There are nine games for Sunday’s NBA main slate with three games tipping off at 7:00 p.m. ET — the New Orleans Pelicans at the Detroit Pistons, the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toronto Raptors, and the San Antonio Spurs at the Charlotte Hornets. There’s one game at 7:30 p.m. ET — the Portland Trail Blazers at the Dallas Mavericks. The next game tips off at 8:00 p.m. ET with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Orlando Magic at the Phoenix Suns starts at 9:00 p.m. ET. The late-night hammers are the Memphis Grizzlies at the Sacramento Kings, the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Denver Nuggets, which all start at 10:00 p.m. ET. The Knicks and Kings are playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DK Sportsbook has three games with double-digit spreads — Clippers (-11), Suns (-10) and Bucks (-11.5). There are five games with an O/U of at least 229 — MEM/SAC (229.5), MIL/OKC (230), POR/DAL (235.5), MIN/TOR (229.5) and SA/CHA (229).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your lineups.
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Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $11,100 – Doncic is the highest-priced player on the slate, and for good reason. He’s averaging 1.59 DKFP per minute and has gone for 80.5, 64.5, 42.5 and 70.75 DKFP in his past four games. The price is hard to swallow but the ceiling is massive, as he’s gone for at least 80 DKFP in three games this season. He now gets a juicy matchup with the Trail Blazers, who are 28th in defensive efficiency and boost the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 7.82% above the league average. He’s the highest-projected player on the slate by a pretty significant margin, so the only justification for fading him would be due to ownership percentage.
Other Options – Damian Lillard ($9,600), LaMelo Ball ($8,700)
Monte Morris, Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $4,200 – Jamal Murray ($7,200) is questionable with a sprained ankle. If he’s unable to go, then Morris would likely get his third start of the season. In the prior two starts, he contributed 24 points, one rebound, four assists, two steals and one block in 37 minutes for 37.75 DKFP in one start while producing 11 points, five rebounds and nine assists in 35 minutes for 30.25 DKFP in the other. The matchup isn’t great, as the Lakers are first in defensive efficiency and negate the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 3.97% below league average, but he’s cheap and is averaging 0.8 DKFP per minute on the season.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns vs. Orlando Magic, $8,200 – On the season, Booker is only averaging 1.05 DKFP per minute. Good, but it doesn’t get Tony the Tiger excited. He’s scored fewer than 40 DKFP 13 times. Over the past four games, though, he’s gone for 47.75, 41, 48.75 and 54.75 DKFP, which was a season-high. Now he gets a matchup against a Magic team that is the most generous to opposing shooting guards, boosting the fantasy points per minute by a whopping 25.56% above league average.
Other Option – Terry Rozier ($7,400), Hamidou Diallo ($7,100)
Grayson Allen, Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings, $4,300 – On the season, Allen is averaging 0.84 DKFP per minute and 22.8 minutes per game. Due to all the injuries, though, he’s played 35 and 30 minutes in the last two games while hoisting up 13 shots in each contest. The usage rate has ticked up to 21.4% and 22.6%, respectively, after languishing in the 17% range for most of the season. The Kings play at the 12th-fastest pace and are dead last in defensive efficiency. Against shooting guards, they boost the fantasy points per minute by 4.81% above league average, although they do an excellent job neutralizing 3-pointers. That produces some risk here but the price and projected minutes should mitigate it some.
Other Option – Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,600), Gary Trent Jr. ($5,800)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets, $10,200 – James is averaging 1.44 DKFP per minute and 34.7 minutes per game. He’s scored at least 50 DKFP in 13 games with a high of 75. Over the past five games, he’s gone for 53.25, 46, 74.5, 63.25 and 61 DKFP. These two teams played five games ago and James went for 27 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and one block in 35 minutes for 61 DKFP. DK Sportsbook has the Lakers favored by three points, so the game should be competitive with James getting a full allotment of minutes.
Other Option – Khris Middleton ($7,800), Jerami Grant ($7,400)
Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando Magic at Phoenix Suns, $4,700 – Williams played the first seven games to begin the season, starting two of those. Then he injured his foot and proceeded to miss the next 19 games. With Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony down with injuries, Carter-Williams made his return last game, started and played 27 minutes. He garnered a 36.5% usage rate and contributed 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, good for 39.25 DKFP. The matchup is a tough one as the Suns are 29th in pace and seventh in defensive efficiency. Against point guards, in particular, they neutralize the fantasy points per minute by 7.27% below league average. With that said, he’s a relatively cheap option for the number of minutes and usage he should receive.
Other Options – Keldon Johnson ($5,600), Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,600)
Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $8,500 – Because Porzingis primarily plays out on the perimeter, the rebound and shooting efficiency numbers can be volatile. This has translated to high variance in DKFP production as well. Take a look at the past four games: 51.25, 22.5, 61.75 and 36 DKFP. This game, though, has the highest total on the slate, as both teams are bottom third in defensive efficiency. Porzingis should also feast in his matchup with Enes Kanter, who he can be abused out on the perimeter. Portland boosts the fantasy points per minute to centers by 8.95% above league average, with a 9.58% increase in 3-pointers. The rebound numbers could be a concern, though, as Portland neutralizes rebounds by 14.47%. So there’s some risk here, but if Porzingis can get hot, there’s plenty of upside as well.
Other Option – DeMar DeRozan ($8,000), Harrison Barnes ($6,700)
Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,600 – Portis averages 1.16 DKFP per minute but only plays 21.5 minutes per game. In blowouts, though, he usually sees an increase of around five minutes of playing time. The spread on this game is 11.5 points in favor of the Bucks, so there’s a more than good chance that this game turns into a laugher. On the season, Portis has gone for at least 40 DKFP in four games. The final margin of victory in those games was 15, 10, 28 and 20 points with Portis playing 28, 33 (he started this game), 24 and 17 minutes, respectively. Is this a guaranteed play? Of course not, as many different scenarios can play out, but the upside is unmatched in this price range.
Other Option – Rudy Gay ($4,700), Frank Kaminsky ($5,000)
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves at Toronto Raptors, $9,400 – Since returning to action, Towns has played 31 and 32 minutes while contributing 38 and 46 DKFP, respectively. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets a few extra minutes in this one, which would be amazing since he averages 1.46 DKFP per minute. Even if he doesn’t, 30 to 31 minutes of playing time is still a decent number. Now he gets a juicy matchup against a Toronto team that should have difficulty defending him. They boost the fantasy points per minute by 10.39% above league average to centers. When Aron Baynes is defending him, Towns should be able to get plenty of open looks from downtown. When Chris Boucher enters the game, Towns should eat him up down on the blocks.
Other Option – Jonas Valanciunas ($7,400), Enes Kanter ($7,200)
Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs at Charlotte Hornets, $6,400 – Poeltl has started the past five games due to the LaMarcus Aldridge hip injury, and Aldridge is expected to miss today’s game as well. In those five games, Poeltl has averaged 28.1 minutes, 10.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.8 blocks. Curiously, he’s alternated between good and bad games: 44.1, 18.7, 38.2, 15 and 45.9 DKFP. If this were an SAT test, then for sure he’d have a bad game but good thing daily fantasy doesn’t work like that. Right? Poeltl should play plenty of minutes in this one and the Hornets boost the fantasy points per minute to centers by 2.88% above league average.
Other Options – Cody Zeller ($6,300)
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