Sundays are NBA days now. There are day slates, but the night slates and sweats remain supreme. These slates are not very big, so the research process can be light. We can get ahead by digging into the four-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.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans, $10,500 — For some, it’s the trumpets on Sunday morning. For others, it’s the ticking clock on Sunday evening that officially ends the weekend. For DFS nerds, it’s Dame dropping a ton of DKFP on the Sunday slate. Last Sunday, he scored 66.75 DKFP in Orlando. The week earlier, he dropped 93 DKFP on Houston. New Orleans has lost seven of their last nine games. This should be a favorable matchup.
Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks, $6,100 — The Lakers play at the fastest pace in the NBA. A bench player here and there can be productive at DraftKings, but multiple second-unit Lakers can produce because of their pace. Schroder moved to the bench on Friday, but he still played 33 minutes and scored 41.25 DKFP. His 33.5% Usage Rate in that game was a season high.
Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks, $5,000 — Here is another point about the LA bench. Their first team has a couple notable usage hogs, so the backups benefit by being alone on the court. Benches are in play on normal nights, but especially so on a small slate (four games). Reaves was a starter earlier this season, but after roster shakeups, Reaves has become a reserve. In his last eight games, Reaves has scored over 27 DKFP six times. In those six games, he’s averaging 32.1 DKFP across 29.2 MPG with an 18.8% Usage Rate (8.1x return of value).
Malaki Branham, San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,400 — There are some expensive stars on this slate. Salary savings will be required to fit those DFS picks. The first-round pick has struggled lately, but that’s expected from a rookie. His shots are not falling and he is shooting less, but Popovich is sticking with him. Branham starts and plays close to 30 minutes per night. That’s 30 minutes on an up-tempo team. On Sunday, the speedy Spurs play another up-tempo team (the Thunder are sixth in Pace) that could struggle defensively on the back-to-back.
Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers, $9,800 — The Knicks’ west coast trip has been rough on Randle. His shooting has been terrible, but he is shooting more than ever. His minutes are up and his usage rate is up. Sunday’s 9 p.m. contest is a marquee matchup. Randle is not going to shy away from center stage, especially against his former team. Narratives aside, if Randle’s 3-Point shooting returns to his season average (33.7%), then his normal floor will apply. Plus, the Lakers’ pace and the LA narrative provide the potential for an explosive performance.
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $5,500 — The stud stratification might be a stretch, but on Sunday’s slate it’s suitable. Murphy has scored 24 DKFP in five straight games. He’s started in each of the last four, and he’s played no less than 37 minutes in any of those starts. This pick provides multi-position eligibility (SG and SF) and a ridiculous amount of minutes in a favorable matchup. The Trail Blazers Defensive Efficiency Rating is 114.8 — 27th,
Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $5,100 — This is very similar to the Muphy pick. Jones is slightly cheaper and could go lower owned due to a bad game in his previous contest (foul trouble on Saturday). He’s going to have fresh legs on Sunday and should return to his normal minutes allotment — north of 35 MPG. On a small slate, the minutes and matchup might go overlooked because the Pelicans are not cheap enough for DFS players. Prior to yesterday's disappointment, Jones scored 33.75 DKFP on Wednesday and 40 DKFP last Monday.
Cam Reddish, Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans, $5,200 — Dive back into the dumpster. On Saturday, the Detroit-Indiana game featured several appealing DFS picks. The Blazers-Pelicans game is the least appealing NBA game on Sunday, but a key piece of the DFS slate. Reddish is a bench player in a bad game, and he’s not cheap. However, he played his normal minutes off the bench and his usage rate increased in his first game leading the second unit. Reddish will get more opportunities and softer matchups in his new role.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards, $11,500 — It’s a small slate. That means fewer options and fewer players with high floors and high cielings. Those players are rare on regular slates. Embiid is a safe bet for 60 DKFP every night. He’s hit that number in his last two and five of his last 10. The No. 2 seed in the East is not out of reach, so Philly is taking their final games seriously.
Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $6,200 — It’s been 10 games since Collins took control of the San Antonio frontcourt (Jakob Poeltl trade). He has returned 5.7x value or better in seven of those contests with a low of 4.1x and a high of 12.3x. In his last game, he only scored 26.75 DKFP (4.1x), but that was a blowout win led by Collins. He scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Jaylin Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, $3,900 — Predicting the Thunder’s frontcourt rotation has been maddening this season. Sunday is a back-to-back, so several stars and starters could rest. This will open up minutes and usage. The Spurs present an appealing matchup with a 117.6 Defensive Efficiency Rating (30th) and an appealing 103.7 in Pace (2nd).
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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.