FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Thursday's three-game slate kicks off at 7:30 PM ET Let's begin with a look at the current odds and totals.

SLATE OVERVIEW

PHO (-2.5) @ DAL O/U: 214

NYK (-3.5) vs. NOP O/U: 210.5

GSW (-11.5) vs. IND O/U: 216

There aren't many game-time calls tonight, so you can safely build your lineups earlier in the day. There are a couple of rest concerns (Malcolm Brogdon, Kemba Walker) to watch, but otherwise, the player pool is pretty static. As is often the case with small slates, I recommend a cash-game approach due to the potential of identical tournament lineups, which ultimately hurt the overall value of these contests. 

INJURIES

PHO Deandre Ayton (ankle) - OUT

Ayton will continue to be out, giving JaVale McGee ($4,800) another opportunity for production. McGee is the top injury pivot in this section.

NOP Devonte' Graham (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE

Graham should be ok to go tonight, but Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($3,500) would likely draw the start if he can't make it. Herbert Jones ($5,800) could also have increased impact. 

IND Myles Turner (foot) - OUT

IND Domantas Sabonis (ankle) - DOUBTFUL

Torrey Craig ($3,500) continues to stand out as Turner's best pivot. Goga Bitadze ($5,000) could also show up for the Pacers, as could Oshae Brissett ($3,700).

GSW Draymond Green (calf) - OUT

We'll highlight our best option for Green shortly.

ELITE PLAYERS

There's no doubt about my best elite play for Thursday, and it's Luka Doncic ($10,900) by a pretty significant margin. He missed the first two opportunities to play Phoenix, but I expect him to be an unwelcome sight for the Suns. Julius Randle ($8,700) runs just behind Doncic with an incredibly favorable salary against the Pelicans. He'll be keen to improve upon his first appearance against New Orleans, where he posted one of his worst stat lines of the season.

Stephen Curry ($10,300) is also excellent as a point guard against the Pacers, although we have more budget options at that position, and taking Doncic and Randle might be the better spend-up call overall. I also like Brandon Ingram ($8,200), as he meets the Knicks after missing his team's first matchup against them.

Also consider: Caris LeVert, IND ($8,100) @ GSW, Chris Paul, PHO ($7,800) @ DAL

EXPECTED CHALK AND VALUE PLAYS

Jonas Valanciunas, NOP ($7,300) vs. NYK

The total for this contest should hit the Over, as the offensive potential will help offset the potentially slower pace. Valanciunas will mostly deal with Mitchell Robinson, who lacks the finesse and speed to handle a veteran like JoVal, who should have no problem finding opportunities. The center has double-doubled in four of his last five games.

Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($6,000) @ GSW 

Endorsing Brogdon is a bit of a mixed bag, as a scratch could be likely in this back-to-back line. Although he's looked solid over two games since his return from an Achilles injury, they may play it safe with him and rest him. We already mentioned LeVert, and while he would obviously be a great pivot if Brogdon missed, I'd also give some exposure to Chris Duarte ($5,100) in either outcome.

Jonathan Kuminga, GSW ($5,900) vs. IND

Kuminga's salary has skyrocketed, and it's easy to see why. With Draymond Green out for an extended period, the Warriors are leaning more and more on the talented rookie, who has too much raw skill to stay on the bench. I expect Kuminga to take full advantage of his opportunity and excel in his role Thursday.

Evan Fournier, NYK ($5,200) vs. NOP

Fournier is having a bit of a renaissance recently, averaging 20.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists over his past six games. A stellar 41-point effort against the Celtics was the highlight of that span. He should be instrumental for the Knicks, especially if RJ Barrett struggles with his shot.

Mikal Bridges, PHO ($4,700) @ DAL 

Bridges is just too cheap in this spot. In their tilt against Dallas, Bridges averaged 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals over two games and is in a great position to pay off his salary based on these averages. There are more potent scorers in this starting lineup, but you have to consider this salary when he's starting.

Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL ($4,500) vs. PHO

Like Bridges, Finney-Smith is another player who is an inexpensive starter, and he's a decent tournament flier if you need a discount. He recently put up his first double-double of the season, and although you shouldn't expect much from him, he only needs 23 FP to exceed 5x value.

Also consider: Andrew Wiggins, GSW ($6,300) vs. IND

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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