FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Thursday's seven-game slate is a bit more straightforward as we have fewer game-time decisions to soft through, although a couple of teams (OKC, DET) need a thorough check of their starting lineups today.

SLATE OVERVIEW

LAL @ MIA (-8) O/U: 203.5

CHI @ TOR (+4) O/U: 221.5

CLE @ OKC (+3.5) O/U: 211.5

MIL @ DAL (+1.5) O/U: 228.5

PHO @ LAC (-5) O/U: 224

POR @ UTA (-7) O/U: 231

DET @ SAC (-6.5) O/U: 226.5

Odds are best available US odds and are subject to change

Games to Target in BOLD

Games to Fade in ITALICS

INJURIES

TOR: Fred VanVleet (hip) - OUT

TOR: Kyle Lowry (foot) - OUT

TOR: DeAndre' Bembry (suspension) - OUT

With both of Toronto's backcourt playmakers out, Gary Trent ($6,700) and Malachi Flynn ($6,000) are very worthwhile pivots.

CLE: Jarrett Allen (concussion) - OUT

CLE: Larry Nance (illness) - OUT

Kevin Love ($5,600) remains a great value as his minutes increase, and Dean Wade ($4,500) will also contribute here. These pivots are slightly more in play due to the contest against the Thunder.

CLE: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot) - OUT

CLE: Isaiah Roby (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE

CLE: Darius Bazley (shoulder) - QUESTIONABLE

CLE: Luguentz Dort (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE

CLE: Aleksej Pokusevski (hip) - QUESTIONABLE

The Thunder are once again a jumble tonight. Pivot to the starters as they become available before tip-off.

MIL: Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) - DOUBTFUL

We're going to identify key plays for this situation later in the article, but in terms of a direct pivot, Bobby Portis ($5,800) is likely to start in Giannis' place.

POR: Jusuf Nurkic (knee) - QUESTIONABLE

Enes Kanter ($5,800) will garner the start if Nurkic sits out.

DET: Jerami Grant (knee) - OUT

I don't trust the direct pivots, so rev up the projections for the remainder of the starting five here.

LAL: Kyle Kuzma (calf) - Questionable

LAL: Talen Horton-Tucker (suspension) - OUT

ELITE PLAYERS

With Giannis' injury, only two players reside above 10k on the slate tonight. Although Luka Doncic ($10,300) didn't explode last night, he finds himself in another exploitable position against the Bucks.

Milwaukee is vulnerable tonight without the Greek Freak, and Doncic will be difficult to defend without assistance. Kawhi Leonard ($10,000) joins Doncic at the top. He struggled a bit in his last game against the Suns, but recent output has him beating 5x value at this salary.  While not essential to our core, he is definitely someone to consider in tournament lineups.

There's a lot to like in the 9k range, led by Nikola Vucevic ($9,900), as he plays Toronto with the new-look Bulls. Vucevic has completely transformed the Bulls. His ability to control the tempo and spur the offense is unmatched currently, even by Zach LaVine ($7,200), who has seen his numbers fall as Vucevic continues to dominate. Expect great numbers this evening.

Second on the list in this range has to be De'Aaron Fox ($9,300), who will lead the Kings and host Detroit, which will be an easy target without Jerami Grant.

Finally, we'll have Bam Adebayo ($9,000), who will join Jimmy Butler ($9,400) in targeting the struggling Lakers. The low O/U isn't very enticing, but this duo deserves some exposure in MME builds.

EXPECTED CHALK

Jrue Holiday ($8,800) and Khris Middleton ($8,200) MIL @ DAL

These two players will represent the bulk of Milwaukee's offense Thursday, and I have absolutely no issue stacking them as the core of some tournament lineups. I expect one of them to stand out as a member of the perfect lineup tonight, and it's really a toss-up as to which one it will be.  Middleton is at a $600 discount over Holiday and will likely be the more popular play. 

Paul George, LAC ($8,700) vs. PHO

The Suns keyed in on Leonard in the last matchup, leaving George free range to put up one of his best totals of the season. Although the Suns won't make the same mistake twice, the Clippers line up well against the Suns as their elite strength lies where Phoenix is at its weakest. George is at a typical discount over Kawhi, making him the more obvious avenue to follow for action in this contest. 

Chris Paul, PHO ($8,200) @ LAC

Although Paul has had a couple of stops since his tenure with the Clippers, there's definitely some revenge element against the team he spent six seasons with. As we just mentioned, the Clippers have the advantage at certain spots, but the Suns win the backcourt battle. Due to the revenge intangible, I like Paul just a bit over teammate Devin Booker ($9,000), although he deserves an endorsement as well.

Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7,800) vs. POR

While I wouldn't call Mitchell an absolute lock, he has the potential to make a laughing stock of this meager salary against Portland. Since their last matchup was the first game of the season, I wouldn't put a lot of stock into Mitchell's performance in that matchup. It's tough to make this call on a back-to-back, but I still like him at this salary point despite the quick turnaround. Mike Conley will almost certainly sit in this back-to-back, which further opens up things for Mitchell.

Also consider: Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,700) vs. CHI, Montrezl Harrell, LAL ($6,800) @ MIA, Collin Sexton, CLE ($7,500) @ OKC

VALUE PLAYS

Excellent value exists in the injury section, but here are three value targets also worth considering tonight.

Richaun Holmes, SAC ($6,500) vs. DET

Those looking for a bargain at center need to look no further than Holmes, who has had some up-and-down games of late but put up a 19-17 line when he last faced the Pistons. Once again, the absence of Grant puts Detroit in a vulnerable position, and Holmes has a great opportunity to exploit the situation.

Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($5,600) vs. POR

I'm not sure if this was by design or just a fluke, but Clarkson only played 25 minutes in last night's dramatic OT win. It could have been purposeful with the back-to-back looming.  Although there's no official word on Mike Conley sitting out this game, it's an entirely reasonable assumption based on recent history. If that's the case, Clarkson will be in a great position to beat value.

Isaiah Stewart, DET ($3,700) @ SAC

Although several Pistons will take part with Grant out, Stewart's salary is just too low to pass up as he has a shot at leading the team in rebounds and could also put up a nice scoring total. He is Mason Plumlee's direct backup, but he could also slide into the four to replace Grant, which would open up a world of opportunity for him. This cost-saving target will help out any elite-loaded lineup. Stewart leads all rookies in total blocks and total rebounds this season.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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