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Thursday's seven-game NBA slate will begin at 7 p.m. Most of the ideal fantasy plays appear to be on the more expensive side, but we've done our research to help you get the best bang for your buck ahead of tip-off. Two scoring guards and one role-playing wing stand out from the rest ahead of the action.

Are you looking for strong returns? Here's who you should keep an eye on as you look to build optimal lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel: 

Stud: De'Aaron Fox

De'Aaron Fox
SAC • PG • #5
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The Golden State Warriors simply don't have the perimeter defense to slow down Fox. The Sacramento Kings point guard is having the best scoring season of his career and has already torched the Dubs twice. He's averaging 34.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game against Golden State in 2023-24. He logged at least 39 minutes in both of those contests. Fantasy managers should expect him to bounce back following his 5-for-16 shooting night against the Atlanta Hawks.

Mid-tier: Collin Sexton

Collin Sexton
UTA • SG • #2
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Sexton has found new life as the Utah Jazz's starting point guard. He was one of two players who got going against the New Orleans Pelicans and scored 22 points in 24 minutes on 9-of-12 shooting. Now he'll get a chance to torch one of the league's worst defenses. He's averaging 22.3 points, 5.4 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game in January and could erupt against the Washington Wizards' backcourt. 

Value: Nicolas Batum

Nicolas Batum
PHI • PF • #40
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There aren't a ton of strong, cheap plays on Thursday but Batum is one of the more interesting options. Marcus Morris (foot) is doubtful and Tobias Harris missed the Philadelphia 76ers' shootaround with an illness. Batum has logged at least 28 minutes in four of his previous five games while averaging 6.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and a block. He does enough of everything to be worth playing. Especially if his team is down so many significant wing pieces.