Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
HIGH FIVE/low five
Daily Fantasy can be quite the grind! Let us do the grinding for you with “High Five/Low Five”. Each day we help put you in the money by presenting you with FIVE of the “top-tier” plays, as well as a quick list of FIVE “value plays”. Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant flies high as Thursday’s top Daily Fantasy Basketball play.
Let’s rip it up.
Point Guard: Russell Westbrook, OKC ($8,700): A lot of tonight’s top plays are going to be obvious and it’s no different at PG.
Westbrook is far and away the top option at PG tonight and nearly a “must play” for cash games. Value for Westbrook is 43.5 FPs tonight. While a blowout could hurt his chances at achieving that, he’s still likely to be within range, given that he has seven straight games of 35 or more FPs.
Westbrook should continue that streak this evening against a Los Angeles Lakers team that has given up the second-most FPs to PGs over the last 15 days. 35-45 FPs seems likely.
Shooting Guard: Jimmy Butler, CHI ($6,700): James Harden will likely end the evening as the top scoring SG, but I’m not so sure that I trust him to get the 50 FPs he’ll need to reach value against a stingy Chicago Bulls’ defense.
On the other hand, I do trust his counterpart Jimmy Butler to get near the 33.5 FPs that he’ll need for value against Harden and a Houston Rockets’ defense that ranks just 17th in recent weeks vs. SGs. Expect the usual big minutes for Butler and production in the 30 FP range.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant, OKC ($12,000): Durant is a “must play” for cash games tonight, regardless of the blowout risk he faces vs. the Lakers. The Lakers are dead last against opposing SFs and will remain dead last after Durant destroys them. Granted, there could be better value with some of the lower-priced SF options tonight, but that’s not a chance I’m taking. Barring a career game from Chandler Parsons, Durant is the top play here and likely the top play on Thursday.
Power Forward: Pau Gasol, LAL ($8,800): I’m not in love with Gasol’s price tonight, but at just $600 more than our other top two options, I don’t hate it. Yes, the matchup up isn’t the best with the Oklahoma City Thunder ranking eighth vs. PFs in recent games, but Gasol has shown the ability to consistently top 35 FPs regardless of matchup. That consistency, along with the fact that he is the focal point of his team’s offense, is why I’ll be rostering him ahead of a third option like Serge Ibaka and Paul Millsap, whose floor I don’t trust.
One, he has a bit more of an all-around game that will give him the chance to produce FPs in multiple categories. And two, this game should be played at a pace that the Bulls are more accustomed to, which should lessen any advantages Howard has at scoring the ball over Noah.
I highly doubt that either of these men score the 40+ FPs that they’ll need for value, I simply think Noah achieves a larger percentage of his value threshold. 35 FPs seems reasonable.
Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Point Guard: Reggie Jackson, OKC ($5,400): I’d like to recommend D.J. Augustin here, but I think the Thunder will blow the Lakers out big time, and thus, these two players should see similar minutes. That said, I like Jackson in 30 minutes vs. an incredibly weak Lakers defense, which is more than I can say about Augustin against the Rockets.
Shooting Guard: Kyle Korver, ATL ($5,000): Lou Williams will miss tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, which should allow Korver a few more minutes and opportunities. Korver has back-to-back 32-FP games, and should be a good bet to hit the 25 FPs he’ll need for vs. a middling Bucks’ defense.
Also consider, Jodie Meeks, LAL ($5,800) who put up 49.4 FPs against the Thunder last time out.
Small Forward: Ryan Kelly, LAL ($4,500): Ryan Kelly looks like he’s back in the Lakers rotation with back-to-back games of 32+ minutes. In those two games, he’s put up 36 and 41.7 FPs. Such production seems a little stout for tonight, but 20-25 should be no problem with a good amount of playing time.
Also worth consideration: Caron Butler, OKC ($4,300)
Power Forward: Ersan Ilyasova, MIL ($5,600): Ilyasova will be back in the Bucks lineup tonight and should be able to produce 25 FPs or so against a middle-of-the-road Atlanta Hawks defense.
Center: Pero Antic, ATL ($4,300): Antic should be the most highly-owned value play at center tonight. With back-to-back games in the 20-25 FP range, he certainly seems capable of producing similar numbers against a Milwaukee Bucks defense that ranks just 22nd vs. centers in recent weeks.
Also consider: Zaza Pachulia, MIL ($4,100)
Thank you and good luck tonight !!!