FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Thursday's small, four-game slate kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, and I have to say it's a bit of a head-scratcher. I'll explain when we touch on the elites. 

SLATE OVERVIEW

BOS (-1.5) @ NYK O/U: 210.5

MEM (-12.5) vs. DET O/U: 219.5

GSW (-3.5) @ NOP O/U: 217

PHO (-11.5) vs. LAC O/U: 219.5

INJURIES

NYK Kemba Walker (knee) - OUT

NYK Nerlens Noel (conditioning) - QUESTIONABLE

These injuries don't produce a viable pivot.

DET Jerami Grant (thumb) - OUT

DET Kelly Olynyk (knee) - OUT

DET Cory Joseph (conditioning) - QUESTIONABLE

DET Frank Jackson (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE

DET Isaiah Stewart (conditioning ) - QUESTIONABLE

The Injury pivots for Detroit could fizzle as many of these questionable tags could fall away, but I still value Trey Lyles ($4,900) and Killian Hayes ($4,000).

MEM Desmond Bane (quad) - DOUBTFUL

MEM Dillon Brooks (COVID-19 Protocols) - - QUESTIONABLE

MEM Kyle Anderson (COVID-19 Protocols) - DOUBTFUL

MEM De'Anthony Melton  (COVID-19 Protocols - QUESTIONABLE

We may see Brooks and Melton back, but this combo of absences should work out well for Brandon Clarke ($5,600) and Tyus Jones ($5,000). I also love Brooks if he plays.

GSW Stephen Curry (quad) - QUESTIONABLE

GSW Otto Porter (foot) - OUT

Jordan Poole ($5,700) will have an impact if Curry can't play, while Juan Toscano-Anderson ($3,800) is the primary beneficiary in Porter's absence.

LAC Paul George (elbow) - OUT

LAC Ivica Zubac (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

LAC Luke Kennard (COVID 19 Protocols) - OUT

We'll discuss the best plays for the Clippers later on.

PHO Deandre Ayton (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

PHO JaVale McGee (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

PHO Jae Crowder (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

PHO Landry Shamet (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

The frontcourt absences will prompt a possible start for Bismack Biyombo ($5,500), who just signed with the Suns for the rest of the season.

ELITE PLAYERS 

This is one of the oddest FanDuel slates in recent memory, as the value of most players falls almost identically across the board. You usually want a few standouts for max exposure, but my crunches aren't revealing very many unquestionable smash spots.

That being said, we can pinpoint a few elites here, starting with Jayson Tatum ($9,800), who can beat value with heavy shot volume against the Knicks, Julius Randle ($9,000) is at a favorable salary for $800 less on the other side of this matchup.

Devin Booker ($8,800) and Chris Paul ($7,800) are both in play tonight as they try to keep the game competitive with a depleted backcourt.

Also consider: Brandon Ingram, NOP ($7,900) vs. GSW

EXPECTED CHALK AND VALUE PLAYS

Cade Cunningham, DET ($6,800) @ MEM

Cunningham is an upside guy who can provide some value-beating pop at this salary. His first two performances since his return to action were fine but not spectacular. Still, I expect that to change Thursday against the Grizzlies, when he'll likely find his court time exceed 35 minutes again after only 26 minutes in his last contest. Say what you will about the rookie's variance, but as long as Jerami Grant is out of the lineup, Cunningham has the potential to lead the Pistons in scoring on any given evening.

Jaren Jackson, MEM ($6,600) vs. DET

I also like Jackson on the other side of this matchup. Although his rebound numbers have regressed over the past two games, he has double-double upside in the right scenario. The Pistons may still be without Isaiah Stewart, leaving the Pistons exposed in the interior. We need around 35 FP from Jackson to pay off this salary.

Jonas Valanciunas, NOP ($7,900) vs. GSW

Despite their excellent record, it's usually a good idea to consider the opposing center when the Warriors are on the slate. Valanciunas fits the bill, as the Pelicans standout leaves Golden state at a significant height advantage inside  The Warriors won't achieve their full potential until they get frontcourt support with James Wiseman's return. While the backcourt can beat you on its own, a floor-stretching presence like Valanciunas can make things difficult for every skill position.

RJ Barrett, NYK ($5,900) vs. BOS

Barrett is coming off a season-high 32 points against the short-handed Pacers, and his overall performance over his past four games has been exemplary. He's averaged 20 points, 5,8 rebounds and 2.3 assists over the past five games, which yields a fantasy-point total that crushes 5x value at this salary.

Reggie Jackson ($5,700) and Terance Mann ($5,000), LAC @ PHO

The prolonged absence of Paul George and Luke Kennard's recent COVID case puta a lot of pressure on the remaining Clippers, especially Jackson and Mann, who have to carry the backcourt and provide the lion's share of the team's output. I don't mind Marcus Morris ($5,900) in this scenario, either.

Cameron Johnson ($5,500) and Jalen Smith ($5,900), PHO vs. LAC

While we already mentioned Biyombo, we also need to account for Jae Crowder's absence, which is where both of these role players come in. Not only can Johnson and Smith platoon at the four, but they can also provide rebounding support amid Deandre Ayton's absence, especially if Biyombo struggles opposite Serge Ibaka.

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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