FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're set for a much bigger than usual Sunday evening slate with nine games. With only one matchup projecting a double-digit spread, we should be in line for a competitive night and that bodes well for DFS purposes. However, there's notably only a pair of contests listing a total above 220, so standout individual performances may be slightly less common than usual.

Slate Overview

Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors (-8.5) (O/U: 212.5 points) 

Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat (-4) (O/U: 216.5 points) 

Chicago Bulls (-3.5) at Orlando Magic (O/U: 216.0 points) 

Atlanta Hawks at Charlotte Hornets (-3) (O/U: 236.5 points) 

Philadelphia 76ers (-1.5) at San Antonio Spurs (O/U: 225.5 points) 

Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks (-3.5) (O/U: 217.0 points) 

Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves (-2) (O/U: 238.5 points) 

Detroit Pistons at Denver Nuggets (-11.5) (O/U: 217.0 points) 

Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors (-3.5) (O/U: 219.5 points) 

There are several intriguing matchups on the docket along with a couple of somewhat surprisingly narrow spreads. The projected advantages of the Bulls and Heat are arguably smaller than one would think, as is that of the 76ers over the Spurs. However, the most noteworthy might be the line attached to the Nets-Timberwolves matchup, with Minnesota the favorite and the total the highest projected one of the night by far.

The marquee matchup on paper would be the Jazz-Warriors, but there is some luster lost with the confirmed absence of Donovan Mitchell with a concussion and a possible one for Rudy Gobert, who's questionable with an ankle injury.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following is a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section. 

LeBron James, LAL (abdomen): PROBABLE 

James is fully expected to continue playing through his abdomen injury and could have Anthony Davis back on the court with him for at least a limited role.

Anthony Davis, LAL (knee): QUESTIONABLE 

Davis was reevaluated this week and apparently has a legitimate chance to play, though he'd likely be on a minutes restriction after a multi-week layoff.

Donovan Mitchell, UTA (concussion): OUT 

In Mitchell's ongoing absence, Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson should see bumps in opportunity while the remainder of the starting five would also enjoy increases in usage. 

Rudy Gobert, UTA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE 

If Gobert sits, Hassan Whiteside (conditioning) would be in line for a potential start if he can suit up. 

Kyle Lowry, MIA (personal): OUT

In Lowry's absence, Gabe Vincent could draw another start at point guard. 

Zach LaVine, CHI (knee): OUT 

With LaVine out, Matt Thomas and Ayo Dosunmu should be primary beneficiaries with the latter likely to start at shooting guard. 

Lonzo Ball, CHI (knee): OUT 

In Ball's absence, Coby White would receive another start at point guard. 

Desmond Bane, MEM (COVID-19 protocols): OUT 

With Bane out of action, De'Anthony Melton and John Konchar should be primary beneficiaries.

Other notable injuries: 

Kevin Durant, BKN (knee): OUT 

Damian Lillard, POR (abdominal): OUT 

Jerami Grant, DET (thumb): OUT 

Tyler Herro, MIA (COVID-19 protocols): OUT 

Norman Powell, POR (personal): OUT 

Draymond Green, GSW (calf): OUT 

Steven Adams, MEM (ankle): QUESTIONABLE 

Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA (finger): PROBABLE 

Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL (knee): OUT 

Dillon Brooks, MEM (ankle): OUT 

Seth Curry, PHI (ankle): OUT 

Larry Nance, POR (knee): OUT

Elite Players

We have seven players with five-figure salaries on Sunday's slate – Nikola Jokic ($11,900), Joel Embiid ($11,200), James Harden ($11,000), Luka Doncic ($10,800), LeBron James ($10,600), Dejounte Murray ($10,300) and Trae Young ($10,000)

Jokic has produced over 67 FD points in three straight games and is averaging an NBA-high 56.9 on the season. The Pistons also check in ranked just outside the bottom-10 in offensive efficiency allowed to centers.

Embiid has been only slightly less prolific than Jokic with 77.4 and 62.6 FD points in his last two outings.

Harden sports a 33.9 percent usage rate without Kevin Durant and bounced back from a modest showing against the Wizards to post 65.5 FD points versus the Spurs on Friday.

Doncic has been dealing with a neck injury, but he'll suit up Sunday and has posted over 65 FD points in two of his last three appearances.

James continues to carry a floor in the low 40s as far as FD scoring. And although Anthony Davis could return to action, LeBron's usage should still be elevated.

Murray has managed 64 and 56.4 FD points in his last two and the matchup against the 76ers is projected to be very close, meaning he's likely to see a hefty workload.

Young bumped down to 37.1 FD points in his most recent contest, but he scored 45.1 to 62 in the three previous games and double-doubled twice during that sample. He also scored 49.3 FD points over 36 minutes in his most recent encounter with the Hornets.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the players just mentioned, other likely chalk plays include:

Stephen Curry, GSW ($9,800) 

Curry has scored over 40 FD points in three straight contests after a pair of tallies under 30 and should be one of the slate's most popular point guards. 

Ja Morant, MEM ($9,600) 

Morant has produced 62.6 and 54.2 FD points in his last two games, though it's worth noting he was held to 35 by the Mavs the last time they played

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($9,500) 

Towns will be part of what should be a wire-to-wire affair against the Nets and has posted over 40 FD points in 10 of the last 11 matchups.

Kyrie Irving, BKN ($8,900) 

Irving dipped below 40 FD points in his most recent game against the Spurs, but he sports a robust 29.7 percent usage rate without Durant while averaging 43.8 FD points per 36 minutes in that split. 

DeMar DeRozan, CHI ($8,400) 

DeRozan continues to boast a team-high usage rate of just under 40 percent without Ball and LaVine on the floor and has managed over 44 FD points in three of his last four outings. He also has a premium matchup against a Magic team that's given up the highest offensive efficiency in the NBA to power forwards.

Key Values 

Ayo Dosunmu, CHI at ORL ($6,000) 

Dosunmu turned in a clunker against the Bucks on Friday with only 21 FD points over 39 minutes. However, the rookie had scored 38.6 to 50 FD points in the three previous games and should see another healthy allotment of minutes and a likely start with all of Ball, Lavine and Alex Caruso (wrist) sidelined. The matchup against the Magic is appealing, as Orlando sits fourth-lowest in defensive rating of any team on its home floor (112.8), is allowing the 11th-highest offensive efficiency to backcourt players (47.3 percent) and has given up 40.1 percent three-point shooting to two-guards.

LaMarcus Aldridge, BKN at MIN ($6,000) 

Aldridge sports a 27.6 percent usage rage and averages 44.9 FD points per 36 minutes without Durant on the floor this year, and the big man also checks into this favorable matchup having posted 26.5 to 44.7 FD points in the last three games. Aldridge has taken double-digit shot attempts in each of those contests and should be in prime position to continue producing Sunday, considering the T-Wolves have allowed the fourth-highest offensive efficiency to centers (33.9 percent) and 56.5 FD points per contest to the position. Minnesota has also yielded an NBA-high 57.2 rebounds per home game, furthering Aldridge's case.

Tyrese Maxey, PHI at SA ($5,900) 

Maxey has scored over 30 FD points in four of his last five, a stretch where he's shot a blistering 52.6 percent from three-point range. The young guard is putting up a healthy 13 shot attempts per contest during that span as well and is averaging 36 FD points per 36 minutes without backcourt mate Seth Curry (ankle) available. The Spurs also make for very likely facilitators of continued strong production, considering San Antonio is ranked in the bottom-10 in offensive efficiency allowed to point guards (25.9 percent) and has yielded 48.6 FD points per game to the position as well. Maxey's salary is one he's already delivered over a 5x return in 22 of 38 games, making him all the more appealing.

ALSO CONSIDER: Gordon Hayward, CHA vs. ATL ($5,900)

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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