FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

There are some obvious players to target for Thursday's six-game slate, but one value play stands head and shoulders above all others. I'll explain why this guy is one of the chalkiest plays of the season when we hit Washington's injury notes.


ATL (-2) @ WAS O/U: 222

PHI (-10) vs. DET O/U: 217.5

CHI (-1.5) vs. NYK O/U: 214

UTA (-9) @ HOU O/U: 223

DAL (-6.5) vs. SAS O/U: 221.5

GSW (-5.5) vs. MEM O/U: 233

I wasn't all over the MEM-GSW game, despite it having the highest game total on the slate, though one elite play and one value play emerged. My interest in Houston was a bit of a surprise, as was an unexpected overplay of the Spurs against the Mavericks. As you'll see in a moment, your lineup construction will revolve around a significant decision to be made with the Wizards, which I hinted at above.


WAS Daniel Gafford (quad) - OUT

WAS Thomas Bryant (knee) - OUT

WAS Rui Hachimura (conditioning) - OUT

WAS Raul Neto (shoulder) - OUT

OK, ready? The player mentioned above is Montrezl Harrell ($5,600). Daniel Gafford's MRI came back negative, but he is already ruled out for Wednesday. If you look at what Harrell did upon Gafford's exit, you can begin to see why I'm loading him up on almost every lineup possible. His 25/11 double-double was completed without much effort, as there isn't much competition on the roster to match Harrell's size and aggressiveness amidst the litany of injury absences. Yes, this is a back-to-back, and yes, Harrell has probably burned you a few times over the years, but his rostership could go north of 80 percent in most fields. Thanks to FanDuel's new multi-positional scheme, we can place him at PF or C, which only magnifies the likelihood of high rostership. If we were in the old FanDuel set-up, I would still go with Harrell at center, but the extremely low ownership among mid-range and elite centers in that format would almost require a pivot to be unique. There is merit to fading him in tournaments, but thanks to his upside and reasonable price, he will ultimately save you money as you try to cram an extra elite into your lineups. 

DET Jerami Grant (shoulder) - QUESTIONABLE

Grant couldn't practice Wednesday, so my exposure to Kelly Olynyk ($5,400) is steadily creeping up as we approach lock. This will be a quick pivot if Grant is cleared to play, but he's a straightforward swap if Grant is a scratch.

PHI Joel Embiid (knee) - QUESTIONABLE

The eternal questionable tag infers a simple exchange — Joel, can you play? Then, he answers yes or no. This game against Detroit adds an additional wrinkle that might motivate the Sixers to choose Thursday for a rest night. Andre Drummond ($4,900) sets up in a huge revenge spot against the Pistons, and you can bet he's put in a request to inflict some damage on his former team. If he plays, Embiid would be one of those elite Harrell pivots we discussed, but keep an eye on this one. It won't surprise me if the team allows Drummond a crack at his old team.

CHI Zach LaVine (thumb) - QUESTIONABLE

The ligament tear is on his non-shooting hand, and LaVine professes that he plans to play through the injury. His status could change by the minute, but if he's experiencing too much pain, Alex Caruso ($4,300) would probably be one of the prime beneficiaries, along with a pretty significant usage absorption by DeMar DeRozan ($7,600).

UTA Bojan Bogdanovic (illness) - QUESTIONABLE

UTA Eric Paschall (face) - QUESTIONABLE

With Paschall also out, it would appear that Joe Ingles ($4,900) is ideally suited to take advantage, but the Jazz might also want to play large against Houston and throw Hassan Whiteside ($4,300) in as a hybrid four. Whiteside is much more playable if Paschall sits, but Ingles is sound in either scenario.

DAL Kristaps Porzingis (back) - QUESTIONABLE

Porzingis continues to be a blind dart throw for DFS players. His status is perpetually in the air, and the outcome is mixed when he plays. Aside from absorption by the current starters, I can't endorse anyone as a pivot.

MEM Dillon Brooks (thigh) - OUT

Brooks' continued absence allows for some dynamite value options that we will outline later in the article.


We have three players higher than 10k on Thursday, but the only one I'm giving a lot of exposure to is Stephen Curry ($10,400).  I love the matchup against the Rockets, and among Curry, Luka Doncic ($10,700) and Ja Morant ($10,000) in this range, Curry should be the player to beat value. Morant's salary is way too high on this back-to-back, and Doncic would only be a worthwhile play for me if he had SF eligibility, as the pool at that position is very thin.  Unfortunately, his second eligible spot is at SG. His exposure won't be non-existent, but still very low.

Moving down into the 9k range, Julius Randle ($9,900) is the heart of the Knicks' offense and can punish you in the paint as a rebounding presence. He also has dual eligibility and is as solid as you'll find against the Bulls. Big men like Randle, Joel Embiid ($9,500), Nikola Vucevic ($8,700) and Christian Wood ($8,600) are viable, but it all depends on your utilization of Harrell. I can almost guarantee extremely high rostership for Harrell and lower-than-normal percentages for these elite big men. For example, if you place 60 percent exposure on Harrell at either position, you can use the remaining 40 percent to pepper in these elite PF/C candidates.

I'm fine with Trae Young ($9,000), as he's a bit underpriced in what should be an exploitable spot against the Wizards. I won't completely ignore Bradley Beal ($8,700) in this game either, but he's not a top-flight priority.


Dejounte Murray, SAS ($8,300) at DAL 

Murray already distinguishes himself as one of the best rebounding point guards in the league, and he's up to the same tricks. He averages nine rebounds and nine assists per game, so the eventual triple-double was just around the corner. He achieved it with a 21/15/12 line in the upset over the Lakers two days ago. While we shouldn't expect those numbers against the Mavericks, his salary point is excellent considering his muli-category upside.

Tobias Harris, PHI ($7,600) vs. DET

It's a broken record alert for Harris, who always seems to find a place in the recommendations. It's hard to see Harris letting us down against the Pistons, especially when he only needs 38 FP to meet value. He's exceeded or met his salary value in three of his last four games.

Derrick White, SAS ($6,500) at DAL

I wouldn't stack Murray and White, but you have to like the Spurs' off-guard at this salary point. He's had some issues with his shot, but as he showed against the Bucks and Nuggets, he can be explosive when he is dialed in. He's also a solid multi-category contributor, and that can salvage a less-than-stellar shooting night. If he can blend the two, watch out.

John Collins, ATL ($6,400) at WAS

Collins is easy to overlook and is almost always holding an undervalued rostership, especially on FanDuel, where he is perpetually underpriced. He's putting together an excellent season so far, and he's coming off a back-to-back where he amassed a double-double in only 25 minutes. When you consider that the minute total was his lowest of the season, it's a pretty good indication that he'll get all he can handle in the tail end of this road stand.

Also consider: Clint Capela, ATL ($6,900) at WAS, Andrew Wiggins, GSW ($6,400) vs. MEM


Jalen Green, HOU ($6,000) vs. UTA

Green is my top play in a logjam at this salary, though you could certainly pivot to Kevin Porter ($5,900) in the same game or even Evan Fournier ($6,200) as a similarly styled player. I envision Green's rostership to be the lowest of this trio, and he's primed for a bounce-back after a tepid game against the Mavericks. He's received more than 35 minutes in consecutive games, a usage that's difficult to ignore.

De'Anthony Melton, MEM ($5,500) at GSW

Wednesday night was Desmond Bane's ($5,800) turn to light it up, and recency bias should be all over him. At a slightly cheaper salary, it could be Melton's turn to carry the torch after only playing 25 minutes on the front-end of the back-to-back. Facing a pretty generous backcourt defense, both Bane and Melton should thrive, but I give the edge to Melton, especially in GPPs.

Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($5,500) vs. DET

Seth Curry ($5,500) looms as a culprit to steal some output from Maxey. but he pulled a disappearing act against the Knicks. While the salary is suitable for Maxey, the Curry/Maxey issue certainly sets up as a high-variance call and one that I'd only venture to use for tournaments. 

Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($5,100) at HOU

This is just the sort of game where Clarkson could be seen playing cleanup in what could be a lopsided affair. He's yet to break 30 FP this season, but he only needs little more than 35 FP to meet value. The main problem with Clarkson is that you depend on his scoring. He's usually dominating the possession when he scores and isn't one to play ball with this teammates when he's on a tear. Still, that potential tear can reap a value-beating result.

Daniel Theis, HOU ($4,100) vs. UTA

I fear I might be giving too much love to the Rockets, but it's hard to fade a guy who likely will start in the frontcourt at a salary point like this. If the game against the Mavericks is any indication, the Rockets seem content with giving Theis 30 minutes, and he rose to the occasion with 30 FP and a nifty double-double. As the Rockets settle in, they've used Jae'Sean Tate in the corner and seem their most stable when they employ Tate, Theis and Wood as their frontcourt. That's a pretty sturdy test for Rudy Gobert and Royce O'Neale.

Also consider: Devin Vassell, SAS ($4,200) @ DAL, Isaiah Stewart, DET ($5,700) @ PHI

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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