There are seven games for Sunday’s main DraftKings NBA slate, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. There are six teams (the Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, Heat, Thunder, and Raptors) playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DraftKings Sportsbook has two games with a double-digit spread: Suns (-16) at Thunder and Knicks (-10.5) at Rockets. There is one game with an O/U of at least 230: The Trail Blazers at the Celtics (234).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings, $10,800 - This Donic guy is pretty good at this basketball thing. He may have a future. On the season, he’s averaging 1.55 DKFP per minute. Over the past two games, he’s put up 80.5 and 61 DKFP. HalleLuka! Now he faces a Kings team that plays at the eighth-fastest pace in the league and is dead-last in defensive efficiency. They also boost the FPPM to point guards by 11.97% above league average. Doncic has faced the Kings twice in the last few weeks and he’s gone for 46 and 61 DKFP.
Other Options – Damian Lillard ($9,400)
Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $3,100 – The minutes are all over the place for Mills. Over the past four games, he’s played 20, 32, 16 and 22 minutes, so there’s risk here. That said, Derrick White is out and Dejounte Murray ($7,500) is questionable. Popovich may have no choice but to play the Australian Steph Curry for a ton of minutes. On the season, Mills is averaging 0.76 DKFP per minute but has gone over 20 DKFP 30 times this season with a high of 35.25. At close to the minimum price, the risk is worth the upside. At worst, he plays in the teens and pays off the salary expectation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Spurs SF DeMar DeRozan (rest), PG Dejounte Murray (knee) and C Jakob Poeltl (rest) have been ruled out for today’s game vs. the 76ers.
Other Options – Delon Wright ($5,000)
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Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks, $7,300 – Since De’Aaron Fox went into the health and safety protocols, Haliburton has started all four games. He’s averaged 35.6 minutes, 18.5 points, 2.3 3-pointers, three rebounds, nine assists and 1.8 steals while garnering a 24% usage rate. That’s translated to 42.25, 41.75, 26 and 50.5 DKFP. It is a pace-down spot for Haliburton, as the Mavericks play at the 25th-fastest pace in the NBA, but the O/U is a healthy 227 and he’s the captain of the ship right now.
Other Options – CJ McCollum ($8,100)
Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $3,500 – Walker has played 30 and 34 minutes the past two games, earning 24.75 and 32.5 DKFP. As mentioned in the Mills blurb, White is out and Murray is questionable. Walker should be in line for 30 minutes in this one. On the season, he averages only 0.74 DKFP per minute and is highly dependent on scoring. If he doesn't shoot 47% and 75% from the field as he’s done in the last two games, it could be an issue. That said, he’s attempted 15 and 12 shots and is priced low enough that he should pay off his salary, with the possibility for more. Walker has gone for at least 30 DKFP in six games this season with a high of 46.
Other Options – Delon Wright ($5,000)
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets, $9,000 – Butler is coming off a 29.5-DKFP performance. He only played 30 minutes because the Heat took care of the Cavaliers, 124-107. Prior to that, he played 39, 35, 36, 37 and 34 minutes, contributing 49.5, 54.5, 43.25, 38 and 45.25 DKFP. The usage rate has been 23%, 31%, 34%, 30% and 26%. On the season, that number has been at 25%. Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro have already been announced out for this one while Goran Dragic ($5,200) is questionable, so Butler should continue seeing elevated usage. The Hornets boost the FPPM to small forwards by 4.06% above league average.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,200), Miles Bridges ($7,100), RJ Barrett ($6,500)
Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings, $5,000 – You will never see Finney-Smith on SportsCenter, and the usage is only a paltry 13%, but he plays 34 minutes a game and contributes a little something in every category. Minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe! Over the past four games, he’s played 41, 30, 33 and 32 minutes, contributing 34.25, 31.25, 30 and 34.75 DKFP. The game environment should be a good one as the Kings play at the eighth-fastest pace.
Other Options – Mikal Bridges ($5,300)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $9,900 – Tatum has gone for 82 and 59.5 DKFP in the past two games. He played 41 and 45 minutes with the 82-DKFP game coming in overtime. Don’t expect another ceiling performance like that, but the stars could be aligned for another robust game. The Trail Blazers are 29th in defensive efficiency and boost the FPPM to power forwards by 17.48% above league average, the most generous in the league. In addition, Kemba Walker has already been ruled out while Jaylen Brown ($8,400) is questionable, so more usage could come his way.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($10,200), Anthony Davis ($9,100), Miles Bridges ($7,100)
Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $4,800 – On the season, Johnson is averaging 0.88 DKFP per minute. Over the past four games, he’s played 39, 28, 38 and 34 minutes. He’s scored at least 20 DKFP in eight of the past nine games. He hasn’t accessed ceiling games lately, but he did go for over 40 DKFP five times earlier in the season and has a season-high of 58.75 DKFP. The 76ers are second in defensive efficiency but they do boost the FPPM to power forwards by 2.5% above league average, so there’s a greater than Lloyd Christmas chance of exceeding salary expectations.
Other Options – Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,000)
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics, $7,200 – It’s been 16 games since Nurkic returned to action. The first 10 games were used as getting back into the groove. He played 18 minutes at first then settled into the 22-minute range. Since then, Portland ramped him up to 29 minutes but, unfortunately, he’s only played 20, 21 and 26 minutes in the past three games due to blowouts. That said, in those six games, he’s averaged a whopping 1.54 DKFP per minute. The Trail Blazers are favored by 1.5 points on the road, so this should be a competitive affair with Nurkic getting his full allotment of minutes. When that’s happened, he’s gone for over 50 DKFP twice.
Other Options – Joel Embiid ($10,400), Julius Randle ($10,200), Bam Adebayo ($8,300)
Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles Lakers, $5,100 – It took some time for Birch to find his footing and get acclimated in Toronto, but it looks like that happy place has been found by all. Birch has played 35 and 36 minutes and gone for 41.5 and 43.25 DKFP in the past two games. Those were tough games against Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic as well. The matchup with the Lakers isn’t great, as they are still first in defensive efficiency, but they do boost 3-point prowess to centers by 22.18% above the league average. Birch has attempted two and three 3-pointers in the past two games.
Other Options – Robert Williams ($5,200)
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