This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a slightly bigger than usual Thursday night slate, as six games are on tap. There are some potential returns from injury, which would undoubtedly be a welcome development for both tournament and cash game lineups.
For the latest spreads and over-unders, visit RotoWire's NBA Odds page. There, you can also find player props, futures, picks articles and sportsbook bonus codes.
The spreads aren't the most encouraging Thursday, as there are five lines of 7.5 points or higher as of early Thursday, including one as high as 13.5. If those projected advantages are reasonably accurate, we could certainly see at least a slight curtailing of minutes for some star players over the course of the night. There are also a trio of projected totals north of 230 points, which is a bit more encouraging from a DFS perspective.
Injury Situations to Monitor
For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.
LaMelo Ball, CHA (ankle/wrist): QUESTIONABLE
In Ball can't return from his three-game absence, Dennis Smith would see increased run off the bench, while Bryce McGowens could likely remain in the starting five.
Donovan Mitchell, CLE (groin): QUESTIONABLE
If Mitchell sits out, Caris LeVert would be due for a return to the first unit, while Darius Garland's and Jarrett Allen's usage would likely see a nice bump.
Christian Wood, DAL (thumb): GTD
If Wood were able to return from his three-game absence, Dorian Finney-Smith would likely return to the second unit.
Deandre Ayton, PHO (illness): PROBABLE
In Ayton's likely return, Bismack Biyombo will be due for a return to the bench.
Other notable injuries:
Kevin Durant, BKN (knee): OUT
Kevin Porter, HOU (foot): OUT
Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): OUT
Devin Booker, PHO (groin): OUT
Kelly Oubre, CHA (hand): OUT
Marcus Smart, BOS (ankle): OUT
Mitchell Robinson, NYK (thumb): OUT
Gordon Hayward, CHA (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Isaiah Stewart, DET (shoulder): QUESTIONABLE
We have four players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Thursday's slate – Luka Doncic ($12,000), Jayson Tatum ($11,300), Kyrie Irving ($10,100) and Julius Randle ($10,000).
Doncic scored 68 FD points across 38 minutes against the Wizards in Tuesday's win and was at 58.9 three games ago, and he'll face a Suns team still missing Devin Booker on Thursday.
Tatum has continued to produce up to his usual standards during the Celtics' two-game skid, posting 43.7 and 51.3 FD points in those contests.
Irving has scored anywhere from 58.9 to 81.2 FD points in three of his last four games, and although he'll be on the back end of a back-to-back set Thursday, he'll enjoy a highly favorable positional matchup against the Pistons.
Randle has scored over 50 FD points in two straight and four of the last six overall, and he scored just under an FD point per minute (39.8 in 40 minutes) in his previous meeting against the Celtics.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($9,500)
Leonard has scored over 50 FD points in two of his last three and is averaging 48.9 in his last eight contests overall, numbers that should make him very popular Thursday.
DeMar DeRozan, CHI ($8,900)
DeRozan has posted 44.2 to 48.3 FD points in the first three games following a three-game absence and should garner a high rostering rate versus a defensively vulnerable Hornets team.
Nikola Vucevic, CHI ($8,400)
Vucevic saw his streak of 11 straight double-doubles snapped in his most recent game against the Pacers, but he's scored over 40 in four straight and has a premium matchup against the Hornets.
Paul George, LAC ($8,200)
George has scored over 40 FD points in two of his last three games and has a favorable matchup at a reduced salary versus the Spurs.
Nic Claxton, BKN ($8,200)
Although Claxton is on the second night of a back-to-back set, he's scored over 40 FD points in five of his last six games, including one tally over 50.
Jalen McDaniels, CHA vs. CHI ($6,000)
McDaniels could take the floor without LaMelo Ball (ankle/wrist) again, and the fourth-year big is already enjoying a career-best season across the board. He's compiling a solid January overall, eclipsing 30 FD points in half of his 12 games during the month and averaging a solid 12.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals in that span. The big man enjoys a solid positional matchup Thursday as well, considering the Bulls are conceding the third-most FD points to small forwards over the last seven games (47.3) and the seventh-highest three-point shooting percentage overall (36.3).
Cameron Johnson, PHO vs. DAL ($5,400)
Johnson has scored over 30 FD points in two of his first three games back from his extended layoff from a knee injury. Johnson has already logged as much as 29 minutes, so playing time shouldn't be much of an issue Thursday in a favorable matchup against the Mavericks. Dallas has allowed the seventh-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards, surrendering 51.2 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from behind the arc. The Mavs are also yielding the seventh-most FD points per game to fours in the last 15 contests (47.4), along with an elevated 52.7 rebounds per road contest.
Seth Curry, BKN vs. DET ($4,900)
Curry racked up 32 points against the 76ers on Wednesday night, leading to 39 FD points. The veteran wing will be on the second night of a back-to-back set, but he's facing a Pistons team whose vulnerabilities are tailor-made for a player of his skill set. Detroit is surrendering 36.2 percent three-point shooting – including 40.0 percent over the last three games – and an Eastern Conference-high 55.2 offensive efficiency rating to backcourt players. The Pistons have also yielded the second-most FD points per game to shooting guards on the season (44.7), including 46.4 in the last 15 games.
ALSO CONSIDER: Patrick Williams, CHI at CHA ($5,100)