This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Here we go with a four-game slate on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Looking within that, this Timberwolves-Lakers matchup appears to have the best fantasy environment. We are looking at a considerable 228.5 over/under with a tight 1.5 point spread favoring the Wolves. In fact, the three other tilts on this slate have substantial blowout risk with double-digit point spreads. Go ahead and look towards Derrick Rose, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and maybe Karl-Anthony Towns (if he's not too pricey) from this well-aligned draw.
Per usual, we have several injuries to monitor with potential for more while moving closer to tip-off. You'll want to stay in the loop with Rotowire's NBA News Feed before setting your final lineups. As of Thursday morning, these are the situations we are looking at:
Damian Lillard is questionable. He has been playing through the hand injury lately, but we'll see if he rests tonight at Phoenix. If he's out, CJ McCollum sees a huge boost with Seth Curry also serving as a near-minimum DFS filler.
Deandre Ayton is questionable but unlikely to play, and Richaun Holmes is questionable If Holmes plays, he's a solid all-around pick. If he's out, Dragan Bender will find fantasy relevance again with a 30-minute workload.
With that, I'll be breaking down the best fantasy choices on DraftKings for Thursday. The following write-ups contain a blend of cash game staples, bargain fillers, and tournament pivots.
Stephen Curry – GS at WAS ($9,100): Both Russell Westbrook and Curry have strong matchups worth pursuing in DFS tonight. However, Curry checks in with a salary that is $1,600 lighter on DraftKings. That's pushing me in his direction through all formats. Well, that and a draw against this Washington team that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency vs. opposing point guards. Curry has notched 45-plus fantasy points in nine of his past ten games, and this is an excellent spot for him to surpass that threshold yet again.
Derrick Rose – MIN at LAL ($6,500): Rose was disappointing from a fantasy standpoint at Phoenix on Tuesday. However, the Wolves didn't really need him in a 28-point victory over the Suns. The former MVP should get back to his usual workload in tonight's competitive draw against the Lakers. He'll be greeted with plenty of usage, considering that Tyus Jones and Jeff Teague are questionable. You have to love the matchup while playing up in pace against a Lakers' team with a thin backcourt.
C.J. McCollum – POR at PHX ($6,300): I mentioned earlier how McCollum would become a strong cash option if Lillard (questionable) is ruled out. Go ahead and look to him through all formats if that's the case, as he'll pick up a ton of usage in this strong matchup at Phoenix – who ranks 28th in defensive efficiency against opposing backcourts. However, I believe McCollum makes for an interesting tournament pivot if Lillard is active. CJ is coming off a sweet 31 real point (43 fantasy point) effort at Oklahoma City, and tonight's draw looks much more favorable.
Kyle Kuzma – LAL vs. MIN ($6,900): None of the Lakers' starters did much of any fantasy significance on Monday while getting blown out by Golden State. However, Kuzma was on fire with two straight 50-plus FP performances heading into that game. There's a chance he'll get back to that range in a high-scoring matchup with Minnesota (228.5 over/under). Kuzma will be asked to carry a heavy usage rate with James and Ball out.
Kelly Oubre Jr. – PHX vs. POR ($5,700): Oubre has impressed with 30-plus fantasy points in five of his past six, seeing adequate playing time through that stretch. His minutes just became more solidified due to injuries in the Phoenix frontcourt. Oubre has a chance to keep his momentum against a Portland team that ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency vs. opposing small forwards. He's a reasonable mid-range pick if you need someone in this salary range.
Josh Jackson – PHX vs. POR ($5,300): As mentioned earlier, Warren has been ruled out for Phoenix. Ayton is questionable, though unlikely to play, on top of that, meaning Jackson should be asked to log significant minutes. He's fresh off a sweet 52 FP performance vs. Minnesota, but most of that came in garbage time after Devin Booker was ejected. Regardless, Jackson will be asked to pick up the slack with Warren sidelined, vaulting him into cash game consideration against a Portland team that ranks 23rd vs. small forwards and power forwards alike.
Jusuf Nurkic – POR at PHX ($8,000): Go ahead and get yourself some shares of Jusuf Nurkic tonight. He has realistically similar upside as Curry, Westbrook, or George for a fraction of the cost. This is an absolutely fantastic matchup against a Phoenix team that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency to opposing centers. On top of that, the Suns frontcourt is banged up with Ayton and Holmes questionable. Nurkic should be able to feast this evening.
Dragan Bender – PHX vs. POR ($4,600): Ayton has been ruled out, and Holmes is questionable. If Holmes ends up sitting, Bender will have a clear path to 30-plus minutes – a role he translated to 30 fantasy points in each of his past two games. Go ahead and keep an eye on this injury situation to roll with either Holmes or Bender.
Jahlil Okafor – NO at OKC ($4,900): Davis will miss time moving forward, and now Mirotic has popped up on the injury report. That translates to strengthened playing time for Okafor, who has logged 31-plus minutes in each of his past two games while hitting 40-plus FP in each.