NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Thursday, February 29

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Thursday, February 29

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

There are eight games on tap in total on an atypically busy Thursday night in the NBA, but FanDuel is going with a six-game main slate. That gives some DFS players the ideal amount of games to work with, and the fact there's a relatively light injury report and none of the 12 teams in play are on back-to-back sets also adds to the appeal.

Slate Overview

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Listed spreads/totals are from FanDuel Sportsbook and current as of Thursday, 2/29 @9:00 a.m.  ET:    

Utah Jazz at Orlando Magic (-6) (O/U: 225.5)
Milwaukee Bucks (-12) at Charlotte Hornets (O/U: 216.0)
Golden State Warriors (-4.5) at New York Knicks (O/U: 222.5)
Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets (-1.5) (O/U: 223.5)
Oklahoma City Thunder (-11) at San Antonio Spurs (O/U: 236.5)
Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns (-8.5) (O/U: 234.0)

*denotes team on second night of back-to-back set

The betting numbers attached to Thursday's games are somewhat of a mixed bag. On one hand, we have the less-than-ideal scenario of two games with double-digit spreads. However, the other four contests do have a solid chance of being very competitive, and the pair of 230+ point projected totals also catch the eye in a favorable sense.  

Moreover, the aforementioned lack of teams on back-to-back sets is a plus for the chances of closer games and better individual performances. 

Injury Situations to Monitor   

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

Jalen Brunson, NYK (neck): QUESTIONABLE

If Brunson can't suit up, Miles McBride is likely to draw the start at point guard, while the remainder of the starting five will be due for a big bump in usage. 

Paolo Banchero, ORL (illness): QUESTIONABLE

If Banchero can't play, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter could be big beneficiaries, while Joe Ingles or Moritz Wagner could draw the start at power forward. 

Bradley Beal, PHO (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

If Beal can't suit up, Eric Gordon is likely to draw a start at shooting guard while Devin Booker and Kevin Durant likely benefit from an increase in their already formidable usage rates.

Andrew Wiggins, GSW (personal): OUT

With Wiggins unavailable again, Moses Moody is likely to draw a second consecutive start.

Other notable injuries:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL (knee): PROBABLE
Jusuf Nurkic, PHO (ankle): PROBABLE
Walker Kessler, UTA (foot): QUESTIONABLE
Trae Young, ATL (finger): OUT
LaMelo Ball, CHA (ankle): OUT
Julius Randle, NYK (shoulder): OUT
OG Anunoby, NYK (elbow): OUT
Cam Thomas (BKN) (ankle): OUT
Khris Middleton, MIL (ankle): OUT
Onyeka Okongwu, ATL (toe): OUT

Elite Players

We have three players with a five-figure salary on Thursday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700), Victor Wembanyama ($11,600) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($11,400).

Antetokounmpo is fully expected to play through his probable designation, but as was the case Tuesday in the first game of the home-and-home series against the Hornets, his minutes could be curtailed if the game becomes a blowout.

Wembanyama now has at least 51 FD points in six straight games, one of the most dominant stretches of his standout rookie season.

SGA has recorded over 46 FD points in six  consecutive regular-season contests and posted 59.2 FD points in only 29 minutes the last time he faced the Spurs. 

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Jalen Brunson, NYK ($9,700)

If Brunson is able to return to action, he should be as popular as usual, especially coming off back-to-back tallies of over 50 FD points.

Kevin Durant, PHO ($9,600)

Durant's ceiling and the fact Bradley Beal could sit out Thursday should make the star forward a very popular option.

Devin Booker, PHO ($9,300)

Booker has been just under 40 FD points in three of the last four games, but like KD, the combination of upside and salary in addition to a potential Beal absence should keep him at the forefront of plenty of DFS players' minds.

Dejounte Murray, ATL ($8,800)

Murray will once again take the floor without Trae Young and has seen a $100 drop in salary from Tuesday, when he scored 42.3 FD points in 31 minutes against the Jazz.

Key Values  

Jonathan Kuminga, GSW at NYK ($6,500)

Andrew Wiggins will sit out a second straight game due to personal reasons Thursday, and there are multiple Warriors that could benefit to varying degree. The one I trust the most is Kuminga, who checks in with four tallies of 29.6 FD points or more in his last six contests and is shooting 52.4 percent over the entirety of that span. The talented third-year wing is facing a Knicks frontcourt that remains without Julius Randle and that's allowed 49.5 percent shooting to power forwards, including 38.0 percent from three-point range. Additionally, New York is conceding 51.6 FD points per contest to fours in the last seven games, a span in which Tom Thibodeau's squad has also yielded the third-most points (29.6) and second-most made threes (3.9) per contest to the position. 

Tre Mann, CHA vs. MIL ($6,100)

LaMelo Ball's extended absence due to an ankle injury persists Thursday, meaning Mann will have another opportunity to continue building on what has been a solid stretch of starts. The trade acquisition has averaged 29.2 FD points on the strength of 12.3 points (on 44.8 percent three-point shooting), 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals across his first seven games with the team. The Bucks have been a team to target with point guards all season, allowing the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating to ones (29.5) and 50.2 FD points per contest to the position on the campaign. Mann just put up 29.3 FD points against Milwaukee on Tuesday as well, strengthening his case.

De'Andre Hunter, ATL at BKN ($5,700) 

Hunter has seen a $400 salary drop despite going for 29 FD points against the Jazz on Tuesday, his fifth straight game with at least that total despite his ongoing second-unit role. The veteran wing appears to be all the way back from his knee issues and is seeing minutes in the high 20s off the bench on most nights, which should be more than enough of a platform for him to deliver against a Nets team allowing 40.3 percent three-point shooting to small forwards, as well as 41.8 FD points per game to the position on the season. It's also worth noting Hunter has been particularly locked in of late, shooting 51.7 percent, including 45.8 percent from behind the arc.  

ALSO CONSIDER: Klay Thompson, GSW at NYK ($5,400); Moses Moody, GSW at NYK ($3,900)

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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