There are seven games for Sunday’s NBA main slate (CHI/TOR was postponed) with one game tipping off at 7:00 p.m. ET — the Washington Wizards at the Boston Celtics. There are four games at 8:00 p.m. ET — the New York Knicks at the Detroit Pistons, the Memphis Grizzlies at the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors at the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Atlanta Hawks at the Miami Heat. The next game tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET with the Phoenix Suns at the Minnesota Timberwolves. The late-night hammer is the Charlotte Hornets at the Sacramento Kings, which starts at 10:00 p.m. ET. The Hawks, Timberwolves, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Raptors are all playing the second leg of a back-to-back. DK Sportsbook has one game with a double-digit spread — Suns (-10.). There are three games with an O/U of at least 230 — WAS/BOS (232.5), LAC/MIL (233.5), and CHA/SAC (238.5).
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your lineups.
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings vs. Charlotte Hornets, $8,600 – There are plenty of high-priced stud point guards to choose from on this slate, and many have a better floor/ceiling combo than Fox, but the price, projection and environment are too juicy for me to ignore. The Hornets play at the 13th-fastest pace and are 20th in defensive efficiency. Against point guards, they boost the fantasy points per minute by 2.72% above league average. DraftKings Sportsbook has this game as a pick-em with the highest O/U on the slate. Over the past three games, Fox has put up 47.75, 52.5 and 42.75 DKFP. Now, he does have two games with less than 20 DKFP on the season and often languishes in the 40 DKFP range, but he has gone for at least 60 DKFP three times with one being a 77.5 DKFP outburst against the Pelicans.
Other Options – Steph Curry ($10,000), LaMelo Ball ($8,800), Kemba Walker ($6,800)
Jaylen Nowell, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns, $3,800 – Nowell is averaging 0.91 DKFP and the matchup and game environment are not fantasy-friendly, as the Suns play at the second-slowest pace and are seventh in defensive efficiency. With that said, over the past three games, Nowell has played 22, 19 and 26 minutes and hoisted nine, 10 and 10 shots. The 26-minute game was the first without Malik Beasley available to play.
Other Options – Goran Dragic ($5,400), Derrick Rose ($5,700)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics, $9,600 – Beal is averaging 1.4 DKFP per minute. Over the past eight games, he’s gone for 54.5, 46, 48.5, 55.25, 52.75, 45.5, 57.5 and 54.25 DKFP. On the season, he has a high of 79.75 DKFP and went for 50.75 DKFP the last time these two teams met. The Celtics are normally good defending opposing shooting guards, primarily because of Jaylen Brown ($8,700; knee), but he is listed as questionable for this one, which could elevate the matchup for Beal. Regardless, Beal garners a usage rate of 35.8% on the season, which means he will always be heavily involved.
Other Option – Buddy Hield ($6,100)
Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets at Sacramento Kings, $5,300 – In late January, Monk became a regular part of the rotation. Granted, he was only playing 13 to 14 minutes at first, but then injuries struck the Hornets, and he’s averaged 25.2 minutes per game over the span of 15 games since. On the season, Monk is averaging 0.92 DKFP per minute. He’s a streaky shooter, but he’s been on quite the heater over the past three games, shooting 7-for-12, 10-for-21 and 9-for-16, good for 29.5, 40.5 and 33.25 DKFP. The matchup and game environments are favorable. Whether Monk takes advantage is another matter.
Other Option – De’Anthony Melton ($4,500)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards, $9,100 – Tatum gets the Rolls Royce of matchups for fantasy, as the Wizards play at the fastest pace while being 27th in defensive efficiency. Against small forwards, they boost the fantasy points per minute by 6.36% above league average. As mentioned above, Brown is listed as questionable for this contest. When Brown is off the floor, Tatum sees a 5% usage bump to 36.1%. Tatum has been struggling lately, but he should bounce back in this one.
Other Option – Jimmy Butler ($9,700)
Justise Winslow, Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets, $3,400 – Since returning to action, Winslow has played 21, 26 and 22 minutes. The shooting efficiency has been poor, as he’s gone 3-for-14, 1-for-10 and 4-for-8. With that said, he’s shot 14, 10 and eight times and garnered a usage rate of 35.3%, 17.5% and 22.4%. The minutes limit is a concern, but at close to the minimum price, Winslow can provide a nice ceiling because he can contribute in multiple categories and is heavily involved when he’s on the court.
Other Options – Miles Bridges ($4,700)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons, $9,500 – The top of the power forward pool has been ravaged by injuries and a postponement — Anthony Davis, Christian Wood and Pascal Siakam all have the dreaded red O next to their names. Randle is averaging 1.27 DKFP per minute. Over the past three games, he’s produced 57.5, 46.5 and 50.5 DKFP. The offense flows through him, especially lately, as the usage rate has been 29.8% over the past six games.
Other Option – Harrison Barnes ($6,500)
Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks, $4,400 – I hate writing up Olynyk here but none of the other players priced below $5,000 stood out to me. On the season, Olynyk is averaging 0.88 DKFP per minute. He is just so inconsistent, though. He’s gone for over 30 DKFP six times with a high of 38.5 DKFP, but there have been nine games scoring less than 20 DKFP. At least he’s played 32 and 31 minutes in the past two games and the Hawks boost 3-point shooting to power forwards by 10.94% above league average.
Jonas Valanciunas, Memphis Grizzlies at Houston Rockets, $7,400 – Are the Rockets on the slate? Play the opposing center. EZ PZ. With the Rockets going small-ball with P.J. Tucker ($4,000) at center until Christian Wood returns, Valanciunas should feast down low. He’s averaging 1.27 DKFP per minute.
Other Option – Draymond Green ($7,500)
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets at Sacramento Kings, $5,900 – Cody Zeller ($4,800; hip) has been downgraded to doubtful for this contest. If he’s unable to go, then Washington will likely start at center. Even if Zeller plays, Washington remains an attractive option because Zeller has only been playing in the low-20s so Washington should still get small-ball center minutes. The matchup is a good one, as the Kings boost the fantasy points per minute to centers by 6.1% above league average. They also play at a fast pace and the worst team in terms of defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Tristan Thompson ($4,500)
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