It’s thirsty Thursday again and I got that green juice for you.  Today we have a mini two-game slate with two MVP candidates in the spotlight.  In game one, Joel Embiid is facing off vs. the Lakers who are at full-strength now that Anthony Davis is back (played 35 minutes on Tuesday). Then we have Steph Curry facing the Timberwolves who are fourth in pace of play this season. Since there are only two games tonight I’ll be playing just one lineup for cash and gpp contests. We’ll need to find one or two players who will be less than 10% rostered in order to take down a gpp on small slates. I will list my favorite options below my core plays today. Let’s get it!

If you’re new to this article, I break down tonight’s two-game NBA slate and give you my starting five for both FanDuel and Draftkings.  These will be my core plays (guys I’ll be playing in my lineups with my money) for hitting the cash line.  Due to all the protocols, injury management, and general rest of players a lot can change from now until tip-off.  Theres a good chance I’ll use a player or two not listed here so make sure to follow me on Twitter for any important player swaps closer to lock.  At the end of the article, I’ll have a pool of three to five players I like that you can use to fill in the rest of your lineups. It’s important to have a process in DFS so let’s review the strategies you should be thinking about.


Focus on teams with high game totals and a high pace of play. On tonight’s slate, the Timberwolves play at a pace of 100.4 possessions per game, fastest on the slate.  The total for their game vs. the Warriors has a 229.5, 12 points more than the Sixers vs. Lakers game.

Select players who play a lot of minutes, have high usage rates, and/or produce a high FP/M (fantasy points per minute).

NBA may be the toughest DFS sport to play for a few reasons. Number one is time. Throughout the season players will get ruled out for rest, injury, or health and safety protocols. This tends to happen shortly before lock or even after lock as we experienced in the past. It’s imperative that you make yourself available for the 15 minutes before lock or you may lose some money for a simple user error.   

OK now that you know the basics, it’s time for tonight’s slam dunks.

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Tonight’s two-game slate: 

Time 7:30 PM ET 10:00 PM ET
Total 217.5 229.5

The Starting Five

Patrick Beverley, PG, MIN (DK $4200, FD $5600)

Pat Bev has missed the previous two games with an ankle injury but is expected to return tonight. The Timberwolves play their starters big minutes and Beverly is averaging 1.0 FP/M on the season. This price tag on DraftKings is too cheap for a guy who’s likely to play 28-32 minutes. If he were to sit, Jaden McDaniels and Jaylen Nowell (also questionable) are in for more minutes.

Furkan Korkmaz, SG/SF, PHI (DK $4800, FD $4500)

This is a minutes play with upside here. Seth Curry and Shake Milton are both out tonight in addition to Danny Green being listed as questionable. Korkmaz leads the team in minutes with those guys off the court and has played 37, 37, and 39 in the last three games. He’s averaging .86 FP/M on the season, but we’ve seen him record more than 30 fantasy points a few times and even eclipse the 50-point mark once. The ceiling is there if he gets the hot hand.

, PG/SF, LAL (DK $11100, FD $10700)

This might be the first time all season LeBron has made my starting five (mainly because the Lakers have not played on Thursday). Anyway, the King is just crushing lately, but nothing new here for the best player in the game (debate time). LeBron carries a 31% usage rate with his 1.44 FP/M on the season. Anthony Davis has missed a lot of time allowing LeBron to soak up all the glory with multiple 70 fantasy point games this season. Tonight however, Davis should play and may give a slight hit to LeBron’s scoring.  The Sixers rank 25th vs. versatile forwards and I expect the King to get a minimum of 50 fantasy points tonight.  We are going to need those raw points on such a small slate.

Nemanja Bjelica, PF/C, GSW (DK $3500, FD $4000) 

Bjelica struggled to find playing time earlier in the season but has solidified a nice role lately. Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and James Wiseman are out tonight. Klay Thompson should play but won’t take from Bjelica’s minutes. With a solid .97 FP/M with Draymond off the court we could see Bjelica get the backup center minutes behind Kevan Looney too.  If we want to fit in LeBron and a few others we’ll need some value and I think this is it, likely on the lower side of ownership as well.

Joel Embiid, C, PHI (DK $11400, FD $11400) 

Embiid has reached the nexus of the universe where the pricing intersects on both sites (Seinfeld reference here)!  50, 40, 38, 42. The scoring logs for Embiid’s last four games. He’s recored more than 65 DraftKings points in all, including a 77-point game. The Lakers rank 26th in opponents points in the paint (slightly better with Davis) and I don’t see an outcome where Embiid gets less than 30 real points. With no Curry or Milton this season Embiid is averaging a whopping 1.83 FP/M with a 42% usage rate.  I’m hitting the lock button on Embiid tonight and you should too.

Other guys on my radar:

Tyrese Maxey, PG/SG, PHI (DK $6400, FD $5800) 

Andrew Wiggins, SF, GSW (DK $5700, FD $6000)

Kevon Looney, PF/C, GSW (DK $4700, FD $4900)

Stephen Curry, PG, GSW (DK $10300, FD $9500)

Tobias Harris, SF/PF, PHI (DK $7300, FD $8100) 

Before you go, do me a favor and leave a comment or question today. Much appreciated.

– Cousin Timmy