The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday’s main slate differs by site. DraftKings features an eight-game slate starting at 6 p.m. ET, while FanDuel features a six-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook headline the PG position on today’s slate. Both players have averaged 1.44 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and both players have factors working in their favor.
Let’s start with Westbrook. He stands out on DraftKings, where his $10,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 89%. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +2.98 over his past 10 games, and he should be fresh after getting the night off yesterday. Westbrook should also benefit from the absence of Eric Gordon, who has been ruled out with a knee injury. Westbrook has seen a slight increase to his assist and usage rate with Gordon off the court since the Clint Capela trade, resulting in an average of 1.46 DraftKings points per minute.
Doncic is the preferred target on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 86%. He hasn’t been particularly strong fantasy value recently, which has caused his salary to drop to just $10,500. Doncic has averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.18 with a comparable price tag this season, so this is a nice buy-low opportunity (per the Trends tool). He also has a few injuries working in his favor, with Seth Curry already ruled out and Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis listed as questionable.
The big injury news of the day involves Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is listed as doubtful after tweaking his knee Friday vs. the Lakers. That makes Eric Bledsoe one of the top options of the day regardless of position. He’s been dominant with Giannis off the court this season, increasing his usage rate by +8.9% and averaging 1.38 DraftKings points per minute. Unsurprisingly, he’s had a lot of success in four full games without Giannis, averaging 44.69 DraftKings points over just 28.8 minutes per game. He’s nearly impossible to fade at just $5,400 on DraftKings.
Markelle Fultz is coming off 42.5 FanDuel points in his last game, and he should be looking at another expanded workload with Evan Fournier out of the lineup. His 13 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on FanDuel, where his $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%.
Collin Sexton has posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.44 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, which is not surprising considering the sheer volume of minutes he’s been playing. He’s logged at least 39.4 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s projected for more than 40 minutes today vs. the Spurs. Sexton has also increased his fantasy production to 0.96 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with all that playing time.
James Harden made history yesterday, becoming the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double and have at least 10 turnovers. I’m sure that’s not history that Harden wanted to make, but it still resulted in 68.0 DraftKings points.
That game came with Westbrook out of the lineup, and he obviously loses some appeal with his star running mate back in the lineup. He also has a difficult matchup vs. the Orlando Magic, who have played at the fourth-slowest pace and rank tied for ninth in defensive efficiency. Overall, Harden owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.51 on DraftKings. He’s obviously capable of going off against anyone, but this is a much tougher spot than usual.
Aaron Holiday has SG eligibility on DraftKings, which increases his appeal vs. the Mavericks. The Pacers are dealing with a host of injuries at the moment — Malcolm Brogdon is out, Doug McDermott is doubtful, and Victor Oladipo is questionable — so Holiday should see a healthy amount of playing time. He’s coming off nearly 34 minutes in his last game, and he’s currently projected for 32.6 minutes in our NBA Models. Holiday has averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.02 when projected for at least 26 minutes this season, so he can take advantage of the increased playing time.
Terrence Ross continues to be underpriced on FanDuel, where his $5,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past 10 games, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +10.44 over that time frame. He’s played at least 32.5 minutes in four of his past five games, and he should continue to see plenty of minutes with Fournier out of the lineup.
Brandon Knight is currently listed as questionable for the Pistons, and his absence would create some value with their backcourt. Bruce Brown could operate as their starting PG in that situation, and he’s averaged a solid 0.89 FanDuel points per minute this season. Jordan McRae could also play more minutes, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his first two games as a member of the team. Both players should find much resistance from the Knicks, who rank just 25th in defensive efficiency.
Khris Middleton has SF eligibility on DraftKings and SG eligibility on FanDuel, but he’s someone you should have in your lineup regardless of where you play him. Like Bledsoe, he’s been tremendous in games without Giannis this season, averaging 46.38 DraftKings points per game. No player on today’s slate is projected for a higher Plus/Minus on DraftKings or FanDuel, and he has plenty of upside at his current price tag as well. Middleton’s best fantasy correlation is also with Bledsoe, so stacking them together is definitely a viable strategy.
Cedi Osman is one of the easiest plays of the day at just $4,100 on FanDuel. He’s logged at least 38.4 minutes in three straight games, and it’s nearly impossible to find that much playing time at such a minimal price tag. He’s unsurprisingly posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of those contests, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.25.
Miles Bridges is another player commanding a massive workload at the moment. He’s currently projected for 39.1 minutes in our NBA Models, and he has nice upside if today’s game vs. the Bucks stays competitive. He’s slightly more expensive than Osman across the industry, but he’s been more productive on a per-minute basis.
DeMar DeRozan has dual SG/SF eligibility on DraftKings, where his $7,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 82%. He’s coming off 43.25 DraftKings points in his last game with LaMarcus Aldridge out of the lineup, and he has an elite matchup today vs. the Cavaliers. They rank dead-last in defensive efficiency.
Bam Adebayo has one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Washington Wizards. They rank sixth in pace, 29th in defensive efficiency, and dead-last in team rebound rate, which is an amazing combination for opposing big men. The result is an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.53 on FanDuel. The Heat are also implied for 118.0 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
If you’re looking to go cheaper at PF, you can still grab some exposure to the Heat with Derrick Jones Jr. He should see a few additional minutes today with Jae Crowder out of the lineup, and he’s averaged 0.86 DraftKings points per minute. He’s a particularly strong option at just $3,400 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 89%.
Aaron Gordon has been tremendous recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +11.18 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. He remains affordable at $7,100, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and his 13 Pro Trends rank second at the position. He’s also in an awesome spot vs. the Rockets given his Opponent Plus/Minus of 98%.
Christian Wood has been one of the safest investments in fantasy since the Pistons traded away Andre Drummond. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in 12 of his past 13 games, including each of his past eight. He’s definitely in play today vs. the Knicks.
The Magic offer plenty of valuable fantasy options today, but Nikola Vucevic might be the best of the bunch. He’s scored at least 48.3 FanDuel points in three straight games, and he’s in a great spot today vs. the undersized Rockets. He leads the position with 14 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $8,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%. Vucevic also has positive correlations with Gordon, Ross, and Fultz, so stacking the Magic is definitely possible.
Brook Lopez is another member of the Bucks who should see a boost in value today. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.0% in games without Giannis this season, resulting in an average of 27.5 DraftKings points per game. That would be more than enough to pay off his current $4,600 salary.
Julius Randle has C eligibility on DraftKings, and he’s an interesting buy-low target. His price has decreased to $7,200, which represents a decrease of -$1,200 over the past month on DraftKings. Randle has averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.87 with a comparable price tag this season.
Aron Baynes had the game of his life in his last outing, scoring 37 points and grabbing 16 boards en route to 64.7 FanDuel points. He even made nine 3’s! He should draw another start today with Deandre Ayton out of the lineup, and his matchup vs. the Bucks results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.59 on FanDuel. Baynes is almost undoubtedly due for some regression, but he still has the potential to pay off his $5,500 salary.
Pictured: Bucks SG Khris Middleton (22) and PG Eric Bledsoe (6)
Photo Credit: David Liam Kyle-NBAE via Getty Images