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 six-game main slate starting at 6 p.m. ET.
Luka Doncic is coming off two straight subpar games, which has caused his price tag to drop by about $800 on FanDuel for today’s matchup vs. the Kings. That said, Doncic has still been a fantasy monster over the past month, averaging 1.79 FanDuel points per minute. That’s the top mark on the slate regardless of position by a significant margin.
His current matchup vs. the Kings is far from ideal — it results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.34 — but this is still an opportunity to buy low on one of the best players in fantasy. That doesn’t happen often.
The Wizards are dealing with a host of injuries at the moment, and Isaiah Thomas will miss his third straight game with a calf injury. That makes Ish Smith one of the strongest values of the day, particularly on FanDuel at just $4,600. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.96 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s played at least 32.5 minutes in each of his past two games. He leads all PGs with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
Damian Lillard stands out on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 81%. He’s currently priced at just $8,600, and Lillard has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.94 with a comparable salary (per the Trends tool). He has a decent individual matchup as well, owning an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.41 vs. the Thunder.
Fred VanVleet has seen a pretty drastic price reduction recently, which makes sense with Kyle Lowry back in the lineup. That said, Lowry’s addition hasn’t really effected VanVleet’s playing time. He’s logged at least 38.5 minutes in back-to-back games, and his current minute projection of 38.3 is the top mark at the PG position. He’s averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with that much playing time. VanVleet is also one of the better pure values on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 87%.
Today’s game between the Clippers and Wizards stands out as the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. Both teams rank in the top seven in terms of pace this season, and the total on that game sits at a slate-high 235.5 points.
The Clippers are the preferred side in that contest, but their star players are only going to return value if the Wizards keep this game competitive. With that in mind, it might make sense to stack that game with some players from both sides.
Bradley Beal is the obvious target for the Wizards. He’s carrying a monster workload at the moment, logging at least 38.1 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s averaged 1.29 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He leads all SGs with 14 Pro Trends on DraftKings and 15 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
On the Clippers side, Lou Williams makes a lot of sense at $6,200 on DraftKings. He’s averaged 1.11 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he could see a few additional minutes given their current injury situation. Patrick Patterson has already been ruled out, while JaMychal Green is questionable with a tailbone injury.
Dennis Schroder is coming off more than 39 minutes in his last outing, which makes him an interesting target at just $5,700 on FanDuel. He’s averaged 0.92 FanDuel points per minute this season, so thats a lot of potential projection at an affordable price tag. He also has an excellent matchup vs. the Blazers, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.54.
Buddy Hield failed to return value in his last outing, but he continues to carry one of the largest workloads in basketball. He’s played at least 39 minutes in five of his past six games, and he played 37 minutes in the lone exception. De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley both remain out for the Kings, and Hield leads the team with an average of 37.06 DraftKings points in games with both players out of the lineup.
LeBron James is an interesting option today vs. the Timberwolves. He’s struggled a bit recently, posting a negative Plus/Minus in three of his past five games on FanDuel, but it’s hard to blame him too much: He played 29.5 minutes or less in two of those contests, and the other was a brutal matchup vs. the Nuggets.
That’s caused his salary to drop to just $10,800 on FanDuel, which represents a decrease of -$700 over the past month. That makes him a nice buy-low option against a Timberwolves team that has played at the fifth-fastest pace this season. The Lakers’ rank second on the slate with an implied team total of 119.0 points.
Abdel Nader is coming off 30.2 minutes in his last contest, which makes him a strong option at the minimum on FanDuel. He didn’t exactly crush it despite the increase in playing time — he scored just 10.4 FanDuel points vs. the Timberwolves — but he’s averaged a respectable 0.74 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. Historically, minimum priced players have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.76 with a comparable minute projection in our NBA Models.
Kent Bazemore is another reasonable value option on FanDuel. He’s slightly more expensive than Nader at $3,800, but he’s also averaged a much stronger 0.85 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s scored at least 26.7 FanDuel points in three of his past five games, which gives him a nice ceiling for his price tag.
Paul George has struggled with the Clippers at full strength this season, but he’s impossible to ignore at just $7,800 on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 85%, and his matchup vs. the Wizards is arguably the best in fantasy.
Anthony Davis has had a bit of a down season in New Orleans, but he’s coming off a monster performance in his last contest. He scored 64.8 FanDuel points in just 32.2 minutes vs. the Portland Trail Blazers.
He leads all PFs today with 14 Pro Trends on FanDuel, which makes him a nice option. Historically, players with comparable salaries and number of Pro Trends have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.51 on FanDuel.
The only thing with Davis is that you should probably avoid pairing him with LeBron. Those players have a correlation of -33%, which means one will likely have to fail for the other to succeed.
The Wizards are currently without starting center Thomas Bryant, which doesn’t leave them with a ton of big men in their rotation. Rui Hachimura has been asked to step up in his absence, logging at least 38.4 minutes in each of the past four games. He’s been successful from a fantasy perspective as well, scoring at least 27.2 FanDuel points in each of those contests. There’s no reason not to go back to the well with him today at just $5,800 on FanDuel.
Montrezl Harrell owns one of the best matchups on the slate. The Wizards have been shredded defensively and on the glass this season, giving Harrell an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.24 on DraftKings. He’s also priced very affordably at just $6,300, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 89%.
Bam Adebayo is another PF with a great matchup. He’s taking on the Chicago Bulls, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.17 on FanDuel. His salary also results in a Bargain Rating of 75%, but you’ll need to monitor the injury report since he’s currently questionable to suit up.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid are both available on today’s slate, but neither is in a particularly good spot. Towns owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.87 vs. the Lakers, while Embiid owns a mark of -1.55 vs. the Raptors.
With that in mind, it’s definitely reasonable to save a few dollars with Hassan Whiteside. He’s averaged 1.37 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +6.75 over his past 10 games on DraftKings. He has a much friendlier matchup vs. the Thunder, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.67.
Mo Wagner is another member of the Wizards who has stepped up in the absence of Bryant. He’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.54 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, thanks in part to an average of 1.15 FanDuel points per minute this season. He’s coming off a season-high 30.6 minutes in his last contest, and he responded with 35.3 FanDuel points.
Steven Adams checks a lot of boxes today. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.19 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s also played more minutes recently. He’s coming off 36.4 minutes in his last outing, which is more than he’s played in any game this season. He also owns an elite matchup vs. the Blazers, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +6.25 on DraftKings.
Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports
Pictured: Clippers PF/C Montrezl Harrell (5)