DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

BKN vs. MIL (-5.5), O/U: 220

The Bucks are at home and facing elimination, while the Nets are without Kyrie Irving. The oddsmakers seem to be weighing these facts quite heavily, as I didn't expect to see Milwaukee as 5.5 point favorites after the way the series has gone. Kevin Durant is coming off an incredible performance in Game 5 that saw him hit 100 fantasy points! It will be difficult to make unique lineups tonight, but one of the easier ways of doing so would be to fade Durant after his historic night. On Tuesday, the winning lineup had Tyler Johnson in the flex, and he didn't even see the floor. This happens when the stars smash, and no one in the mid-range does much of anything. All of the usage funnels to the elite players as games become more important, and I'd expect stars and scrubs style builds to be the popular construction again. 

Injuries to Monitor 

Kyrie Irving (ankle): OUT

The Nets are handling Irving's status on a game-to-game basis. Bruce Brown got the start in his place on Tuesday but played only 13 minutes while Landry Shamet saw 28 off the bench.

Elite Players

Kevin Durant ($12,400)

Durant is coming off a historic performance in Game 5. He had 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists as he put up a whopping 100.25 DK points! I never thought I'd see 100+ fantasy points in a regulation game, but Durant is the best offensive player in the world, and there isn't a player or team that can stop him when he's in form. I'd expect him to be very popular tonight, and rightfully so. However, I probably wouldn't roster him in the captain spot as he's the most expensive and will be overly popular there. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000)

From a fantasy perspective, Giannis is coming off his best game of the series on Tuesday when he put up a 34/12/4 line that helped him to 61.5 DK points. Encouragingly, he saw 42 minutes, and I'd expect 40+ again tonight with the Bucks facing elimination. If you have a decision between him and Durant, go with the player from the team you think wins. It also makes sense to roster them together, but being that they're the most expensive, I'd look to use a cheaper captain.

James Harden ($11,000)

Harden was listed as "out" Tuesday morning. He was upgraded to doubtful in the afternoon and eventually ended up starting and playing 46 minutes. He shot just 1-10 from the field as he scored only five points and put up 22.5 DK points. He's definitely not 100% healthy, but there are still reasons to take a chance on him tonight. Chief among them being that he's going to be less popular than Durant and Giannis. It's not often that you can get leverage by rostering Harden, and we know he has the upside to make it pay off.    

Expected Chalk

Brook Lopez ($5,600)

Lopez isn't the player I expected to highlight as chalk, but Durant and Giannis are too obvious. I'm doing so because his salary dropped by $2,000, which is quite significant. Also, the players above and below him are much less appealing, so he really stands out in that range. He's scored at least 23 fantasy points in every game of the series while showing double-double potential. He shoots threes and blocks shots as well, adding to his upside. The cheap salary makes him a viable option in the captain spot too. 

Value Picks

Khris Middleton ($9,400)

Middleton has been the Bucks' second-best player in the series. He topped 40 fantasy points for the third consecutive game on Tuesday despite poor shooting percentages. He's taken 20+ shots in four of five games against Brooklyn, and he's seen 40+ minutes in three straight. 

Jrue Holiday ($8,600)

Holiday's performances continue to underwhelm. He's ranged from 22-37 fantasy points in five games against the Nets. He's also seen fewer minutes than Giannis and Middleton. All of this will lead to him going overlooked tonight, which makes him a good leverage option.  

Jeff Green ($4,800)

Green is one of the better value plays on the slate. He's coming off 38.25 DK points in 35 minutes off the bench in Game 5. His numbers were helped by seven three-pointers, but $4,800 is just too cheap for a player getting starter's minutes. 

Landry Shamet ($3,200)

Shamet played 28 minutes off the bench in Game 5 as the Nets changed their rotation with the return of James Harden. Players from this range will have to be rostered to afford the stars and significant minutes is enough to make anyone viable. 

Pat Connaughton ($2,800)

Connaughton seems like the best of these cheap options. The Bucks basically used a seven-man rotation in Game 5, and Connaughton saw a playoff-high 32 minutes off the bench. He topped 20 fantasy points for the second straight game as well. I'd expect him to be popular, and rightfully so.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
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