Whether you’re chasing or just not a football fan, there is always a Sunday NBA DFS slate waiting for you. These slates are not very big, so the research process can be light. While everyone else dedicates their day to the NFL, we can get ahead by digging into the five-game evening slate that starts at 6 p.m. ET.
Delay the work week a few more hours. Get in on some NBA DFS action, and start by enjoying another colorful weekend edition of the NBA Targets.
Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder at Brooklyn Nets, $7,200 — A decade ago, Russell Westbrook was routinely churning out triple-doubles for the Thunder. Giddey isn’t as explosive as Westbrook, but he flirts with double-digit points, rebounds and assists each night. In two of the last three games, he’s scored over 50 DKFP, and the Thunder are rolling. They’ve won four of the last five.
Kyrie Irving, Brookyln Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $9,200 — The Thunder are pretty good defensively (11th), but they will be underdogs on the road Sunday night. They play at the fifth-fastest pace, which is good for Irving. Even better for Irving’s numbers, is that Kevin Durant is out. The Nets’ next best player, Ben Simmons, didn’t even score a point in 26 minutes on Thursday. Simmons only shot the ball three times. Irving can do whatever he wants.
Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $6,200 — The minutes are there. Schroder is averaging 36.2 MPG over the last eight games. The pace is there. The Lakers are the fastest team in the NBA. The matchup isn’t great. Philly allows 41.9 DKFP per game to opposing point guards. That’s the lowest in the league. Two out of three ain’t bad.
Jaden Hardy, Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers, $3,000 — This is round two. The Mavs played Portland last night. It’s also their fifth straight road game and third game in four nights. Also, the Mavs’ starters logged minutes in the mid-forties during a double OT game on Thursday. The starters were in the mid-thirties on Saturday. We should see a different rotation on Sunday, and Hardy — only played 10 minutes on Saturday — should be a big part of that lineup.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $11,000 — Through modern science, the 38-year-old is performing like he’s in his prime. Like it or not, fading James out of principle is like fading Barry Bonds in 2001. You might feel good about it, but your wallet won’t. The current Lakers are reminiscent of a late 2000s Cavaliers squad. It’s James and nobodies, so he does it all himself. James has scored over 58 DKFP in four of the last five games. The 76ers are a tough matchup, but Philly is on the second night of a road back-to-back.
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers, $6,500 — On Thursday, Harris underperformed in 33 minutes in a blowout loss. In the two previous games, Harris did little in easy back-to-back wins over Detroit. In three of the four games from Dec. 31 to Jan. 6, Harris scored 40.75, 39.5 and 43.75 DKFP. Harris sat out the front-end of the back-to-back on Saturday. There is a good chance that the Sixers rest a star or two on Sunday, and Harris becomes the lead man in an up-tempo matchup with the Lakers.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs, $5,700 — The Spurs are a dream matchup in DFS. Their 116.5 defensive efficiency rating is the worst in the NBA and they play at the sixth-fastest pace. Barnes is quietly putting together a solid season. Only the degenerates follow the Kings, but the degenerates knows that Barnes has scored over 30 DKFP in four of the last six with 44.3 DKFP in his last game and an average of 32.3 DKFP per game over that span.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic, $4,600 — Raise your hand if you’re new around here? Can one of the weekend regulars fill you in? Okay, I’ll do it. We play KCP at home. Away teams struggle at altitude. This noticeable advantage for Denver bears out in KCP’s splits. In his last 13 home games, he’s averaging 25.6 DKFP per game with an average return of 5.9x.
T.J. Warren, Brookyln Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,200 — In three of the last five games, Warren had a usage rate over 25%. In three of the last five games (not the same games), Warren played over 23 minutes. In the last game, Warren’s minutes and usage aligned — 28 minutes and a 32.2% usage rate. Durant is still out, so there’s no reason why Warren can’t replicate those numbers and lead the second unit on Sunday.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic, $11,600 — It seems like the Joker always plays on Sunday night. DFS players have to make the tough decision every week. Pay up for Jokic or take the value option on the small slate. Matchups don’t matter. Jokic has the safest floor in the NBA. The question is will Jokic be pushed. Jamal Murray surprisingly popped up on the injury report. If he’s out, then Jokic may need to do more of the heavy lifting. The Magic are 10-9-1 ATS as road dogs, so there is a chance that this could be a competitive contest that pushes Jokic to a ceiling game.
Trey Lyles, Sacramento Kings at San Antonio Spurs, $3,600 — Kevin Huerter is questionable for Sunday’s game. In the last two games, Lyles has scored 34.3 and 30.3 DKFP. Even before the increase in minutes, Lyles score 24.8 DKFP in 16.2 minutes on Jan. 9 and 19.8 DKFP in 13.2 minutes on Jan. 7. Lyles is feeling it and should get plenty of run regardless of Huerter’s status.
Zeke Nnaji, Denver Nuggets vs. Orlando Magic, $3,500 — He proves that accuracy is more important than volume with an All-Star level True Shooting% (64.9%). The Nuggets are expected to be one of the highest scoring teams on the slate with 120.75 points, and they should be in for an easy time tonight with a soft matchup vs. the Magic (111.7 defensive efficiency rating — 22nd). NNaji has returned 5x value or more in four of his last eight games, and he’s 4-for-4 when he gets at least 15 minutes of work. In those four positive outings, he is averaging 23.5 DKFP across 17 MPG with a return of 7.2x. He’s been better than a point-per-dollar producer in each of his last two games.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.