While there are only three games on the main slate for Thursday, there’s still plenty of things to keep in mind, including who's filling in for some injured superstars. The following list of players should give DFS owners a guideline for who to potentially build around:
Lou Williams, LAC at SAC ($8,900): With Blake Griffin (concussion) and Milos Teodosic (foot) questionable to play, as well as the expected absences from Austin Rivers (heel), Danilo Gallinari (hip) and C.J. Williams (ankle), look for Williams to be the go-to guy offensively once again for the Clippers. Williams has been highly owned over the last few games, but should see a fairly significant drop off, as DeMar DeRozan will likely be in most lineups Thursday with Kyle Lowry (back) likely out. That allows DFS owners to get a less owned Williams, who’s coming off Wednesday’s contest where he put up 58.9 FanDuel points. With another favorable matchup against a porous Kings defense, don’t hesitate to fire Williams up.
Delon Wright, TOR vs CLE ($5,700): As noted above, Lowry is expected to sit this game out, so Wright should pick up a second straight start. During Tuesday’s start against Miami, Wright posted 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block across 29 minutes, which was good enough for 33.4 FanDuel points. Of course, we can’t forget Wright’s 61.1 FanDuel-point showing against the Bulls, which shows the tip-top of his overall upside. While fantasy owners obviously shouldn’t expect that sort of output, Wright has a good chance of reaching the mid-30s or low-40s for FanDuel points on a good night, which is solid value for a $5,700 price.
Dejounte Murray, SAS at LAL ($3,800): If you’re in dire need of a salary break on Thursday’s small slate, Murray can be considered at point guard, though he’ll come with plenty of risk and should only be a tournament play. Tony Parker is doubtful to play with an ankle injury, so Murray should be picking up the start in his place. It’s been a mixed bag with Murray in starts he’s replaced Parker, but he’s a very good rebounder despite being a guard, which can be a big boost to his overall fantasy numbers. That said, at a near minimum price, Murray will be a punt-play option Thursday.
LaMarcus Aldridge, SAS at LAL ($9,900): Along with Parker sitting out, the Spurs are once again going to be without Kawhi Leonard, so it’ll continue to be the Aldridge show. Over his last eight games, Aldridge has been an absolute force, surpassing the 40-FanDuel-point mark seven times during that span and the 50-FanDuel-point mark once. When you add his recent surge to the fact that he’s going up against a Lakers defense that’s given up the fifth most FanDuel points to power forwards on the season, that’s a recipe for success.
Davis Bertans, SAS at LAL ($4,500): Bertans is another guy who’s benefited greatly from Leonard’s absence. Over the last four games, he’s averaged a whopping 29.3 minutes, so he’s getting a ton of playing time right now. He’s also averaged 25.9 FanDuel points during that stretch, which alone, would be solid value for a price of just $4,500. The Lakers are also the number one team in terms of pace of play, so a more uptempo game should only provide more statistics for everyone involved.
Pascal Siakam, TOR vs CLE ($3,500): The Raptors are set to be without Serge Ibaka on Thursday, as he’s out for a one-game suspension following an altercation with the Heat’s James Johnson the last time out. That will likely mean an increased role for Siakam and he could ultimately get the call to start in Ibaka’s place. In the three games he’s logged 30 minutes or more this season, Siakam has finished with 31.8, 26.8 and 35.3 FanDuel points, which evidences what he can do with a larger workload. At a minimum price, Siakam could be worth the risk for his potential upside.
DeAndre Jordan, LAC at SAC ($8,800): Jordan is the highest priced center on Thursday’s slate and for good reason, as he’ll have the advantage of taking on a Kings defense that’s given up the third most FanDuel points to centers on the season. Jordan himself has actually played well of late as well, scoring over 48 FanDuel points in two of his last four outings. With Griffin potentially sitting out again with injury, Jordan should see added usage and won’t have another superstar in the paint to fight off for rebounds.
Kevin Love, CLE at TOR ($6,700): If you can’t afford to pay up for Jordan, Love will be a nice option to pay down a bit for. He’s had a couple duds of late, including a meager 5.4 FanDuel points Monday. However, all that’s done is drop his price and he’s now the cheapest he’s been all season (and likely the rest of the year), so this a great chance to grab him at a discounted rate.