This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
It's a slim five-game slate tonight, so I'll be putting a special focus on cash games and sticking to only single and low-entry contests.
PHO (-4) @ NY, O/U: 225.5
MIL (-9) vs. BOS, O/U: 223.5
UTA (-4.5) @ NO, O/U: 226
LAC (-11.5) vs. ORL, O/U: 217.5
DEN (-5.5) @ GS, O/U: 212
Obviously the UTA/NO matchup stands out as the fastest-paced game, and I was chalk with 2-3 guys for the Jazz. I also gave a lot of exposure to the PHO/NY game.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Paul George (hamstring) OUT
It looks like George will miss another game this evening. Lou Williams ($6,300) and Landry Shamet ($3,600) will share duties at the two, and Kawhi Leonard ($10,100) will continue to start at small forward.
Jrue Holiday (elbow) OUT
JJ Redick (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
Jayson Tatum (knee) OUT
Jaylen Brown (thumb) QUESTIONABLE
Tatum missed Wednesday's game and for now, he still holds an out designation heading into Thursday's game versus the Bucks.With Brown also potentially out, Marcus Smart ($5,500) will man the two while Grant Williams ($3,100) would get a starting nod as well if both of these players are out. I think Gordon Hayward ($6,400) is the big beneficiary in this scenario, however.
Kelly Oubre Jr. (concussion) OUT
Oubre will remain in concussion protocol after suffering the injury in Tuesday's game. Mikal Bridges ($4,500) should give you the best value in Oubre's absence, and Cameron Johnson ($3,100) will also see more time with the second unit.
Jamal Murray (ankle) OUT
Gary Harris (groin) OUT
Paul Millsap (knee) OUT
Murray will probably be out for a few games with this injury, and with both Harris and Millsap also out tonight, there's bound to be some value available for the Nuggets – it's just difficult to decide on who it will be. Starters will definitely get a boost, and I suspect both Monte Morris ($4,400) and Torrey Craig ($4,000) to see usage bumps. The team brought PJ Dozier ($3,000) up from the G League yesterday and he put up 21 DKFP in only 13 minutes, so I imagine they will try to utilize him in the second unit. Additionally, Mason Plumlee ($4,200) and Michael Porter Jr. ($3,600) are value guys worth considering, especially with Denver heavily favored against the Warriors.
Mentions like Lou Williams, Hayward, Porter, Johnson and Bridges are all going to be chalky targets that I favor tonight. I won't mention them again, so keep them in mind as I continue.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11,700) vs. BOS
WIth only Giannis and Kawhi coming in above 10k, it's hard to ignore the viability of going with the Greek Freak in your cash builds. He will almost always under-perform his season averages in blowout scenarios, and even though the bookmakers are giving the Celtics nine points, I think this game will prove to be close enough for Giannis to get enough minutes, It's amazing what he can accomplish with less than 30 minutes of court time, but in order to meet value we'll need him to get to 60 DKFP tonight.
Nikola Jokic, DEN ($,9,600) @ GS
The Nuggets are bitten by the injury bug, so Jokic could be called upon to drive the bus in this matchup against the Warriors. The worry for Jokic is a potential disappearance once the game gets out of hand, so the question is whether or not the Nuggets are compromised enough to make this game competitive. I think he might end up to be too expensive for me when all is said and done, but he warrants consideration against a weak Golden State interior.
Rudy Gobert, UTA ($9,200) @ NO
Gobert is another guy you can't sleep on, and I think he's a better cash option than Jokic, who I'd consider more as a GPP center. When you look at Gobert's full-season stats, his floor is definitely not where you'd like it to be, but he's come alive recently, averaging 18.5 points, 15.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks over the past four games, all of which were double-doubles. Although Derrick Favors is scheduled to return tonight, the Pelicans will likely use a committee approach to fend off Gobert. I think Gobert is a no-brainer play if you are spending up at center.
Also consider: Devin Booker, PHO ($9,000) @ NY
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
D'Angelo Russell, GS ($7,500) vs. DEN
Russell's shot betrayed him against Dallas two days ago, as he only shot 29.4 percent from the floor. He'll look to right the ship against the Nuggets, who will utilize a committee approach at point guard while Jamal Murray is sidelined. Murray's absence could open things up a bit for Russell, who can light it up from long range if given the opportunity.
Eric Bledsoe, MIL ($6,300) vs. BOS
I expected Bledsoe's price to go higher after his 42 DKFP performance against Portland, but he's still at a reasonable price and could make a decent impact against the Celtics. While Boston is a strong defensive squad, the Bucks are tough to beat when they get everyone involved, and Bledsoe is the key to making that happen. Donte DiVincenzo (finger) should play but will likely be limited, and that should give Bledsoe more usage.
Joe Ingles, UTA ($6,100) @ NO
Although the Pelicans will finally be set at this position once Zion Williamson gets up to speed, Ingles should have a fairly easy time against them on Thursday. Ingles has now scored over 40 DKFP for two straight games, which absolutely crushes value at this price. His game history against New Orleans leaves a little bit to be desired, but I think he'll do enough in ancillary categories to be effective.
RJ Barrett, NY ($5,900) vs. PHO
As long as Marcus Morris remains out, I'm a fan of going Barrett's way. Without him, the offense shifts to more of a backcourt-based attack, with both Barrett and Elfrid Payton making their own shots and dishing it inside to Julius Randle when he's open. Barrett's also had a nice six-game run, averaging 19 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He also shot 42 percent from beyond the arc in 19 attempts over that span.
Markelle Fultz, ORL ($5,500) @ LAC
Fultz is finally beginning to look like the No. 1 pick we all hoped he could be, as he's getting a great starting opportunity with D.J. Augustin still sidelined. He looked absolutely brilliant against the Lakers last night, logging a triple-double on the way to a 56 DKFP payday. It's rare to find a triple-double guy in the 5k range – take the value while you can get it!
Patrick Beverley, LAC ($5,600) @ ORL
Paul George's absence seems to have boosted Beverley's totals, Although they don't play the same position, Beverley is absorbing a lot of output from 15 feet in, and has flirted with triple-double territory in every game that George has missed recently.
My value section was short, but that's due to the number of mentions I made in the injury section that were incredibly relevant in my lineup construction. Utilizing a Giannis/Gobert stack, I was able to incorporate guys like Barrett and Hayward in the mid-range with Denver and Phoenix value plays to make a basic cash lineup that I'm very happy with.