Sunday is the final day of the NBA regular season. Each game tips-off within the 1 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET window. Playoff position is on the line, but most teams are not expected to play their stars. Some are resting for the playoffs. Some are just done. Buckle up.
Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks, $6,400 — Go back to the well. These are strange times. Who is playing on the final day? How long are they playing? The players on the teams out of contention are the most reliable. The secondary players on these teams are even more reliable. Jones dropped 56 DKFP on the Timberwolves on Saturday in 32 minutes of action. Sunday is the same song, second verse.
Reggie Jackson, Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings, $5,600 — This game doesn’t mean anything to the Nuggets. They have locked up the No. 1 seed. Coach Malone chose to play his starters on Saturday. It’s very likely that he gives them the day on Sunday. The bench will be unloaded. Jackson got a rare start on Thursday and he scored 36.75 DKFP in 30 minutes of work while carrying a 28.6% usage rate. He should get plenty of work on Sunday. Denver’s first-round pick SG/SF Christian Braun ($6,000) also got a rare start and pitched in 28.5 DKFP across 34 minutes.
Isaiah Joe, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $4,700 — The key to this slate is playing players that play. That can be scrubs in meaningless games or stars fighting for better playoff seeds or playoff births. Sunday’s home game means nothing for the Thunder, so they are sitting every starter. Joe will play at least 30 minutes and will likely face backups in an up-tempo game. That’s a stud on this slate.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $8,600 — It’s not certain whether Edwards can rest. Regardless of playoff implications, Edwards just does not take games off. The T-Wolves cannot rest either. Yesterday’s game mattered, and they scored 151 points. Edwards had 49.75 DKFP in that contest. Sunday’s game is just as crucial. Edwards is one of the few stars on this slate that must play.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $10,900 — Here we are. The games matter. James has tossed on the uniform and decided to play. Is this the last hoorah? The stats seem to indicate it. When James cares, he’s a must play. The Lakers’ recent wins and his DKFP performances seem to indicate that he cares. Playing at home, in a comfortable environment, has been a significant factor during his career. He needs home games, and to ensure that in the playoffs, he needs to suit up for the final games of the season.
Dominick Barlow, San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks, $3,800 — The Spurs are closing the season on a back-to-back. Their stars — and that’s an exaggeration — rarely play both games of back-to-backs. They have been increasingly absent over the last month. The nobodies on the Spurs should get plenty of work on Sunday. Barlow is a nobody but he can be somebody on this strange slate. He played 28 minutes and scored 18.25 DKFP on Saturday in a tough matchup vs. Minnesota.
Larry Nance, New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves, $4,2004,200 — His minutes have slowly expanded since returning from injury. As the leader of the Pelicans’ frontcourt second unit, Nance should get plenty of run regardless of the implications of the outcome of this contest. Nance has the talent. He needs the minutes.
Dario Saric, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $4,400 — The Thunder might have seven players available on Sunday. It’s likely that Saric and SF Ousmane Dieng ($3,000) play 30 to 40 minutes vs. the Grizzlies. Neither are great players but they are solid plays and safe plays due to the certainty of their roles on this slate.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $ 11,200— A couple weeks ago the Lakers’ play-in chances were slim. Now, they look primed for a run. One reason for the turn around is AD. In the last five games, he’s scored over 55 DKFP five times and over 65 two times. The biggest worry is that this matchup is too soft. The Jazz will run out a bunch of backups to the backups. The lack of talent could lead to a blowout or a tightly contested game due to the scrubs’ hustle and heart.
Jeff Green, Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings, $4,100 — It’s unlikely that C Nikola Jokic ($11,700) plays in this meaningless game. Green will get all of the frontcourt work he can handle. Over the last five games, Green has been around a point-per-dollar player. The only drawback is that he is averaging 23.8 MPG. However, on this slate, he could easily get 30 minutes of work and he will not be surrounded by usage hogs.
Damian Jones, Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $4,300 —The Jazz shut down C Walker Kessler (concussion) for the remainder of the season. Frontcourt minutes have opened up. Jones has filled the void. This game means nothing for Utah. Most of their players will rest. Jones and the others that are desperate for NBA work should seize this opportunity.
Jabari Walker, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors, $5,400 — The merciful end of the 2023 season has come for Portland. It has not been a terrible season, but their decision to shut down their stars down the stretch paints a bleak pitcher. In that frame, Jabari Walker has stood out as a DFS producer.
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