The big game doesn’t begin for hours. Before you binge on appetizers, how about an NBA DFS appetizer? The fantasy basketball slate at DraftKings is small on Sunday, but it’s tasty and the perfect hors d’oeuvre for this evening’s NFL action at DraftKings. Start Sunday with a light DFS NBA read, and get your early sports fix on Super Bowl Sunday by digging into the two-game afternoon slate that starts at 2 p.m. ET.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings, $10,200 — This is a small slate. It’s microscopic, but that does not mean it lacks talent. Two of the most statistically prolific players in the NBA are on the DraftKings Sunday afternoon slate. SGA leads the league in steals per game and is third in scoring. He’s 16th in assists. That’s a little low for a star point guard, but that’s because he shoots more than he passes. Assists are great, but points are better.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, $6,600 — SF Jimmy Butler ($7,500) is questionable to play on Sunday due to personal reasons. The entire slate hinges on whether he suits up at 2 p.m. ET. If he’s out, then it’s all-in on the Heat. When Butler is off the court, Herro carries the highest usage rate (28.4%). This is not the best matchup for Herro. The Celtics 109.2 Defensive Efficiency Rating ranks third in the NBA. But it’s a two-game slate. Deal with it. The Wizards hung 129 points on the Celtics on Friday and nearly won. There shouldn’t be much concern with rostering Herro at this price if Butler is out.
Terry Rozier, Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, $6,100 — The Jimmy Butler situation is important, but $6,100 is more than fair for Rozier on this slate. Rozier’s salary reached $8,900 with the Hornets earlier this season. This is a different story, but it’s not a tragedy. The Celtics matchup isn’t a fairy tale, either. Actually, this could be a revenge story. Rozier started his career with the Celtics, and now he plays for their main rival and has the opportunity to be the team leader with Jimmy Butler possibly being ruled out.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics at Miami Heat, $9,400 — This is a revenge game for Tatum and it’s on a big stage. It’s Super Bowl Sunday and all eyes are on the NFL, but the afternoon is empty. The Celtics vs. Heat will be nationally broadcasted on ABC. This game is the perfect Super Bowl appetizer. The Celtics lost the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals to the Heat. It’s time for revenge. NBA players get hyped for very few regular season games, but the confluence of circumstances could lead to a massive fantasy performance from the Celtics’ superstar.
Caleb Martin, Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, $4,400 — A boost in minutes is expected if Jimmy Butler is out. Martin is averaging 0.81 fantasy points per minute. On a normal slate, Martin would not be in play even with a minutes boost. This is not an ideal matchup. But this is not an ideal slate. Martin is cheap and could play well over 30 minutes on Sunday. He has a safe floor but his upside is questionable. All things considered, the possible court time is too hard to fade on a two-game slate with a salary south of $5,000.
Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder, $5,000 — Just trust the projections? On a two-game slate, that might be the best advise. Or fade the projections because everyone else is leaning on the sims and A.I. It’s a bit odd that the computers like Murray on Sunday, but there aren’t many options to choose from with only four teams in action. It’s especially strange given that he was scoreless on Wednesday Feb. 7. He did bounce back with 17 points in 27 minutes in a tough matchup with Denver on Friday. His minutes are locked in around 30 and his salary has dropped to a flat $5K. That’s the lowest it’s been all season. This doesn’t sound like a smash play, but this NBA DFS slate is unique. Exceptions must be made on a two-game slate. Every NBA DFS pick doesn’t have to hit — they just can’t miss.
Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder, $9,900 — He’s not an All-Star, but he’s a superstar. Like his father Arvydas, Domantas Sabonis is an underrated and underappreciated center. NBA fans ignore the Kings’ big man and NBA DFS enthusiasts are also reluctant to give Sabonis the respect that he deserves. Sabonis is top-5 player in terms of Versatility Index. What is that obscure stat? It measures a player’s ability to stuff the stat sheet. Nikola Jokic is No. 1 and the rest of the top 5 are obvious. Sabonis is five. When it comes to Points + Rebounds + Assists, he’s elite. And on a two-game slate, he’s unavoidable.
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, $8,000 — DraftKings is taking advantage of the moment. There’s nothing going on Sunday afternoon. Play NBA DFS. The salaries are soft. Building a lineup isn’t hard. Adebayo’s salary has peaked at $9,200 this season. His $8,000 tag on a two-game slate without Jimmy Butler is a steal. Center is not a deep position on this slate. Imagine that. There are four teams playing. Adebayo lacks the safety Sabonis supplies, but he’s significantly cheaper and has upside.
Kevin Love, Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics, $3,500 — Pay up. This is not the slate to save at center. Unless something changes before lock, this is the best option. It’s not a good option. It can only be justified if the reasoning is to jam in studs. Love makes cameo appearances during the regular season. He never logs more than 20 minutes, but he gets the most out of those minutes. The old man averages 1.25 FPPM, and he has exceeded 5x value in five straight 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.