DraftKings NBA: Sunday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Sunday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Sunday's set of slates on DraftKings are arranged to help you out if you happen to miss the less-standard 6 PM ET start time with a special set of contests that exclude the BKN/MEM matchup. We will include that game in today's forecast, but we're excluding the early GSW/OKC matchup because the site is only offering that game in Showdown format.

Since we're still in the first week of action, I'm keeping my Cash/GPP ratio at about 90/10 so I can build my bankroll heading into November. I'll be far more comfortable taking shots when rotations begin to crystallize further.

SLATE OVERVIEW

GAME TO TARGET

DAL (-2) vs, POR O/U: 220.5

The pace differential on this game is practically even (0.32), which is why I prefer this game over others that have slightly higher Over/Unders. The game features some solid elites coupled with budget options that might not get a mention in this article. Rotations for both teams are still a bit in flux, but both rosters have some borderline value spots.

GAME TO FADE

LAL (-13) vs. CHA O/U: 216.5

The Hornets were pasted by Minnesota two days ago, and we should expect that to be the new normal in Charlotte.  Barring any late rest scratches, the Lakers will still offer you a couple of elite plays, but I'd expect LA to go to their bench early and restrict LeBron James and Anthony Davis to superb numbers, not stellar ones.  

(Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change)

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN

We're particularly hurting with center depth on this slate, so my inclination will be to spend up here first in most of my builds. Things aren't much better at the forward position, but there's certainly value to be had there below the DK median price. Guards are plentiful, with redeemable options at practically every price level.

INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR

There really isn't much happening on Sunday's slate injury-wise, aside from what we've already seen over the past week. Both Rajon Rondo (calf) and Kyle Kuzma (ankle) are unlikely to take the floor against Charlotte, and Jimmy Butler (personal) won't suit up for Miami until next week.  When Butler returns, we should expect some new variance in the Heat backcourt that could impact Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro adversely, but not so much that they become completely invaluable.

ELITE PLAYERS

Every lineup should include core elites that can prop up both cash and tournament lineups, and I'll try to narrow down your options in this section.

Luka Doncic, DAL ($9,500) vs. POR

Through two games, Doncic's floor is hovering right around 50 DKFP and since there's no significant pace-down for either team, I'm comfortable with that number heading into Sunday.  While it's too early to make sense of defense vs. position numbers, the Trailblazers rank dead-last versus opposing point guards in the early going - that could be due to facing studs like De'Aaron Fox and Jamal Murray, though.

Kyrie Irving, BKN ($9,300) vs. MEM

As most expected, the Nets possess one of the fastest paces in the league over the first week, so almost every team they play will show up as a pace-down.  The usually slow-paced Grizzlies are one of them, but I don't think it will adversely affect Kyrie's numbers. That ceiling of 70 DKFP in the first game is tantalizing, but we should be realistic and expect Irving's floor to fall somewhere in the low-40's. Murray State's Ja Morant helms the point for Memphis, and this should be a prime opportunity for the rookie to witness how a veteran virtuoso calls the shots at the position.

Rather than continue with specific picks, let's look at the bunch at the very top, namely LeBron James ($9,900), Anthony Davis ($10,400) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($10.100). Whether you're new to NBA DFS or an experienced pro, you know that these guys are virtually matchup-proof and will always be chalky elites.  I do think there are days where you can get away with limiting your exposure to them, and I think Sunday is one of those days, especially in tournaments. I've already touched on the blowout potential for James and Davis, and for Towns, early numbers indicate that Miami's frontcourt is holding up well. Of the trio I would probably follow Towns, but you could easily find a way to go lower at center.

EXPECTED CHALK

You can always expect elites to be chalky, but here are some mid-range guys that should be popular on Sunday's slate AND plays that I think warrant serious consideration.

Hassan Whiteside, POR ($7,400) @ DAL

Although Whiteside's had his troubles in the past, he seems to be adjusting to his new home in Portland quite well.  It doesn't hurt to have perennial stud Damian Lillard ($9,100) feeding you the ball inside. In fact, running with Whiteside might warrant a totally valid stack with Lillard, who would be a lower-owned pivot off of Irving or Doncic. Either way, Whiteside is off to a great start and based on his current floor, he's a bargain.

Justise Winslow, MIA ($7,200) at MIN

Miami is on the tail-end of a back-to-back but they had a quick flight from Milwaukee, so I'm not overly concerned about fatigue this early in the season.  Winslow's impressed me over the first two games, and you can't beat his five-position eligibility. If he can keep the high rebound and assist numbers going, he should be a chalky pick with Jimmy Butler yet to make an impact for the Heat.  Another beneficiary of the Butler effect will likely be rookie Kendrick Nunn ($5,300), and I predict a lot of folks will be looking his way.

KEY VALUES

Jonas Valanciunas, MEM ($6,400) vs. BKN

As players hunt for value at center, they may overlook Valanciunas due to the star power at the position, but I think you should expect a good outing here. Jarrett Allen is carrying over his subpar defensive skills from last year and DeAndre Jordan isn't known to be a shutdown center.  While the Nets played all right versus Mitchell Robinson, this is still a soft spot for the Nets and Memphis should fare well inside with their frontcourt tonight.

Devonte' Graham, CHA ($4,600) at LAL

Graham will probably see higher ownership due to his appearance on the ticker in recent days, touting his record-breaking rookie 3-point streak.  This is still a game worth fading, but Graham's price and potential are too enticing to pass up. His price point is exactly what you need if you're running with two or more elites, and I think the ceiling is definitely there.

Treveon Graham, MIN ($3,700) vs MIA

Graham appears to be a lock in Minnesota's starting lineup, and we should see him at the two or on the wing depending on the matchup. Although he immediately regressed in a blowout win over Charlotte, I'm still a big fan due to the 35 minutes of court time he had in his first game, a 127-126 win over the Nets. That's a heap of minutes for a guy below 4K, and it's a spot I want to take advantage of despite the high variance we experience in the early weeks of the season.

Jae Crowder, MEM ($4,400) vs. BKN

The grizzled veteran shows no sign of slowing down, as he's seen an average of 30.5 minutes on the court for Memphis over his first two games.  The Grizzlies seem content with Crowder providing leadership in the starting lineup, although he's a bit out of place at small forward. Nevertheless, it appears other potential guys like Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson aren't providing much resistance at the position.  As long as he keeps playing at this level, Crowder's starting job should be safe, although he'll likely hit an occasional rest day on back-to-backs.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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