NBA picks: Knicks’ Jalen Brunson leads lineup of top fantasy options for Thursday

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Five games will make up Thursday’s NBA schedule. The recent Pascal Siakam blockbuster trade that sent the All-Star forward from the Raptors to the Pacers will impact the lineups for those teams on Thursday night, though Siakam is not expected to play with his new squad. There are other options on the slate we feel will be strong fantasy plays.

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

The new-look New York Knicks are now 7-2 and Brunson has flourished since RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley were swapped for OG Anunoby. The point guard has averaged 25.9 points, 8.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds over his previous seven games. Thursday’s matchup against the Washington Wizards should be a cakewalk. Brunson has tallied at least 32 points, seven assists, and three rebounds in each of two meetings with Washington this season. Fantasy managers should expect another big scoring night.

Vucevic has been back in the starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls after serving as a reserve shortly after returning from injury. Bam Adebayo couldn’t capitalize on the Toronto Raptors’ lack of bigs, but Vucevic will. He’s racked up four double-doubles in his last five games while averaging 18.8 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per contest. Vucevic should dominate against a Raptors squad whose frontcourt took a big hit after dealing Siakam to the Indiana Pacers.

Value: GG Jackson

Jackson is about to explode and become fantasy-relevant every week. The Memphis Grizzlies forward has needed to step up for his depleted team and enters Thursday’s game against the Timberwolves having amassed at least 20 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in each of his last two games. The rookie has a path to tons of playing time whether games are competitive or not. Gary Trent Jr. is the only similar cheap value play that can match Jackson’s ceiling.

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