C: Rudy Gobert: (8,300)
Thursday night’s tilt between The Jazz and Rockets is the only game of tonight’s three, that comes with a single digit spread. (UTAH -2.5) In result, it is the best place to target high end players. After some up and down play, Gobert has been a beast as of late. (51 DK PPG in his last four) His usage has been at 19.8% and his rebound rate has been a team high 23.7%. These are both notable rises from his season averages (+3.3% usage and +5.5% rebound), that have brought him to a great 1.41. DK PPM.
Tonight, in this competitive setting, he should be in line for 35+ minutes, in this awesome spot for centers. (3.48 opponent +/-) In the nine previous occasions that he has gone against an opponent +/- of 3.0 points or more, Gobert has scored 41 DK PPG. His Vegas props have him projected for another double double (four straight) and Gobert is an awesome high end spend at $8,300, which is actually a $300 price drop since his last game. (43.5 DK points vs The Spurs on Tuesday night)
C: Clint Capela: (8,000)
I usually don’t like to target centers that are going against each other, but that is the kind of slate we have tonight. Capela has also been exceptional recently (48.25 DK PPG in his last nine) and Gobert has been a positive matchup for opposing centers all season long. (2.82 opponent +/-)
Capela has tallied a double double in eight of his last ten and in the nine games he has played against an opponent +/- of 2.0 points or better this year, the big man has averaged 40.8 DK PPG, which is right at what we need from him tonight, for five times value. Both of these centers bring safety/upside and I think building around the two is a fine route for roster construction on Thursday night.
SG/SF: Evan Turner: (4,200)
After missing one game with an Achilles injury, Turner returned on Tuesday, and showed no signs of injury, scoring 26.25 DK points vs The Mavs. He has now logged at least 26 minutes in five straight games and is averaging 23.3 DK PPG during this span. Tonight, Turner is an excellent matchup, vs The Suns (28th in defensive efficiency), and he may be asked to do more, if CJ McCollum is out. (questionable, ankle) He would be the most likely candidate to enter the starting lineup and in the single game McCollum missed last season, Turner provided 24.25 DK points.
This season, when McCollum has been off the floor, Turner has received a 5.3% usage increase, and is scoring 0.97 DK PPM. Either way, Turner is one of the better cheap values of this small slate, that would receive a big boost if McCollum was forced to sit. He should be considered for all formats at only $4,200.
SG/SF: Mikal Bridges: (4,100)
In these last two games with T.J. Warren (ankle) and Devin Booker (hamstring) out, Bridges has scored 24.6 DK PPG. He has started at SG on Tuesday and even though both these games became blowouts, this Suns’ coaching has let the rookie log over 30 minutes in each loss. Tonight, he will draw another start, vs The Blazers, and should log 30+ minutes, regardless if the game is a blowout or not. (POR -13.5)
This already another lost season for Phoenix and with them down two of their top three players, a loss is inevitable vs The Blazers, so letting their first round pick, in Bridges, see extended run, is one of the only positives they can take from their current situation. He is scoring 0.7 DK PPM and in the ten games he has logged 25+ minutes, Bridges is averaging 21.13 DK PPG. He should get us over 20 DK points again tonight and Bridges is probably the safest bet from The Suns to retain value. (POR is a 1.43 opponent +/-)
PG: Damian Lillard: (10,100)
Lillard has been spectacular in his last two (59 DK PPG), which has brought his price over $10,000 for the first time this season. His usage has been at an elite 37.2% and it could become even higher, if McCollum unavailable. (16.7% usage bump and 1.6 DK PPM without McCollum this season) This matchup vs The Suns is obviously also in his favor (2.82 opponent +/-), the only problem is that The Blazers should run this beat up Phoenix team off the court, which would ultimately limit Lillard’s minutes. But, with only three games to attack, I think Lillard’s massive ceiling, that could grow even further if McCollum sits, is something shouldn’t be overlooked.
PG/SG: Donavan Mitchell: (7,600)
Mitchell has only scored 30 DK PPG in his last two, but in the two prior, he was getting 45.9 DK PPG. The matchup with Chris Paul is always an ugly one (0.82 opponent +/-), but Mitchell has been terrific in his last three meetings with Houston. (48.6 DK PPG) Similar to Gobert and Capela, this competitive game environment is what makes Mitchell one of the better high targets of this slate.
PG: Emmanuel Mudiay: (5,700)
With back up PG Trey Burke (ankle) missing these last two, Mudiay has produced, with an expanded role. (37 DK PPG and 36 MPG) Burke will be out again and even though this potential individual matchup vs Marcus Smart concerns me, The Celtics rate well for PGs overall this season. (2.73 opponent +/-) If he can play over 30 minutes again, Mudiay should approach five times value. (0.9 DK PPM)
SF/PF: Josh Jackson: (5,400)
Jackson fell short of expectations on Tuesday (22.5 DK points vs The Kings), but he is still one of the better mid-tier plays of this tiny slate, with Booker and Warren out. He is averaging 27.75 DK PPG in his last four and if this coaching staff lets him play 30+, regardless of how the game is going, he should get 25-30 DK points. (0.9 DK PPM without Booker and Warren)
PF/C: Noah Vonleh: (5,100)
Vonleh has cooled off (24.12 DK PPG in his last two), but he has still cracked 30 minutes in back to back games. Tonight’s matchup vs The Celtics doesn’t rate that well (1.16 opponent +/-), but Vonleh just 41.5 DK points on them two weeks ago. He scores 1.0 DK PPM this season and if he continues to log over 30 minutes, Vonleh has a decent chance to surpass five times value.
SF/PF: Jae Crowder: (4,900)
Going against The Rockets, who start an under sized player at PF, in P.J. Tucker, I could see The Jazz starting Crowder over Derick Favors tonight. They did this two games ago, vs The Heat, and Crowder shined for 31 DK points in 34 minutes. He produces 0.8 DK PPM and if he was the confirmed starter, Crowder would be a safe bet for 25+ DK points. In the last eight games he has topped 30 minutes, Crowder has scored 31 DK PPG.
SF/PF: Kevin Knox: (4,500)
HC David Fizdale has finally decided that Knox deserves more playing time. He has played 32 MPG in these last two, which has resulted in 34.4 DK PPG. Yes, this average inflated due to an OT game, but regardless, this a good sign that Knox should have an expanded role, for the foreseeable future. He is averaging 0.8 DK PPM as a rookie and in 25-30 minutes of work, Knox has 30+ DK point upside, making him a strong pivot play off Bridges in GPPs.
PF/C: Richaun Holmes: (4,300)
Holmes has benefited from the blowouts in these last two (28 DK PPG) and if The Blazers do end up killing The Suns, Holmes will likely score over 25 DK points off the bench, in this positive matchup for bigs. (1.96 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: De’Anthony Melton: (4,200)
In a season high 23.2 minutes, the rookie out of USC, was a pleasant surprise on Tuesday, with 34 DK points vs The Kings. He started the second half over Elie Okobo and was one of the only bright spots for The Suns in this embarrassing loss. If this coaching staff was smart, they would give Melton a big opportunity and start him tonight vs The Blazers. If they do this, Melton would become a must play, considering he is scoring exactly one DK PPM this year. Even if they don’t start him, Melton should see an extended look tonight, no matter the outcome of the game. For this small of slate, Melton feels like a worthwhile risk at only $4,200.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com