DraftKings NBA: Sunday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Sunday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

Los Angeles Lakers at Miami (-4) (o/u 216.5)

Chicago (-3.5) at Orlando (o/u 215.5)

Portland at Toronto (-7.5) (o/u 214.5)

Atlanta at Charlotte (-3) (o/u 236)

Philadelphia (-1) at San Antonio (o/u 222)

Memphis at Dallas (-3.5) (o/u 217.5)

Detroit at Denver (-11) (o/u 217.5)

Brooklyn at Minnesota (-2) (o/u 238)

Jazz at Warriors (-3.5) (o/u 221.5)

We have a strong nine-game main slate, which has picked up in recent weeks as football schedules have decreased. While COVID-19 protocol absences are now minimal, traditional injuries have increased. There are a lot of spots for value as a result and also a few obvious offensive environments to target. Generally speaking, Brooklyn-Minnesota and Atlanta-Charlotte stand out in terms of the latter. As for the former, look for spots where stars are out or positions are depleted. For example, Donovan Mitchell is out for Utah, which opens up a lot of usage and Atlanta's typically crowded wing rotation is suddenly thin. We'll discuss those options and several others in the sections below.  

Injury Situations to Monitor

Anthony Davis, LAL (knee): Questionable

Davis has been out since Dec. 17. Even if he returns, he'll likely be on a minutes limit and isn't a option immediately worth targeting.

LeBron James, LAL (abdomen): Probable

James has regularly been listed as probable this season, but expect him to play barring different news throughout the day.

P.J. Tucker, MIA (calf): Questionable

Tucker exited Friday's game early. If he is unable to go, Caleb Martin and Max Strus should benefit.

Dennis Smith, POR (ankle): Probable

Smith is likely to suit up, though he shouldn't be projected for a significant role.

Nassir Little, POR (knee): Probable

Assuming Little is capable of playing big minutes, he should assume more responsibility with Norman Powell and Larry Nance still sidelined.

Kevin Huerter, ATL (hip): Questionable

Danilo Gallinari, ATL (Achilles): Questionable

These two injuries will be worth monitoring. With Bogdan Bogdanovic also sidelined, a lot of minutes could open on the wing for De'Andre Hunter and perhaps even Lou Williams if both Huerter and Gallinari are out. 

Brandon Clarke, MEM (back): Questionable

Steven Adams, MEM (ankle): Questionable

If this duo can't go, the frontcourt will belong to Jaren Jackson. Xavier Tillman and Killian Tillie would also qualify as deeper potential beneficiaries. If only Adams is out, Clarke should be in an even better position to continue his recent strong run. 

Killian Hayes, DET (hip): Questionable  

Cory Joseph has logged 37 and 35 minutes respectively in each of Detroit's last two with Hayes sidelined. With Frank Jackson already ruled out, Joseph would be in a decent position to produce again if Hayes doesn't play. If Hayes returns, it likely won't be in his full role and that will make the position a mess and one to avoid.

Jeff Green, DEN (quadriceps): Questionable

JaMychal Green, DEN (COVID-19 protocols): Questionable

If both Greens can't go, Denver could opt to play small and shift Aaron Gordon to the four. In that scenario, Facundo Campazzo and Bones Hyland could benefit. If the team plays a more traditional lineup, Zeke Nnaji could be an interesting punt play. Check back on our minutes projections closer to lock once more news (and hopefully clarity) comes in. 

Nicolas Claxton, BKN (hamstring): Questionable

Claxton has been out for six consecutive games. His return would cap the minutes of LaMarcus Aldridge and minimize Day'Ron Sharpe's role.

Patrick Beverley, MIN (ankle): Questionable

If Beverley cannot return, Malik Beasley should see increased minutes. The problem is that his contributions come primarily through points, so he isn't necessarily a great value - even at $4,100.

Jordan McLaughlin, MIN (conditioning): Questionable

McLaughlin has been sidelined since Jan. 15 due to COVID-19 protocols. He didn't see regular minutes before that and isn't likely to see a big role today, but could slightly benefit from the absence of Beverley.

Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA (finger): probable

Bogdanovic saw his field-goal attempts spike to 27 on Wednesday in the absence of Donovan Mitchell. With Mitchell still out, Bogdanovic should see a big role and is still a decent value. 

Rudy Gobert, UTA (ankle): Questionable

Hassan Whiteside, UTA (conditioning): Questionable

Gobert played through the ankle injury Friday and was effective. Barring news to the contrary, that's a reasonable expectation for today.  

Other Notable Injuries

Kyle Lowry, MIA (personal): Out

Tyler Herro, MIA (COVID-19 protocols): Out

KZ Okpala, MIA (wrist): Out

Markieff Morris, MIA (conditioning): Out

Terrence Ross, ORL (knee): Questionable

Lonzo Ball, CHI (knee): Out

Alex Caruso, CHI (wrist): Out

Zach LaVine, CHI (knee): Out

Javonte Green, CHI (groin): Out

Derrick Jones, CHI (knee): Out

R.J. Hampton, ORL (knee): Out

Damian Lillard, POR (abdomen): Out

Norman Powell, POR (personal): Out

Larry Nance, POR (knee): Out

Cody Zeller, POR (knee): Out

Khem Birch, TOR (nose): Out

Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL (knee): Out

Jalen McDaniels, CHA (ankle): Out

Shake Milton, PHI (back): Out

Seth Curry, PHI (ankle): Out

Matisse Thybulle, PHI (shoulder): Out

Danny Green, PHI (hip): Out

Tyus Jones, MEM (COVID-19 protocols): Out

Desmond Bane, MEM (COVID-19 protocols): Out

Kyle Anderson, MEM (COVID-19 protocols): Out

Sterling Brown, DAL (foot): Out

Frank Jackson, DET (conditioning): Out

Jerami Grant, DET (thumb): Out

Kelly Olynyk, DET (COVID-19 protocols): Out

Luka Garza, DET (COVID-19 protocols): Out

Donovan Mitchell, UTA (concussion): Out

Andre Iguodala, GS (rest): Out

Draymond Green, GS (calf): Out

Kevin Durant, BKN (knee): Out  

Elite Players

Nikola Jokic ($12,200) is the cash game building block on this slate, as is typical when the Nuggets are playing. He's been in terrific form and a matchup against Detroit is hardly reason to expect that to change. The primary concern is that he sees his minutes limited in a blowout, but that isn't necessarily enough reason to shy away.

James Harden ($11,700) represents a nice building block if you choose to pivot from Jokic in cash games or are aiming for a different build in a GPP. The betting odds suggest Brooklyn-Minnesota is a matchup to target in general, which makes sense given both teams play at plenty of pace and figure to be in a fairly close contest.

Joel Embiid ($11,000) has also been in strong form of late and curiously hasn't seen his salary tick up. San Antonio ranks top-third in pace and bottom-third in defensive rating for the season, setting up a strong matchup for Embiid – which is also reflected in the betting lines. He's a fine cash game play if you are looking for savings after Jokic or are concerned about Jokic having his minutes limited due to game script. Embiid is also viable for GPPs, though he won't necessarily be contrarian as he is a clear paydown option from Jokic at center.

While not the optimal cash game building block, Trae Young ($10,300) is a GPP option to keep in mind. The projected 236 total suggests this contest is one to target with offensive weapons from both teams. The Hawks could be without several key scorers, which should put a lot of offensive burden on Young and plenty of opportunity for him to pay off his value.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the elite players listed above, other options likely to be chalky include:

De'Andre Hunter ($5,100) has outproduced his salary ever since returning to the court on Jan. 12. But with Bogdanovic also sidelined and potentially both Huerter and Gallinari, Hunter should be locked into a big role. Playing him isn't likely to be a unique idea, but the value he offers to return should be worth sacrificing the roster rate.   

Trey Lyles ($4,600) should be locked into minutes with Olynyk landing in COVID-19 protocols, as he was starting to challenge Isaiah Stewart for a spot based on the merits of his play. His value surprisingly dipped in recent days, so he's a strong place to look for value – and plenty of people figure to rely on him on this slate.

Ziaire Williams ($3,700) hasn't taken advantage of Desmond Bane and Kyle Anderson's absence with his production, but he's topped 30 minutes in each of the last two games. Given his salary, he should return decent value with playing time even if he doesn't record a strong performance. Williams will be a popular punt play to afford paying up for the likes of Jokic and Embiid.

Ayo Dosunmu ($5,900) experienced all of his regression in one outing shooting 2-for-9 from the field in Friday's loss to Milwaukee. Even with those struggles, he still put up 21.75 DK points. Dosunmu should bounce back a bit with his shooting, and he provides enough in other areas where he should be popular based on a number of backcourt absences in Chicago.

Gabe Vincent's ($5,100) salary is on the rise, but not enough to deter a lot of attention with Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry remaining out. He's posted 31.5 and 30.5 DK points in his last two games and has the potential to remain a value option.

Value Plays

Ja Morant ($9,600) could have been listed as an elite option, and perhaps that's the better place for him. Regardless, he's hoisted 27 and 26 shots from the field in each of his last two contests with several key Grizzlies sidelined. That should be the case again as he faces off against Luka Doncic.

In addition to Morant, also consider John Konchar ($4,400). Be warned that Konchar doesn't boast a big offensive role, so he'll be reliant on chipping in a well-rounded stat line including defensive production and that's often volatile.

Despite the numerous injuries/absences for Philadelphia, there isn't an obvious value play at a reasonable salary. However, Tobias Harris ($7,200) will be relied upon along with Joel Embiid to power the offense, and he's come through recently with 38.5 and 43.25 DK points in his last two games.

Robert Covington ($5,700) is the ultimate GPP dice roll. With Zeller, Nance and Powell out, Covington should log safe minutes. That said, his ultimate value will come down to his ability to hit shots and rack up defensive stats. If Covington can do both, he offers the chance to provide 7X return on value. However, be aware the chances of that are admittedly limited.

The Hawks are an abysmal three-point defense and the Hornets list a number of players who can take advantage. Miles Bridges ($8,000) stands out, but Terry Rozier ($7,700) and Gordon Hayward ($6,200) should be in a strong position to produce.

If Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,300) suits up, he should continue to benefit from the absence of Donovan Mitchell. While not the flashiest, Mike Conley ($6,200) has also registered some decent value with Mitchell sidelined.

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. Dan Marcus plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: marcusd91 DraftKings: dmarcus87.
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Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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