Sunday features a five-game main slate starting at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
As long as Damian Lillard is not shut down due to the Trail Blazers being out of the playoff race, it is worth getting exposure to the veteran guard, who is averaging a career-high 32.4 points per game. Since the All-Star break, Lillard has four games scoring over 40 points, including a 71-point eruption. Among all points guards, Lillard is the clear pay-up option, as he is $2,000 more expensive than the next closest guard on DraftKings and $1,800 more expensive on FanDuel.
The Trail Blazers have lost five consecutive games, but luckily they are playing at home against the Clippers on the second leg of a back-to-back. This will be the first game Lillard has played against the Clippers all season. Despite the difficult matchup against the slow-paced Clippers, Lillard excels playing at home. He is averaging 34.5 points per game at home compared to 29.9 on the road.
Lillard may not be the best pay-up option on the slate, but he deserves consideration.
Priced at $6,600 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Killian Hayes is one of the best values plays on the slate. He has the highest projected Plus/Minus for all guards on FanDuel and the fourth-highest on DraftKings. Over the last four games, Hayes is averaging 14.3 points and 9.5 assists per game with two double-doubles. During that span, he has a 25.4% usage rate while averaging 35.8 DraftKings points and 33.8 minutes per game.
Despite the Pistons having a -7.5 point differential this season, Hayes is averaging a career-high in points, assists, and minutes per game. He is playing even in blowouts, and this game has potential of getting away from Detroit. The Pistons are nine-point home underdogs against the Heat with the lowest implied total on the slate by far at 104.5 points. Don’t get carried away with several Pistons players, but Hayes is worth the value, especially on FanDuel.
Hayes’ recent play makes his Underdog Fantasy line of 20.5 points, rebounds, and assists look quite attainable on his current workload.
There are several mid-range point guards on this slate, but the one that stands out among them all is CJ McCollum. The Pelicans lost to the Rockets on the road by two points Friday, but they have the chance to avenge that loss immediately with the same matchup Sunday. They are five-point favorites, and we can expect a bounceback performance, especially from McCollum who only attempted 12 field goals in the loss. The Rockets still rank 29th in defensive rating (118.0) while allowing 118.1 points per game. McCollum should be much more aggressive tonight.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Paul George‘s 30 points were not enough for the Clippers on Saturday, as they suffered a really bad home loss against the Magic after winning four-straight games. Kawhi Leonard was out last night, but expect him to play on the second half of this back-to-back. George receives a boost without Leonard, but he isn’t too bad playing alongside him either. He is projected for only around 6% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, making him a contrarian pay-up option.
This matchup against the Trail Blazers is tied for the highest total on the slate at 234.5 points, even though both teams rank in the bottom 10 of pace. The Clippers are 3.5-point road favorites, as the Trail Blazers rank 27th in defensive rating this season. They are allowing opponents to shoot 48.8% from the field and 37.2% from behind the arc. Since the All-Star break, George is averaging 26.2 points per game with a few double-doubles sprinkled in.
At this low of an ownership, it won’t take much to get over the field on a high-ceiling player.
Cole Anthony has put together four consecutive games with a positive Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and he’s done it in 11 of his last 14 games as well. He has seen a boost in playing time recently, and now fellow backup guard Jalen Suggs is out with an injury. Anthony has scored 14-plus points in four-straight games while also racking up peripherals along the way. He is a strong value guard on both sites with the extra usage tonight.
The Magic are six-point road underdogs against the Lakers after beating the Clippers by five Saturday. This team competes against everyone, so don’t be surprised when they keep this close or potentially upset another Los Angeles team. Anthony can get it cooking from the perimeter, which is one of the Lakers’ biggest defensive weaknesses. They are allowing 36.7 3-point attempts per game, which is the fifth-highest in the league. Get dialed in from long distance, Cole Anthony.
Jaden Ivey is another Pistons guard worth getting exposure to on FanDuel with an 87% Bargain Rating at $6,800. The Pistons are without a lot of players Sunday, but the key ones are Cade Cunningham, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Alec Burks. With those three off the floor this season, Ivey has a team-high +6% usage rate and a +2.3 DraftKings Plus/Minus. Ivey fills an always-difficult shooting guard position on both sites with high upside. Over his last four games, Ivey is averaging 37.3 DraftKings points per game. It may be tough to play two guards from the Pistons, but Ivey and Hayes look solid.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
For some reason, DraftKings still hasn’t priced up Jimmy Butler to where he was earlier in the season. Sitting at $8,600, Butler has a 95% Bargain Rating, as he has provided a positive Plus/Minus in eight of his last nine games. His only miss came Saturday against the Bulls, where he still recorded 33.8 DraftKings points in the Heat loss. Even at $9,700 on FanDuel, Butler looks like a strong option playing against the worst team in the league.
As nine-point road favorites, the Heat find themselves in what is basically a must-win game if they want to keep pace with the rest of the Eastern Conference. They are currently the No. 7 seed, but they are only two games back of avoiding the play-in tournament. The Pistons’ are allowing 118.6 points per game, which is the second-highest in the league. Butler is playing at an elite level right now, scoring over 45 DraftKings points in eight of his last nine games, and he should have no trouble staying hot against the Pistons.
Staying with the Heat, Max Strus is arguably the best true value on the slate. He has the highest projected Plus/Minus at the small forward position on both DraftKings and FanDuel while being the highest-owned player on both sites as well. Strus is simply too cheap across the industry for someone who has played over 30 minutes in three of his last four games. We have him projected to play 30 minutes and be a great value Sunday.
Kyle Lowry is set to return for the Heat after missing the first half of the back-to-back set Saturday, but he’ll likely continue in a bench role and bump Victor Oladipo back out of the rotation rather than impact Strus’ playing time, as the Heat need Strus’ shooting. Strus is averaging a career-high 11.8 points and 29 minutes per game this season despite playing off the bench in 42 of 70 games. He is coming off of his first 20-point game since the All-Star break, as he made five 3-pointers last night on 16 field-goal attempts. The Pistons are atrocious defensively, so Strus may find himself wide open on several occasions, and he has a chance to get scorching hot from the perimeter.
Paolo Banchero is another very popular small forward option on both sites, as the Rookie of the Year favorite is averaging a team-high 20 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Banchero has even shown promise as a passer, as he has six-plus assists in two of his last four games. He struggled last game against the Lakers, but he is playing very well recently and playing a ton of minutes. With small-forward and power-forward eligibility on both sites, Banchero is easy to fit into lineup builds.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Giannis Antetokounmpo is by far the most expensive player on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Getting two days of rest has served Giannis very well this season, as he has averaged 34 points and 11.9 rebounds per game in that scenario. Giannis has been a little inconsistent from a stud perspective, but no other player has nearly the ceiling that he does on both sites in our model. On a small slate like Sunday’s, Giannis will be prioritized as the top option.
The Bucks’ have the best record in the league at 50-20, as they lead the Celtics by one game in the Eastern Conference. They are seven-point home favorites against the Raptors, who are playing the second leg of a back-to-back. Despite the Raptors forcing Giannis to turn the ball over 12 times in their last meeting, he had a triple-double with 30 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists. Giannis has the potential to put up another huge game in this matchup.
Herbert Jones has been a little inconsistent, but he does possess a very high ceiling when everything is clicking. The last several games are a perfect example. Jones has recorded 33-plus DraftKings points in four of his last six games, but in the two that he didn’t, Jones had seven and 19.8 DraftKings points. Zion Williamson remains out for the Pelicans, which benefits Jones in this spot. He has the highest DraftKings Plus/Minus on the team with Williamson off the floor this season.
Jones continues to do most of his damage on the defensive end, averaging a team-high 1.7 steals per game. However, he is also averaging a career-high in points, rebounds, and assists in his second year in the league. This is a great matchup for Jones to use his defensive ability, as the Rockets are allowing a league-high 8.8 steals per game. Jones had four steals in their last matchup Friday, which helps provide stability for him as a value option for both sites.
Pascal Siakam has had back-to-back double-doubles while averaging 26 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists per game. Those two games were against the Thunder and Timberwolves, but he is still playing extremely well. Siakam also leads the slate with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel and 11 on DraftKings. The Bucks present a more difficult matchup, but our projections love Siakam, who also leads the league in minutes per game for the second-straight season. Playing upwards of 40 minutes a night provides Siakam an opportunity to stuff the stat sheet, making him a great option.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Anthony Davis without LeBron James is always a player worth getting exposure to. In 17 games without James this season, Davis is averaging 27.7 points and a ridiculous 14.6 rebounds per game. During that time, he has a 32% usage rate while averaging over 55 DraftKings points per game. Davis has been a rebounding machine, with 16-plus in three of his last five games. He has the third-highest ceiling projection behind Giannis and Lillard on both sites.
The Lakers are 6.5-point home favorites, but like previously mentioned, the Magic seem to play everyone tough despite ranking 19th in defensive rating. The Magic also allow the ninth-fewest points per game in the paint and rank 12th in rebounding percentage. Even with a surprisingly tougher matchup than average, Davis is still a player to target without James on the floor. Having power forward and center eligibility on FanDuel also helps when filling out lineups.
Trendon Watford has the highest projected Plus/Minus among all players on DraftKings. He has recorded four straight games with a double digit Plus/Minus, averaging a +13.9. Over that span, Watford is averaging 10.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He even had eight assists in his last game, as his playing time has skyrocketed with Jerami Grant out.
Watford’s salary is also starting to come up with the increased playing time, but he is still a strong value as a center-only option on DraftKings and power forward-only option on FanDuel. The Clippers rank middle of the pack in points allowed in the paint, so Watford could easily have his sixth-straight game with double-digit points Sunday. Prioritize Watford on DraftKings, but as long as the minutes are still there, he is priced way too cheap for his upside.
Bam Adebayo is tied with Pascal Siakam with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel, as he gets a superb matchup against the Pistons frontcourt. Despite having Jalen Duren, James Wiseman, and Marvin Bagley in their frontcourt, the Pistons are allowing 54.9 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks as the second-highest in the league. They also rank 23rd in rebounding percentage, making it a near-formality that Adebayo captures a double-double. In his only meeting against the Pistons this season, Adebayo had a massive game with 21 points and 15 rebounds. On the off chance that Jimmy Butler sits on the second leg of the back-to-back, that would make Adebayo a major priority.