There are three games for Sunday’s NBA main slate with one game tipping off at 7:00 p.m. ET — the Portland Trail Blazers at the Toronto Raptors. There is one game at 9:00 p.m. ET — the Atlanta Hawks at the Denver Nuggets. The late-night hammer is the Orlando Magic at the Los Angeles Lakers, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET. None of the teams are playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DraftKings Sportsbook has zero games with a double-digit spread. There is one game with an O/U of at least 230 - POR/TOR (230.5).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your lineups.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Raptors PG Kyle Lowry (foot) has been ruled out Sunday vs. the Trail Blazers.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $7,500 – Lowry has been meh recently, going for 26.75 and 29.25 DKFP in the past two games. Over the past five games, the usage rate has been below 20 percent. That number should spike with Norman Powell ($6,600) , who was garnering a usage rate close to 25 percent, in Portland now. On the season, Lowry is averaging 1.08 DKFP per minute and has scored at least 40 DKFP 16 times this year with three of those 50-burgers. The matchup is a good one as the Trail Blazers boost the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 11.06% above league average. In addition, Portland is 29th in defensive efficiency, and this game has the highest O/U at 230.5.
Other Options – Fred VanVleet ($7,800), Jamal Murray ($7,700)
Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, $7,100 – I don’t like any of the sub-$5,000 players, so Schroder is the value play for me today. LeBron James has missed the past four games. Over that span, Schroder has garnered a usage rate of 26.5%, 25.8%, 18.8% and 26.8% while contributing 27.75, 35, 44.75 and 40.75 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging 0.91 DKFP per minute and 28.67 DKFP per game. The usage rate has been 22.9% on the season, so he’s seen an increase of around 3 percent with LeBron out.
CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors, $8,000 – After missing 25 games, McCollum has played in seven. He was eased back into action, not playing more than 28 minutes in any of the first four games. In the most recent three games, though, he’s played 38, 38 and 36 minutes and attempted 19, 25 and 26 shots. He’s produced 28.75, 51.25 and 40.25 DKFP. The usage rate has been 31% over the seven games. The arrival of Powell could knock down that number, but only slightly. With Damian Lillard ($9,800) banged up with a knee bruise and priced $1,800 more, I prefer McCollum as the Trail Blazers’ option in the best game environment on the slate.
Other Option – Fred VanVleet ($7,800), Norman Powell ($6,600)
Dwayne Bacon, Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers, $5,300 – With Operation: Tank in full force down in Orlando and Terrence Ross ($7,300; questionable) dealing with a knee injury, Bacon got the start and played 35 minutes. He attempted 19 shots and garnered a 26.8% usage rate. He only converted 36% of his shots and is at 39% on the season, but the usage and volume cannot be denied. He did chip in three rebounds, six assists and one steal in that game, so he’s not purely an inefficient hucker and chucker.
Other Option – Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4,900), Gary Trent Jr. ($4,800)
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, $7,200 – Since LeBron went down, Kuzma has played 36, 34, 42 and 27 minutes, contributing 32, 41.5, 37.75 and 23.5 DKFP. In the most recent game, Kuzma was more a facilitator and he wasn’t needed to carry much of the offensive load because the Lakers easily dispatched the Cavaliers. With that said, he did grab eight rebounds and dish out seven assists. Prior to that game, Kuzma garnered a usage rate of 21.9%, 25.4% and 27.1% while attempting 21, 14 and 16 shots. He also played 42, 34 and 36 minutes. The Magic boost the fantasy points per minute to small forwards by 7.42% above league average, so the matchup is a good one.
Other Option – Michael Porter Jr. ($6,800), Norman Powell ($6,600)
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks at Denver Nuggets, $4,900 – After missing 25 games, Bogdanovic has played 11 games. The ramp-up was slow, but after the sixth game, he received 29 minutes of playing time. He started in his most recent game, in which he only played 21 minutes but the game was well in hand by halftime. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Nuggets favored by 4.5 points, so as long as the game stays close, Bogdanovic should see around 30 minutes of playing time. Bogdanovic is averaging 0.85 DKFP per minute.
Other Options – Gary Trent Jr. ($4,800)
John Collins, Atlant Hawks at Denver Nuggets, $7,300 – Collins is coming off a 61.5 DKFP explosion against the Warriors, his high on the season, and he went for 60.5 DKFP three games before that. Now, the two games in between were 34.75 and 22 DKFP performances, so there’s some volatility. The important development recently, though, has been his playing time. Over the past seven games, he’s averaged 31.6 minutes per game. Prior to that, he averaged 27 mpg over a four-game stretch. I’m not sure why the playing time has been inconsistent but it looks fine now. The matchup is the best for power forwards as Denver boosts the fantasy points per minute by 17.54% above league average. These teams did meet on Feb. 21 with Collins producing 35.75 DKFP. Not a great performance, but he played 30 minutes and shot 5-for-13 in that game.
Other Option – Pascal Siakam ($7,600), Kyle Kuzma ($7,200), Michael Porter Jr. ($6,800), OG Anunoby ($6,100)
Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers, $5,700 – After the Operation: Tank button was pressed, Okeke received the start on Friday and played a whopping 37 minutes. He attempted 15 shots and produced 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, which resulted in 41 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging 0.69 DKFP per minute and shooting 41% from the field, so that game was likely an outlier. With that said, he should get plenty of playing time as he is the only healthy power forward listed on the depth chart.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Atlanta Hawks, $10,400 – Jokic is averaging a ridiculous 1.61 DKFP per minute. He’s gone for at least 60 DKFP 25 times this season, with nine of those over 70 and a high of 88.5. Over the past five games, he’s gone for 65, 41.5, 71.75, 64 and 74.25 DKFP. All one can do is laugh and appreciate the greatness. He did face the Hawks back in late February, and he “only” put up 43 DKFP as he shot 5-for-15 from the field. It happens.
Other Option – Clint Capela ($7,500)
Khem Birch, Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Lakers, $5,000 – Operation: Tank allowed Birch to start and play 37 minutes in the last game. He put up 52.25 DKFP! On the season, he is averaging 0.8 DKFP per minute. A repeat performance shouldn’t be expected but he could be in-line for another heavy workload. Keep an eye on the status of Wendell Carter Jr. ($5,900) because if he plays, then Birch’s minutes will decrease.
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