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NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Thursday, March 2

Injury Situations to Monitor


Joel Embiid, PHI (foot): QUESTIONABLE Embiid was a same-day scratch for Wednesday's game against the Heat, and if he misses a second straight contest, Paul Reed, who posted a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double off the bench versus Miami, could be in for extended minutes off the bench while Tyrese Maxey will remain in the starting five. Tyrese Haliburton, IND (calf): QUESTIONABLE If Haliburton is out, T.J. McConnell will likely take on starting point guard duties, while the rest of the starting five would be boosted. Keldon Johnson, SAN (foot): QUESTIONABLE If Johnson can't play, Doug McDermott will likely slot into the starting five. Tre Jones, SAN (foot): QUESTIONABLE If Jones sits out, Devonte' Graham could be in for a spot start at point guard, considering Malaki Branham (back) is also questionable. Other notable injuries: Stephen Curry, GSW (lower leg): OUT Andrew Wiggins, GSW (personal): OUT Monte Morris, WAS (back): OUT Jordan Poole, GSW (knee): PROBABLE Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): PROBABLE Elite Players We have four players with five-figure salaries on Thursday's slate – Luka Doncic ($12,000), Joel Embiid ($11,800), James Harden ($10,300) and Kawhi Leonard ($10,000). Doncic has scored 55.4 to 65.3 FD points in four of the last five games but will be facing a 76ers team that's been tough on point guards all season. Embiid's health status will need to be closely monitored since he missed Wednesday's game with a foot injury, but if he does suit up, he'll be looking to build on a stretch where he's exceeded 60 FD points in three of the last four games. Harden could take the floor without Embiid and hasn't scored fewer than 44.8 FD points in nine straight. He averages 51.6 FD points per 36 minutes and sports a 31.6 percent usage rate without Embiid on the floor. Leonard has scored over 44 FD points in three of the last five contests, including a 52.4 FD-point tally against this same Warriors squad five games ago. Expected Chalk Other likely chalk plays include: Kyrie Irving, DAL ($9,600) Irving has been somewhat of a disappointment after a hot start in Dallas, but he should still be very popular on the small slate. Bradley Beal, WAS ($9,400) Beal scored 52.1 FD points in his most recent contest versus the Hawks, his second time exceeding 50 in the last four. Paul George, LAC ($9,000) George has put up 55.5 and 42.7 FD points in two of his last three games and faces a depleted Warriors team that'll still be missing Curry and Wiggins. Myles Turner, IND ($8,600) Turner may take the floor without Haliburton and is in an excellent matchup for centers, as the Spurs are allowing the second-highest offensive efficiency rating to the position (36.2). Key Values Buddy Hield, IND at SAN ($5,900) Hield is another player poised to benefit from a potential Haliburton absence Thursday, as the veteran wing has averaged 33.4 FD points per 36 minutes without his teammate on the floor. Hield is an appealing play at his salary regardless, as the Spurs could be down multiple starters and allow 41.4 FD points per game to small forwards in the last 30 games. Additionally, Hield is shooting a blistering 43.8 percent from three-point range in the last 15 contests, while San Antonio is allowing an NBA-high 39.5 percent success rate from behind the arc. Kevon Looney, GSW vs. LAC ($5,700) Looney is averaging 40 FD points per 36 minutes without Curry and Wiggins on the floor this season, and he's put up 31.7 FD points across 26 minutes per contest over the last seven contests. That stretch includes 32.3 FD points across 27 minutes against the Clippers on Feb. 14, and Los Angeles is allowing the 10th-highest offensive efficiency rating to centers (32.7) and the fifth-most FD points per game to fives (61.7) in the last seven games. LA also allows an NBA-high 70 points in the paint over the previous three games, while Looney is scoring a career-high 80.6 percent of his points in that part of the floor. Jeremy Sochan, SAN vs. IND ($5,400) Sochan has scored 31.2 and 28.2 FD points in his last two games, and he's averaging an impressive 26.8 FD points while shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range in the last 13 contests. The rookie now faces a Pacers squad giving up an NBA-high 28.5 offensive efficiency rating to power forwards, along with the sixth-most FD points per game to the position in the last 15 games (48.3). Sochan could also be playing without two fellow starters in Jones and Johnson, a scenario in which he averages 38.7 FD points per 36 minutes. ALSO CONSIDER: Bennedict Mathurin, IND at SAN ($5,200); Jonathan Kuminga, GSW vs. LAC ($4,500); Paul Reed, PHI at DAL ($4,000)

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