This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a typically compact four-game slate on tap Thursday night, and there are some notable names on the injury report. However, there are enough appealing players across each price point on the salary cap to make strong lineup-building in cash games or tournaments feasible.
Dallas Mavericks (-3.5) at Washington Wizards (O/U: 209)
Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks (-1) (O/U: 221.5 points)
Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat (-10.5) (O/U: 214 points)
Portland Trail Blazers (+6.5) at New Orleans Pelicans (-6.5) (O/U: 224.5)
Three of the four contests feature fairly narrow spreads, while Dallas-Washington checks in well under the other games with a 209 total.
Injury Situations to Monitor
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section.
James Harden, PHI (foot): OUT
In Harden's ongoing absence, De'Anthony Melton should continue in the starting five at two-guard.
Bradley Beal, WAS (COVID-19 protocols): OUT
Jusuf Nurkic, POR (thigh): GTD
If Nurkic sits out another game, Drew Eubanks could continue in the starting five.
Tyler Herro, MIA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
If Herro sits out, Max Strus could enter the starting five at two-guard.
Caleb Martin, MIA (quad): QUESTIONABLE
Jerami Grant, POR (ankle): GTD
If Grant sits out a second straight game, Justise Winslow is likely to remain in the starting five.
Other notable injuries:
LaMelo Ball, CHA (ankle): OUT
Christian Wood, DAL (knee): OUT
Gordon Hayward, CHA (shoulder): OUT
Larry Nance, NOP (knee): GTD
Doncic struggled with a 9-for-29 showing from the field in Wednesday's surprise loss to Orlando, but he still scored 55.2 FD points. Doncic has yet to score under 53.8 FD points in any game this season, so his floor may be the safest of the slate.
Murray "dipped" to 40.1 FD points in Wednesday's loss to the Jazz, but he'd scored 57.1 to 69.3 FD points in the last three games and is averaging 48.3 FD points per game for the season.
Embiid scored 52.5 FD points across 36 minutes against the Suns in Monday's win, his first game since James Harden's absence due to a foot injury began. With Harden still out Thursday and Embiid having had two full days of rest, he could be set for another explosive outing.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Trae Young, ATL ($9,700)
Young recorded 44.3 FD points across 35 minutes in his return from a shin injury Wednesday, and he's scored over 43 in all but two games this season.
Jimmy Butler, MIA ($9,000)
Butler racked up 47.3 FD points over 33 minutes in his return from a two-game absence due to a hip injury, and he could potentially take the floor without Tyler Herro (ankle) on Thursday.
Zion Williamson, NOP ($8,800)
Williamson underwhelmed with only 25.5 FD points in 30 minutes against the Bulls on Wednesday, but he should still be popular on the small slate.
Damian Lillard, POR ($8,500)
Lillard has scored 27.6 and 37.7 FD points in his first two games back from a calf injury and faces a Pelicans squad that ranks in the bottom half of the league defensively against point guards.
Kristaps Porzingis, WAS ($8,000)
Porzingis will once again take the floor without Bradley Beal (COVID-19 protocols), a scenario in which he scored 38.1 FD points in 30 minutes Monday.
Kelly Oubre, CHA at MIA ($5,700)
Gordon Hayward (shoulder) will remain out of action Thursday, which will continue to afford Oubre a spot on the starting five. The veteran wing has admittedly disappointed from a fantasy perspective in that role over the last three games while averaging just 20.7 FD points, but that's partly been due to atypically low production in rebounds, assists and steals. However, Oubre certainly has the upside for better production with expanded minutes, as he'd clocked 30.2 FD points per game in his first eight contests. Oubre could have a good chance to return to more well-rounded production Thursday, as the Heat are allowing an NBA-high 29.5 offensive efficiency rating to small forwards, along with 50.9 percent shooting, including 43.1 percent from three-point range.
Herbert Jones, NOP vs. POR ($5,000)
Jones put together one of his trademark well-balanced lines Thursday, putting up 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 27 minutes on his way to 34.3 FD points. That followed tallies of 41.8 and 25.4 in the previous two games, and Jones now faces a Trail Blazers squad that ranks No. 18 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to small forwards (22.9) and surrenders 39.7 FD points per game to the position. Portland is also conceding the second-most steals per game (9.1), while Jones is averaging 1.2 per contest and has tallied seven thefts in the last three contests alone.
De'Andre Hunter, ATL vs. PHI ($4,800)
Hunter's salary is especially eye-catching for a player who's put up 24.7 to 32.1 FD points in three of his last four games. Of course, Hunter's production does have a rollercoaster quality to it – he's also posted 20.1 FD points or fewer in six contests – but he remains in play for tournaments at his salary Thursday against a 76ers squad that's tied for the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating surrendered to small forwards (24.4 percent). They've also allowed 50.5 percent shooting, including 38.3 percent from behind the arc, to the position.
ALSO CONSIDER: Drew Eubanks, POR at NOP ($3,500)