The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday features a four-game main slate starting at 7:00 pm ET.
Russell Westbrook presents an interesting dilemma on today’s slate. On one hand, he has a brutal matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, resulting in an implied team total of just 101.25 for the Thunder. They’ve been particularly tough on PGs this season, evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.85 on DraftKings, and Westbrook has historically struggled when matched up against them:
On the other hand, Westbrook smashed them in three matchups last season, averaging a Plus/Minus of +4.18 with an average salary of over $12,500. His salary for today’s matchup is just $10,100 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 93 percent, and Westbrook has posted a usage rate of at least 36.3 percent in four of his last five games. If he continues to use possessions at that high of a rate, he has the potential to make his current salary look silly. He leads all players with 14 individual Pro Trends.
Austin Rivers has crushed over the last four games, averaging a Plus/Minus of +10.63. That kind of production isn’t exactly surprising given all the injuries the Clippers are facing at the moment: Rivers has seen the largest bump on the team in usage and production with Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley off the court this season:
He has a solid matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves, evidenced by his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.87 on DraftKings, where he has a Bargain Rating of 90 percent.
No one at the position has a better matchup today than Chris Paul against the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s playing roughly 30 minutes per game at the moment, but his salary has been reduced to a season-low $8,400 on FanDuel for today’s contest. The Rockets’ implied team total of 118.75 points is the top mark on the slate by a margin of over three points.
Goran Dragic has been awful recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of -4.18 on FanDuel over his last 10 games. His minutes in particular have been concerning, as he’s played no more than 27.5 in each of his last three games. Unless he’s dealing with an injury – and nothing has been reported as of yet – that figures to be an anomaly. He’s been priced down to a season-low $5,900 on FanDuel and is in the top pace-up spot of the day against the Golden State Warriors, resulting in a pace differential (paceD) of +4.6.
Stephen Curry had average ownership of just 8.1 percent in his last game, despite the fact that he had an excellent matchup against the Orlando Magic. He is dealing with an injury to his finger at the moment, which likely scared off most people. His salary has come down to a reasonable $9,400 on DraftKings after spiking following a string of games without Kevin Durant, and there’s a chance that his injury could result in low ownership for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) once again.
James Harden sits atop the SG position on every slate he’s available and has an outstanding matchup today against the Lakers. The big issue with Harden is his price tag: He’s roughly $1,500 more than Westbrook and $2,000 more than any other player on today’s slate. He provides as much safety as anyone given his contributions in the assist and rebound categories, but his usage rate has been significantly lower when sharing the court with Paul this season:
While that has yet to really affect Harden’s production – he’s posted a Plus/Minus of +3.31 over his last six games with Paul – it does figure to cap his upside somewhat. That said, he will likely be a secondary option to Westbrook for most people, which does increase his appeal for GPPs.
Eric Gordon has been priced down to $4,700 on FanDuel and provides an interesting pivot from Harden on today’s slate. He’s been awful as a fantasy producer recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of -4.64 over his last 10 games, but his numbers have dipped more from a stretch of poor shooting than a change in role. He’ll start finding the bottom of the net eventually, and, when he does, he will be an excellent value at his current salary.
Lou Williams could have very easily been considered in the ‘stud’ category given his recent production, scoring at least 32.5 DraftKings points in five of his last seven games. He’s unsurprisingly led the team in usage without Griffin this season and has been playing upwards of 37 minutes per game recently. He’s extremely appealing on DraftKings, where his $7,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98 percent.
Jimmy Butler has provided steady value recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +3.76 on DraftKings over his last 10 games. He remains a considerable value on DraftKings, where he has a Bargain Rating of 99 percent.
Despite putting up a clunker in his last game, no one has offered more value at the SG position recently than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope:
He played only 23 minutes in his last game, but he should get all the minutes he can handle today to try and serve as the Harden-stopper for the Lakers. The game between the Lakers and Rockets has the highest Vegas total and figures to be the fastest-paced match of the day.
Kevin Durant features one of the biggest pricing discrepancies between the sites today, owning a $9,100 salary on DraftKings and a $10,300 salary on FanDuel. That discrepancy results in a Bargain Rating of 99 percent on the former, where Durant has historically crushed with a comparable price tag:
He does have a somewhat difficult matchup against the Heat today, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.77 and paceD of -4.6, but he has historically succeeded in worse situations at higher price tags. His 12 Pro Trends on DraftKings trail only Westbrook’s on today’s slate.
Another position, another Clippers value option. Wesley Johnson has not been a strong contributor this season, averaging just 0.72 fantasy points per minute, but he’s currently projected to play over 33 minutes at just $4,400 on DraftKings. Wing players with comparable minute projections, salaries, and per-minute production have historically been solid values:
Kyle Anderson doesn’t exactly play like a typical NBA player – there’s a reason his nickname is “Slo Mo” – but he’s shown he can be a capable fill-in for Kawhi Leonard this season. He’s averaged 0.94 fantasy points per minute over the last month and has played at least 29 minutes in five of his last seven games. At his current $5,300 salary on FanDuel, that’s more than enough playing time to have a shot at returning value. He should also see a boost from Rudy Gay being sidelined for today’s contest.
Andre Iguodala has been ruled out for today’s contest, which opens up about 30 minutes of playing time on the wing for the Golden State Warriors. One potential candidate to grab some of those minutes is Omri Casspi, who has been solid this season when given the chance to play; his average of 1.02 fantasy points per minute ranks fourth among SFs on FanDuel.
The PF position is thin today, and it’s made even thinner by Gregg Popovich giving LaMarcus Aldridge the night off. Draymond Green and Carmelo Anthony are the priciest remaining options at the position, with both owning Bargain Ratings of at least 90 percent on DraftKings. Of the two, Green has the better matchup today against the Miami Heat, owning an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.42, and he’s exceeded value in three straight games. Carmelo is more reliant on real life scoring to return value, but he’s been priced down to a season-low $6,500. This does project as a position where people will likely spend down, however, with both players owning projected ownership of just 13-16 percent.
Kelly Olynyk played a season-high 30 minutes in his last game, which makes sense considering the absence of Hassan Whiteside. He should benefit from the pace of the game with the Warriors, which suits his style of play more than a traditional big man like Bam Adebayo.
Montrezl Harrell is another player coming off a season-high in minutes, although the fact that the Clippers were getting blown out may have had something to do with that. Still, he figures to earn at least a few additional minutes given the injury to Griffin and has averaged 1.03 fantasy points per minute this season.
Taj Gibson has been playing big minutes for the Timberwolves, seeing at least 36 minutes of court time in each of his last six games. His salary was decreased by $500 on FanDuel after a subpar outing in his last contest, and his resulting salary of $5,000 comes with a Bargain Rating of 99 percent. He has an excellent matchup today against the Clippers, evidenced by his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.92.
The Spurs are going to be very thin in the frontcourt today, with Aldridge and Gay joining Leonard on the sidelines. It could open the door for Davis Bertans to see some additional minutes, and he has shown the ability to shoot the ball from deep at an elite level for a big man. He has appeal as a GPP dart.
Karl-Anthony Towns has been priced all the way down to $8,300 on DraftKings, although the decline in price is warranted: He’s averaged a Plus/Minus of -2.92 over his last 10 games. He has an awesome matchup today against the Clippers, evidenced by his Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.98. The Timberwolves’ implied team total of 112.25 points ranks third on today’s slate, and his ceiling is unmatched by any other center.
With all the players resting for the Spurs, Pau Gasol will likely be considered one of the top options of the day. Pau has averaged a stout 42.69 DraftKings points per 36 minutes with Aldridge, Gay, and Parker off the court this season:
Clint Capela has a Bargain Rating of 93 percent on DraftKings and has arguably the best matchup of any center on the slate. The Lakers have allowed an average Plus/Minus of +4.13 to opposing centers this season, and Capela has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.79 over his last 10 games.
Steven Adams hasn’t been playing consistent minutes recently, but he should see at least 30 if today’s game with the Spurs stays close. He seems underpriced on DraftKings, where his $5,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98 percent.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players herein mentioned. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed: