What is up, Degens! Today is Thursday, and it seemed like the Association felt it was a good day to only make the NBA DFS slate a 2-gamer, more than likely largely in part to the NFL game as well. Either way, we are playing the slate, whether we like it or not! So, I wanted to give a bit of a run-down on both games, talk a little about them, and give some player options I like for tonight. As always, you can find me on the Twitter @smitchell17, always love chatting bout fantasy, or anything sports-related!

Game 1

The Blazers travel to MIL to take on the Bucks tonight, and need to remind that this is a back-to-back spot for the Bucks, as they played in Atlanta last night. Portland is fresh off a loss to the Pelicans in New Orleans this past Tuesday with a score of 104-115. The Blazers were also without starting PG stud Dame Lillard, and will also be without him once again tonight. Another interesting injury that seems to have happened on Tuesday, but starting C Hassan Whiteside looks to have hurt himself as well. He DID NOT participate in the morning shoot-around for the team either. Before delving into some of the key stats we will be looking at for tonight, I thought it was interesting to note that both teams will see a day off after tonight, while the Bucks stay at home to face the Pistons on Saturday, while the Blazers travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavs on Saturday.

For some statistics that are worth noting, we have two of the top 12 teams in terms of PACE here tonight, as the Bucks come in as the #1 ranked team in terms of PACE over their last five contests, while the Blazers have ranked 10th in their last five. So, this means we can expect a nice flow in this game, as both teams like to get up and run. As we know, the Bucks played last night, so I would expect the defense to take a bit of a back-seat, and wecould potentially see a high scoring shoot-out. As far as DvP, the Bucks are allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to the PG spot over their last five games, while the Blazers have entered the top ten (as the tenth ranked) most fantasy points to the PG spot as well over their last five. POR is also allowing the 5th most fantasy points to the SG AND SF spot over their last five games.So, these will be a few areas that we will look to attack for these teams. 

*MIL TOP TIER: Giannis (no brainer), Eric Bledsoe (PG DvP)

*MIL MIDDLE TIER: Brooke Lopez (Hassan out?), Donte Divincenzo (SF DvP, over 25 fps last 3 since becoming Middleton replacer), 

*MIL PUNT: Sterling Brown (20 mins or more last 4, 21 fps or more in last 3 of 5), George Hill (PG DvP)

*POR TOP TIER: CJ McCollum (going to cont to take lots of shots and PG DvP), 

*POR MIDDLE TIER: Anfernee Simons (looking to start at PG again), Nassir Little (23+ mins last 4, now        put up 23.5/35.3 FPs last 2)

*POR PUNT: Melo (took 14 field goal attempts in 24 mins, has upside at price), Kent Bazemore (over 21 fps last 2), Skal Labissiere (Potential start at C?)

Game 2- NO PELICANS @ PHO SUNS (PHO -4.5, TOTAL: 234)

The Pelicans will travel into the desert tonight in the “Late Night Hammer,” West Coast game. This game has a very nice total on it, and both teams like to run with pace. The Pelicans are fresh off a nice win over the Dame-less Trailblazers this past Tuesday, as mentioned above, while the Suns were handed another loss on Tuesday as well, to the hands of the Sac Kings. Must think the Suns will be looking to get back on track tonight, as they have now dropped four of the last six contests, after a three-game winning streak. It is unsure the status of Ricky Rubio, who tried his best to play in Tuesday’s game, but only saw 16 minutes before hitting the bench for the rest of the evening. The Suns have been hit by the injury bug, (not to mention the suspension bug in Ayton) as we can see that starting C Aron Baynes has been ruled out, Dario Saric has a Q-designation, Frank Kaminsky has a Q-designation, and bench scorer, Cam Johnson has a Q-designation. We already know that the Pelicans are struggling with their own injuries, as Josh Hart and Derrick Favors have already been ruled out for tonight, while they also have a few questionable players in Lonzo Ball and Jahlil Okafor. So, obviously lots to watch for in this match. Both teams here will also see a day off on Friday, before the Suns travel to Minnesota on Saturday, while the Pelicans head over to Utah to take on the Jazz on Saturday as well.

For some statistics that are worth noting in this game, the Suns come in as the 5th fastest team in the NBA over their last five contests, while the Pelicans come in as the 8th fastest. So, much like our first game, this game will ALSO see very nice game-flow. With the lack of defensive-effort that we have grown to love from the Pelicans so far this season, makes this game a very nice one for fantasy. For some DvP stats, the Suns are allowing the 10th most fantasy points to the PG spot over their last five, while the Pelicans have allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to the SG over their last five. Both teams have struggled against the SF spot, as the Suns come in allowing the 5th most fantasy points to the spot over their last five, and the Pelicans have allowed the 10th most over their last five as well. So, these are some spots we can look to attack for tonight’s DFS slate.

NOP TOP TIER: Jrue Holiday (As long as Ball out, main ball-handler running PG), Brandon Ingram (35 mins in return, smashed for 42.3 FPs last game, 

NOP MIDDLE TIER: Kenrich Williams (SF DvP, over 30 mins last 6, 33.8 FPs last game), JJ Redick (lots of playing time, taking DD shots, mostly 3’s, better option on DK), Jaxon Hayes (Starting at C, 28, 31, and 21 FPs last 3 since starting)

NOP PUNT: Nicoli Melli (27+ mins last 3, smashed value with 34, 29, and 28 FPs, maybe top value on slate), Frank Jackson (Saw 19 mins last game, PG DvP)

PHO TOP TIER: Devin Booker (SG DvP, could get PG Booker if no Rubio), Kelly Oubre Jr. (saw a nice usage bump last game without Rubio, put up 43 Fps)

PHO MIDDLE TIER: Dario Saric (before last game was seeing over 26 mins a game in prior 6, with three straight 30+ fp games), Frank Kaminsky (Started at C last game with no Baynes, should start again and see 25+ min)

PHO PUNT: Cam Johnson (has now seen 20 or more mins in last 5, topped 30 fps in two of those five), Mikel Bridges (SF DvP, saw 26 mins and put up 31 fps last game, NICE sneaky value)