This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We're faced with a fade of some of the best games on Sunday's slate if we focus on DraftKings' four-game features, but we'll be excluding BKN/CHI, LAL/MIN and ORL/LAC for today's article.
These exclusions leave us with a pretty uninspiring assortment of players. Additionally, there aren't very many injury situations for us to exploit. As a result, I'm inclined to focus on an allotment of players with reliable floors and stick to cash games, which I usually do on slim slates anyway. Rather then load the front of the article with a lot of content. We'll discuss each position as we get to them.
Russell Westbrook sits atop the guard pool, and I'm inclined to fade him right off the bat. He's certainly capable of a big number, but his recent shooting struggles have hindered the likelihood of dynamic numbers in recent days, and even though this matchup is extremely favorable, I'm going to go another way in this game (see below). With Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) out, we've seen sizable bumps from Nicolas Batum ($4,700) and Devonte' Graham ($3,800), so they warrant special consideration as value spots at this position.
Victor Oladipo, IND at TOR ($8,500): Toronto shut Oladipo down effectively earlier in the month, but the guard's recent production is hard to ignore. In his past five games, he's demonstrated a solid floor of 42 DKFP and has a ceiling that pops more often than most of the other available guards. Walker has slowed down recently, and Beal faces a stalwart defense - it was a close call between Beal and Oladipo for my spend-up guard,
Justise Winslow, MIA at ATL ($6,900): The pickings get a little bit slim in this range, but I will give the nod to Winslow in a favorable matchup against a weak Atlanta backcourt that's also dealing with Kent Bazemore's extended absence, Until Goran Dragic returns, Winslow should continue to absorb a lot of that missing output.
Dennis Schroder, OKC vs. WAS ($5,300): This is an interesting spot for Schroder, who could emerge as a significant contributor if this game regresses into blowout mode. Russell Westbrook will still post the best backcourt total, but I believe there's room to feed a lot of mouths in this one, and Schroder will get his share.
Obviously, the 'other way' I mentioned above is Paul George ($10,300). Unfortunately for us, DraftKings is now pricing him above 10K, which is appropriate relative to his output, but still bad news for us. George has consistently out-produced Westbrook of late, which a trend that will continue until Westbrook can shake his shooting slump. For all we know, that could happen tonight, but I won't speculate at that price. For the time being, George is the better option.
Domantas Sabonis, IND at TOR ($6,800): Myles Turner has a questionable tag today, and it looks like his shoulder injury might be serious enough for him to sit out. Even if he plays, his shoulder will be sore and both his absence or limitation reaps huge benefits for Sabnis, who already produces decent stat lines on a regular basis. This is a strong mid-range play.
Otto Porter, Jr, WAS at OKC ($5,200): His minutes have inched up with each game since returning from injury, and another bump tonight should get him very close to a full allotment. The Wizards could certainly use his assistance in this one. He probably won't start, but I expect they'll give him all the time he can handle in a reserve role.
As I said before, I am looking for reliable floors tonight, and the center position presents some problems for us. Many of the better targets are facing tough defensive matchups, so while some of the names I fade may raise an eyebrow or two, I'm focusing on the quality of the matchup over the skills of the player here.
Deandre Ayton, PHO vs. CHA ($7,800): Charlotte's challenges at the five are no secret, Ayton will likely line up opposite Willy Hernangomez and I think Ayton will shed light on why Willy's a journeyman. This game script should reap huge benefits for Ayton.
Serge Ibaka, TOR vs, IND ($6,200): Ibaka is thriving in this role with the Raptors and he's quickly become one of the team's most reliable contributors. Myles Turner might be out for the Pacers, so look for Ibaka to exploit Indy's interior with abandon.
Thomas Bryant, WAS at OKC ($5,800): Bryant possesses a lot of raw talent, and he's taking advantage of his opportunity to lead Washington's depleted frontcourt. It'll be a necessity for Bryant to fend off Steven Adams if they have any hopes of winning this one. We've seen Bryant rise to the occasion a few times already this season, and he could be poised for another solid game tonight.