Nothing against the last few games of the NBA season, but everyone is waiting for the playoffs. Tonight’s big matchup between the Spurs and Warriors will be entertaining, but both teams are focused on bigger things.
On a five-game Thursday, I like all the home teams except the Kings. Minnesota came from 17 points down to force overtime and beat Golden State on Tuesday. Karl-Anthony Towns $8600 and Andrew Wiggins $6500 are developing into stars, Zach LaVine $5700 and Shabazz Muhammad $3600 had a career-high 35 off the bench.
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Obviously Stephen Curry $10200, James Harden $11100 and DeMarcus Cousins $10500 deserve those lofty salaries but you can build a competitive eight-man team without them. The Rockets lost a heart-breaker last night in Dallas and presuming they can beat the Suns with Dwight Harden $6000, Trevor Ariza $5500 and Michael Beasley $5200, Harden won’t have to play 44 minutes again.
Draymond Green $8200 is a fine choice at PF. He and Towns are my only picks above $6700 in a balanced lineup. The desperate Bulls are in tough against Miami, though Nikola Mirotic $5500 has been a beast in four of his last five and Hassan Whiteside $8800 (thigh) is questionable. Goran Dragic $6700 is healthier and sharper than Derrick Rose $4900.
Most of my DFS attention is now on baseball. Thursday is “getaway day” for most teams, as weekend series will begin tomorrow. The 12:35 ET matinee (Phillies at Reds) is not included in contests at DK; eight games begin at 3:35 in Oakland, where Kendall Graveman $5900 (flu) may not be 100%.
Rain will be a factor in New York, and it could snow in Cleveland. Using pitchers in those conditions adds the risk of weather delays, or in the case of Danny Salazar $9700, frostbite.
It’s also damp in Washington and there are flood warnings around Baltimore, but both fields could be OK by game time. The 2-0 Nationals host the 0-2 Marlins this weekend. Despite dangerous sluggers on both teams, Tanner Roark $7000 and Adam Conley $7300 might surprise with strong starts in the opener.
The Angels were crushed by the Cubs in two games (combined score 15-1) but their hitters might wake up against Derek Holland $8600. I prefer Hector Santiago $7800 and RH bats like Mike Trout $5400, Albert Pujols $4100, Yunel Escobar $3300 and C.J. Cron $3200 tonight.
Speaking of the Cubbies, newcomer John Lackey $8300 has a big edge over Rubby DeLa Rosa $7100 in talent, experience and run support. All of Chicago’s lefty bats — Anthony Rizzo $5200, Kyle Schwarber $4500, Dexter Fowler $4500, Jason Heyward $4400, Ben Zobrist $4300 and Miguel Montero $3400 — are recommended.
The Orioles have a solid batting order and a good chance to sweep the Twins. After two relatively low scores (3-2 and 4-2) Manny Machado $4900 and Chris Davis $4800 might do some real damage against Phil Hughes $7200.
By saving cap room on pitching today, we can afford big bats. The sample lineup scrimps surrounds the overdur Trout with the maximum five Cubs, a bargain catcher and an affordable 3B with enormous upside.
|PG||Stephen Curry $10200||Goran Dragic $6700||Dennis Schroder $3700|
|SG||James Harden $11100||Andrew Wiggins $6500||Zach LaVine $5700|
|SF||Kawhi Leonard $8000||Michael Beasley $5200||S. Muhammad $3600|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $10500||Draymond Green $8200||Nikola Mirotic $5500|
|C||Karl-A. Towns $8600||Dwight Howard $6000||Andrew Bogut $4000|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.