FanDuel NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (4/15)
We are nearly a month away from the end of the 2020-2021 NBA season, meaning that teams are kicking it into high gear in hopes of making the playoffs. Injuries continue to run rampant in the league, leading us NBA DFS players to operate with caution as injury news trickles in throughout the day.
Being able to have a contingency plan in place in case one of the players in your lineup is a late scratch can be the difference between being in the green or missing out on a payout. At this point in the season, expect the unexpected, and take time to find the value on each slate before building a lineup.
Most Value Per Dollar
For this Thursday, we are given a small four-game slate on FanDuel, giving us little wiggle room to manufacture a unique lineup. Also, if you’re playing cash contests, pinpointing the high-ownership players on a small slate like this is vital in being able to have success.
Looking at Thursday’s slate, the shooting guard position may force a ton of people to insert Devin Booker into their lineups. There isn’t much reliable value at the position, with most people likely going Booker and a mid-tier shooting guard. With some of the injuries on the slate, it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit in Stephen Curry at point guard, either.
If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros. Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is doubtful for the Golden State Warriors on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder. If Oubre does miss Thursday’s game, Draymond Green gets even more usage on the floor for the Warriors. It has been well documented how well Green plays when Curry is in the starting lineup, especially when he’s the main facilitator. Expect Green to follow up his performance of 59 FD points on Wednesday with another productive outing on Thursday.
Bobby Portis (MIL) $6,000 at ATL:
Similar to last Thursday, we are going to operate as if Giannis Antetokounmpo is going to be sidelined for the Milwaukee Bucks, which opens up tons of value on the Bucks. Whenever Giannis has been out, Bobby Portis is the lucky player that joins the starting lineup. In the past six games (the games that Antetokounmpo has missed), Portis has hit 5x value at his current price four times.
Darius Garland (CLE) $6,700 vs. GSW:
The Cleveland Cavaliers were without Collin Sexton on Wednesday versus the Charlotte Hornets, allowing Darius Garland to see an uptick in usage. Seeing that Sexton is dealing with a nagging groin injury, he could very well miss his third consecutive game on Thursday. If Garland gets a chance to play without Sexton again against the Warriors, he could be a nice mid-tier option at point guard that could save salary for another position.
Khris Middleton (MIL) $7,800 at ATL:
Once again, all signs point toward Antetokounmpo being out for the Bucks again on Thursday. While Milwaukee waits for Giannis to get back to one-hundred percent, Khris Middleton should continue being a focal point of their offense. Middleton has played in five of the last six games that Antetokounmpo has missed, logging an impressive 29.6 percent usage percentage in that span. He’s also seemingly found his rhythm, combining for 89.2 FD points in his last two outings.
Deandre Ayton (PHO) $7,400 vs. SAC:
The highest over-under on Thursday is in the game between the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings. Provided that, it’s going to be popular to have a few pieces from the Suns and Kings. One player who should be popular is Deandre Ayton, who should have no trouble dominating Sacramento’s bigs without Richaun Holmes on the floor. Ayton has compiled 18+ points and 10+ rebounds in four out of his last six contests, and he should be able to produce those numbers in a pace-up game on Thursday.
Taurean Prince (CLE) $5,300 vs. GSW:
On small slates like these, we have to find value somewhere, and while Taurean Prince isn’t extremely cheap, he’s cheap enough to be considered a value play. Prince has been utilized as a key bench player for the Cavaliers in recent games, including a 25-minute showing on Wednesday. If Cleveland allows Prince to have a sixth-man role amid Sexton’s absence, then he could give you 5x value versus the Warriors on Thursday.
Tyrese Haliburton (SAC) $5,400 at PHO:
With Buddy Hield returning to the starting lineup on Wednesday, Tyrese Haliburton was relegated back to the bench. However, Haliburton coming off of the bench is better for his fantasy value as he doesn’t have to compete with De’Aaron Fox in the starting lineup for possessions. Even though Haliburton doesn’t have the best matchup against the Suns, if he’s the sixth man on Thursday, then he could be a cheaper piece to have shares of in the expected high-scoring affair.
Kevin Huerter (ATL) $5,400 vs. MIL:
As previously mentioned, there aren’t many value options at shooting guard – maybe besides Isaac Okoro. With us needing to look for ways to save salary at certain spots, Kevin Huerter is a solid choice. The Atlanta Hawks have been trying to give other guys not named Trae Young a chance to get involved in the offense. Huerter has played in 30+ minutes in his last four games and has hit 5x value at his current price twice in those four games.
Cameron Payne (PHO) $3,900 vs. SAC:
Given the fact that there are only four games on Thursday, being contrarian is tough to do. One way to be somewhat contrarian is to spend down at point guard to get Cameron Payne into your lineup. While Payne is an extremely risky play, he’s received 20+ minutes in the past three games, where he’s reached 5x value in all three. Inserting Payne into your lineup is an easy way to afford Curry at the point guard spot.
Hassan Whiteside (SAC) $5,000 at PHO:
The Kings were sans Holmes on Wednesday, allowing Hassan Whiteside to get some run at the center position. Whiteside would be efficient in his 22 minutes of action, recording 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, four blocks, and a steal versus the Washington Wizards. It’s hard to trust Whiteside on a nightly basis due to Sacramento’s unwillingness to play him consistently. But if Whiteside gets another chance to get increased play on Thursday, he’s averaged 19.6 points, 14.4 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per 36 minutes this season. If you aren’t willing to take a chance on Whiteside, Kevon Looney at $3,500 is another way to save salary at center.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Stephen Curry (GSW) $10,500 at CLE: When it is all said and done, Curry could very well be the most owned player on Thursday night, and why wouldn’t he be? The three-point sniper has notched 50+ FD points in six out of his last seven games. With Oubre likely out again, Curry is going to have to carry an even larger workload for the Warriors versus the Cavaliers as they look to finish the regular season strong.
- Jayson Tatum (BOS) $9,400 at LAL: Jayson Tatum recently suffered a COVID-19 scare in which he has to use an inhaler at times to help with the overlying symptoms of the coronavirus. Despite his recent bout with COVID-19, the Boston Celtics need him to continue playing 35+ minutes as they hope to secure a spot in the playoffs. Tatum should have no issue putting up solid numbers against a Los Angeles Lakers squad that remains without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
- Devin Booker (PHO) $9,000 vs. SAC: There’s a legitimate possibility that the Suns are going to handily beat the Kings on Thursday. Because of this, some people may be hesitant to spend up for Booker. But for Booker, I feel like if a blowout is going to happen, he’ll be one of the main reasons why. Also, the shooting guard position lacks options, leaving us to use Booker for his consistent points at the position.
Notable Players to Fade
- Trae Young (ATL) $9,100 vs. MIL: Trae Young has missed the past two games for the Hawks and is a game-time decision for Thursday. If Young is able to return to the court, he will likely draw Jrue Holiday on defense, limiting his ability to produce on offense. I’d much rather shell out an extra $600 in salary to get Fox instead of taking a chance on Young.
- Larry Nance Jr. (CLE) $7,500 vs. GSW: Larry Nance Jr. was able to return to the Cavaliers following an eight-game absence on Wednesday, where he played only 18 minutes against the Hornets. It appears that Cleveland wants to ease him back into action after he dealt with an illness, which makes him a risky option. Not to mention, with Kevin Love back in the lineup, Nance’s scoring could be unreliable moving forward.
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.