A short 3 game NBA slate on a football Sunday? This one is for the diehards. Count me in.
Despite a lack of games on the schedule, we certainly don’t have a lack of talent. There are 7 players priced above $9,000 on FanDuel that are in great spots. If we can find a way to mix three of these players into our rosters, it might be the key in getting a nice payday. The players are listed in tiers (studs, mid-range, value), so that you can easily narrow down your player search for Sunday night. Good luck in your contests!
Dennis Schroder ATL: $8,300 @ NYK
With a lack of options at the point guard position tonight, Schroder easily grades out as the best play on the board. The Knicks are 27th DvP against opposing PGs and allowed 44.9 FanDuel points to Kris Dunn on Saturday night. Schroder has an elite usage of 29.2% and has averaged 41.2 FanDuel points over his last two games. This is a spot where 35 points should be viewed as the floor. He should be the highest-owned point guard on tonight’s three game slate.
Rajon Rondo NOP: $6,100 vs. PHI
Rondo rested on Friday night when Anthony Davis returned from injury. In the game prior, he scored 26.7 FanDuel points in 26 minutes. Tonight, Rondo faces the Sixers in a game that features a 223.5 total and a 4.5-point spread. As the primary facilitator is a high-powered offense, Rondo has a very safe floor and 40 FanDuel point upside. He should warrant heavy ownership at a relatively weak position tonight.
Yogi Ferrell MIN: $4,000 at MIN
With Dennis Smith Jr. set to miss a second consecutive game with a hip injury, a ton of minutes and usage are, again, up for the taking in the Dallas offense. Ferrell disappointed in this situation on Friday night (13.4 FanDuel points) but he was facing a Bucks defense that has yielded the third least FanDuel points to the point guard position this season. This is a great spot to bounce back against a Timberwolves defense that is a bit friendlier to opposing point guards (22nd DvP).
Frank Ntilikina NYK: $3,700 vs. ATL
If you’re looking to pivot off of Yogi Ferell, Ntilikina makes sense as a contrarian play in GPPs. He hasn’t shown a ton of upside, but he has eclipsed 21 minutes in three straight games and has averaged 20.2 FanDuel points over the past two. The Hawks are unsurprisingly bad against opposing point guards (6th most FanDuel points allowed per game) and Ntilikina always has steal and block upside on the defensive end of the floor. I expect Jarrett Jack to struggle against Dennis Schroder on defense so there should be a lot of opportunity for Ntilikina to get on the court in this game.
None. The highest priced shooting guard on tonight’s slate is Jrue Holiday at $7,300.
Kent Bazemore ATL: $5,400 at NYK
Bazemore is coming off a massive 45.7 FanDuel point outing against the Magic on Saturday night. He tends to be a very streaky player but when he’s hot, he’s someone who can put up 8x to 9x on his price tag. The Knicks, 12th DvP, appear to be tough against shooting guards on paper but they are actually in the bottom ten in FanDuel points allowed to the position. The floor with Bazemore is low but he makes sense as a tournament option with a high ceiling.
Wesley Matthews DAL: $4,800 at MIN
While Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea soaked up the most ownership on Friday night, Wes Matthews turned out to be the most productive player in Dennis Smith Jr.’s absense. He turned in 33.3 FanDuel points and a 23.4% usage rate in almost 38 minutes of action. I would expect that Jimmy Butler would guard Harrison Barnes in this match-up. If that’s the case, Matthews should draw a match-up against Andrew Wiggins who is ranked last among all starters in DRPM at his position. Matthews is a great volume-based play on tonight’s slate.
Jimmy Butler MIN: $9,000 vs. DAL
As the only player priced above $7,000 on tonight’s slate, Butler is the only true “stud” at the small forward position. He does draw a relatively tough match-up against Harrison Barnes who is a good individual defender, but based on a lack of other options at the position he still grades out as the best play. On a three-game slate, I often like to choose players based on overall upside. Butler certainly has 50-point upside in tonight’s game.
Courtney Lee NYK: $6,000 vs. ATL
With Tim Hardaway Jr. off the court, Lee has become the third option in the Knicks offense. Even in an ugly loss to the Bulls on the road last night, Courtney Lee had a solid overall game and was one of the Knicks best players. Outside of one horrendous game against the Pacers, Lee has been extremely consistent this season and offers a nice 25-point floor on most nights. He has a great match-up against a Hawks defense that has allowed the 3rd most FanDuel points to small forwards this season.
DeAndre Bembry ATL: $4,300 at NYK
If you read my value plays article over on FantasyPros yesterday than you know that I am a Bembry believer. He has emerged, seemingly out of nowhere, over the past week and a half to become a key reserve off the Hawks bench. Bembry has averaged 20.9 FanDuel points and 24 minutes over the last four games. Even more importantly, he has averaged a 23.9% usage rate in that span. As a ball-dominating reserve, Bembry will be on my radar until his price increases.
Anthony Davis NOP: $10,500 vs. PHI
Finally, a position with some fire power at the top. Davis was “limited” in Friday’s night game against the Kings but still saw 30 minutes of action. Even in his first game back, he immediately returned to having an elite usage of 26.5%. Demarcus Cousins should be tied up with Joel Embiid downlow so there should be some extra opportunities for Davis to take advantage of the Sixers. He should be the lowest-owned superstar in this matchup and he is capable of putting up 50+ FanDuel points in his second game back from an injury.
Kristaps Porzingis NOP: $9,500 vs. ATL
Porzingis’ performance has been a bit underwhelming since returning from an ankle injury, averaging 30.4 FanDuel points per game. Tonight is the second half of a back to back but this is still a spot where Pozingis can put up 45+ FanDuel points. The Hawks are shorthanded and will try to stop him with Ersan Ilyasova and Miles Plumlee. That sounds like a disaster. Porzingis should pick apart the Hawks interior defense tonight.
Taj Gibson MIN: $5,700 vs. DAL
Has anyone flown more under the radar than Taj Gibson this season? He looks rejuvenated playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and has been crushing his price tag on a consistent basis. After putting up 43.8 FanDuel points last Wednesday against the Clippers, FanDuel responded by … doing nothing to his price. On a slate where we’re going to want to pay up for a few studs, Gibson will be one of the most popular mid-range power forwards on the slate. This is a lock and load play.
None. This is a good slate to target a stud and a mid-range play like Taj Gibson and move on.
Joel Embiid PHI: $10,700 at NOP
Tonight’s game may feature one of the best match-ups we’ll see all season. Joel Embiid vs. DeMarcus Cousins. These guys should see a ton of each other tonight and it’s going to be A LOT of fun to watch. They are both elite individual defenders, but I could see them trying to best each other on both sides of the ball. With Anthony Davis back for the Pelicans, I’m going to give the slight edge to Embiid from a fantasy perspective. With a 223.5 total and close spread, there should be ample opportunity for Embiid tonight.
DeMarcus Cousins NOP: $12,000 vs. PHI
The biggest decision on tonight’s slate is Cousins or Embiid. They are facing each other which means that they both have tough individual match-ups. Couins always seems to rise to the occasion but with Anthony Davis back in the lineup, a $12,000 salary seems $1,500 too expensive. Personally, I’m not going to go here but Cousins is an elite player with a 28.5% usage rate on the season. If you want to play him in tournaments he is certainly capable of a 60 point outing.
Karl-Anthony Towns MIN: $9,600 vs. DAL
Embiid and Cousins’ head-to-head match-up should draw a lot of attention, and ownership, but Towns might be in the best position to succeed tonight. Dallas is ranked 23rd DvP against opposing centers this season and Towns is coming off of a monster 55.4 FanDuel point outing against the Clippers. FanDuel responded by increasing his price by $1,200 but this is still a price tag that he can beat against a team that gets crushed on the glass.
Enes Kanter NYK: $7,000 vs. ATL
If you want to be contrarian in tournaments tonight, you can certainly play Kanter at sub-10% ownership. With Cousins, Embiid, and Towns all at the top, a ton of ownership is going to be soaked up between these three players. The Hawks have actually given up the 4th least FanDuel points on the season but this number is skewed by Dwayne Dedmon’s strong defense. With Dedmon out of the line-up, the Hawks are extremely beatable in the frontcourt. If Kanter gets 30+ minutes in this match-up he is more than capable of 35-40 FanDuel points.
The center position is extremely top-heavy tonight. I don’t think anyone outside of the top 4 is worth considering in any format unless you are mass-entering a tournament.