FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We have a compact four-game slate projected to tilt toward defense and semi-comfortable victories for the favorites, while certainly not the optimal DFS environment. But there will still be plenty of big names on the floor, so we could certainly see some very rewarding individual DFS scores coming out of the night.

Slate Overview

Los Angeles Lakers (-7) at Detroit Pistons (O/U: 212.5 points) 

Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns (-7.5) (O/U: 209.5 points) 

New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls (-5) (O/U: 211.0 points) 

Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors (-9.5) (O/U: 216.5) 

As just alluded to, we'll have plenty of explosive individual players to choose from for our lineups on this four-game ledger considering the likes of Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, Stephen Curry and DeMar DeRozan are among those in action. There are a couple of other stars sporting injury designations – which we'll cover shortly – that could also have a chance to take the floor.

With respect to identifying a matchup that could exceed expectations, the Raptors-Warriors clash shapes up as one such scenario. Toronto only has an 8-9 record overall, but is 6-3 on the road, making them an interesting potential foil for the Warriors' home-floor dominance. The spread has actually been on the move in favor of Golden State, going from -8 to -9.5 over the early hours Sunday. 

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following is a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate. 

Nikola Jokic, DEN (wrist)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

If Jokic were to sit out a second straight game, the duo of JaMychal Green and Jeff Green would be tasked with handling center duties while the remaining members of the starting five would see elevated usage.

Anthony Davis, LAL (thigh)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Davis is expected to continue playing through his thigh issue and would project for particularly elevated usage should LeBron James (abdomen) be given the night off.

LeBron James, LAL (abdomen)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

James could sit after returning from his extended absence Friday against the Celtics and logging 32 minutes. Talen Horton-Tucker, who's already thrived in a couple of starts, would draw the start at small forward in that case. 

OG Anunoby, TOR (hip)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

If Anunoby sits out a third straight game, Svi Mykhailiuk and Scottie Barnes would likely be primary beneficiaries. 

Other notable injuries: 

Nikola Vucevic, CHI (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT 

Michael Porter, DEN (back)/ Status: OUT 

Frank Kaminsky, PHO (knee)/ Status: OUT 

Kelly Olynyk, DET (knee)/ Status: OUT 

Mitchell Robinson, NYK (nose)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Isaiah Stewart, DET (ankle)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Killian Hayes, DET (thumb)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Gary Payton, GSW (abdomen)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Nemanja Bjelica, GSW (ribs)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Obi Toppin, NYK (leg)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Otto Porter, GSW (foot)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Javonte Green, CHI (ankle)/ Status: PROBABLE 

Elite Players

We have four players with five-figure salaries on Sunday's slate – Nikola Jokic ($11,300), Stephen Curry ($10,800), Anthony Davis ($10,300) and LeBron James ($10,000)

As alluded to earlier, Jokic's status will bear monitoring after he already missed Friday against the Bulls. If he does play, he'll have a relatively favorable matchup against a Suns team ranked in the bottom-half of the league in offensive efficiency allowed to centers.

Curry got some rest for his sore hip Friday, but is off the injury report tonight and has scored 52.3 FD points or more in four straight.

Davis bounced back to post 49.2 FD points against the Celtics on Friday after a couple of down efforts and could be playing without LeBron James, which would boost AD's prospects.

James is questionable and his status will bear monitoring throughout the day.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:

Russell Westbrook, LAL ($9,500) 

Westbrook's production continues to have some ebb and flow to it, but the veteran point guard still be very popular on such a small slate and with the possibility of another LeBron absence.

Chris Paul, PHO ($8,900) 

Paul is coming off having scored 49 FD points against the Mavericks on Friday and should continue to be heavily rostered in a favorable positional matchup against Denver.

DeMar DeRozan, CHI ($8,500) 

DeRozan has been excellent all season and has dropped 45.2 to 53.6 FD points in three of the last four contests, making his current salary a potential bargain.

Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,100) 

Siakam exploded for 45.1 FD points over 30 minutes in his most recent game and has also scored 37.2 and 50.9 in two other over the last four, numbers that should help keep him on plenty of rosters on the small slate.

Zach LaVine ($7,900) 

LaVine is averaging 38.7 FD points and is coming off a pair of 30-point performances, the most recent having netted his highest FD-point tally (49) since Opening Night. Given he's already exceeded 40 FD points on six occasions overall early on, his salary should make him a very popular play. 

Key Values 

Scottie Barnes, GSW vs. TOR ($6,300)

Barnes has logged four straight efforts with less than 30 FD points, so his popularity could take a hit. Given his upside and the fact OG Anunoby (hip) could sit out again, that could make Barnes a potentially rewarding tournament play against a Warriors team that will bring a nice bump in pace. It's also worth noting he's averaging 30.6 FD points per 36 minutes without Anunoby on the floor, and Golden State is allowing 43.8 FD points per game to power forwards. 

Evan Fournier, NYK at CHI ($4,500) 

Fournier has seen a precipitous salary drop since early in the season, largely the byproduct of a recent four-game slump where he shot just 30.8 percent - including 21.4 from distance. However, he's naturally capable of eclipsing 30 FD points with a hot hand, and he did bounce back to score 29.4 across 30 minutes against the Rockets last time out and has delivered over 5x his current salary in half of his 16 appearances.

ALSO CONSIDER: Will Barton, DEN at PHO ($6,500)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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