This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Thursday's seven-game slate tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET. Although there are fewer game-time injury concerns, teams that are out of contention are going to start offering some pretty funky changes to their lineups, with Oklahoma City and Detroit being two primary examples.
It's worthwhile to skim over all of the starting lineups as they become available to find some last-minute value.
CHI @ CHA (+3) O/U: 219.5
BKN @ DAL (+4) O/U: 234.5
WAS @ TOR (-1.5) O/U: 233.5
MEM @ DET (+10.5) O/U: 221
ATL @ IND (+6) O/U: 240.5
OKC @ GSW (-13.5) O/U: 228.5
LAL @ LAC (-7.5) O/U: 211
Odds and lines are best available US numbers and are subject to change.
Games to Target in BOLD
Games to Fade in ITALICS
BACK-TO-BACK TEAMS: Atlanta, Washington, Indiana, Memphis
CHA: Miles Bridges (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
CHA: Gordon Hayward (foot) - OUT
CHA: Devonte' Graham (knee) - DOUBTFUL
CHA: Cody Martin (ankle) - OUT
Upon taking a closer look at the box scores, Brad Wanamaker ($3,900) logged 31 minutes against Detroit two days ago and seemed to be a lock play in Charlotte's second unit. He'll definitely play a part while Graham is likely out. With lack of competition from Bridges, it could also be a good night to fire up Jalen McDaniels ($5,300), who should be less popular than P.J. Washington ($6,600).
DAL: Kristaps Porzingis (knee) - OUT
DAL: Maxi Kleber (Achilles) - OUT
As usual, I have zero confidence in taking a dart throw at the assortment of big men who could play a part in Porzingis' absence, but for now, it appears like Dwight Powell ($4,900) has been the preferred choice more often than not. It's a tall order to consider him for the valuable single center spot, but with Porzingis a definite scratch, you could do a lot worse.
WAS: Rui Hachimura (illness) - OUT
WAS: Chandler Hutchison (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
Someone will come out of the woodwork and perform well in this one, and Daniel Gafford ($5,300) is versatile enough to provide support in multiple frontcourt roles. His 30 FP total against the Bucks last night is encouraging.
TOR: OG Anunoby (calf) - DOUBTFUL
TOR: Chris Boucher (knee) - OUT
TOR: Gary Trent (leg) - PROBABLE
The Raptors are happy to see Trent return, but he will likely be on a minutes limit and should be faded in his first game back. Stanley Johnson ($3,500) has started for Anunoby, but don't expect much from him. Sticking with the starters is the best medicine for Raptors usage.
DET: Jerami Grant (knee) - OUT
DET: Mason Plumlee (rest) - OUT
DET: Josh Jackson (tooth) - OUT
DET: Cory Joseph (ankle) - OUT
The pivots here remain largely the same, with a couple of additions due to Jackson's absence. Isaiah Stewart ($5,800) will continue to play for Plumlee, while Saddiq Bey ($6,400) and Killian Hayes ($5,000) will log significant minutes for Grant and Joseph, respectively. In Jackson's case, Sekou Doumbouya ($4,700) could be the prime beneficiary. He logged a season-high 20 points against Charlotte two days ago and could be in line for another value-beating performance.
IND: Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE
IND: Myles Turner (toe) - OUT
IND: Edmond Sumner (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
IND: Jeremy Lamb (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
IND: JaKarr Sampson (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE
The Pacers continue to tread water with these injuries, and the nightly question has been Brogdon's status. T.J. McConnell ($5,800) is too expensive to use as his pivot, so it's just best to utilize who is healthy. We'll highlight one of them in the elite section.
OKC: Luguentz Dort (hip) -QUESTIONABLE
OKC: Aleksej Pokusevski (knee) - OUT
The Thunder are letting loose a wide assortment of seldom-used players. Guys like Gabriel Deck ($4,700), Charlie Brown ($3,500) and Jaylen Hoard ($3,700) are all getting time, and of the group, I think Hoard may have the best possibility of popping for the best score. The offense is also coalescing around Darius Bazley ($6,500), who's had two consecutive exemplary games.
GSW: Kelly Oubre (wrist) - QUESTIONABLE
Even if Oubre is back, he will likely see his minutes restricted. Rostering Kent Bazemore ($5,600) is still the prudent play in this spot.
LAL: LeBron James (ankle) - OUT
LAL: Anthony Davis (calf) - PROBABLE
LAL: Dennis Schroder (COVID-19 protocols) - OUT
LAL: Kyle Kuzma (thumb) - PROBABLE
LAL: Talen Horton-Tucker (calf) - QUESTIONABLE
LAL: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ankle) - PROBABLE
Simply put, the Lakers are a mess right now. If they lose to the Clippers, they run the risk of slotting into the play-in game, and an ultra-important matchup against the Trail Blazers awaits Friday on the second leg of the back-to-back. The guard position is so uncertain, it's difficult to pinpoint one guy, but if all of these guys are limited, you have to consider Alex Caruso ($3,900) as the number one backcourt option.
We have four players priced at 10k or more for Thursday's slate. Nothing needs to be said about Russell Westbrook ($11,600). Even in a back-to-back, the dynamo will continue to deliver sky-high numbers against the Raptors, and calling his number is about the most reliable thing you can do.
Luka Doncic ($10,900) will continue to play without Porzingis, and although he can tend to explode on any given night, my exposure to him will be limited. He had 49 FP the last time he played the Nets, but that's well short of 5x value. The Nets are also almost fully healthy (save James Harden), and they will present a tougher test.
On the other end, I think Kevin Durant ($10,600) is a sound investment. Without Porzingis to gum up the works, he should have little trouble finding some interior production. Domantas Sabonis ($10,500) is the best thing the Pacers have to offer against the Hawks, and despite the back-to-back and a production dip against the Kings, it's generally safe to go back to him and play the recency bias card.
The duo of Zach LaVine ($9,400) and Nikola Vucevic ($9,000) are together again. Although LaVine could be limited, it should be a night for Vucevic to return to his winning ways after a two-game absence.
The best 9k option is probably Stephen Curry ($9,900), who will play a rag-tag Thunder crew as he tries to will his team into the play-in game. Anthony Davis ($9,400) shows up here at a reasonable price, but he'll face an uphill battle against the Clippers. His production should be reliable, however. He's worthy of some moderate exposure in your MME builds.
Also consider: Trae Young, ATL ($8,600) @ IND
The Clippers' star duo will be two trendy options tonight, and if you are considering a Clippers load, you should probably favor George. Leonard has been fine but unspectacular recently, and although a chance to beat the Lakers will put a spring in Leonard's step, it won't be as fun without LeBron. The public will boost the rostership in this spot, but the sharps will probably steer clear due to the projected game total.
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,600) vs. WAS
If you look at the data, Siakam seems to be a more reliable play than George or Leonard on paper. While the Wizards will drive the pace, they are also on a back-to-back and have literally no one to stack up against Siakam, or Khem Birch ($5,800), for that matter. The Toronto backcourt should dominate in this spot, with Siakam leading the way.
Kyle Lowry, TOR ($8,200) vs. WAS
If you see a pattern here, you wouldn't be wrong. I like Lowry, as well as Fred VanVleet ($8,000), in this matchup. And while going to VanVleet for less seems like the sensible play at the outset, Lowry has played much better overall in recent weeks despite his frequent absences. Expect a high shot volume from both players, but we should see a healthy amount of assists from Lowry as well, and that is the effective tie-breaker between the two.
LaMelo Ball, CHA ($7,500) vs. CHI
Ball is putting up monster numbers as he tried to reclaim ROY honors, and you really can't blame anyone for rostering the blooming superstar. The game total is a little low, but relative to his recent production since his return, Ball's salary is a discount. At least for now, Terry Rozier ($6,200) will play alongside him and should also post a good number for his salary if he shoots well.
Once again, the bulk of our best value plays are in the injury section, and the plays for Detroit and Oklahoma City are the most attractive options. We've included more value options below.
Danilo Gallinari, ATL ($6,200) @ IND
Although his salary point might not be a value, per se, his multiplier value has been through the roof. Despite a back-to-back, Gallo should be heavily in the mix once again. He's cranked up the output with two consecutive standout performances, and he's done it with a surprisingly low shot volume. That translates to a very hot shooting stroke for the two-way veteran, and he can deliver assists and rebounds with equal frequency.
Davis Bertans, WAS ($4,100) @ TOR
Bertans might very well be one of the most frustrating players for DFS this season because he can be downright awful at times despite the obvious talent. To justify a Bertans add, we'll apply his mettle as a three-point threat to Toronto's defense versus the three for his position. Toronto ranks 27th in this category on the season, and over the last 10 games, the Raptors are dead last, allowing an average of 5.5 threes to opposing small forwards.