Saturday, February 24, 2024

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, March 2

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This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Following back-to-back busy nights where a combined 19 games were played, we have a compact four-game Thursday slate. The injury report also has several notable names on it, but as of early Thursday, most have at least a 50/50 chance of suiting up.  

Slate Overview

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Oddsmakers are portending a night of competitive action, as there isn’t any line larger than 4.5 points. Plenty of offense is expected, as three of the four games have projected totals above 230 points and a Pacers-Spurs matchup that could exceed expectations.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire’s NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Joel Embiid, PHI (foot): QUESTIONABLE

Embiid was a same-day scratch for Wednesday’s game against the Heat, and if he misses a second straight contest, Paul Reed, who posted a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double off the bench versus Miami, could be in for extended minutes off the bench while Tyrese Maxey will remain in the starting five.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND (calf): QUESTIONABLE

If Haliburton is out, T.J. McConnell will likely take on starting point guard duties, while the rest of the starting five would be boosted.

Keldon Johnson, SAN (foot): QUESTIONABLE

If Johnson can’t play, Doug McDermott will likely slot into the starting five.

Tre Jones, SAN (foot): QUESTIONABLE

If Jones sits out, Devonte’ Graham could be in for a spot start at point guard, considering Malaki Branham (back) is also questionable.

Other notable injuries:

Stephen Curry, GSW (lower leg): OUT

Andrew Wiggins, GSW (personal): OUT

Monte Morris, WAS (back): OUT

Jordan Poole, GSW (knee): PROBABLE

Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): PROBABLE 

Elite Players

We have four players with five-figure salaries on Thursday’s slate – Luka Doncic ($12,000), Joel Embiid ($11,800), James Harden ($10,300) and Kawhi Leonard ($10,000).

Doncic has scored 55.4 to 65.3 FD points in four of the last five games but will be facing a 76ers team that’s been tough on point guards all season.

Embiid’s health status will need to be closely monitored since he missed Wednesday’s game with a foot injury, but if he does suit up, he’ll be looking to build on a stretch where he’s exceeded 60 FD points in three of the last four games.

Harden could take the floor without Embiid and hasn’t scored fewer than 44.8 FD points in nine straight. He averages 51.6 FD points per 36 minutes and sports a 31.6 percent usage rate without Embiid on the floor.

Leonard has scored over 44 FD points in three of the last five contests, including a 52.4 FD-point tally against this same Warriors squad five games ago.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Kyrie Irving, DAL ($9,600)

Irving has been somewhat of a disappointment after a hot start in Dallas, but he should still be very popular on the small slate.

Bradley Beal, WAS ($9,400)

Beal scored 52.1 FD points in his most recent contest versus the Hawks, his second time exceeding 50 in the last four.

Paul George, LAC ($9,000)

George has put up 55.5 and 42.7 FD points in two of his last three games and faces a depleted Warriors team that’ll still be missing Curry and Wiggins.

Myles Turner, IND ($8,600)

Turner may take the floor without Haliburton and is in an excellent matchup for centers, as the Spurs are allowing the second-highest offensive efficiency rating to the position (36.2).

Key Values  

Buddy Hield, IND at SAN ($5,900)

Hield is another player poised to benefit from a potential Haliburton absence Thursday, as the veteran wing has averaged 33.4 FD points per 36 minutes without his teammate on the floor. Hield is an appealing play at his salary regardless, as the Spurs could be down multiple starters and allow 41.4 FD points per game to small forwards in the last 30 games. Additionally, Hield is shooting a blistering 43.8 percent from three-point range in the last 15 contests, while San Antonio is allowing an NBA-high 39.5 percent success rate from behind the arc. 

Kevon Looney, GSW vs. LAC ($5,700)

Looney is averaging 40 FD points per 36 minutes without Curry and Wiggins on the floor this season, and he’s put up 31.7 FD points across 26 minutes per contest over the last seven contests. That stretch includes 32.3 FD points across 27 minutes against the Clippers on Feb. 14, and Los Angeles is allowing the 10th-highest offensive efficiency rating to centers (32.7) and the fifth-most FD points per game to fives (61.7) in the last seven games. LA also allows an NBA-high 70 points in the paint over the previous three games, while Looney is scoring a career-high 80.6 percent of his points in that part of the floor.

Jeremy Sochan, SAN vs. IND ($5,400)

Sochan has scored 31.2 and 28.2 FD points in his last two games, and he’s averaging an impressive 26.8 FD points while shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range in the last 13 contests. The rookie now faces a Pacers squad giving up an NBA-high 28.5 offensive efficiency rating to power forwards, along with the sixth-most FD points per game to the position in the last 15 games (48.3). Sochan could also be playing without two fellow starters in Jones and Johnson, a scenario in which he averages 38.7 FD points per 36 minutes.

ALSO CONSIDER: Bennedict Mathurin, IND at SAN ($5,200); Jonathan Kuminga, GSW vs. LAC ($4,500); Paul Reed, PHI at DAL ($4,000)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it’s possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.

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