FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

After a big schedule last week, we're back to a short one here. In fact, we have just four games making up the main slate and many of them could be lopsided results. With that in mind, let's go ahead and get into it! 

Slate Overview 

ATL vs. LAL: These are two teams going in opposite directions, with Atlanta posting a 6-20 record and Los Angeles sitting at 23-3. That's why we have the Lakers entering this matchup as a 11.5-point favorite and a slate-high 227-point total. A lot of those points could come on the Lakers end, with the Hawks sitting 29th in points allowed and LA owning the fourth-best offensive rating in the NBA.  

BRK vs. PHI: Brooklyn has been much better over recent weeks and that could make this one of the closest games on this slate. In fact, we have Philly entering this matchup as a 4.5-point favorite, with a total of 217. We do expect the Nets' offense to struggle without Kyrie Irving, as the Sixers sit fourth in defensive efficiency.  

DEN vs. NYK: It's hard to imagine this game being anything but a blowout in the Nuggets' favor. We're talking about a 16-8 Denver squad hosting a 6-20 New York team. Where the Knicks are really going to struggle is on the offensive end, with NY ranking dead-last in offensive efficiency facing a Nuggets' side allowing the fewest points in the NBA. That's why we're looking at Denver being an 11-point favorite with a total of 206.  

GS vs. SAC: This might end up being the closest game of the evening. We have Sacramento entering as a 3.5-point road favorite with a total of 212. What is interesting is the fact we have a 28th-ranked Golden State offense facing a Sacramento squad playing at the slowest pace in the league. That should lead to fewer possessions than most games, limiting the fantasy upside.  

Positional Breakdown 

PG: There are some noticeable tiers at this position. Trae Young, Ben Simmons, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jamal Murray are all separated by nearly $1,000 apiece and they go in that order. If you're looking for someone cheap, Cory Joseph, Elfrid Payton and Rajon Rondo are all in consideration. 

SG: D'Angelo Russell and Buddy Hield are the cream of the crop here in the $8,000-range. There are also a ton of cheap options available, with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Josh Richardson, Gary Harris and Kevin Huerter all below $5,000.  

SF: LeBron James checks in as the highest-priced player here at $10,900. Tobias Harris follows him up at $8,200 while Will Barton, Marcus MorrisTaurean Prince, Alec Burks, Harrison Barnes and Joe Harris make up the $5,000's. No one is really viable below $5,000 at this position.  

PF: Anthony Davis is the best player here by nearly $4,000. Al Horford sits second-highest at $7,300, with Draymond Green, Jarrett AllenRichaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III also in the $7,000-range. Marquese Chriss and Jerami Grant are both in consideration in the $4,000's if injuries fall the way we expect.  

C: Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic are the premier options here and we'll go over that more later. After that, Mitchell Robinson is at $6,800 and then it's a bunch of risky players. Those guys include Alex Len, Willie Cauley-Stein and DeAndre Jordan, but I wouldn't recommend using any of those.  

Injuries to Monitor 

LeBron James (LAL): King James comes into this matchup questionable with an elbow issue. While we believe he will suit up, this is the biggest injury to keep an eye on. If he's out, Anthony Davis is a must-use player while Rajon Rondo will likely take on a bigger workload.  

Kyle Kuzma (LAL): Kuzma missed Friday's game with an ankle issue. That allowed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to have one of his best fantasy games of the season, collecting 15 points, three rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes of action.  

Al Horford (PHI): Horford has missed the last two games because of a knee issue, as Embiid has been stellar in both of those outings. Mike Scott is the one who started for him, scoring 19 FanDuel points in both of those starts.  

Kyrie Irving/Caris LeVert (BRK): These two remain out due to long-term injuries, as Spencer Dinwiddie has been one of the best players in fantasy during their absences.  

Paul Millsap (DEN): Millsap is dealing with a quad issue and we anticipate Jerami Grant starting and playing 30 minutes if he sits out. 

De'Aaron Fox (SAC): Fox remains out because of an ankle sprain. While Cory Joseph has been starting at PG in his absence, Buddy Hield is the one who's seen the biggest increase in usage.  

Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson (GS): These two remain out for the next few months. While D'Angelo Russell has taken on most of the usage, it's also opened things up for Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks

Eric Paschall/Draymond Green (GS): Both of these guys missed Friday's game and that forced Kevon Looney into the starting lineup. The issue is that Looney just returned from injury and is capped off at 20 minutes. If those two are out again, look for Marquese Chriss to earn a big role off the bench after tallying 12 points, 13 rebounds and five assists on Friday.  

Elite Players 

Joel Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic

Outside of these two, the center position is very weak. That's why these two are going to be very highly-owned and why you'll have to pick one of them. While Jokic is the cheaper option, he faces the better matchup. What scares me about The Joker is the fact he's been struggling and has blowout potential written all over him. That's why we're going to go with Embiid, scoring at least 38 FD points in eight of his last nine games while averaging 50 fantasy points per game during that span. Not to mention, he's averaging over 55 FanDuel points per game when Horford sits out.  

Anthony Davis vs. LeBron James

This seems to always be a question in these Sunday articles. Picking between these two is nearly impossible but we'll once again say that Davis is the premier choice. The reason for that is because LeBron enters this matchup questionable and Davis possesses the higher upside. That's evident when you see that Davis is averaging 1.5 more fantasy points than James while averaging 56.4 FanDuel points per game over his last 13 outings.  

Expected Chalk 

Spencer Dinwiddie (BRK): Dinwiddie has been superb since Kyrie Irving went down, scoring at least 35 fantasy points in all 13 starts since. In fact, Dinwiddie has a usage rate of 34 percent with Irving and Caris LeVert off the floor, averaging 41.5 FanDuel points per game over that span. That consistency is going to make him one of the highest-owned players on the slate.  

D'Angelo Russell (GS): With this expected to be a close game, Russell should be in for a monster night. Although people are privy to that, with the Warriors guard posting a usage rate north of 30 percent with Curry off the floor. If you take out the game where Russell got injured and his two limited games after, Russell has posted at least 29 FanDuel points in all 10 outings since while averaging 44.2 FanDuel points per game over that stretch. That's going to make him a great pick, but also extremely chalky.  

Key Values 

Josh Richardson, PHI ($4,800) 

This price tag blows my mind. Before getting injured on Nov. 27, J-Rich averaged 29.5 FanDuel points per game. That's the equivalent of a player in the $6,000's and it's hard to understand why Richardson sits below $5,000. That doesn't even take into consideration this superb matchup, with Brooklyn ranked 19th in total defense.  

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC ($4,700) 

While he's been struggling recently, Bogdanovic carries too much potential to be priced this cheaply. With Fox off the floor, Bogdanovic is posting a 27 percent usage rate while averaging 1.05 FD points per minute. That becomes even more attractive against a Warriors' team ranked 26th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing SGs.  

Jerami Grant, DEN ($4,400) 

If Millsap misses this game again, look for Grant to get another start. That would guarantee him 25-30 minutes of play, which is all we can ask for from a fantasy point-per minute producer. If he plays 30 minutes and scores a fantasy point-per minute, we're looking at 7X value against one of the worst defenses in the NBA.  

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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