There are seven games on Sunday’s NBA slate with the Wizards vs. Nets and Lakers vs. Grizzlies tipping off at 6:00 p.m. ET. The Pistons vs. Timberwolves and Jazz vs. Spurs start at 7:00 p.m. ET while the Mavericks vs. Bulls and Clippers vs. Suns tip off at 8:00 p.m. ET. The late-night hammer is the Trail Blazers vs. Warriors at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your lineups.
Luka Doncic, Mavericks @ Bulls, $10,000 – Doncic started the season slowly, as he failed to eclipse 50 DKFP in the first four games. He looked lethargic and admitted that his legs weren’t quite under him yet. Then on New Year’s Day, he exploded for 58.75 DKFP against the Heat. HalleLuka! Does one game make a trend? Hardly, but he gets a juicy matchup against the Bulls, who are 28th in defensive efficiency and play at the fastest pace in the league. Do you want more? The Bulls boost fantasy points per minute to the point guard position by a league-leading 24.39%.
Other Options – LeBron James ($10,100), Steph Curry ($9,400), Kyrie Irving ($9,000)
Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, $5,000 – Rubio hasn’t played over 26 minutes in any game this season but the matchup is a nice one against the Nuggets. So far, Denver is last in defensive efficiency and boosting fantasy points per minute to the point guard position by 10.14%. Now, most of that boost is in points and 3-pointers, but the assist category also gets a tick up, which is Rubio’s primary contribution.
Other Options – Patty Mills ($3,700), Coby White ($6,200)
CJ McCollum, Trail Blazers @ Warriors, $8,400 – McCollum has been on fire to start the season, as he has 66.25 and 50.1 DKFP games on his resume. He’s averaging a team-high 1.33 DKFP per minute while Damian Lillard is at 1.22. Now, that is going to change as the season progresses. Last season, Lillard was a 1.34 DKFP per minute while McCollum was at 1.04.
In the meanwhile, the O/U on DraftKings Sportsbook in this game is a healthy 235, the second-highest on the slate. In addition, the Warriors are boosting fantasy points per minute to the shooting guard position by 11.9%.
Other Options – Zach LaVine ($7,300), Bradley Beal ($9,100)
Will Barton, Nuggets @ Timberwolves, $5,400 – Michael Porter Jr. is out due to COVID-19 protocols, so Barton will get his second start of the season. The first start was atrocious as he shot 1-for-7 from the field to end the night with 18.25 DKFP. There’s optimism, though. He grabbed five rebounds, dished out four assists, plus added a steal and a block. The Suns are third in defensive efficiency, so the matchup was a tough one. The Timberwolves are 26th in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Dillon Brooks ($6,300), Lonnie Walker IV ($4,200)
LeBron James, Lakers @ Grizzlies, $10,100 – LeBron is averaging 1.55 DKFP per minute and just put up 62.75 DKFP vs. the Spurs. He now gets a matchup against the Grizzlies who are 22nd in defensive efficiency and play at the fifth-fastest pace in the league. They also boost fantasy points per minute to the point guard position by 16.51% and to the small forward position by 22.68%.
Now, the Lakers are favored by 9 points and there is no Ja Morant, so there is the risk of a blowout. With that said, if that’s the case then LeBron will likely have had an instrumental role in that happening.
Other Options – Andrew Wiggins ($6,900), DeMar DeRozan ($7,500)
Kyle Anderson, Grizzlies vs. Lakers, $6,400 – Through five games, Anderson has scored over 40 DKFP three times with two games under 26 DKFP. One of those games was without Morant, so the range is wide. The important number is the usage rate, though. When Morant was healthy, Anderson had a usage rate of 14.7% and 18.3% in the first two games. When Morant went down, the usage rate spiked up to 27.2%. In the following two games, the usage rate has been 28.4% and 23.6%.
The matchup is a difficult one against Anthony Davis, but Anderson is going to be heavily involved.
Other Options – Josh Richardson ($5,000), Derrick Jones Jr. ($4,600)
Anthony Davis, Lakers @ Grizzlies, $9,700 – In the first four games to start the season, Davis scored 27.75, 50, 35 and 38 DKFP. Yuck. On New Year’s Day, though, he broke out for 62.25 DKFP against the Spurs. With the new additions to the team, there has been an adjustment period for all.
Last season, Davis averaged 1.47 DKFP per minute while he’s at 1.27 this season. I’m inclined to believe that he and Dennis Schroeder have figured out how to best work with each other, which basically entails passing the ball to Davis.
As mentioned in the LeBron section, the Grizzlies play at a fast pace and aren’t particularly good on defense. There’s blowout risk, but Davis would likely have a hand in that scenario manifesting itself.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($9,300)
Thaddeus Young, Bulls vs Mavericks, $3,900 – With Lauri Markkanen and Chandler Hutchison out due to COVID-19 protocols, Otto Porter Jr. has stepped into the starting lineup while Young has been getting playing time off the bench. He has played 22 and 27 minutes in the past two games.
In his season debut, he produced 31.25 DKFP and shot 7-for-12 from the field against the Wizards. The following game, he contributed a dud, as he earned just 14.25 DKFP, but that matchup was a tough one, especially for his skill set. The Bucks pack the paint and force teams to shoot from the perimeter.
Today, he faces the Mavericks, who are boosting fantasy points per minute to the power forward position by 17.68%.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($4,500), Robert Covington ($5,000)
Nikola Jokic, Nuggets @ Timberwolves, $10,600 – There’s not much to say here. Jokic is awesome, amazing, splendiferous, unstoppable, magnificent, joyous, etc. He’s averaging a robust 1.7 DKFP per minute and has posted two games with over 70 DKFP this season. Jokic is a threat to triple-double on any night.
The matchup is especially juicy today. The Timberwolves boost the fantasy points per minute to the center position by 20.09%. The boost in assists is a whopping 78.98%, a Jokic specialty.
Other Options – Rudy Gobert ($7,200), Jusuf Nurkic ($6,400)
Thomas Bryant, Wizards @ Nets, $6,600 – This game has the highest total on the slate, so fantasy points should rain down from the sky like manna to the Israelites. Now, Bryant has been inconsistent on the season, as he’s scored fewer than 30 DKFP four times, but he did pop off for 40.75 DKFP against the Bulls two games ago. In terms of matchup, the Nets boost fantasy points per minute to the center position by 2.43%, with much of that in the rebounding department.
Other Options – Naz Reid ($5,500)
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