This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We've got a particularly large slate on tap for a Thursday night, with nine games on the docket. While there are some big names sporting injury designations, there are more than enough high-end players to choose from with 18 teams in action.
As is often a case with a slate of this size, spreads are varied Thursday. There are a trio of double-digit figures on FanDuel Sportsbook as of early Thursday, but those are offset by three others of 6.5 points or less. The remaining three contests fall in the middle of those ranges, checking in at seven, eight and 8.5 points.
On the projected totals end, we encouragingly have three figures of 229 or higher, including a Pacers-Heat clash with a 239-point total and a Hawks-Spurs battle that carries a whopping 245.5 number. Given the multiple high-scoring affairs all of Indiana, Atlanta and San Antonio have been involved in while playing at some of the league's fastest paces, those games could well live up to those offensive expectations.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Anthony Edwards, MIN (hip): DOUBTFUL
In Edwards' likely absence, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Shake Milton could handle the majority of shooting guard duties, while the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Mike Conley could see big usage bumps.
Victor Wembanyama, SAN (hip): QUESTIONABLE
Jimmy Butler, MIA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
DeMar DeRozan, CHI (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
If DeRozan can't go, Ayo Dosunmu could draw a start at small forward, and the remainder of the starting five would be in line for increases in usage.
Zach LaVine, CHI (foot): QUESTIONABLE
Other notable injuries:
Tyler Herro, MIA (ankle): OUT
Ben Simmons, BKN (back): OUT
Chris Paul, GSW (lower leg): OUT
Brandon Miller, CHA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
Alex Caruso, CHI (toe): QUESTIONABLE
Bam Adebayo, MIA (hip): PROBABLE
Duncan Robinson, MIA (thumb): PROBABLE
Cam Thomas, BKN (ankle): PROBABLE
Jeremy Sochan, SAN (knee): PROBABLE
We have five players with five-figure salaries on Thursday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($11,400), Anthony Davis ($10,900), Tyrese Haliburton ($10,400) and LeBron James ($10,200).
Antetokounmpo has back-to-back 60-plus FD-point performances and also has another pair of totals over 70 in the last six contests. However, his minutes could be curtailed in a game against the Bulls that the Bucks could cruise to victory in.
SGA has tallies of 50.7 to 74 FD points in his last three games and could have a chance to offer similar returns in what may turn into a wire-to-wire affair with the Lakers.
Davis draws a highly favorable matchup for centers against the Thunder and already comes in with two totals of over 60 FD points in his last three games.
Haliburton has scored 42.4 to 73 FD points in the last four games and has three other tallies of between 52.2 and 72.9 FD points in his last eight contests overall.
James has been under 40 FD points in two straight and is playing his third game in four nights Thursday, but he has logged under 30 minutes in each of the first two contests in that stretch.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Donovan Mitchell, CLE ($9,800)
Mitchell went off for 66.7 FD points against the Hawks on Tuesday and draws a similarly appealing matchup Thursday in the form of the Trail Blazers.
Trae Young, ATL ($9,600)
Young went down to 29.2 FD points in a tough matchup versus the Cavs on Tuesday, but he'd scored 42.9 to 63.3 FD points in the six games prior.
Damian Lillard, MIL ($9,200)
Lillard has pushed his season average to 41.7 FD points per game by scoring 41.5 to 63.3 FD points in seven of the last eight games, numbers that should also keep him very popular Thursday.
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($8,700)
Towns would be fairly popular under any circumstance, but especially with Edwards projected to sit out for the T-wolves and KAT boasting a team-high +11.2 percent usage bump when his teammate is off the floor.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($8,500)
Leonard's salary should make him very popular after he delivered consecutive 50-plus FD-point tallies against the Nuggets and Kings already this week. However, the fact he'll be on his third game in four nights could be of some concern.
Max Strus, CLE vs. POR ($6,200)
Strus came through nicely as a value suggestion Tuesday, going off for 37 FD points across 35 minutes against the Hawks. It was Strus' fourth game in the last seven with at least that many fantasy points, offering a glimpse at the upside he's capable of at his current salary. The Trail Blazers have done a reasonably good job on small forwards but are still allowing just under 114 point per game on the road, and Strus is offering the best production of his career in points (14.2), rebounds (5.7) and assists (4.0) while also shooting an impressive 38.7 percent from three-point range.
Kyle Lowry, MIA vs. IND ($5,900)
Lowry has seen a salary bump from Tuesday thanks to his season-high 28-point effort against the Bucks, which came with Jimmy Butler sidelined by an ankle injury. Butler remains very questionable for Thursday's game and Lowry still carries a sub-$6K salary, making him a very viable option against a Pacers team allowing 48.1 percent shooting to point guards, including 41.3 percent from three-point range. Lowry is shooting a career-high 45.7 percent from behind the arc and has been running especially hot of late, averaging 26.4 FD points per contest over his last 10 with the help of 50.9 percent three-point shooting. He also sees a +5.3 percent usage bump, the second highest on the team, when both Butler and the sidelined Tyler Herro (ankle) are off the floor, adding to his appeal against a Pacers squad allowing the fifth-most points per game (25.3) to point guards.
Mike Conley, MIN vs. UTA ($5,300)
Conley could be a beneficiary of Anthony Edwards' expected absence Thursday, considering the veteran is averaging 27.5 FD points per 36 minutes with his backcourt mate off the floor. Conley's old Jazz squad is also doing a below-average job defending his point guard position, as Utah is surrendering the ninth-highest offensive efficiency rating (28.1) to ones while allowing a league-high 10.5 assists per game and 49.5 FD points per game to the position. Conley comes in averaging a well-balanced 10.1 points, 7.0 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game over his last eight, a stretch during which he's also shooting 45.5 percent from behind the arc on an average of 5.5 three-point attempts per contest.