FanDuel NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (4/29)
Only 18 days remain in the NBA regular season – counting Thursday – meaning that teams are focused on making the playoffs, while others are content with improving their chances of earning a better pick in the draft. This late in the season, NBA DFS becomes tougher to play as injuries continue to take a toll on certain teams.
Navigating the news of players resting or being ruled out with injury, then finding the value plays that stem off of said news, is crucial at this time of year. Even with me taking a stab at the best value plays on the slate, you need to pay close attention to news throughout the day to put yourself into a better situation to succeed.
Most Value Per Dollar
For the second straight week, Thursday’s main slate comprises six games, including three games that have their current totals set at 230+ points. The perceived highest-scoring game on the slate features the Brooklyn Nets traveling to face the Indiana Pacers. Since the beginning of April, the Pacers have been involved in games that the total score exceeded 220+ points 11 times.
Stacking the showdown between Brooklyn and Indiana could prove fruitful, as long as the Pacers can keep it close. Besides the games to target, the power forward position will be a popular one to pay up at with multiple stars having plus matchups on paper on Thursday. It will also be popular to live in the mid-to-high range at small forward as the value options are thin at the position.
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.
Josh Jackson (DET) $5,600 vs. DAL
One of the best teams to target for value on Thursday is the Detroit Pistons. Detroit will be without Wayne Ellington, Cory Joseph, Mason Plumlee, Rodney McGruder, Jerami Grant, and Dennis Smith Jr., leaving plenty of minutes for the remaining players. When the names listed above have been sidelined, Josh Jackson has averaged 44.15 FD points and an impressive 32.1 percent usage percentage per 36 minutes for the Pistons.
Facundo Campazzo (DEN) $4,600 vs. TOR
Ever since the season-ending injury to Jamal Murray, the Denver Nuggets have deployed multiple guys to replace Murray’s production. Sadly, Will Barton and Monte Morris have also suffered injuries recently, giving Facundo Campazzo more minutes at point guard. Campazzo has hit 5x value at his current price in four out of his past five games, and he’s played 30+ minutes in five out of the last six.
Isaiah Stewart (DET) $5,900 vs. DAL
Once again, to fit certain stars into your lineup on Thursday, a good team to target for value is the Pistons. They’ll be shorthanded in the frontcourt, leaving most of the rebound duties to Isaiah Stewart. Whenever Ellington, Plumlee, Grant, Joseph, McGruder, and Smith are out for Detroit, Stewart has recorded 13.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes.
Darius Bazley (OKC) $6,800 vs. NOP
The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t competing for a playoff spot, but they have to be content with how Darius Bazley has looked recently. Bazley has notched 20+ points in four out of his last five outings, and he’s been able to achieve 5x value at his current price in all four of the games he eclipsed 20+ points scored. The young forward should have no trouble posting 20+ points in a fast-paced matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kevon Looney (GSW) $3,800 at MIN
To fit some of the studs on Thursday, you’ll need some salary-relief options at certain positions. One way to be different is to go all the way down to Kevon Looney at the center position. Looney has a fantastic matchup versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Kelly Oubre Jr. is expected to be sidelined, which leaves more rebounds for Looney. Amid the injuries that Golden State has endured, Looney has garnered over 20 minutes in 10 consecutive games.
Kevin Porter Jr. (HOU) $5,600 vs. MIL
Besides the expected shootout between the Warriors and the Timberwolves, another game expected to feature a ton of scoring is the matchup between the Houston Rockets and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks should have no trouble emerging victorious, but the Rockets have some players worth rostering still. If Houston can keep it somewhat close for a portion of the game, Kevin Porter Jr. could be a viable choice at small forward as John Wall is slated to miss the rest of the season.
Trey Burke (DAL) $4,200 at DET
As the Dallas Mavericks hope to maintain their spot in the playoffs, they’ve needed contributions from players not named Luka Doncic, while Kristaps Porzingis has been sidelined in recent games. A player who has stepped up recently is Trey Burke. Burke has scored 25+ FD points in back-to-back games, and he could see an increase in usage if Doncic is forced to miss Thursday’s contest against the Pistons.
Khem Birch (TOR) $5,900 at DEN
With the injury to Chris Boucher, the Toronto Raptors have given the starting center role to Khem Birch. Birch has responded by earning 22+ FD points in eight straight games. The former member of the Orlando Magic could be a nice mid-tier option at the center spot, but his matchup against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets could be a cause for concern. If Birch can remain out of foul trouble and the Raptors keep the game close, Birch should be a solid choice on Thursday.
Saddiq Bey (DET) $5,100 vs. DAL
It was hard to pinpoint which players from the Pistons I preferred on Thursday, but Saddiq Bey is one of the players I’ve chosen. Detroit needs multiple guys to be aggressive in the scoring department as they are shorthanded on Thursday, allowing Bey to shine. Bey has shown that whenever he’s gotten the opportunity, he can explode on the offensive end this season.
Landry Shamet (BKN) $4,100 at IND
The Nets are still without James Harden, and Bruce Brown is also expected to miss time at the shooting guard position. As a result, Landry Shamet has been receiving more minutes on the court. Shamet has played 28+ minutes in seven out of his last eight appearances, and he draws a favorable matchup in the Pacers on Thursday. Just be cautious with Shamet as he could have a quiet showing if there is a blowout or if guys like Joe Harris, Jeff Green, or Blake Griffin get more usage.
Studs Worth Their Salary
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $9,700 vs. GSW
There are a few games expected to have fireworks on Thursday, and the clash between the Timberwolves and Warriors should be one of them. Both teams are top four in pace, and neither team strikes fear into their opponents on the defensive end. Karl-Anthony Towns is poised for an explosive showing as the Warriors are thin at the center position, and playing Towns is a way to be different from those that insert Nikola Jokic into their lineups.
Stephen Curry (GSW) $9,600 at MIN
On the other side of the matchups between Golden State and Minnesota, Stephen Curry shouldered a massive workload. Curry, who is second in scoring this season behind Bradley Beal, has notched 30+ points in 13 out of his past 15 games. The sharpshooting point guard should have no trouble posting 30+ points on Thursday, especially with Oubre expected to be out with a wrist ailment.
Kevin Durant (BKN) $9,300 at IND
The highest total on the night is in the game between the Nets and the Pacers, making it a popular game to get pieces of. Kevin Durant should be a popular pick among the stars as he should see another uptick in minutes as he returns from injury. While Harden remains out, the bulk of the offensive duties falls on Kyrie Irving and Durant. I would advise playing Durant before his price reaches $10,000+ on FanDuel.
Notable Players To Fade
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,200 at HOU: Giannis Antetokounmpo has dealt with multiple injuries recently, and he is expected to be a game-time decision on Thursday. While he’s on the probable side of playing, his price of $11,200 is hard to pay given the matchup. It’s hard to predict blowouts in the NBA, but the Rockets could easily find themselves down big at some point, which would allow Giannis to get some much-needed rest in the second half. Paying $11,200 for a player who could be sitting for a decent portion of the game could be ill-advised.
Fred VanVleet (TOR) $7,800 at DEN: It’s safe to say that the Raptors have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season. Toronto is currently the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference, and they are four games behind the eighth seed. But with time winding down, Fred VanVleet has struggled to find his shot. VanVleet has scored 15+ points just once in his last five outings, and he has hit 5x value on FD just once in that same span.
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