There are a few decent plays in the expected low-scoring affair, but in general, I'll look to roster mostly players from the three higher-scoring games.
With that said, here are my favorite DraftKings values ($6,500 salary or less) for Thursday's NBA games:
PG - J.J. Barea, Dallas Mavericks (at SAC), $3,400: Once again, Barea will draw the start and he has scored at least 23 fantasy points in back-to-back starts with Rajon Rondo sidelined. In order to reach 6x tonight's salary, Barea needs to score only 20.4 fantasy points and he should do that fairly easily. Not only have the Kings have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season, but only the Trail Blazers are projected to score more points tonight than the Mavs based on Vegas odds.
Others to consider: Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings ($6,500); Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns ($6,100); Isaiah Thomas, Phoenix Suns ($5,400); Devin Harris, Dallas Mavericks ($3,900)
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SG - Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers (at CLE), $5,000: As J.J. Redick deals with back spasms and is expected to miss another game, Crawford should get another start. Although he made less than one-third of his 22 (yes, 22!) shot attempts on Monday, Crawford scored 30.25 fantasy points in 37 minutes against the Nets. Crawford has played 30-plus minutes in three of his past five games and has scored at least 30 fantasy points in all three of those 30-minute games.
Others to consider: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards ($6,000); Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers ($6,000); Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings ($3,900)
SF - Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers (vs. PHO), $5,000: I considered going back to the well here with Chandler Parsons, my small forward value pick from yesterday, but I like Batum as much tonight. As noted earlier, the Blazers are projected to score the most points tonight and the Suns have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season. Batum made just two-of-seven shots on Tuesday yet finished with 34.5 fantasy points as he added eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal. And without LaMarcus Aldridge in the lineup, Batum went off for 52.5 fantasy points against the Suns just a couple of weeks ago. I don't expect another 50-point game against the Suns, but Batum's ability to rack up multiple statistical categories give him a strong chance to exceed value.
Others to consider: Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks ($5,700); Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers ($4,200)
PF - Brandan Wright, Phoenix Suns (at POR), $3,000: Wright lacks upside as he has played only 17, 19, 19 and 22 minutes over his past four games, respectively. That said, the efficient Wright has a solid floor -- minimum of 16.0 fantasy points over those four games with an average of 19.5 per game over that four-game span -- to make him a viable punt option at the position at the contest-minimum salary.
Others to consider: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks ($6,200); Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns ($5,900); Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets ($5,300)
C - Timofey Mozgov, Cleveland Cavaliers (vs. LAC), $5,200: Mozgov has at least 21 fantasy points in eight of his past nine games and has averaged 27.81 per game (5.35x tonight's salary) over that nine-game span. Over that stretch, Mozgov has averaged 10.66 points, 8.78 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 0.78 steals per game with four double-doubles. In addition, the Clippers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.
Others to consider: Tyson Chandler, Dallas Mavericks ($6,400); Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards ($5,000); Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers ($4,400); Alex Len, Phoenix Suns ($3,200)
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