HomeBasketballFantasy basketball tips and projections for Thursday

Fantasy basketball tips and projections for Thursday


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ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. Fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

New this season, ESPN Analytics will also generate daily NBA fantasy projections. By combining historical player and team data and specific game factors ESPN is able to accurately predict player box score stats. Accounting for injuries, trends in playing time, and other factors impacting future performance the statistical models can be used to help NBA fantasy players gain an edge in their league.

What you need to know for Thursday’s games

After weeks of speculation and supposition, trade day is here. It’s possible that the most influential moves, such as the Toronto Raptors moving two home-grown icons, have already been completed. It’s also possible Thursday’s deadline inspires a flurry of impact transactions in a league now driven by parity among the contending class.

The mystery of such an unpredictable market tasks fantasy managers to be active and proactive in working the waiver wire, free agency and trade proposals. ESPN’s fantasy hoops crew recently conducted a roundtable on players potentially gaining or losing value if dealt today, revealing the likes of Andre Drummond and Caris LeVert could be empowered via ideal landing spots. That article can be considered a worthy example for how us fantasy gamers can prepare to pounce based on whatever Woj posts throughout the day.

Amid the endless texts and calls between NBA front offices today, there are nine games on Thursday’s schedule. The first tip positions the Golden State Warriors against the Atlanta Hawks in a contest with the highest total of the slate at 249.5 points on ESPN BET. Both rosters produce meaningful streamers in the section below.

LeVert’s white-hot Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Brooklyn Nets, with the latter roster sitting several starting wings. Such a busy injury report for Brooklyn creates value for managers to consider, namely with Ben Simmons and Royce O’Neale.

Another matchup in New York City is found in Manhattan, with the New York Knicks hosting the Dallas Mavericks in a game tied for the third-highest total of the day. With OG Anunoby and Julius Randle sidelined for this one, a pair of Villanova products make their way to the top tier of the stream team.

The marquee matchup in real NBA terms might just be the Minnesota Timberwolves traveling to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Timberwolves just acquired a deft backup distributor in Monte Morris, while rumors have the Bucks searching for more creation and two-way guard contributions ahead of this afternoon’s deadline.

Thursday is the day that rumors become realized or refuted, jerseys and addresses changed in the stroke of a social media post. Enjoy the action, and be prepared to act.

Thursday’s Stream Team

This segment nominates three key streaming options ahead of that day’s action. A streamer, by our standards, is a player available in at least half of ESPN men’s basketball leagues.

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Knicks (37.0% rostered in ESPN leagues): Already thriving with increased offensive work sans Randle front the rotation, the absence of Anunoby’s volume from beyond the arc drives even more upside for DiVincenzo in this matchup. Even a recent injury to Jalen Brunson is worth noting, as DiVincenzo could carry more creation duties into this matchup with Dallas.

Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, Hawks (51.1% rostered): Clint Capela is sidelined for at least the next few games, which vaults Okongwu into a massive role on both sides of the floor. With double-double appeal and valuable defensive rates defining his profile, Okongwu is in a nice spot against the Warriors. Forward Saddiq Bey (22.1%) could also thrive as a floor-spacer and rebounder in an uptempo environment.

Jonathan Kuminga, SF/PF, Warriors (53.9%): DiVincenzo is the most-added player in ESPN leagues during the past week, while Kuminga is the second-most popular in this regard. A popular and steady inclusion in this space in recent weeks, it’s time to roster Kuminga universally, especially ahead of an inviting matchup with a Hawks team lean on defensive stoppers.

Ben Simmons, PG/PF, Nets (51.3%): Cam Thomas and Dorian Finney-Smith are listed as out for tonight’s game, which could equate to more work for Simmons as a perimeter stopper and transition creator. O’Neale (23.3%) has scored at least 15 points in the past two outings and also brings a nice blend of defense and passing to the court.

Josh Hart, SG/SF, Knicks (38.4%): The collective of Wildcats have done wonders for the Knicks’ culture and competitive spirit, with Hart as a valued glue guy capable of building busy box scores even when his shot isn’t falling. The absence of two starting forwards only adds to the appeal for tonight.

Ayo Dosunmu, SG, Bulls (15.0%): The Bulls could be active in making deals including some veteran players, which could lead to more work for this young guard. Even if such deals don’t transpire, Dosunmu has become a more integral part of the rotation in recent weeks and is in a ripe spot to produce against a Memphis roster eroded by injuries.

Projections and Injury Reports

Fantasy projections powered by ESPN Analytics* Projections assume all players who are listed as GTD will play. Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com. Players available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues are listed in italics.

Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers
7 p.m. Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

BPI Projection: Pacers in the highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Warriors: Andrew Wiggins, (GTD – Ankle); Draymond Green, (GTD – Knee); Gary Payton II, (OUT – Hamstring); Chris Paul, (OUT – Hand)
Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, (GTD – Illness); Jalen Smith, (GTD – Back); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD – Hamstring)

Warriors projections:

Pacers projections:

San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic
7 p.m. Amway Center, Orlando

BPI Projection: Magic in the 7th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Spurs: Charles Bassey, (OUT – Knee)
Magic: None reported

Spurs projections:

Magic projections:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets
7:30 p.m. Barclays Center, New York

BPI Projection: Cavaliers in the 9th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson, (OUT – Suspension); Ty Jerome, (OUT – Ankle)
Nets: Cameron Johnson, (OUT – Thigh); Dorian Finney-Smith, (OUT – Ankle); Lonnie Walker IV, (OUT – Hamstring); Day’Ron Sharpe, (OUT – Knee); Dariq Whitehead, (OUT – Lower Leg)

Cavaliers projections:

  • Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG: 51.1 FPTS (27.6 pts, 4.7 reb, 6.5 ast, 3.3 3PM)

  • Jarrett Allen, C: 33.0 FPTS (15.3 pts, 10.3 reb, 2.7 ast)

  • Darius Garland, PG: 29.0 FPTS (16.2 pts, 2.1 reb, 4.8 ast)

  • Evan Mobley, PF/C: 28.4 FPTS (13.9 pts, 7.9 reb, 2.9 ast)

  • Max Strus, SG/SF: 24.7 FPTS (10.2 pts, 4.3 reb, 3.1 ast, 2.2 3PM)

  • Caris LeVert, SG/SF: 23.8 FPTS (12.3 pts, 2.7 reb, 3.5 ast)

  • Isaac Okoro, SG/SF: 16.1 FPTS (8.5 pts, 2.7 reb, 1.3 ast)

Nets projections:

Dallas Mavericks at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. Madison Square Garden, New York

BPI Projection: Knicks in the 3rd highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Mavericks: Kyrie Irving, (GTD – Thumb); Luka Doncic, (GTD – Nose); Maxi Kleber, (GTD – Toe); Dante Exum, (OUT – Knee); Dereck Lively II, (OUT – Nose)
Knicks: Duane Washington Jr., (GTD – Thumb); Jalen Brunson, (GTD – Ankle); Jericho Sims, (GTD – Illness); OG Anunoby, (OUT – Elbow); Julius Randle, (OUT – Shoulder); Mitchell Robinson, (OUT – Ankle)

Mavericks projections:

Knicks projections:

Chicago Bulls at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m. FedExForum, Memphis

BPI Projection: Bulls in the 8th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Bulls: Alex Caruso, (GTD – Thigh); Coby White, (GTD – Ankle); Dalen Terry, (GTD – Ankle); Torrey Craig, (GTD – Ankle); Patrick Williams, (OUT – Foot); Lonzo Ball, (OUT – Knee); Zach LaVine, (OUT – Foot)
Grizzlies: Xavier Tillman, (GTD – Knee); Steven Adams, (OUT – Knee); Derrick Rose, (GTD – Ankle); Jaren Jackson Jr., (GTD – Hip); Ziaire Williams, (GTD – Hand); Jake LaRavia, (OUT – Ankle); Brandon Clarke, (OUT – Achilles); Marcus Smart, (OUT – Finger); Desmond Bane, (OUT – Ankle); Ja Morant, (OUT – Shoulder)

Bulls projections:

  • DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF: 44.4 FPTS (24.8 pts, 4.6 reb, 5.3 ast)

  • Nikola Vucevic, C: 40.7 FPTS (18.6 pts, 11.2 reb, 3.4 ast)

  • Coby White, PG/SG: 40.0 FPTS (20.8 pts, 5.0 reb, 5.5 ast, 2.8 3PM)

  • Alex Caruso, PG/SG: 27.2 FPTS (11.4 pts, 4.5 reb, 3.2 ast, 1.9 3PM)

  • Ayo Dosunmu, SG: 22.9 FPTS (11.1 pts, 3.1 reb, 2.4 ast)

  • Andre Drummond, C: 17.9 FPTS (8.2 pts, 7.0 reb, 0.7 ast)

  • Torrey Craig, SF/PF: 15.9 FPTS (6.7 pts, 4.7 reb, 1.0 ast)

Grizzlies projections:

Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee Bucks
8 p.m. Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

BPI Projection: Timberwolves in the 6th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Timberwolves: Shake Milton, (GTD – Not Injury Related); Troy Brown Jr., (GTD – Not Injury Related); Jordan McLaughlin, (GTD – Hip); Leonard Miller, (GTD – Illness); Jaylen Clark, (OUT – Achilles)
Bucks: Brook Lopez, (GTD – Personal); Damian Lillard, (GTD – Ankle); Giannis Antetokounmpo, (GTD – Knee); Jae Crowder, (GTD – Ankle); Khris Middleton, (OUT – Ankle)

Timberwolves projections:

Bucks projections:

Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns
9 p.m. Footprint Center, Phoenix

BPI Projection: Suns in the 2nd highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Jazz: Brice Sensabaugh, (GTD – Hip)
Suns: Bradley Beal, (GTD – Ankle); Devin Booker, (GTD – Hip); Damion Lee, (OUT – Knee)

Jazz projections:

Suns projections:

  • Kevin Durant, SF/PF: 49.0 FPTS (28.7 pts, 6.0 reb, 6.3 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Devin Booker, PG/SG/PF: 47.3 FPTS (27.6 pts, 5.0 reb, 6.9 ast, 2.1 3PM)

  • Bradley Beal, PG/SG: 34.5 FPTS (19.1 pts, 3.9 reb, 5.2 ast)

  • Jusuf Nurkic, C: 29.4 FPTS (12.1 pts, 9.5 reb, 3.8 ast)

  • Grayson Allen, SG: 21.1 FPTS (9.4 pts, 3.8 reb, 2.6 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Eric Gordon, SG/SF: 15.5 FPTS (7.7 pts, 1.7 reb, 1.8 ast)

  • Drew Eubanks, PF: 14.2 FPTS (6.3 pts, 4.6 reb, 1.0 ast)

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
10 p.m. Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

BPI Projection: Nuggets in the 5th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Nuggets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, (GTD – Hamstring); Vlatko Cancar, (OUT – Knee)
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD – Achilles); LeBron James, (GTD – Ankle); Cam Reddish, (OUT – Ankle); Gabe Vincent, (OUT – Knee); Jarred Vanderbilt, (OUT – Foot)

Nuggets projections:

Lakers projections:

Detroit Pistons at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. Moda Center, Portland

BPI Projection: Blazers in the 4th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Pistons: Cade Cunningham, (GTD – Knee); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT – Ankle); Monte Morris, (GTD – Not Injury Related)
Blazers: Deandre Ayton, (GTD – Illness); Jabari Walker, (GTD – Ankle); Jerami Grant, (GTD – Back); Scoot Henderson, (GTD – Foot); Moses Brown, (OUT – Wrist); Shaedon Sharpe, (OUT – Abdomen); Robert Williams III, (OUT – Knee)

Pistons projections:

Blazers projections:

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