This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Thursday's small two-game slate tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
PHI (-2.5) vs. LAL O/U: 220.5
GSW (-6) vs. MIN O/U: 229.5
The projected totals leave little doubt about which game to target, but as you'll see, we've endorsed players on every squad and given particular love to the Sixers.
LAL Anthony Davis - PROBABLE
This is just a note for those who don't play every day. Davis came back Tuesday and should play a decent amount. His $9,800 salary doesn't inspire much confidence, though – at least, not yet.
PHI Seth Curry (ankle) - OUT
PHI Shake Milton (back) - OUT
GSW Draymond Green (calf) - OUT
Because of the tiny two-game slate, we will cut the article into just two categories, starting with elites and then filling out the endorsements.
Our endorsements are dominated by Sixers, so it is no surprise to see Joel Embiid ($11,400) at the top. The center position is essentially relegated to a two-man race between Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,300). There's definitely merit to spending less on KAT due to Green's absence and the size mismatch. Beyond these two players, the drop-off at center is severe, save for one exception, which we will mention in a bit.
Two obvious elites are LeBron James ($10,700) and Stephen Curry ($9,500), but I am admittedly a little gun-shy about James' lofty salary with Davis back in the lineup. Between the two, I think Curry's salary is the most likely to hit value, and we need to be very smart with our premier options. One false move at the top will wreck your evening.
EXPECTED CHALK AND VALUE PLAYS
Tobias Harris, PHI ($8,100) vs. LAL
Harris is certainly no surprise, and I like him in spots where you elect to go with Towns at the center position. It's a way to get involved with Philly's interior game without breaking the bank. Harris is coming off a season-high 33 points, so he is clearly dialed in at present.
Anthony Edwards, MIN ($7,300) @ GSW
You definitely have a decision to make here, as D'Angelo Russell ($7,200) sits just below Edwards, and both could have standout games. My money is on Edwards, who is still cheap relative to his upside. Over two games against the Warriors this season, Edwards has averaged 28-5 points and a little over 42 FP per game. Russell also played well in these contests but averaged almost 10 FP less than Edwards, so I think with the similar tags, picking Edwards is a no-brainer.
Tyrese Maxey, PHI ($5,800) vs. LAL
Maxey should continue to excel. That's mostly due to a lack of competition at the position right now. And Maxey's ability to grab the opportunity. He has scored over 30 FP in five of his last six games, which more than pays off 5x salary.
Jarred Vanderbilt, MIN ($6,100) @ GSW
Although his salary is higher than I'd like, Vanderbilt will hold a height advantage over Otto Porter and Jonathan Kuminga, creating a very exploitable spot for Minnesota and a big problem for the Warriors. Vanderbilt is coming off a double-double and came dangerously close in two other games in the past week. He also tends to put up good secondary numbers and the mismatch figures to give him a rebounding boost.
Kevon Looney, GSW ($4,900) @ MIN
The Warriors will need Looney to fend off Towns. Although going with a cheap center is more of a contrarian approach, it's worth noting that Looney has been lights-out against Minnesota, averaging well over 30 FP over two contests. That number may be too hard to ignore.
Stanley Johnson, LAL ($3,600) @ PHI
The Lakers just signed Johnson to a two-year contract, so let's hope they get their money's worth. Johnson is a tournament flier only because his floor doesn't inspire much confidence, but he will occasionally get hot and surprise you, as he did against Utah earlier in the month.
Also consider: Andrew Wiggins, GSW ($6,000) @ MIN