FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

This is one of the biggest Sunday slates of the season. We have seven games in total and a ton of fantasy points on the board. There's so much going on, let's just get into it.  

Slate Overview 

We have two games starting at 6ET, which includes the IND-ORL and CHA-PHI matchups. The Pacers-Magic game is actually expected to be the lowest-scoring game of the day, sitting with a 203-point total. The Sixers-Hornets fixture happens to be the most lopsided matchup of this slate, with Philly entering that game as a 13-point favorite. The next five games are all at different times and it's clear the NBA wanted to have a showcase night for all of these teams. Up next is the Bucks-Thunder matchup. We're looking at Milwaukee entering this matchup as a 7.5-point road favorite in a game with a total of 223.  

The next two games are extremely close matchups. We have the Knicks playing host to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns welcoming the Brooklyn Nets to Talking Stick Resort. Both of these games list two-point spreads, but we're looking at different paces for each. The Cleveland-New York game has a 210-point total while the Brooklyn-Phoenix fixture comes in with a 233-point total. That makes the Suns-Nets matchup one of the best games to target on this slate.  

The final two games are both lopsided fixtures. The first one is Portland playing host to Atlanta as an 8.5-point favorite. We're looking at a 228-point total in that game, as Damian Lillard and Trae Young should have plenty of success. The final game is the Lakers hosting the shorthanded Raptors. Toronto comes into this game with half their roster sidelined and that's why Los Angeles comes in as a 9.5-point favorite. We'll go over that more later... 

Positional Breakdown 

PG: Per usual, the point guard position is stacked. We have Damian Lillard, Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and Malcolm Brogdon up top. Players like Chris Paul, Ricky Rubio, Terry Rozier and Eric Bledsoe fill out the mid-tier. If you want to go cheap, target guys like Frank Ntilikina, Aaron Holiday or Raul Neto

SG: This is the weakest position of the slate. The highest priced guys are Devin Booker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with no one else viable above $7,000. Fred VanVleetKhris Middleton, C.J. McCollum and RJ Barrett make up the next tier in the $6,000-$7,000 range. If you want someone cheaper, consider Josh Richardson, Evan Fournier, Danny Green or Norman Powell

SF: This is all about LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Pascal Siakam. No one else is above $8,000, with players like Jonathan Isaac, T.J. Warren, Tobias Harris, Kelly Oubre, Marcus Morris and Danilo Gallinari filling out the middle-tier. There aren't many good cheap options at this position.  

PF: Anthony Davis sits at a whopping $11,300 and no other PF is above $9,000. The next tier includes guys like Kevin Love, Domantas Sabonis and Julius Randle. If you want cheaper than that, consider Jarrett Allen, Dario Saric or Anthony Tolliver. With the lack of cheap guys at the forward positions, pay up here and get a couple of cheap guards into your build.  

C: Joel Embiid is the marquee at this position sitting at $10,600. Nikola Vucevic and Tristan Thompson are the only other players above $7,000, with players like Aron Baynes, Steven Adams, Cody Zeller, Brook Lopez, Marc Gasol and Chris Boucher making for cheaper plays.  

Injuries to Monitor 

Myles Turner (IND): Turner enters this matchup questionable with an ankle issue, but he's likely to sit again. Domantas Sabonis has been a monster in his absence and Malcolm Brogdon has been asked to do more too.  

Jeremy Lamb (IND): Lamb will miss this game due to an ankle injury, and T.J. Warren should get even more shots in his absence. Look for Aaron Holiday and Justin Holiday to get more playing time as well.  

Ben Simmons (PHI): Simmons is expected to miss this game due to a shoulder injury and that should allow Raul Neto to start again at PG.  

Dennis Smith/Elfrid Payton (NYK): Both of these Knicks guards are expected to miss this game again, which should garner Frank Ntilikina another start.  

Mitchell Robinson (NYK): The big man is still in the concussion protocol and is unlikely to play here. If he sits, look for Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis and Julius Randle to pick up rebounds and usage in his absence.  

DeAndre Jordan (BRK): Jarrett Allen is coming off his two best games of the season with Jordan sidelined, but Jordan is expected to return here from his ankle issue.  

Hassan Whiteside (POR): Whiteside is currently dealing with a foot issue and this frontcourt could become a disaster if Skal Labissiere is out due to an ankle issue of his own. That doesn't even take into consideration that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins have long-term injuries, leaving Anthony Tolliver, Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja as the only frontcourt players left on the roster. 

Rodney Hood (POR): Hood left the last game with a back issue and Anfernee Simons has been superb filling in for him this season.  

Kyle Lowry (TOR): Lowry just fractured his thumb on Friday, so Fred VanVleet should slide over to PG in his absence. Look for Patrick McCaw and Norman Powell to pick up some minutes too. 

Serge Ibaka (TOR): Ibaka is out indefinitely with a severe ankle sprain, as Chris Boucher should play more in his absence while Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam will see more touches.   

Elite Players 

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700) vs. LeBron James ($11,500) 

This is a question you're going to have to ask yourself with a lack of value plays at this position. For me, it's definitely Giannis. The Greek Freak has been unbelievable this season, averaging 62 FanDuel points per game. That's 8.3 more fantasy points than James and he's actually in the better circumstance here against an inferior defense and a closer spread.  

Devin Booker ($8,400) vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,100) 

I actually don't understand why these guys are so close in price. Booker is the far superior option for a multitude of reasons. The biggest one being his usage, with Booker posting a higher rate than SGA while averaging more shots. He also boasts the much better matchup, facing a 28th-ranked Brooklyn defense while SGA goes up against an elite Milwaukee defense.

What's funny is that we have one elite player at both center (Embiid) and power forward (A. Davis). As for point guard, there are so many solid options up top and it's hard to go wrong with either Lillard, Irving, Young or Brogdon.  

Expected Chalk 

Fred VanVleet (TOR): FVV is in the midst of a breakout season and people will become even more privy to that with Kyle Lowry now injured.  

Damian Lillard (POR): Lillard just dropped 60 points in his last game and people are going to want to play him after that, especially with all of the injuries Portland is dealing with.  

Jabari Parker (ATL): Parker has been starting with John Collins suspended and has been chalky on nearly every slate since.  

Joel Embiid (PHI): The next highest priced centers are guys like Nikola VucevicTristan Thompson and Aron Baynes in that order, so don't be surprised to see Embiid highly owned with Ben Simmons out and a lack of tempting options at that position.  

Key Values 

Marc Gasol, TOR ($5,400): Gasol has surely struggled this season, but he's able to step up. This is a great opportunity for him to do just that with Lowry and Ibaka injured, as he should see a major increase in usage, shots and minutes. He's plenty capable too, averaging over 30 FanDuel points per game last season.  

Mario Hezonja, POR ($4,300): With so many injuries in Portland, Hezonja could be in for some monster usage. That's all you can ask for with a talented player like this, with him scoring at least 20 fantasy points in five of his last seven games. If Hood is out, don't fade Hezonja. 

Raul Neto, PHI ($3,700): I considered putting Neto in the chalk section, but part of me believes he'll be overlooked. That would be a silly notion too, with Neto playing 30 minutes in back-to-back games in the absence of Simmons while averaging 25.5 FD points per outing. That doesn't even take into consideration he faces a Charlotte defense who sits 24th in defensive rating. 

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. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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