- Picks at every position and price point for Thursday's NBA DFS contests.
The long All-Star break is finally over, and the NBA kicks back into gear tonight with a six-game slate. Consider the picks in this column a jumping-off point. Then, lock a few of your favorites into the Lineup Lab Optimizer to complete your DFS lineups. Also, check out our Player Lab tool where you can find the players that matter most by using filters like defense versus position, minutes, FGA, FGA% and points per game.
Stephen Curry, vs. Clippers (FD: $9,300, DK: $9,800)
Projected Points: FD: 49.05, DK: 51.02
Curry has averaged 31 minutes with 58.8 DraftKings and 58.4 FanDuel points per game in his last five against the Clippers, but those came before the team shipped Blake Griffin to Detroit, embracing their reality as one of the bottom-feeding teams in the Western Conference. There is significantly more blowout risk in this one than in previous Warriors-Clippers matchups, but Curry’s ceiling still makes him worth taking that risk.
Evan Fournier, vs. Knicks (FD: $6,400, DK: $5,600)
Projected Points: FD: 25.4, DK: 26.21
Unquestionably, Fournier is a steal on DraftKings. Since the team shipped Elfrid Payton to the Suns, Fournier has taken on a much larger role, comfortably getting himself 30-plus minutes per game. In his last two games against the Knicks, he has averaged 41.75 FanDuel points and 39.88 DraftKings points.
Lou Williams, vs. Warriors (FD: $7,000, DK: $6,900)
Projected Points: FD: 37.16, DK: 38.47
The Warriors allow 44.58 fantasy points per game to shooting guards, and even a blowout likely won’t keep Williams off the floor. The last time he played the Warriors, he took full advantage of the matchup, scoring 65 DraftKings points and 58.9 FanDuel points. That was on the second half of a back-to-back, as well, and Williams should be as well rested as everyone else in the league after the break.
D'Angelo Russell, vs. Hornets (FD: $6,100, DK: $5,600)
Projected Points: FD: 29.02, DK: 30.31
Russell is rounding into form after missing a little more than two months because of a knee injury that required surgery. His playing time is starting to regularly approach or surpass 30 minutes, which bodes well for him the rest of the season. This is also a good matchup, with the Hornets allowing 29.18 points per game to shooting guards. Russell’s price makes him easy to fit into any lineup.
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LeBron James, vs. Wizards (FD: $11,600, DK: $11,800)
Projected Points: FD: 55.49, DK: 56.89
James was on a bit of a hot streak going into All-Star Weekend, averaging an additional 4.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game over his season average. He just might be happier with his new teammates. James has put up some monster numbers against the Wizards this season, torching them for 92 DraftKings points and 93 FanDuel points in one meeting. With the Wizards having injury trouble and the Vegas total at 220, you can expect more of the same from the King.
Michael Beasley, vs. Magic (FD: $7,000, DK: $7,100)
Projected Points: FD: 40.04, DK: 40.28
Beasley was back at practice on Wednesday, a good indication that he’ll be able to go on Thursday night. He has done an admirable job picking up the slack for the injured Kristaps Porzingis, with the best news in the fantasy world being that he’s a near-lock to play 35-plus minutes. He averaged 36.5 DraftKings points and 36 Fanduel points in his last four games before the All-Star break.
Ben Simmons, vs. Bulls (FD: $9,000, DK: $9,000)
Projected Points: FD: 43.81, DK: 43.08
The 76ers versus the gimpy Bulls? Yes, please. Simmons put up his sixth triple-double of the season in the Sixers final game before the All-Star break, scoring 18 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists in an impressive comeback win over the Heat. In his last game against the Bulls, he secured a triple-double with 11:11 left in the third quarter. Simmons has owned the Bulls this year, averaging 62 DraftKings and 57.55 FanDuel points in two games against them.
Dario Saric, vs. Bulls (FD: $6,700, DK: $6,500)
Projected Points: FD: 31.07, DK: 32.54
Don’t be hesitant to stack Saric with Simmons. Saric was on a heater before the break, scoring at least 20 points in three of four games. He consistently puts up 30 fantasy points per game, but his ceiling reaches into the high-40s, which makes him a great play against the Bulls thin front line. Indeed, in two games against the Bulls this season, he has averaged 39.55 FanDuel and 41.25 DraftKings points.
Dwight Howard, vs. Nets (FD: $9,000, DK: $8,400)
Projected Points: FD: 44.29, DK: 45.5
Howard comes out of the All-Star break with an excellent matchup against a Nets team that allowed 65.89 fantasy points per game to centers in its final four games before the league took its annual rest. I like the price better on DraftKings for a GPP play than I do on FanDuel, given that Howard is always a bit of a wild card, but I do think he’s easily playable on both sites.
Enes Kanter, vs. Magic (FD: $7,500, DK: $7,600)
Projected Points: FD: 38.44, DK: 40.5
Now that Willy Hernangomez is out of the picture, Kanter should get plenty of playing time every single night. We saw what his best could look like right before the break, when he put up a 24-14-5 line against the Wizards. With the playing time no longer a question, Kanter is always going to at least be in the DFS discussion at center.