Despite there being just four games on the schedule, Thursdayís player pool is stacked with multiple high-priced, mid-tier and cheap options to consider. The following list should provide some key players to build around, with the hope of helping you put together an effective lineup:
Bradley Beal, WAS at PHO ($8,600): Beal is coming off a career-high 51-point showing against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday, so he should have plenty of confidence and will likely be looking for his shot even more than usual. The Wizards are still without John Wall (knee) as well, so Bealís usage should remain high and heíll continue to be the go-to option. In addition, the Suns are without Devin Booker and already had been giving up the fourth most points to shooting guards on the season, which all points to Beal having another big night.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA vs HOU ($7,500): Mitchell continues to have an extremely impressive rookie campaign, currently averaging 17.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals across 29.2 minutes. Heís posted over 48 FanDuel points in two of his last three games and over 34 FanDuel points in four of his last six, so heís been extremely consistent and has a decent floor, which is always comforting. With quality shooting guards tough to find at lower prices, Mitchell will be a very intriguing play at $7,500, especially against a Rockets team that isnít necessarily prided for its defense.
Tyler Ulis, PHO vs WAS ($4,900): Ulis was splitting reps with Mike James earlier this season following the departure of Eric Bledsoe, but has now locked down a starting role and the bulk of the point guard workload most nights. While thatís encouraging in itself for Ulisí value, the Suns also just lost superstar Devin Booker (groin) for at least a couple of weeks, so Ulis should have the ball in his hands more than ever. Sure, T.J. Warren will likely be the go-to guy now, but Ulis will still see an uptick in usage, which makes him a very intriguing option as a fairly cheap guard in a small slate.
Ben Simmons, PHI vs LAL ($10,500): Simmons should be one of the better players to target in terms of high-priced options for Thursdayís slate. Both the Lakers and Sixers are in the top five for pace of play, so this should be an up-and-down contest, which is always beneficial for a playerís fantasy value. Thatís especially beneficial for a guy like Simmons, whoís able to rack up stats in all categories and provides a little bit of everything. Heís already had 10 games where heís posted over 50 FanDuel points and typically has a very safe floor, so with a favorable matchup against the Lakers, Simmons has to be considered.
Brandon Ingram, LAL at PHI ($6,800): Like Simmons above, Ingram is a guy that can do it all, so heíll also benefit greatly from an uptempo matchup. Heís been a bit inconsistent with his production, but has some attractive upside with six games over 38 FanDuel points, so at a fairly reasonable price and and a favorable matchup, Ingram is definitely someone to consider at a $6,800 price. The Sixers have given up the 10th most FanDuel points to small forwards over the last five games.
Josh Jackson, PHO vs WAS ($4,600): The Suns are set to be without Devin Booker (groin) for the next 2-to-3 weeks, which means Jackson is going to get a shot for extended minutes on a more consistent basis. While Troy Daniels may start in Bookerís place and will be a potential value play at the shooting guard position Thursday, Jackson should also be one of the main beneficiaries, so his value should climb as well. When Jackson saw a season-high 32 minutes in a Nov. 29 matchup against the Pistons, he put up 36.9 FanDuel points, so weíve seen what he can do with an increased workload. At a price of just $4,600, heíll be worth the risk as a cheaper forward.
Steven Adams, OKC at BKN ($6,900): Adams has really picked up his play of late and has posted 33.3, 42.5 and 36.2 FanDuel points over his last three outings. His price definitely reflects that increased output, but heís got another juicy matchup against a Nets squad that gives up the eighth most fantasy points to centers, so itíll be safe to roll with Adams once again. The Thunder are also set to be without Paul George (calf), so thereís a chance Adams also finds the ball in his hands a slight bit more than usual with less mouths to feed.
Marcin Gortat, WAS at PHO ($4,800): If you canít pay up for a guys like Joel Embiid or Adams at center, Gortat is an intriguing cheaper center to consider. Thatís largely because of the matchup, as the Suns give up the fourth most FanDuel points to centers. Donít discount Gortatís production, though, considering the big man has logged two games over 40 FanDuel points and nine games over 30 so far this season. Thatís solid upside for a player priced below $5,000 with a strong matchup.