Basketball fans are in for a bit of a letdown after Wednesday's massive 13-game slate. Thursday's only matchup will be a battle between the Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons. While the league as a whole will have a slow night, taking note of who's trending in the right and wrong directions ahead of Friday's slate is still important. We'll go over who's hot, who's not, and give a DFS play for Thursday here.
Tatum is looking like a legitimate MVP contender this season and returned from a one-game layoff over the weekend to kick off Week 7 with a pair of extremely strong stat lines. The Boston Celtics swingman put up a season-high 49 points and hit eight of his 12 long-range attempts against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. He also grabbed 11 rebounds in the contest. Tatum has averaged 42.0 points and 7.0 rebounds on 56.6 percent shooting over his previous two games.
Few people thought Booker would improve upon his 44-point outburst from Monday in Week 7, but he did just that on Wednesday. The Phoenix Suns guard torched the Chicago Bulls for a season-high 51 points with four rebounds and six assists in three quarters. He's now averaging 30.7 points, 6.4 assists, and 6.4 rebounds on 49.2 percent shooting through 11 games without Chris Paul this season. Booker's recent hot streak has helped him gain ground on other shooting guards, and he's comfortably the top-ranked Fantasy option at his position.
CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram have missed two straight games, so the New Orleans Pelicans have essentially been the Williamson show this week. The oft-injured forward dominated the Toronto Raptors with 33 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and two blocks on Wednesday. He shot 80 percent from the field in the matchup. Williamson started off slowly after returning from a three-game injury layoff but has averaged 22.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists since returning to action.
Melton got a health boost in productivity after James Harden and Tyrese Maxey went down with foot injuries, but Shake Milton has been Philly's more impressive guard as of late. Melton's steal numbers have been impressive; he has rattled off seven straight multi-steal games. However, he's averaged just 10.5 points and 3.3 assists while shooting less than 40 percent from the field over his past four games. Those aren't the kind of numbers you want to see from a starter in season-long leagues or from a consistent DFS play.
Thursday DFS play
There aren't a lot of options on the table given that there's just one NBA game on Thursday, but Kleber could be a essential value play in single-game DFS contests. Christian Wood (illness) popped up as a late add on the injury report, so the Dallas Mavericks could be limited behind Dwight Powell at center. JaVale McGee is hardly part of the rotation anymore and Kleber has averaged 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists on 26.2 minutes per night off the pine over his past three games.
Still deciding who to lock in for your DFS roster? We've identified a player worth locking in and one to avoid ahead of tip-off below, but you can get my full selection of stud and value plays at each position by heading over to SportsLine.