The NBA has only two games on Thursday night, making for an extremely sparse schedule. There will be lots of overlap in player usage across rosters, and therefore the difference in tonight’s contest likely comes down to guessing right on who will hit on the upper parts of their expected value. Let’s see if we can help you make some of those guesses more educated.
James Harden, HOU at PHO ($12,500): Harden is the most productive superstar guard going right now, and has produced between 50 and 81 fantasy points in six straight games. Chris Paul is expected to play limited minutes on Thursday, but seems unlikely to eat much into Harden’s production in that time. Harden is very high priced, though, so if you’re tempted to fade him you’d likely want to go forward with two mid-priced guys with upside like Devin Booker ($7,600) and Klay Thompson ($6,800), then perhaps pay for a high-priced monster at another position like Kevin Durant ($10,500).
Devin Booker, PHO vs HOU ($7,600): Booker is priced slightly lower than point guard Kyrie Irving, but has been playing better with solidly higher recent upside production than Irving. Booker is coming off consecutive games in which he has averaged 35.5 points, 6.5 boards and 4.5 assists, and he will be looked upon to lead the Suns’ offense on Thursday against the juggernaut Rockets scoring machine.
Terry Rozier, BOS vs GS ($4,400): Rozier laid an unexpected egg in his last outing, by far his worst performance of the season, and far out of character with the 30 fantasy points he was averaging in the three games going into that one. Call that a fluke, which makes him a good bounce-back candidate at a great price on Thursday.
Draymond Green, GS at BOS ($8,200): Kevin Durant ($10,500) is the obvious choice here, and he projects as a good play as well. However, in the last couple of games, Green has produced almost the exact same number of fantasy points as Durant, he’s much cheaper, and he also has a great match-up against a Celtics squad that often runs the undersized Jayson Tatum at power forward.
TJ Warren, PHO vs HOU ($7,200): Warren is streaky, with lots of highs and lows. But his highs are very high, and he’s had them relatively often in recent weeks. He’s coming off consecutive games in which he averaged 29 points, seven boards and 1.5 combined blocks/steals. Along with Devin Booker, Warren is regularly leading the Suns’ offensive attack.
Marcus Morris, BOS vs GS ($5,000): Morris is just one of the frontcourt cogs for the Celtics, but he tends to produce when called upon. His expected value is in the mid-20s of fantasy points, but he has upside as evidenced by his 21-point, 10-rebound double-double in his last outing.
Al Horford, BOS vs GS ($7,500): Horford is steadily productive, picking up after his injury absence with two games that hover right around his season average of 34.2 fantasy points per game. The Warriors are hard on centers, but Horford has the quickness and versatility to be on the court even when the Dubs go small.
Clint Capela, HOU at PHO ($7,400): Capela has grabbed double-digit rebounds in four straight games, is a nightly 15 and 10 threat, and puts up great block and steal numbers as well. He should get what he wants against the Suns, with a potential blowout as the main reason for any potential concern.
Alex Len, PHO vs HOU ($4,800): Len is risky. He’s coming off two straight games with averages in the upper teens, after a 41.1 fantasy point explosion, before which he dropped only 5.6 fantasy points. However, Tyson Chandler is out on Thursday with an illness, which could give Len the chance to have one of his “up” games.