After a nice eight-game slate on Wednesday night, the NBA preseason schedule slows down with just two games on the docket on Thursday evening. We should have a pretty good indication as to who will suit up, too, considering both the Raptors and Pelicans played last night.
That likely means we’ll see the main New Orleans stars hit the hardwood and we won’t see the top Raptors studs. That’s my starting point for this two-game slate, while we’ll also want to consider how the Kings and Jazz will let things play out.
NBA DFS preseason action is slowly winding down and the real thing is already here come next Tuesday. Join me as I try to win some cash with the daily fantasy basketball preseason about to dry up:
PG: Ricky Rubio – Utah Jazz ($6.2k)
Elfrid Payton and Kyle Lowry deserve a look, but they both played last night and are probably going to be rested or limited. Unless we hear otherwise, I’ll be focusing elsewhere and it starts with Rubio.
Rubio is going to lose some play-making this year, but he’s still a decent scorer and we know he can set teammates up and defend a bit. The peripherals should be there and in a positive matchup with the Kings, he could thrive tonight.
PG: Delon Wright – Toronto Raptors ($3.8k) De’Aaron Fox is probably the next best play if those other stars are restricted in any way, but if Lowry sits I want all of the Delong Wright exposure. He was great last year when he had his run enhance and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind the extra opportunities to show again what he can do. All Raptors and Pelicans options that played on Wednesday will be met with hesitancy from me, but Wright is one of my favorites. It doesn’t hurt that he’s dirt cheap and helps me get the NBA DFS preseason lineup I covet, either.
Wright actually got hurt last night and probably won’t play on Thursday. Consider paying up for Fox, but I’ll just stay down low and use Fred VanVleet ($3.7k), assuming he also isn’t held out or limited.
SG: Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz ($7.7k)
I am a fan of Jazz players tonight. Provided they’re not rested or limited, they have the best matchup on the board and they should play a good amount to gear up for the regular season. I have no official word on that as I type this, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Utah’s key players approach 30 minutes in this one.
Mitchell can pop off in limited action and the SG position is pretty weak, so he’s a must either way.
SG: Jrue Holiday – New Orleans Pelicans ($8.3k)
Mitchell is the top SG to own tonight, but I’ll pay up and pair Jrue with him as well. He’s one of the Pels that actually sat out last night, likely in preparation to play tonight. As long as he’s out there he has way too much upside to bypass on this slate.
If you need to save some cash at SG, Buddy Hield or Grayson Allen stand out. If the Jazz and Kings are giving their top players quality run like I think they will, however, those guys become a lot less appealing.
SF: Joe Ingles – Utah Jazz ($5.5k)
Kawhi Leonard heads the SF slot, but he played last night and will almost certainly be held out on the second leg of a back-to-back set. Your options are very limited here, but Ingles is a solid offensive player and has looked good in the preseason thus far. A matchup with the Kings isn’t daunting, either.
SF: Justin Jackson – Sacramento Kings ($4.7k)
There isn’t much to get excited about at SF, but Jackson has a pretty versatile skill-set and has looked good during the preseason so far. He could get solid run in this one and is probably the next best play after Ingles.
You can look to Toronto backups like C.J. Miles, but I’ll probably just roll with JJ.
PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($12k)
The Brow should be about 90% owned on this slate. You can get cute here in an attempt to gain leverage in GPPs, but the only real pivots are his own teammates. Considering some of those options played last night and could be rested or limited, that’s not a great NBA DFS strategy.
Fading Brow feels like a mistake tonight. Just make sure he’s active and won’t be too limited.
PF: Harry Giles – Sacramento Kings ($3.9k)
Marvin Bagley is also worth a look here, but Giles is pretty talented, should get some run and is $900 cheaper. He helps me get the team I want, too, so I’m game for a mild dice roll here.
C: Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz ($7.9k)
You can also consider Willie Cauley-Stein and Jonas Valanciunas here, but it’s Gobert all the way for me. He’s the best center play and I don’t really feel great about using Trill against him. Hopefully the field tries to punt the position and you can get the top option at low ownership.
If Gobert is out, Trill becomes a very nice play and you can also give Ekpe Udoh serious consideration. Toronto’s Greg Monroe is also interesting if JV ends up being out or limited. The Raptors have been running smaller, though, so he’s going to be risky.
This could be a fun two-game slate and I’m betting we get all the news we need well ahead of these games. I ran through this lineup pretty easily, as The Brow, Jrue, Rubio, Gobert and Mitchell all stood out to me as obvious calls.
That means they’ll probably be chalky, but on a small slate you’ll have to eat it with a smile on your face. Hopefully I can differentiate enough with my other NBA DFS picks. If you disagree, consider pivoting off of some of those guys until you get to the squad you think can take down a GPP.
Whether you’re with me on this exact team or only use a couple of my daily fantasy basketball preseason picks, I wish you luck. Enjoy the games!