This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Here we go with a four-game slate on Thursday, March 28.
Per usual, we have some 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:
These notable players will continue to miss time: Jrue Holiday, Gerald Green, Kenneth Faried, Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell, Nikola Mirotic, Allonzo Trier, Rodney McGruder, Allen Crabbe, Noah Vonleh, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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.
Luka Doncic – DAL at MIA ($8,400): Doncic checks in as nearly $3,000 cheaper than James Harden tonight. The matchup isn't too bad either, facing a Miami team that ranks 20th in defensive efficiency to opposing shooting guards. The rookie has been on a nice run with 63 fantasy points in each of the past two games, and I wouldn't be surprised if that continued in this competitive draw. I'll definitely be looking towards Doncic through all formats on DraftKings.
Fred VanVleet – TOR at NYK ($4,800): As mentioned earlier, Leonard will not play tonight. That should promote VanVleet to a heightened role within the Toronto offense. I'm thinking he'll profile somewhere along the lines of his 30 FPPG average over four games prior to Tuesday's letdown against the Bulls. A strong matchup against a bad Knicks defense adds confidence to this situation.
Ian Clark – NO vs. SAC ($3,700): Holiday is out for the season and Jackson will not play tonight. That should promote Clark to a 30-35 minute role in this fast-paced draw against the Kings. Sacramento ranks bottom five in defensive efficiency to opposing backcourts, and both teams rank top five in pace. That creates a fantasy-friendly environment for Clark to post a strong return on his near-minimum salary. Go ahead and target him as a strong bargain through all formats.
Blake Griffin – DET vs. ORL ($7,900): You could argue taking LaMarcus Aldridge for a similar salary, but I'll be looking towards Griffin in a more competitive game environment. The Pistons will host Orlando tonight, and I'm thinking the Detroit superstar will continue to feast. Griffin posted 30 points, five rebounds, and four assists the last time he face the Magic (January 16), and he's coming off a game where he took 32 shots. The Pistons' forward is averaging 50 FPPG over his past four, and he could plausibly find himself in that range again tonight.
Maxi Kleber – DAL at MIA ($5,100): Kleber isn't necessarily a "core play" on this slate, but he's a find value filler if you need a forward in this salary range. The Dallas forward has seen steady playing time of 25-33 minutes lately, translating to a healthy 28 FPPG average over his past six. He could conceivably hit that total this evening against a Miami team that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency to opposing power forwards.
Norman Powell – TOR at NYK ($3,600): In case you needed another reminder: Leonard will not play for Toronto tonight. That promotes Norman Powell to somewhere around 25 minutes against a New York squad that ranks bottom five in defensive efficiency to opposing small forwards. Powell's fantasy prospects would become even better if OG Anunoby (questionable) doesn't play, but I believe he's a reasonable value filler either way.
Joel Embiid – PHI vs. BKN ($10,400): It's my opinion that Joel Embiid is a core play on this slate. Sure, his past two games of 45 and 37 fantasy points were mediocre when considering his bloated salary. However, Embiid could enjoy a massive breakout performance similar to his 79 and 75 FP showings against Milwaukee and Boston just over a week ago. Brooklyn ranks 25th in defensive efficiency to opposing centers and 26th in rebound rate on the season, and they have been getting absolutely ripped apart inside lately. This matchup is Embiid's for the taking.
Brook Lopez – MIL vs. LAC ($6,100): If you are looking to a tournament pivot or utility filler, Lopez makes for a reasonable option. The Milwaukee big man has proven upside if things are working his way, and he'll be playing up in pace against a Clippers' team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency to opposing centers. Despite the excellent draw, I'm thinking Lopez will get lost in the shuffle of tonight's eight-game slate while holding a much lower-than-deserved ownership rate. Keep that in mind for large-field tournaments.