We have an interesting, six-game daily fantasy basketball main slate on Thursday night, beginning with the Knicks taking on the Celtics at 7:30 p.m. ET and ending with the Spurs playing their second game of a back-to-back against the Clippers at 10:30 p.m. ET. Our FanDuel lineup has a good mix of veterans with favorable matchups and a few sub-$6K sleepers in the frontcourt who have high DFS ceilings.
Before we break down all of our selections, here are the most notable scoring rules for FanDuel contests: Made three-point shot (+1 point), rebound (+1.2 points), assists (+1.5 points), steals and blocks (+3 points), field goal made (+2 points) and free throw made (+1 point).
MORE NBA DFS: Thursday DraftKings lineup
Thursday night’s FanDuel Picks: NBA DFS lineup for GPP tournaments
Thursday main late swap slate, $60,000 budget
PG Jalen Brunson, Knicks @ Celtics ($7,900). The 26-year-old point guard has turned out to be one of the best free-agent signings from this past offseason, as he’s given the Knicks another bona fide scorer to go with Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett. This season, Brunson is averaging 22.3 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game, good for 37.38 FanDuel points per game. Brunson is coming off a solid performance against the Cavaliers on Tuesday night when he posted 14 points, four assists, and two rebounds (24.4 FanDuel points). DFS players are hoping for 30 FanDuel points against the Celtics tonight, as they will be without defensive stalwart Marcus Smart. Boston is allowing the sixth-fewest FD points to PGs (45.4) this season, so it’s not the perfect matchup for Brunson, but he’s averaging 36.3 FanDuel points per game over his past five games and makes for a solid contrarian play.
PG Tre Jones, Spurs @ Clippers ($6,300). Since we have just six games on the schedule, we don’t have a ton of options to choose from a point guard. However, we still found some sneaky sleepers like Jones, who consistently finds a way to stuff the stat sheet. In Wednesday night’s game against the Lakers, Jones had six points, six assists, four steals, and three rebounds in 26 minutes. It’s not a gaudy line from the young point guard, but it was good for a solid 29.6 FanDuel points. DFS players will hope for a repeat performance against the Clippers tonight. When these teams met last week, Jones had eight points, eight assists, a rebound, and a steal for 24.2 FanDuel points. The Clippers allow the eighth-most FanDuel points per game (48.9) to PGs this season, making this a good spot to play him.
SG Zach LaVine, Bulls @ Hornets ($7,800). LaVine had a rough shooting night against the Pacers Tuesday night, going four-of-14 from the field and missing all seven of his three-point attempts. If you had the veteran two-guard in your DFS lineup, LaVine scored 17.6 FanDuel points, which was his lowest-scoring performance since New Year’s Eve. However, the good news for DFS players is LaVine should bounce back against the Hornets, who are allowing opponents to shoot 36.9 percent from three-point range this season. In his past five games, LaVine is shooting 16.7 percent from beyond the arc but averaging 36.8 FanDuel points per game. Even though his shooting is down, we will pick LaVine to play well against a struggling Hornets’ squad.
SG Jaden Ivey, Pistons @ Nets ($6,200). The rookie guard will be leaned on to score tonight against the Nets, who are on the second night of a back-to-back after losing to the Sixers. Ivey is coming off a solid performance against the Bucks earlier this week, with 12 points, 11 assists, and four rebounds. Additionally, Ivey picked up his second 30-point FanDuel outing (35.3) in the past three games. The last time Ivey went against the Nets, he had 19 points, four rebounds, and an assist (27.3). Brooklyn is allowing the eighth-most FD points to SGs (42.97) this season and the fifth-most FD points (47.2).
SF Paul George, Clippers vs. Spurs ($8,200). George will be one of our anchors for tonight’s slate, as he should shine against the Spurs. In the Clippers’ last meeting against San Antonio, the star forward scored 40.6 FanDuel points (16 points, 12 assists, and three rebounds). George has scored 40 or more FanDuel points three times this month. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him do it again tonight despite the Spurs allowing the 11th-fewest FD points per game to SFs (40.19).
SF Patrick Williams, Bulls @ Hornets ($5,100). Williams is one of three players under $6K in our DFS lineup for tonight’s slate. The former lottery pick can be placed at PF or SF, which provides DFS players some lineup flexibility at an affordable salary. Williams has played well over the past five games, averaging 26.02 FanDuel points per game and scoring in double figures four times. We like Williams to have a good showing tonight vs. the Hornets, who allow the 10th-most FanDuel points per game to PFs (41.86) this season. Charlotte will have to worry about Nikola Vucevic in the paint, which should afford Williams some opportunities on both ends of the floor.
PF Robert Williams, Celtics vs. Knicks ($5,700). Williams played well in the Celtics’ last game against the Heat earlier this week. The young big man posted 11 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks (23.6 FanDuel points) in 31 minutes. It was the fourth time in his past five games that Williams has gone over the 20-point threshold. The 6-9 big man should be active on the boards against a Knicks’ team that does not have Mitchell Robinson (thumb). The Knicks have only allowed the ninth-fewest FanDuel points per game to PFs (42.7) this season, so it’s not an overly favorable matchup for Williams, but at a $5,700 salary, he’s worth starting with his high ceiling.
PF Dorian Finney-Smith, Mavericks @ Suns ($4,600). Finney-Smith is a boom-or-bust candidate on tonight’s slate, as the Suns’ defense only allows the 12th-fewest FD points per game (43.39) this season. However, if he can make a couple of threes against Phoenix’s 17th-ranked three-point defense (36.2 percent), DFS players could get some value in return. In his past four games since returning from a hip injury, Finney-Smith is shooting 36.8 percent from three-point range and averaging 20.9 FanDuel points per game.
C Nic Claxton, Pistons @ Nets ($8,200). Claxton showed on a national stage on Wednesday against the Sixers that he can play with one of the best centers in the leagues. The 23-year-old was a thorn in the Sixers’ side, posting 25 points and 11 rebounds for 47.2 FanDuel points. Claxton has produced a double-double in four out of his past games and averaged 46.3 FD points per game over that span. He should be in a ton of lineups tonight against the Pistons, who are giving up the eighth-most FD points per game to centers (55.14) this season. Detroit rookie Jalen Duren will give him fits inside the paint, but Claxton has the athleticism to compete.