Welcome back to DFS Dunks! Thursdays are the best and tonight in no different on a small two-game slate. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Joel Embiid will see each other on the court for the first time since the big trade.  Philly has not lost a game with Harden on the court and Kyrie is coming off a season-high 50-point game. Unfortunately, we can’t roster all four on DraftKings, but the salaries do allow for it on FanDuel, if you want. In the nightcap of the double-header, we have Steph Curry and the Warriors facing off vs. the frontrunner for MVP, Nikola Jokic. Wow, what a great night of basketball.

Since there are only two games tonight, I’m going to play a cash lineup and a GPP lineup. I’ve been playing only one lineup lately for both. I will build my GPP lineup as I would a showdown lineup, possibly leaving some salary on the table or fading a guy like Stephen Curry.

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.  There’s 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 I use.

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Strategies

  • Focus on teams with high game totals and a high pace of play. On tonight’s slate, Brooklyn runs at the 12th-fastest pace and ranks 23rd in defensive rating. This game vs. Philadelphia has the higher total of the two, at 234.
  • 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, time to quench that Thursday thirst and get to my favorite plays for the night.

Tonight’s two-game slate (totals courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook):

Game BKN @ PHI GSW @ DEN
Time 7:30 PM ET 10:00 PM ET
Total 234 227.5

The Starting Five

Nikola Jokic, C, DEN (DK $11200, FD $11400)

On paper, Jokic is the best fantasy point per minute player tonight and in the league,  at 1.77. When Will Barton sits, Joker’s insane numbers get even better. Over his last 60 minutes of court time without Barton, he’s averaging 2.21 FP/M. Jokic averages 61 DraftKings points per game and in three games vs. the Warriors he’s at 69 per game. The Warriors were a top-three defense with Draymond Green but even without him, they are still in the top-10. That doesn’t really matter for Jokic, he’s just too good to fade tonight.

Moses Moody, SG/SF, BOS (DK $3500, FD $4300) 

The rookie from Arkansas has been impressive in the little time he’s seen the floor this season. He smashed his price tag vs. Denver just a few days ago, of course that was with no Steph, Klay, or Wiggins. However, when the stars returned vs. LAC on Tuesday, Moody started and played 29 minutes. His usage went way down as expected, but he still managed to reach 26 fantasy points on both sites. Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green are all out tonight leaving the door open for Moody to keep his role for the moment.

Kevin Durant, SF/PF, BKN (DK $10300, FD $10400)

Durant got into it with a fan on Twitter this week about not hitting some of his props. I think Durant comes in hot tonight. He’s played 39 minutes in each of the last two games and Brooklyn desperately needs wins. At 33-33, the current 8th seed, they are only 1.5 games ahead of the 10th seeded Hawks. I think they will do anything in their power to make a late run here and avoid the play-in tournament. Philly is 2nd best in the league vs. combo guards and ranks 24th vs. versatile forwards. When choosing between Kyrie and KD tonight, I’m going Durant.

Davon Reed, SG/SF, DEN (DK $3300, FD $3600)

Plain and simple, we are going to need some value on this small slate and we are going to have to use some players that don’t project for 20+ fantasy points. Reed is that guy for me and I’m going to tell you why he will eclipse 20 fantasy points. Reed is averaging .79 FP/M on the season.  Bones Hyland, Jeff Green, and Will Barton are all questiobable tonight for different reasons so we won’t know for sure until later, but for this play, I’m assuming they sit. This bumps Reed up to 1.04 FP/M. He played 22 minutes last night and 20 minutes in each of the two previous games. The Warriors rank 29th vs. 3-and-D wing players. On a small slate like this, 20 fantasy points at this price, is gold.

Andre Drummond, C, BKN (DK $5700, FD $5600) 

Drummond is only averaging 21.2 minutes per game over his last nine but tonight should be different. LaMarcus Aldridge has already been ruled out opening up some minutes for Dre. The Nets will need Drummonds’s size to compete with Embiid. Drummond is averaging 1.35 FP/M in 189 minutes without Aldridge. He also recorded 47.5 DraftKings points in just 24 minutes on Monday, although that was against the Hornets. Nic Claxton is active for Brooklyn and will get minutes but I think Drummond plays 24-26 and puts up a decent line. Philly ranks 25th vs. Post Bigs this season. With all the enticing center plays tonight, you won’t see Drummond in too many lineups.

Reserves:

Injury news to watch: 

Will Barton, Bones Hyland, Jeff Green – all of these guys will affect Davon Reed and Austin Rivers minutes

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

– Cousin Timmy

@TimmySperos