FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

As usual, injuries will be something to keep tabs on today. Don't set it and forget it while watching MLB Opening Day - that would make you quite the April fool.  I'll immediately apologize for the awful pun and get right to the action, which begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.


PHI @ CLE (+8) – O/U: 213.5

WAS @ DET (+2.5) O/U: 225

CHA @ BKN (-2.5) O/U: 229.5

GSW @ MIA (-2) O/U: 220.5

ORL @ NO (-10.5) – O/U: 223.5

ATL @ SAS (-1.5) – O/U: 220.5

DEN @ LAC (+2.5) O/U: 227.5

Odds are best available USA odds and subject to change

Games/Teams to Target in BOLD

Games/Teams to Fade in ITALICS


PHI: Joel Embiid (knee) - OUT

Although Embiid is inching closer to a return, it's still a ways off. Dwight Howard ($5,100) is still your guy here, although it's Mike Scott ($3,900) who has garnered the start. He put together his best performance in this scenario with 26 FP against Denver two days ago. This will also be a smash spot for Tobias Harris ($8,300), who is still attractively priced.

CLE: Jarrett Allen (concussion) - OUT

CLE: Larry Nance (illness) - OUT

With both big men out, this spot is an express train to ValueTown. Although they'll be popular, Isaiah Hartenstein ($4,000) and Dean Wade ($4,100) represent some of the best value on the slate. You also can't beat Hartenstein's PF eligibility, which you won't find on other sites. There are enough worries up top that I can consider stacking them, or at the very least keeping them in and making a move if we hear more about the Clippers before the first games lock.

WAS: Bradley Beal (hip) - QUESTIONABLE

If Beal misses again, Jerome Robinson ($4,500) will get the start. It's also worth noting that Rui Hachimura ($6,000) does a bit more when Beal is off the floor. Regardless of Beal's status, Hachimura will start at the four and would be a bit safer than Robinson if you don't have time to check the latest news.

DET: Dennis Smith (back) - QUESTIONABLE

DET: Wayne Ellington (calf) - QUESTIONABLE

Cory Joseph ($4,500) is probably about as low as you want to go at point guard today, but he deserves mention due to his exemplary second-unit play. Although Saben Lee ($5,000) experienced a regression against Portland, he's still in play in this pace-up spot against Washington. Hamidou Diallo ($5,100) is also going to be heavily involved if these injury designations hold.

BKN James Harden (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE

We'll get into this situation when we approach the Elite Players section.

MIA Kendrick Nunn (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE

MIA Victor Oladipo (illness) - WILL PLAY

If there's any team to fade tonight, it's probably the Heat. Although you could take some risks in tournaments, there is no cash game reliability here because we have no idea how the rotation will be affected by Oladipo's presence. His arrival throws the usage of Nunn, Goran Dragic ($4,800), and Tyler Herro in peril. 

NOR Zion Williamson (thumb) - QUESTIONABLE

NOR Lonzo Ball (hip) - QUESTIONABLE

Zion will be an excellent play if he's able to suit up. If he can't make it, a lot of offense will flow Brandon Ingram's ($8,000) way. The typical pivots of Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($5,800) and Eric Bledsoe ($5,5000) will also be in play if Ball is out again. Your big value pivot is Josh Hart ($5,700), if Zion doesn't play. Hart played 32 minutes off the bench in his last game and put up 41 FP. Regardless of the injury situation, Hart's rebounding gives him a high floor on most nights.

ATL: John Collins (ankle) - OUT

ATL: De'Andre Hunter (knee) - QUESTIONABLE

There's no easier decision on tonight's slate than pivoting to Clint Capela ($8,500). He will be extremely popular, and for good reason. He's prolific even with Collins in the lineup, and he faces a Spurs team playing on a back-to-back. The whole team will need to step up a notch, and Danilo Gallinari ($5,200) could start and see extra time, but single-entry contests should be full of Capela at center.

LAC: Paul George (foot) - OUT

LAC: Marcus Morris (calf) - QUESTIONABLE

We need to beef up the value spot a bit, so we'll talk about this spot a bit later. This situation could make or break your slate.


We have four guys in the 10k-plus category today, and one of them (Harden) is questionable after leaving yesterday's game. This is a huge situation to monitor because his absence would represent the first time Kyrie Irving ($10,000) could play without his elite teammates. A big night for Irving would be iron-clad if Harden were to miss.

The same goes for Russell Westbrook ($11,300), who will continue to destroy slates regardless of Bradley Beal's status. Westbrook's numbers are ridiculous, and he's become almost unavoidable.  Over his past 10 games, he's only had one "disappointing," 38 FP game – otherwise, his numbers have varied from the mid-50's all the way up to 88 (!) FP. With a soft opponent in Detroit, expect another massive number here.

I have no issue with Nikola Jokic ($11,000), and I would give him more exposure if Marcus Morris is ultimately ruled out. Morris is a much better defender inside than Ivica Zubac, who is currently the only true center available for the Clippers.

Going into the 9k range, there's no question  Kawhi Leonard ($9,600) gets a huge bump in Paul George's absence. This game will also require his services for the full duration, as Aaron Gordon's ($5,400) has kicked Denver's overall game to another level.

Elsewhere, the only other 9k player I'd consider would be Stephen Curry ($9,000), who's very well priced and could end up being the forgotten man among the elite options due to the potential pace-down for the Warriors against the Heat. However, keep in mind that the Warriors have a cross-country trip to make.

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are probably good tournament pursuits, but I avoid them tonight at my own peril. The usage variance associated with Oladipo's arrival isn't something worth chancing.


We mentioned the likes of Ingram, Harris and Capela already, and they're the first names you'll find moving down the player pool. They're all very chalky tonight.

Trae Young, ATL ($8,700) @ SA

We mentioned that all of the Hawks would need to step it up, and they have a great spot against a potentially gassed Spurs team. With Capela's usage shooting up, expect a lot of Young's dimes to drop into Capela's hands. It could be a double-double night for the floor general, and his salary is well-placed to break value if he can achieve that goal.

Hornets vs. Nets

Charlotte is a very stackable team tonight if Harden's absence is confirmed. Beginning with Terry Rozier ($7,500) and Gordon Hayward ($7,000), the Hornets will have a ton of value as they sniff out an upset. Of course, there is also value to be found elsewhere in the lineup, with Devonte' Graham ($5,600), Malik Monk ($6,500), and P.J. Washington ($5,500) all offering excellent value. You could even throw some love to Miles Bridges ($5,100), who's had two double-doubles over his past three games.

Jamal Murray, DEN ($7,300) @ LAC

These two teams haven't faced each other since Christmas, and Murray put up a value-beating 23 points, five assists and three rebounds in that contest. While an abundance of young talent will be on hand to stop him this time around, Murray has the ability to render even the best defenders flat-footed. Without Paul George to muck things up defensively, Murray should have ample opportunity to put up a good number.

While we are on the subject of Denver, feel free to plug in Michael Porter ($6,800) at a slightly lower price if you don't believe in Murray.  They will both get a lot of minutes in a very competitive matchup.


Terance Mann ($5,100), Reggie Jackson ($5,000) and Luke Kennard ($4,700), LAC vs. DEN

This is also the order in which I'd rank these value options today. With George out, both Mann and Kennard should reap the benefit.  Jackson joins this group because he's been playing out of his mind recently, and his usage has skyrocketed in George's absence. You'll need to get at least one of these players in your lineups tonight. I wouldn't go overboard and stack them, but there is enough positional diversity in this group that you can take multiple avenues.

Otto Porter, ORL ($5,500) @ NOR

I've always been a fan of Porter's game, and there's a wide-open lane of opportunity for him now that both Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon have flown the coop. He's logged 21 and 25 minutes in his first two games with the team, and although he hasn't displayed huge upside yet, it could come at any moment. Due to his lack of playing time due to injury and an adjustment to a new team, Porter could be a bit unpopular tonight, which makes him a nice contrarian option for your tournament builds.

James Wiseman, GSW @ MIA ($4,000)

Wiseman is back to putting up value-beating numbers at a very alluring price tag. Although you compromise your frontcourt build a bit if you go low with Hartenstein at PF alongside Wiseman, the discount in the valuable center spot isn't a bad way to go considering the spend-up options necessary at other positions. The cross-country road trip is a bit concerning, but I expect Miami to be a bit sloppy as they try to incorporate Oladipo into its scheme.

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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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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