This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
After a ton of action this weekend, we have a short four-game slate here. There are two games starting earlier in the day, but we're going to focus on the games starting at 6ET since that's where the big prizes pools are at. With that in mind, let's get into that slate!
ORL vs. WSH: This is the first of many contrarian styles. While Orlando sits 29th in pace, Washington plays at the sixth-fastest pace in the league. The Wizards have also been a godsend for fantasy of late, ranking 28th in both defensive efficiency and points allowed while the Magic own a Top-10 defense. That's why Orlando enters this matchup as a 7.5-point favorite.
MEM vs. DEN: While Denver ranks last in pace, Memphis plays at the seventh-fastest pace in the NBA. Those contrary styles should benefit both teams, looking at a 211.5-point total. The Nuggets also enter this matchup as a 6.5-point favorite, making many of the Denver players great options for DFS.
NO vs. GS: This might be an ugly game on the surface, but this should be key for DFS. The reason for that is due to both clubs sitting at the bottom of the league in defensive efficiency. Those horrific numbers look even better when you consider half of these rosters are injured, opening up a ton of DFS value between these teams. We'll go over those injuries later and that should make it more clear on who to use in this game.
LAL vs. ATL: The Lakers enter as a 13.5-point favorite with a total of 218.5. That makes many of the Atlanta players hard to trust, as this game could be over before the fourth quarter begins. The Lakers are pretty simple, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis taking on almost all of the usage while Trae Young should handle most of the Hawks' workload.
PG: Trae Young represents the cream of the crop at $10,400, with no other player sitting above $8,000. Ja Morant and Jamal Murray are both in the $7,000-range while players like Ky Bowman, Frank Jackson and Markelle Fultz make for nice values below $5,000.
SG: With D'Angelo Russell injured, Bradley Beal and Jrue Holiday are the only players above $6,000. If you're looking for someone cheap, Gary Harris, Jordan Poole and Nickeil Alexander-Walker should play big minutes and are priced below $5,500.
SF: LeBron James comes in at $11,800 while Brandon Ingram, Will Barton and Jonathan Isaac make up the next three highest-priced players. All of those guys are questionable coming into this slate, so pivot to cheap guys like E'Twaun Moore, Kenrich Williams or Alec Burks.
PF: Anthony Davis at $11,600 is $4,000 more than the second-highest player at PF, Jabari Parker. Players like Draymond Green, Jaren Jackson, Aaron Gordon and Derrick Favors are priced right around Parker in the $7,000-range. If you want to go cheap, look for Eric Paschall or Nicolo Melli.
C: The battle of the Nikolas! Nikola Vucevic and Nikola Jokic are the two options at center and it'll be a fascinating between them with both guys in brilliant matchups. There's not a whole lot of value unless you want to go risky with guys like Jaxson Hayes, Moritz Wagner or Damian Jones.
Injuries to Monitor
Lonzo Ball (NO): Ball has missed the last four games with a hip injury and it appears he's unlikely to play here. That should guarantee Jrue Holiday more usage and potentially give Frank Jackson another start. With that said, Jackson and Derrick Favors departed Saturday's game with a differing issues and it's a wonder how the Pelicans will even have enough bodies.
Brandon Ingram (NO): Wow, yes, this is another Pelicans player expected to sit out. Ingram is dealing with a knee issue and that should keep Kenrich Williams in the starting lineup, guaranteeing him for nearly 40 minutes of action with all these other injuries.
Picking between Holiday and Beal is a decision you're going to have to make at the SG position. As you'll see later, we believe Beal will be chalky. That makes me want to lean towards Holiday, especially with all the players missing in New Orleans. Not to mention, Beal faces a slow-paced Orlando team who allows the fewest fantasy points in the league to opposing shooting guards while Holiday squares off with a Golden State team who sits dead-last in defensive efficiency.
The Nikola battle at center is a fascinating lineup decision at the center position. These happen to be the only centers above $7,200, with Jokic sitting at $9,400 and Vucevic being $8,800. What's funny is both of these guys enjoy fantastic matchups facing teams who sit Top-7 in pace and Bottom-5 in total defense. We'll go ahead and ride with Vucevic, simply because he's the cheaper player on the thinner roster.
This is the toughest call of the day. Both of these guys are the most expensive players on the board and they're the only ones above $11,000. What makes it even more difficult is the fact both guys are averaging 52 FanDuel points per game, seemingly switching off good games. We'll go ahead and go with LeBron because he's been playing better and seems to have the better matchup. In fact, James is averaging 56.2 FD points over his last eight games. In addition, the Hawks allow the second-most fantasy points in the league to opposing point guards, which is James' true position.
Bradley Beal (WSH)
Beal has racked up 127.6 combined FanDuel points over his last two games and that's going to make a lot of people click the green plus mark next to his name. I wouldn't do that though with the aforementioned matchup and Holiday being in a much better spot.
Jabari Parker (ATL)
Parker has been chalky on every slate for the past month and I expect that to be the case again here. The John Collins suspension is the reason why, with Parker scoring at least 30 FanDuel points in seven-straight games. This might be OK chalk to swallow, but be prepared to see him at 20 percent ownership or higher.
All of the injuries in Golden State should make one or two of these guys chalky and we'll go with Paschall and Bowman since they'll likely be starting. Paschall is averaging 24 FanDuel points per game and is being priced very reasonably at $5,000. Bowman is just $3,800 and played at least 35 minutes in the three games without Russell earlier this season.
Alec Burks, GS at NO ($4,500)
Burks is also a guy who could be chalky, but he's probably the best value on the slate. The reason for that is due to the Warriors being without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and D'Angelo Russell. That leaves Burks as the primary scorer and playmaker, which is evident when you see he has a 24 percent usage rate with this current roster while averaging 31 FD points over his last six games. Don't forget about Jordan Poole at $4,400, as he should play 30 minutes and take double-digit shots against a 29th-ranked Pelicans' defense.
Kenrich Williams. NO vs. GS ($4,800)
With half of the Pelicans roster on the sidelines, Williams has found himself in quite the role. In fact, Williams is averaging 31 FD points across 32.3 minutes of play over his last three games. That's tough to fade below $5,000 and he might get overlooked with all of the value in Golden State.
All of these Pelicans should be great values, as they may be running out a seven-man rotation with so many injuries. Look at Holiday, Williams, Moore, Alexander-Walker, Hayes and Melli to play huge minutes.