The premier Sunday fantasy sport is now NBA DFS, and DraftKings has a fantasy basketball slate waiting for you. These slates are not very big, so the research process can be light. Start Sunday with a light DFS NBA read, and get ahead by digging into the seven-game DraftKings evening slate that starts at 6 p.m. ET.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Toronto Raptors, $10,300 —Transition buckets are easy buckets. Turnovers lead to transition buckets. SGA leads the NBA in steals. That creates scoring opportunities for himself. He’s third in points per game. It also leads to assists (19th). PF Jalen Williams and SG/SF Isaiah Joe are out Sunday. This could mean more work for SGA, or at least that’s what the super smart simulators seem to believe. Gilgeous-Alexander is projected to be the best point-per-dollar play on Sunday’s NBA DFS slate.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets, $8,300 — The Timberwolves game isn’t very appealing. Houston and Minnesota are not up-tempo teams, and they both play exceptional defense. Edwards is not the most appealing superstar in the NBA. All of these DFS warts create a fantasy basketball opportunity — an underowned Edwards. He doesn’t always hit, but the possibility is always present for a player that plays close to 40 minutes and carries a usage rate above 30%.
Keyonte George, Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $3,900 — The Jazz last played on Thursday. Their bench players were the darlings of that slate. They projected for value and they provided value. George played 21 minutes in a closely contested game and scored 18.75 DKFP. That’s not bad for a punt. He’s played over 20 minutes in four of the last five games and scored over 18 DKFP in each contest.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Utah Jazz, $11,400 — Utah ranks in the bottom third in defense, and the Jazz are one of the 10 fastest teams in the NBA. This creates fantasy opportunities for every opponent, and elite DFS potential for stars. Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks No. 1 in free throw attempts and two-point attempts per game. A free shooter versus a team that gives up plenty of shots is an easy pick. Antetokounmpo also fills the rest of the stat sheet. He’s sixth in rebounds and 14th in steals.
Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors at Oklahoma City Thunder, $8,900 — This is a pace-up spot for the Raptors. Barnes is playing nearly 40 minutes per game and his usage rate is close to 30%. He might not be the biggest name on Sunday’s slate, but his lack of brand keeps his salary at an affordable price. The savings might be slight, but a couple bucks here or there is significant. The savings allow NBA DFS players to spend up for a true superstar or it prevents dumpster diving. Relying on a punt to get minutes and produce is uncomfortable. Barnes may not be as safe as other stars, but he has upside in this matchup and the savings could go a long way.
Kris Dunn, Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $3,800 — Never go full Utah. It worked on Thursday and should work again in this matchup. The Bucks are the third-fastest team in the NBA, and they play below-average defense. There’s going to be fantasy points available, and it doesn’t take much for Dunn to work. A return of 4.5x value isn’t great, but he’s exceeded that number in six of the last seven. He’s been above a point-per-dollar NBA DFS pick over that span, but his minutes have been limited. It’s possible that Dunn could get extra run if the Bucks run away with this one.
Nikola Jokic, Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets, $11,800 — Portland spent the weekend in Denver. This is the Blazers’ second game in three days against the Nuggets. This creates a rare scenario. Road teams struggle to acclimate to Denver’s thin air. This gives the Nuggets an unfair advantage. It’s possible that the Blazers will have a little more giddy-up in their step. Then again, it’s the Blazers. If they can keep the game competitive, then that could mean a full allotment of minutes from Jokic. That’s a big if, but if it happens, that will mean big points from Jokic.
Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets, $8,800 — The Rockets-Timberwolves game is intriguing. Two top defenses are going to slug it out. This sounds ugly for NBA DFS. It will be a hard pass for many. Some NBA DFS players will immediately scratch it off their list and move on to other games. That’s not a bad decision. There won’t be a lot of opportunities for fantasy points, but there will be for a few. A slug it out game seems like a game that favors Sengun. Some will spend up and some will save at center, and Sengun slides under the radar in a game where he could flirt with a triple-double.
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $4,500 — Give the man minutes. What are the Jazz doing with their rotation? Everyone gets minutes and the Jazz lose every game. They’ve dropped six of their last eight. It’s not Kessler’s fault. He scored 27.25 DKFP in 14 minutes on Thursday. Before that uber-efficient performance, he scored 22.25 DKFP in 16 minutes on Tuesday Jan. 30 and 21.75 DKFP in 19 minutes in Monday’s game.
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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.