his recent form, scoring at least 42 DK points in seven straight outings. Booker is also averaging 53 fantasy points per game in that span and shouldn’t have any issues against a 19th-ranked Orlando defense.
Cash Game Considerations
Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $11,600 DraftKings, $12,200 FanDuel
If you want to fade Jokic on a five-game slate, good luck! This has been the best cash game player for five years now, leading the NBA with 60 DraftKings points per game. His triple-double averages are what established such an elite floor, and it really doesn’t matter who he faces. Detroit couldn’t be a better matchup, ranked 28th in defensive efficiency and 29th in points allowed. In their last matchup, Jokic had 31 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists.
Mikal Bridges (SF – BKN): $8,300 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel
We weren’t so sure what to think when Brooklyn acquired Bridges, but he’s developed into their franchise player. The defensive stud has scored at least 43 DraftKings points in nine of his last 12 games. Facing Sacramento is the icing on the cake, with the Kings ranked 28th in total defense.
Jakob Poeltl (C – TOR): $7,200 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
The Poeltl trade was terrific for Toronto and even better for his DFS value. The big man is locked into a 30-minute role with the Raptors, averaging 42 DK points per game across 30 minutes a night over his last 11 outings. That’s absurd from a $7K player, scoring at least 38 fantasy points in eight of those games. A matchup with OKC should keep him rolling, with the Thunder allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Aaron Gordon (SF/PF – DEN): $6,200 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel
It’s strange that Gordon has seen a price drop. The Nuggets forward is averaging over 32 DraftKings points per game this season and comes into this matchup scoring at least 29 fantasy points in four of his last five outings. Facing Detroit should add to that sensational stretch, with the Pistons posting a 27th OPRK against opposing power forwards. In their last matchup, Gordon dropped 30 DK points!
Isaiah Jackson (C – IND): $5,400 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
Jackson is only a GPP play because we have no idea if Myles Turner will play. If the big man is out, Jackson should start at center and excel once again. The big man has scored at least 24 DK points in six of his seven starts this year, generating a 38-point average in the six gems. That’s an absurd average from such an affordable player, but it’s no surprise since this guy has some of the best per-minute averages in the NBA.
O.G. Anunoby (SG/SF – TOR): $6,300 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel
It’s hard to understand why Anunoby remains so cheap. This guy has been playing 35-40 minutes throughout the year and is finally fully healthy after a rough patch of injuries. Anunoby has 36 and 45 DraftKings points in his two most recent outings and played like that for the first two months of the year. This defensive stud should feast against the Thunder, owning a 26th OPRK against opposing wings.
Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET): $5,200 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
With Stewart and Bagley both out for Detroit, Duren should play plenty for the Pistons. While he’s only playing 21 minutes a night since his return, Duren is scoring 28 DK points per game. He’s also averaging over 30 fantasy points per game over the last two months, and it’s scary to think how good he’ll be if Duren returns to the 30-minute role we saw earlier in the year. Denver has also struggled against opposing centers this year.
- Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET): $5,200 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
- Cory Joseph (PG – DET): $4,900 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
- Nic Claxton (C – BKN): $6,600 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel
- Dorian Finney-Smith (PF – BKN): $4,800 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
- Keegan Murray (PF – SAC): $4,100 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG – OKC): $9,600 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel
- Jaylin Williams (C – OKC): $3,800 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
- Jordan Nwora (SF – IND): $4,700 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
- Deandre Ayton (C – PHX): $7,400 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel
- Jalen Suggs (PG – ORL): $4,900 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel
- Gary Harris (SG – ORL): $3,500 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.