This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Sundays are one of my favorite slates of the week. The reason for that is we get random football people playing basketball. That caters to lower scores on FanDuel and that's big news for players like us who are doing more homework. With that in mind, let's breakdown this slate!
HOU-MIA: Both of these teams have been playing very fast this season, with Houston ranked first in pace and Miami sitting eighth. That's why we should be looking at a high-scoring game, with a total projected in the 240-range.
SAC-NYK: Both of these teams are 1-5 and this should make for a close game between two bad teams. That's evident by the fact we're looking at a 1.5-point spread in favor of New York with a total of 216.
LAL-SAN: This is projected to be yet another tight matchup, with the Spurs entering as a 0.5-point favorite with a total of 219. The efficiency of these offenses is amazing, with both clubs ranked Top-10 in field goal percentage and offensive rating.
DAL-CLE: These teams rank 16th and 17th in the league when it comes to pace. That tells us very little in terms of how fast this game should be played, as we're looking at a modest 215-point total. The Mavericks also enter as a 4.5-point road favorite. What's interesting is the fact both of these clubs rank Top-10 in rebounding, which tends to lead to lower-scoring games.
UTA-LAC: In the final game of the night, we have two of the best defenses in the league on display. That's why we're looking at a 212-point total, the lowest mark on this slate. It should provide plenty of fantasy value though, with Los Angeles coming in as a 4.5-point favorite.
Point Guard: Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook spotlight the point guard plays and represent the only guys above $8,500. De'Aaron Fox, Mike Conley and Dejounte Murray carve out the mid-tier while Kendrick Nunn, Goran Dragic, Derrick White, Collin Sexton and Patrick Beverley make up the cheaper guys.
Shooting Guard: James Harden enters as the highest-priced shooting guard at $11,200 and Jimmy Butler comes in second at $9,300. While Donovan Mitchell is next at $8,400, we have RJ Barrett, DeMar DeRozan, Buddy Hield and Lou Williams between $6,400 and $7,700. Guys below $5,000 worth considering are Bryn Forbes and Danny Green.
Small Forward: This is all about LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. They are the only guys above $7,000 and it's almost impossible to use both and just as hard to fade both. We'll go over that more later. The next highest player is Justise Winslow at $7,100, but he's hard to trust with his injury status and Jimmy Butler back in the fold. Cheaper guys worth considering include Marcus Morris, Larry Nance, Bojan Bogdanovic, Cedi Osman and Eric Gordon.
Power Forward: Anthony Davis is the highest-priced player of the day at $11,600. Kevin Love, Bam Adebayo, Kristaps Porzingis, Julius Randle and LaMarcus Aldridge all sit between $8,000 and $9,000. Cheaper options include Richaun Holmes and P.J. Tucker, but there's no one worth using below $6,000.
Center: This is easily the shallowest position of the slate. There are no centers above $8,200, with Rudy Gobert, Clint Capela and Tristan Thompson all in that $8,000-range. If you want someone cheap, Dwight Powell, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Howard and Dewayne Dedmon all have potential below $5,000.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Luka Doncic (DAL): Doncic suffered a cut on his head in the last game, but returned to action in overtime. While he's not expected to sit out, Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright would pick up a ton of usage if he does.
Justise Winslow (MIA): Winslow sat out the last game due to a back issue and enters this matchup questionable. If he's gone again, look for Duncan Robinson to start, with Herro and Olynyk picking up some of the slack.
Elfrid Payton/Dennis Smith Jr. (NYK): These two point guards sat out the Friday game and neither is expected to suit up here. While NY will likely go big, it should guarantee Frank Ntilikina big playing time after compiling 37 minutes in a Friday start. Kevin Knox and Wayne Ellington would also see a boost.
Anthony Davis, LAL ($11,600)
Davis enters as the highest-priced player and rightfully so. Not only is he leading all players with 57 FanDuel points per game, he also gets to face a Spurs' defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($10,600)
The biggest question you need to ask yourself on this slate is if you want to start Leonard or James. While King James is coming off his best game of the season, Leonard represents the superior choice. Not only is he averaging more FanDuel points than James, he's also $300 less. In addition, Leonard ranks second in the NBA with a 39 percent usage rate while James is second on his team with a 31 percent rate.
Kendrick Nunn, MIA ($6,200)
Nunn has been chalky in nearly every slate since his breakout and that should remain the case again here. Scoring at least 33 FanDuel points in five of his first six games will do that, especially for a guy who's barely cracking $6,000. Not to mention, he'll be over 50 percent owned if Butler and/or Winslow sits this game out.
Frank Ntilikina, NYK ($3,800)
With Smith and Payton out, Ntilikina should be looking at another 35 minutes of action. He actually received 37 minutes on Friday, providing a season-high 27.6 FD points. That equates to 7X value at this unbelievable price and it would be hard to imagine him not reaching at least 5X value and 30 percent ownership at this silly price.
The reason these two are going to be chalk is they're the clearcut best options at center. The next highest guy is Tristan Thompson and he won't be on many people's radars. After him, you have Montrezl Harrell against the best defense in basketball and a talented Mitchell Robinson, who's barely playing 20 minutes a game. That means these two should swallow up over 50 percent of the ownership at the center position and picking the right one will be critical to success. I'll go ahead and side with Capela because he's in the much more favorable spot. The ridiculous pace of these teams should cater to an athlete like Capela and it gives him more opportunities than Gobert. He's also been more productive than the Frenchman, averaging 33.6 FanDuel points to Gobert's 29.8, despite being $300 cheaper.
Frank Ntilikina, NYK ($3,800)
Yes, he is chalky but it's hard to fade a starting point guard below $4,000 who's going to play at least 30 minutes. Just lock him into every lineup despite the chalk.
Bryn Forbes, SAN ($4,100)
While Forbes is super risky, it's hard to understand why he's so cheap. We're talking about a guy who's averaging 20 FanDuel points per game, which is 5X value on its own. That's backed up by the fact he's averaging 29 minutes and 11.6 shots per game, which is incredible usage from such a reasonably-priced player.
Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL ($4,000)
Finney-Smith isn't going to blow you away with his production, but he's one of the best bets on the board to provide 5X value. That's evident when you see he's averaging 20 FanDuel points per game after dropping a season-best 26 FanDuel points on Friday. Facing Cleveland is a treat too, with the Cavs ranked dead-last in defensive efficiency last season.
While none of these guys are likely to score more than 30-40 FanDuel points, they're all way too cheap with the way they've been playing. Use two or all three of these guys with Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis, then you're good to go!