FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Thursday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Every game is a potential elimination spot Wednesday. The three-game playoff slate kicks off for FanDuel at 7:00 p.m. ET with a variety of contests available throughout the evening.

SLATE OVERVIEW

PHI (-2) @ TOR O/U: 210.5

PHO (-2.5) @ NOP O/U: 213.5

DAL (-1) @ UTA O/U: 209.5

Thanks to some key values, the ability to get two high-priced players is definitely doable this evening, and you can also get a bit of salary relief from your frontcourt if you want to make the guard position your splurge spot. Rather than begin with your budget plays, I recommend beginning your lineup construction with your preferred spend-ups, and then seeing how low you need to go elsewhere. We have selections in the 3-4k range to help out the cause.

INJURIES

TOR Fred VanVleet (hip) - DOUBTFUL

The Raptors carry a tight rotation, with every starter seeing 35 minutes or more, but we can begin with the most sensible pivots for VanVleet – Scottie Barnes ($6,500) and Gary Trent ($6,800).

PHO Devin Booker (hamstring) - OUT

Although he is listed as out, the team has stated that he could return to Game 6 or 7 'if necessary.' It's anyone's guess what would constitute such a return, but it's best to consider him a scratch for DFS purposes unless the news changes drastically over the course of the day. Mikal Bridges ($6,700) has shown up as the strongest pivot for Booker over recent games, but one can't discount Cameron Johnson, especially if he gets hot early.

ELITE PLAYERS

We have three players at 10k and above, with Chris Paul ($10,200) being the newest addition to that price range. While it's possible he could pay off that salary, it's a high cost to pay when the big men are scarce. It's a big reason why I still have some exposure to Joel Embiid ($10,000), who is once again enjoying dual eligibility. His thumb injury is hindering him somewhat, and it has hurt his recent output (32.5 FDFP average over the last two games). Overall, the top 10k-plus candidate is still Luka Doncic ($11,000). He's averaged a massive 52.5 FDFP since his return from injury, and shows no sign of stopping. When you look at his upside potential, which could get up into the 60- FDFP range, Paul and Embiid seem like afterthoughts in this salary range.

In the 8-9k range, we have some definite standouts, but Pascal Siakam ($9,200) and James Harden ($8,900) stand out as the top options over Brandon Ingram and Donovan Mitchell for Thursday. Overall, Siakam is the best choice at this level, and is the first sensible pivot off of Embiid, especially if you plan on Doncic as your core. I can't fault a play for Ingram or Mitchell, but the latter's injury may be of some concern, and despite Ingram's upside, he carries a bit more volatility than Siakam and Harden.

Also consider: Jonas Valanciunas, NOP ($7,800) vs. PHO

EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER CORE TARGETS

Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7,300) vs. DAL

The Jazz realize that they need to get Gobert more involved, and his shot attempts have climbed a bit as a result. The standout center got into some foul trouble in the last game, but Gobert has to be considered an incredible salary saver at the center position, with the potential to come close to meeting value at his salary, which decreased by $800 from a high of $8,000 to begin the series. You can rely on around 35 FDFP, with hopes that he can snag a few more rebounds and get to 40 FDFP. 

OG Anunoby, TOR ($6,000) vs. PHI 

It's no surprise to see Anunoby make this list, especially when you consider Toronto's heroics in this series. He's a virtual lock for 40 minutes due to Toronto's slim bench participation, and with everything on the line, an expected floor of 30 FDFP is completely reasonable.  His series high of 43 FDFP can be attainable on any night, and the possibility is increased by VanVleet's absence which affects every Toronto starter. By all means, do not forget about Barnes and Trent, who we mentioned above.

Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($5,500) @ TOR

Maxey has yet to come close to the near triple-double he pulled off in Game 2, but the potential is always there. He also scored a whopping 38 points in Game 1, so we know that he can excel when given the opportunity. It's imperative to find a lower-cost guard to offset other expensive selections at the guard position, and Maxey has four-slot eligibility at the position.

Also consider: Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL ($5,800) @ UTA

VALUE PLAYS

Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($6,300) @ DAL

Clarkson stands on his own merit, but his tournament value is heightened by the possibility of regression from Mitchell due to his recent injury. I have no doubt that Mitchell will play through the problem, but the desire to keep him as healthy as possible in the event of a Game 7 could help Clarkson's cause, especially if the Jazz can build a lead. As I said, he stands alone as a good value without the intangibles, and he especially came in handy in the late game after Mitchell went down, posting 34.3 FDFP. That would be an excellent total for Clarkson, but anything around 30 FDFP would make him a worthwhile value guard.

Herbert Jones, NOP ($4,700) vs. PHO

Jones' salary has managed to stay low throughout this series, but it's now at its highest point since Game 1. Jones' workload has stayed above 30 minutes throughout the entire series, and there's no reason to think he'll go below that in this matchup. If he puts together decent shot volume with another good defensive performance, he could easily beat 5x value. He's recorded five blocked shots, nine rebounds and four steals over the past two games. His defensive numbers are critical to his overall result.

Danny Green, PHI ($4,100) @ TOR

Although he will carry some variance, you can probably depend on Green to at least meet value at this salary. His usage has decreased from the series high of 46 minutes in Game 3, but his ability to put together sufficient shot volume is a feather in his cap. If you opt for two or more high-priced calls, adding Green can definitely provide salary relief.

Also consider: Royce O'Neale, UTA ($4,000) @ DAL, Jose Alvarado, NOP ($3,700) vs. PHO

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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