Looking for fantasy bargains and steals in Thursday night's NBA slate.
We’ve got a typically light Thursday before us, with just four games dotting the NBA schedule. On Wednesday, we almost had too many options for our lineups. It feels like there aren’t nearly enough for Thursday. There’s a $3,000 or more gap between the top players at both small forward (Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza) and power forward (Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis), making it awfully hard to fade those big names. It’s especially tough at small forward, where you might not even be able to find two palatable starting options if one of them isn’t Anthony.
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All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Jrue Holiday ($6,800) vs. LAL: Holiday was an easy selection for this lineup. He has at least 33.3 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games, and gets a dream matchup for point guards Thursday. The Lakers have allowed the most points per game to the position this year, and really haven’t stopped any point guard from delivering a profit in daily fantasy formats.
SG: Devin Booker ($5,400) vs. HOU: Quite simply, who else on this team is going to score? Booker has averaged 20.8 points per game over his last eight, and the shots are going to keep coming from the rookie out of Kentucky. The Rockets have surrendered the ninth-most points per game to shooting guards this season, and this game has an over/under of 213. Booker should get at least 15 shots up on Thursday night.
SF: P.J. Tucker ($4.800/$5,200) vs. HOU: We’re definitely starting Anthony at one of the two small forward spots, but that was an easy choice. Alongside him, we’ll go back to Phoenix to slot in Tucker. In Tucker’s last nine games, he has averaged 24.3 fantasy points in 36 minutes. The playing time will be there, and the modest, yet profitable, production will follow. Houston has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to small forwards this year.
PF: Anthony Davis ($10,100) vs. LAL: Davis has turned into a live hand grenade far too often for daily fantasy owners this season, going off with a minor injury at the most inopportune of times. He is, however, coming off one of his best games of the season, and gets a matchup on Thursday with the Lakers that should allow him to keep on rolling. He has had at least 42.6 fantasy points in six of his last seven games.
C: Jonas Valanciunas ($6,300/$6,100) @ POR: There is a concern that Valanciunas’ thumb injury will limit his minutes, the way it has in each of Toronto’s last two games. While he was on the floor for just 19 minutes in those games, he had more than 20 fantasy points in both of them. Over his last 10 games, he has averaged 27.9 fantasy points in 25.7 minutes, good for 1.09 points per minute. Even if his time on the floor is limited, he’s a safe bet to return more than a point per minute. There’s also a chance he’ll be ready to get back to his usual complement of minutes, given that the injury was so minor.