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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Thursday (4/8)

by Brad Camara
Apr 8, 2021

Khris Middleton should easily exceed value if Giannis is unable to suit up Thursday.

Coming off a wild nine-game slate Wednesday, we have an interesting seven-game slate on tap for Thursday. Below are my values and studs to fade. DFS players will need to be on top of the news up until 7:30 p.m. E.T. Let’s dive right into it.

Check out today’s NBA Tip-Off from DraftKings >>

Most Value Per Dollar 

I will offer what I feel are the best plays available with a seven-game slate on the docket. I plan to spend most of my salary at either shooting guard or small forward, as I feel the best values can be found at point guard Killian Hayes and Coby White. There are plenty of mid-tier options to select from at power forward when creating lineup builds. The Jazz versus Trail Blazers (over/under 231) and Bucks against Mavericks (over/under 229.5) are the two games I am targeting the most in Thursday’s slate.

On the injury front, Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful. Fred VanVleet, Jarrett Allen, and Larry Nance have been ruled out. Kyle Lowry wasn’t officially ruled out but is unlikely to suit up. Zach LaVine is deemed probable and is expected to play.

If you would like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for the slate, check out BettingPros.

Below is the list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.

Khris Middleton (MIL) $7,800
Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is unlikely to play Thursday’s game against the Mavericks. Middleton should see an increased role and has a 31.6% usage rate when Giannis is off the court. The Bucks visit the Mavericks and have the second-highest over/under (228.5) in Thursday’s slate. Middleton should easily exceed value if Giannis is unable to suit up Thursday.

Malachi Flynn (TOR) $4,700
Fred VanVleet (hip) had been ruled, and Kyle Lowry (foot) is unlikely to play in Thursday’s game against the Bulls. Flynn has a usage rate of 19.6% when both VanVleet and Lowry are off the court. Flynn went off for 33.3, 43.0, and 33.0 in his previous three games. Everything is lined up for Flynn to exceed value at his current price tag.

Killian Hayes (DET) $3,200 
Hayes returned to action on April 3rd after missing 41 games due to a hip injury. He missed Tuesday’s loss to the Nuggets for rest purposes. Hayes is coming off his best performance (Monday’s win over the Thunder), scoring 34.1 DK points across 25 minutes. Hayes should see 20-plus minutes and is in a smash spot against the Kings (rank 22nd OPRK against point guards). The Pistons’ rookie PG is easily one of the best values on the slate.

DeAndre’ Bembry (TOR) $3,800
Fred VanVleet (hip) had been ruled, and Kyle Lowry (foot) is unlikely to play in Thursday’s game against the Bulls. Bembry should see an increased role and is averaging 33.3 DK points in his last two games. Bembry won’t light up the scoreboard, but his impact on defense and an increased role in the Raptors’ rotation should net him 25-30 DK points Thursday.

Isaiah Stewart (DET) $4,100 
Stewart came off the bench in Tuesday’s loss to the Nuggets, but he logged more minutes (28) than starting center Mason Plumlee (20). The Pistons are out of playoff contention and will continue to give their young players the bulk of the minutes. Stewart has averaged 10.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 2.0 blocks across 25.0 minutes in his last two contests. The Kings are 29th in OPRK against opposing centers, making Stewart one of the slate’s best values.

Richaun Holmes (SAC) $7,600 
Holmes lit up the Pistons for 46.8 DK points in his previous game and draws Detroit again on Thursday. He’s scored at least 33.5 fantasy points in six of his last 10 games. Since Marvin Bagley went down, Holmes has a usage rate of 18.9% and should dominate the Pistons (29th OPRK against opposing centers) again on Thursday.

Bobby Portis (MIL) $5,200 
Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is unlikely to play Thursday’s game against the Mavericks. Portis should see an increased role and has a 21.6% usage rate when Giannis is off the court. The 26-year-old PF averaged 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, and 1.0 triples in his last two games without Giannis. Everything is lined up for Portis to exceed value in Thursday’s slate.

Coby White (CHI) $4,200 
Coby White (neck) is probable for Thursday’s game against the Raptors but is expected to play. DFS players should check the injury news up until 7:30 p.m. E.T. to ensure White is active. He’s averaged 10.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.6 rebounds in 26.0 minutes in the past five appearances. He will get the Raptors Thursday, and they rank 25th against opposing point guards. White has the ability to light up the scoreboard and is considered one of the best values on the slate.

Josh Richardson (DAL) $4,900 
Josh Richardson is coming off one of his worst games of the season. He went 0-for-9 from the floor and finished the contest with just one point. Before that stinker, he averaged 21.82 DK points in his previous five contests. The Mavericks host the Bucks Thursday, and the two teams have the second-highest over/under (228.5) on the slate. Richardson should bounce in a solid matchup (Bucks 18th OPRK against small forwards) and score 25-30 DK points.

Isaiah Hartenstein (CLE) $4,400 
Jarrett Allen (concussion) and Larry Nance (illness) had been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Thunder. He supplied 16 points (7-8 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-3 FT), 12 rebounds, three assists, and one block across 27 minutes off the bench in his previous game. Hartenstein gets the Thunder, and they rank 30th against opposing centers. The 22-year-old should see 22-25 minutes off the bench and should produce in a plus matchup against the Thunder.

Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Jrue Holiday (MIL) $8,100 Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is unlikely to play Thursday’s game against the Mavericks. Jrue Holiday should see an increased role and has a 27.6% usage rate when Giannis is off the court. The Bucks visit the Mavericks and have the second-highest over/under (228.5) in Thursday’s slate. Holiday has been on fire the last two games. He’s averaging 31.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, and 3.5 triples across 35.5 minutes during that stretch. Holiday is only a recommended play if Giannis is unable to suit up.
  • Donovan Mitchell (UTA) $8,600 Mitchell erupted for 41 points in his previous game, and he gets the Trail Blazers, who rank 22nd against opposing shooting guards. The Jazz are hosting the Trail Blazers Thursday, and the two teams have the highest over/under (231.0) of all the games on the slate. Mitchell is coming off an impressive performance and should thrive once again in a high-scoring affair against the Trail Blazers.
  • Nikola Vucevic (CHI) $9,100 Vucevic lit up the Raptors for 45.5 and 51 DK points in his previous two meetings against them. The 30-year-old center was acquired by the Bulls at the NBA trade deadline and has taken over as the Bulls’ primary option on offense. The Raptors rank 20th against opposing centers and won’t be able to contain him. Vuc could easily pop off for 50 DK points and is worth paying up on tonight’s slate.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Damian Lillard (POR) $9,500 Lillard has been ice cold from the floor is struggling to find his shot, shooting 38.6% in his last five contests. Utah ranks second OPRK and third overall in defensive rating. There’s plenty of value at point guard, and I would rather spend down at this position with Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Malachi Flynn, all of who are in great spots.

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Brad Camara is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Brad, check out his archive or follow him @Beerad30

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