The NBA bubble has offered up plenty of exciting basketball so far and the action continues on Sunday. There are six games on the slate, starting with the Wizards and the Nets at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Luka Doncic, DAL at PHX, $10,800 — Doncic is the third-most expensive player on the slate, but you could make the case that he’s still underpriced at just $10,800. He’s coming off a 64.3 DKFP performance in his first game during the restart despite the fact that he shot just 11-of-27 from the field and 1-of-9 from three-point range. Those are both below-average marks for him.
Doncic is also in a strong spot. He’s taking on the Phoenix Suns, who haven’t exactly been a defensive juggernaut this season. The total on this game currently sits at 237.0 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Still, this is more about the price tag than anything else. Doncic has been priced with a comparable salary in 16 previous games and he’s exceeded his salary-implied points total by an average of +4.48 DKFP in those contests.
Other Options — Damian Lillard ($9,500), De’Aaron Fox ($7,900)
Derrick White, SA at MEM, $6,200 — White is going to have the opportunity to carry a big load vs. the Grizzlies. LaMarcus Aldridge will miss the remainder of the season and Bryn Forbes will miss at least one more contest. White led the Spurs in usage in the team’s first game during the restart and finished with 47.0 DKFP.
This game should also be played at a blistering pace. The Spurs posted a pace of 107.1 in their first contest in Orlando, which was significantly faster than San Antonio played before the shutdown. The Grizzlies played at the seventh-fastest pace prior to the restart and this game has a total of 236.0 points.
Other Options — Shabazz Napier ($5,400), Ish Smith ($3,800)
James Harden, HOU at MIL, $11,100 — Harden headlines the SG position, just like he’s done for much of the past three seasons. He’s coming off a monster performance in his first game in Orlando, posting 85.25 DKFP vs. the Mavericks.
He’s in an interesting spot today against the Bucks. On one hand, Milwaukee has been the best defensive team in basketball this season by a pretty significant margin. On the other hand, the Bucks have also played at the fastest pace in the league.
Overall, the pace should make this game pretty appealing from a fantasy perspective. The total on this game sits at 243.5 points, which is the top mark on the slate.
Other Options — Devin Booker ($8,600), Caris LeVert ($7,800)
Lonnie Walker IV, SA at MEM, $3,500 — It’s going to be hard to pass up on Walker at just $3,500 on Sunday. He’s coming off 32.2 minutes in his last game and he responded with 25.25 DKFP. He should continue to see an increased workload given the Spurs’ injury situation, even if Patty Mills is ultimately back in the lineup. Historically, players with a comparable salary who play at least 25 minutes have averaged 22.96 DKFP per game. That would make him an excellent option at his current price tag.
Other Options — Dillon Brooks ($5,100), Troy Brown Jr. ($4,500)
DeMar DeRozan, SA at MEM, $7,600 — DeRozan might be a little overlooked today given the presence of guys like Doncic and Harden, but he shouldn’t be. He’s coming off 47.75 DKFP in his last game and he showed some excellent upside as a distributor. He handed out 10 dimes in that contest and we already know about his ability to score the basketball.
Overall, he figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the absence of Aldridge. He’s increased his usage rate by +2.9% with Aldridge off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.20 DKFP per minute.
The Spurs in general look like an excellent team to target on today’s slate, so stacking them up is definitely a viable strategy.
Other Options — Jayson Tatum ($8,200), Khris Middleton ($7,800)
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, BKN vs. WAS, $4,000 — The Nets were expected to be one of the better sources of value heading into the restart. Brooklyn is missing a lot of firepower, which opens up a bunch of usage for the rest of the roster.
That didn’t exactly come to fruition during their first game. The Nets ultimately played 13 players at least 9.5 minutes and no one played more than 29.0 minutes. Brooklyn was getting beat down in that contest – the Nets trailed 111-82 heading into the fourth quarter – so perhaps that will change moving forward.
TLC was one of the lone bright spots for the Nets in that game. He ultimately finished with 33.5 DKFP, thanks in part to a hot shooting night. He probably won’t go 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range again, but he might be able to make up for it with a few additional minutes.
Other Options — Danuel House ($4,400), Jerome Robinson ($4,200)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at HOU, $11,000 — Giannis filled up the stat sheet in his last game, tallying 36 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block. He ultimately finished with 70.3 DKFP over just 32.1 minutes, which is ridiculous efficiency.
Giannis has been dominant all season and is well on his way toward his second-consecutive MVP and I have no idea how Houston is going to handle him. No one in their starting lineup is taller than 6-foot-7, so Giannis will have roughly half a foot on the entire team. It’s one thing to surrender that much size to a lumbering center, but it’s another thing entirely against an elite athlete like Giannis. He should have a field day on the glass and on the interior.
Other Options — Jusuf Nurkic ($7,700), Rui Hachimura ($7,400)
Jaren Jackson Jr., MEM vs. SA, $5,200 — The Grizzlies are fighting to hold on to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. They hold a 2.5-game lead over the Blazers, while the Spurs, Kings and Pelicans aren’t far behind. With that in mind, the Grizzlies are going to take these seeding games very seriously.
That could mean a few extra minutes for Jackson, who has a very diverse skill set. He’s capable of knocking down shots on the perimeter and protecting the rim on defense, and it’s hard to find guys who can do both at a high level.
Overall, $5,200 just seems too cheap for Jackson considering the stakes. He’s averaged 30.22 DKFP over just 28.3 minutes per game and he played more than 43 minutes vs. the Blazers on Friday.
Other Options — Brandon Clarke ($4,200), Zach Collins ($3,400)
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL at PHO, $9,000 — Porzingis absolutely torched the undersized Rockets on Friday, logging 70.0 DKFP over 38.5 minutes. That continues his strong run of play from before the shutdown, bringing his average to 51.75 DKFP over his past 15 games.
He will face a tougher matchup today vs. the Suns, who have a solid defensive center in Deandre Ayton. Still, the Suns are not a defensive juggernaut by any stretch of the imagination.
Other Options — Nikola Vucevic ($8,700), Deandre Ayton ($8,500)
Jarrett Allen, BKN vs. WAS, $5,600 — Allen entered the bubble with high expectations. He had spent most of the year playing in a timeshare with DeAndre Jordan, but Jordan did not make the trip to Orlando. The thought of Allen getting a few additional minutes per night was pretty tantalizing given his average of 1.08 DKFP per minute.
He disappointed in his first start but I’m not giving up hope just yet. He can hopefully play a bit more if today’s game stays competitive and he’s in a dream spot vs. the Wizards. They played at the sixth-fastest pace prior to the shutdown and ranked 29th in defensive efficiency and dead-last in team rebound rate.
Other Options — Thomas Bryant ($4,800), Jakob Poeltl ($4,000)
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