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DraftKings NBA: Thursday Cheat Sheet

Slate Overview

UTA (-3) vs. PHI, O,U: 217.5

LAL (-3.5) vs. MEM, O,U: 223.5

DEN vs. SAS (-1.5), O,U: 215.5

The Nuggets-Spurs matchup is expected to be a competitive contest, which can provide a solid focal point for a successful lineup.


Nikola Jokic is the highest-priced player in the contest and should be able to put up some big numbers against a relatively small Spurs team. On the other hand, Dejounte Murray of the Spurs has been playing great and should have an advantage against the Nuggets' shorthanded backcourt.

The Spurs' Derrick White is a good look in the middle price range, along with Aaron Gordon, Will Barton and Monte Morris of the Nuggets.

In the value range, guys like Jeff Green, JaMychal Green, Facundo Campazzo and Bones Hylandall play significant roles for the Nuggets and can be effective for their lower price tags. On the Spurs' side, Doug McDermott and Lonnie Walker are both solid looks, while the status of Keldon Johnson (questionable) and Devin Vassell (questionable) would impact their playing time. If Johnson or Vassell do play, they would be strong options in their own rite.

Injuries to Monitor

Ja Morant (knee): OUT

Ziaire Williams (ankle), Brandon Clarke (knee), Kyle Anderson (back): Questionable

Tyus Jones will continue to start in place of Morant. The absence of Williams, Clarke and/or Anderson will put a strain on the Grizzlies' bench rotation, leading to more action for guys like De'Anthony Melton, John Konchar and Xavier Tillman.

Austin Rivers (COVID-19): Questionable

If Rivers remains out, Bones Hyland and Facundo Campazzo should see some added responsibility.

Devin Vassell (thigh), Keldon Johnson (ankle): Questionable

The absence of Vassell and/or Johnson would open up more opportunity for Lonnie Walker and Keita Bates-Diop

Elite Players

Guards

Murray has been playing great lately and has topped 50 DK points in six of the last 10 games, including one outing where he totaled 60.5 DK points. The Spurs play host to the Nuggets, who will be facing the second night of a back-to-back, which should contribute to Murray's advantage over the smaller backcourt.

Westbrook's ability to fill the stat sheet makes him a reliable pick, as he can still amount to good totals even on a night where one facet of his game may be struggling. On the other hand, he has a massive upside, as a player that can top 60 DK points on just about any night, which he has done twice in the last 10 games.

Forwards/Centers

LeBron James ($10,100)

James has been playing very well lately and has topped 50 DK points in four of his last five games, including one night where he logged 61.8 DK points. James should find an advantage against the Grizzlies' defense that is giving up an average of 110.9 points per game.

Anthony Davis ($10,000)

Davis has topped 45 DK points in seven of his last 10 games, including one night where he topped 70 DK points. He will be matched up against Steven Adams of the Grizzlies, who is a solid body in the paint, but will likely have trouble keeping up with Davis' agility and speed in the open court.

Joel Embiid ($11,000)

Embiid has a tough matchup against defensive star, Rudy Gobert, but he is the focal point of his team's offense and is equipped with enough offensive skill to thrive nonetheless. Embiid has topped 55 DK points in four of the last five games, including two outings where he topped 70 DK points.

Expected Chalk

Nikola Jokic ($11,800)

Jokic and the Nuggets will be on the second night of a back-to-back, as they take on the Spurs in San Antonio. Jokic logged 39 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and a steal in 36 minutes in his team's Wednesday-night win in New Orleans. Jokic has topped 50 DK points in four of the last five games and should find a great opportunity against a smaller Spurs team. The Spurs are allowing opponents to shoot an average of 45.8 percent from the field, and they are giving up an average of 47.0 rebounds per game, which is the sixth-most in the league. With a few injuries in the Nuggets' lineup, Jokic remains as the go-to option on offense and does a great job both scoring and facilitating, which helps him put up consistently high fantasy totals.

Value Picks

Dwight Howard ($4,400)

Howard has topped 15 DK points in seven of his last 10 games. He has been seeing consistent minutes off the bench and should find good opportunity to rack up some stats in what is expected to be a high-scoring contest against the Grizzlies.

Rudy Gay ($3,900)

Gay has been playing well, averaging 10.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists, over the nine games played so far. He has topped 22 DK points in five of the nine contests, including two outings where he topped 30.

Ellington has topped 20 DK points in two of the last six games, and he is shooting 57 percent from the field, over that span.

With Ja Morant sidelined, Melton has played a more significant role in the Grizzlies' backcourt. He has topped 24 DK points in four of the last six games, including one night where he accounted for 35.0 DK points.

Clarkson continues to be a key piece off the bench for the Jazz, and he is averaging 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists, in 24 minutes per game, over the last 10 games. He has topped 29 DK points in four of those outings and has topped 19 DK points in eight of the last 10 contests.

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