This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Because today is the big day for the NFL, we have only four games on this NBA slate with all of them being early. That leaves slim pickings in terms of DFS, but it's still a good day to make some cash before the big game. With that in mind, let's get into this short slate!
DET vs. DEN: This is expected to be the closest game of the day. We have the Nuggets entering this matchup as a 2.5-point favorite with a 218-point total. That total might be even higher than it should be, with the Nuggets sitting 29th in pace and Detroit ranked 23rd.
HOU vs. NOP: If there's a game you want to stack, this is the one. That's because both clubs rank Top-10 in pace, which is why we're looking at this absurd 245-point total. That's actually one of the largest totals all season and it should make for some fireworks between two potent offenses.
MIL vs. PHX: This matchup should also be high-scoring, with Milwaukee playing at the fastest pace in the NBA and Phoenix ranked as a below-average defense. That's why we have a 233-point total with the Bucks entering this matchup as a 12.5-point favorite.
TOR vs. CHI: This is anticipated to be the lowest-scoring game of the night, with Toronto entering as a 10.5-point favorite with a 217-point total. That's no surprise when you see both sides rank Top-10 in total defense, but the Raptors should cruise with half of the Bulls' roster injured.
PG: Russell Westbrook is $4,000 higher than anyone else here, sitting at $11.200. Derrick Rose, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry follow him up right around $7,000. Eric Bledsoe and Ricky Rubio are nice values in the $6,000 range while Coby White, Tomas Satoransky, Monte Morris and Reggie Jackson all make for cheap pivots.
SG: James Harden is at $11,000 while Devin Booker comes next at $8,900. Zach LaVine and Jrue Holiday sit around $8,000 while Fred VanVleet and Khris Middleton are flirting with $7,000. The cheap options are terrible at this position, but you can pivot to Torrey Craig or Malik Beasley with all of the injuries in Denver.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo is the highest priced player on the slate at $11,600. Pascal Siakam is at $8,500 while Brandon Ingram sits at $7,700. Kelly Oubre Jr and Will Barton represent great options in the $6,000s while Danuel House and Chandler Hutchison make for decent cheap considerations.
PF: This is undoubtedly the weakest position on the slate. Zion Williamson and Jerami Grant are in the $6,000s up top while Serge Ibaka, Derrick Favors and Thaddeus Young are between $5,200 and $5,800. Luke Kornet, Christian Wood and P.J. Tucker are all in play below $5,000.
Injuries to Monitor
Paul Millsap/Mason Plumlee/Jamal Murray/Michael Porter (DEN): All of these guys remain out for Denver and Nikola Jokic has been fantastic in their absences. It has also forced Monte Morris and Jerami Grant into the starting lineup, with both guys also being solid options.
Clint Capela (HOU): Capela remains out because of a heel issue. Danuel House has actually moved into the starting lineup with Houston playing small, averaging 36 minutes played over his last three games.
Dario Saric/Frank Kaminsky/Aron Baynes (PHX): All three of these frontcourt players have forced Deandre Ayton into about a 40-minute role. It's also made Mikal Bridges fantasy-relevant and allowed Kelly Oubre Jr to pull down more rebounds.
Ricky Rubio (PHX): Rubio enters this matchup questionable with an ankle issue. If he's not able to go, look for Devin Booker to slide over to point guard and for Mikal Bridges and Elie Okobo to pick up more minutes.
Kris Dunn/Lauri Markkanen/Wendell Carter/Otto Porter Jr (CHI): Despite the fact every Chicago player is seemingly on the injury report, these are the four that will surely be out. That has moved Thaddeus Young into the starting lineup and forced Zach LaVine into nearly 40 percent usage. Look for Chandler Hutchison or Coby White to start for Dunn.
With such limited options at center, these two will likely make up for at least half of the ownership at the position. The guy we're going to go with is Jokic. The reason for that is because he's been better recently and gets the far superior matchup. Not only is Denver a Top-5 defense, Detroit currently sits 21st in defensive efficiency.
These three come in as the highest-priced players on the slate with price tags all above $11,000 and it's going to be critical to pick the right two. What we're going to do is fade Giannis at small forward and ride these Rockets. The reason for that is because they're cheaper and are expected to be in a much more favorable game. Not only is their spread closer, it happens to be highest-projected game on the slate by a significant margin. That means Westbrook and Harden could each play 10 more minutes than Giannis and that alone makes them better choices at cheaper prices in what should be a wild contest.
James Harden, HOU ($11,000)
It's strange to see Harden this cheap. And on a short slate like this, he's going to be owned by everyone. We're talking about a guy who scored 72 FanDuel points on Friday and is averaging over 57 fantasy points per game for the season. That's scary with him facing a 29th-ranked Pelicans' defense and he'll likely be the first player that most people put into their lineups. This might be chalk you have to swallow.
Serge Ibaka, TOR ($5,800)
This price simply makes no sense and it's going to make Ibaka the highest-owned player out there. It's the absence of Marc Gasol that really adds to his value, inserting him into the starting lineup. If you look at the 14 games Gasol has missed, Ibaka is averaging nearly 40 FD points per game. That makes him hard to fade below $6,000, especially against a Bulls' team with no healthy frontcourt players.
Derrick Favors, NOP ($5,300)
Favors' role has been a little diminished since Zion Williamson entered the fold, but he's still been way too good to be priced this cheaply. Over his last 17 games played, Favors is averaging 32.9 FanDuel points across 27.1 minutes per outing. That's the production of a $7,000 player and we love that he faces a 24th-ranked Rockets' defense without Clint Capela.
Danuel House, HOU ($4,200)
House is the guy who's benefiting from Capela's absence, shifting into the starting lineup. Over the last three games, House is averaging 31.7 FD points across 36 minutes per outing. That's an absurd role from a $4,200 player and it's even more tempting when you see that New Orleans owns a 26th OPRK against opposing SFs this season.