This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Here we go with a six-game slate on Thursday, February 7.
A meeting between San Antonio and Portland holds one of the best fantasy environments of the night. We have a 228 over/under in this competitive draw with the Blazers checking in as 5.5 point favorites. I'll be targeting both Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge to lead the way for their respective clubs. CJ McCollum and Rudy Gay deserve some consideration as well.
Per usual, we have several 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:
Danilo Gallinari will return. Even with Gallinari playing, I'll probably wait and see how the Clippers approach him. He could have a larger role with Tobias Harris gone, but there's incentive for LAC to play their young guys as well. Look to "Gallo" as a tournament pick.
Marc Gasol is doubtful. JaMychal Green, Kyle Anderson and Joakim Noah are questionable. Gasol is currently awaiting a trade. If Green or Noah end up playing, they could see an expanded role. Otherwise, Ivan Rabb and Jaren Jackson Jr. will hold down the Memphis frontcourt.
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.
Damian Lillard – POR vs. SA ($8,600): As mentioned in the introduction, Lillard is one of my favorite plays in this slate. There's plenty of blowout risk in this six-game slate, but the Portland-San Antonio matchup seems likely to avoid that. Lillard gets the benefit of playing against a Spurs team that ranks 25th in defensive efficiency to opposing point guards. The Blazers' floor general has posted 48-plus fantasy points in three of his last five, and I'd be surprised if he didn't finish in that range tonight.
Jerryd Bayless – MIN at ORL ($5,800): Rose and Jones are all out again, while Teague is questionable, but it seems unlikely he'll play. That means Bayless will probably continue seeing heavy minutes as Minnesota's primary ball-handler. While that didn't translate to much fantasy value Tuesday, keep in mind that he averaged 37 FPPG in that role over the previous six games. He could get back to that level in a non-imposing matchup that ranks below average in defensive efficiency to opposing point guards. Go ahead and approach Bayless as a reasonable mid-range pick through all formats this evening.
Darren Collison – IND vs. LAC ($6,400): Collison's minutes (and subsequent production) were shortened in a blowout against the Lakers on Tuesday, but the Indiana point guard should approach his 37 FPPG average through the previous three outings. His opponent, the Clippers, rank ninth in pace and 22nd in defensive efficiency to point guards. Collison will continue to see a boost with Oladipo sidelined, and he should be able to cash-in while looking at this promising draw.
Kawhi Leonard – TOR at ATL ($9,400): I really like Leonard if you have enough cap space to squeeze him into a lineup. The matchup looks fantastic against an Atlanta team that ranks first in pace and 25th in defensive efficiency to opposing small forwards. The Hawks have been playing better lately, and traveling to Atlanta somewhat reduces the blowout risk despite the talent disparity. Leonard is cheaper than Paul George with a much better matchup in a more competitive game environment. In other words, Kawhi checks all the boxes as a strong expenditure in this slate.
LaMarcus Aldridge – SA at POR ($7,800): Stacking Lillard and Aldridge from the same game is a strategy I'll be attacking tonight. Aldridge got the night off yesterday at Golden State, so he should be ready to go this evening (double check if he is active). Taking on his former team in Portland could provide a little extra motivation, which doesn't hurt the fantasy cause. Aldridge is averaging 46 FPPG over his last nine outings, and that's a reasonable expectation while facing a Blazers squad that ranks 24th in defensive efficiency to opposing power forwards.
Jayson Tatum – BOS vs. LAL ($5,800): Tatum has been up-and-down all season, but I believe he can be utilized through all formats tonight. The matchup is good enough against a Lakers team that ranks third in pace and 20th in defensive efficiency to frontcourts. Tatum is playing some confident basketball with a 31 FPPG average over his past five. That's a solid baseline expectation, and the promising draw could inspire upside in the form of a well-rounded line.
Myles Turner – IND vs. LAC ($6,500): Turner has been "just okay" lately, and a blowout against the Lakers really limited his numbers last game (especially in the rebound department). However, he's looking at a competitive home draw against a Clippers team that ranks ninth in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency to opposing centers. Can you say bounce-back? I fully expect Turner to surpass the 40 fantasy point threshold in this encouraging draw.
Ivan Rabb – MEM at OKC ($5,100): Rabb becomes a solid value play if Noah and Green are ruled out tonight. Keep in mind that Gasol has already been deemed inactive for the Grizzlies. Rabb stepped up in a heightened role for 42 fantasy points through 33 minutes against Minnesota on Tuesday, and he could be asked to log respectable minutes yet again. Definitely keep an eye on this injury situation with full intent to play Rabb if things break in his favor.