This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Thursday's NBA slate is a modest one, with just three games on tap beginning at 8:00 PM Eastern time. Even with the lack of selection, certain players stand out as value plays at their respective valuations. FanDuel's format only counts the eight highest scores in your nine-player lineup, so keep that in mind when making your selections.
De'Anthony Melton, PHO at POR ($4,500): Melton's coming off a career game, in which the rookie posted 21 points and five assists over 23 minutes. That performance should lead to increased minutes totals if not the starting point guard job for a Suns team that's searching for answers at the position. At just $4,500, Melton should provide terrific bang for the buck.
Emmanuel Mudiay, NY at BOS ($5,700): Mudiay has stepped up in two games since Trey Burke sprained his knee, averaging 22.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 5.5 APG in 36 minutes per contest. With Burke out again here, Mudiay should continue to get plenty of run as New York's starting point guard while being counted upon to provide offense.
James Harden, HOU at UTA ($11,400): With plenty of enticing affordable options in this slate, clearing out cap space for Harden should be a priority. He's exceeded 40.0 fantasy points in every appearance this season and carries an immense ceiling with performances of 81.1 and 73.7 among his past five games. Utah's defense has looked more human this season with 107.8 points allowed per game, so Harden shouldn't have a problem posting one of his typically gaudy stat lines.
Damyean Dotson, NY at BOS ($5,800): One of a few young Knicks progressing under coach David Fizdale, Dotson's scored 16-plus points in four consecutive games while piling up at least 31.3 fantasy points in each of the past three. A three-and-D wing who's also showing promising proficiency on the glass (nine rebounds Monday), Dotson's worth a look in a slate that's thin on healthy and impactful shooting guards.
Gordon Hayward, BOS vs. NY ($6,400): Hayward finally looked back to his old self Saturday, posting season highs across the board with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. The former Jazz star will have a great chance to build on that performance against a Knicks team that's allowing 114.4 points per game – fifth-most in the league and most in this slate.
Mikal Bridges, PHO at POR ($4,900): Bridges is starting to get extended run, including a career-high 34 minutes Tuesday with Devin Booker out due to a hamstring injury. The league-ready defender contributed three steals and two blocks in that one, and Bridges should get ample opportunity to put his two-way skills on display again with Booker set to sit out once more. Much like his teammate, Melton, Bridges is an affordable player worth picking up given his recent increase in role.
Al-Farouq Aminu, POR vs. PHO ($5,900): Aminu has picked up his offensive game recently, averaging 17.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG in the past three. Phoenix's defense comes in ranked just ahead of New York's with 114.0 points allowed per game, so Aminu is primed to keep rolling on that end. He's also a fantasy difference-maker on defense, having racked up at least one steal in each of the past 10 games and 15 of the last 16.
Kevin Knox, NY at BOS ($5,400): Knox is one of the youngest players in the NBA, so it's not surprising that it took him some time to adjust at this level. The rookie first-rounder certainly looks to be progressing now, backing up Saturday's 26-point performance in 36 minutes with a well-rounded eight points, nine boards and four dimes over 27 minutes Monday. Don't be surprised if Knox outproduces the 11 points and nine rebounds he put up during New York's Nov. 21 win in Boston, with the potential for much more if his shot's falling.
Al Horford, BOS vs. NY ($6,900): New York allocates big minutes to defensively-challenged big man Enes Kanter, and Horford took advantage of that matchup in their last meeting with a season-high 46.9 fantasy points. Given the Knicks' overall struggles on the defensive end, it's worth locking in Horford at $6,900 in hopes of a repeat performance.