The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Sunday’s late slate features four games scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET.
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Despite the small slate I like the top options at point guard. Ben Simmons leads the way at point guard at FantasyLabs and is $500 cheaper than Malcolm Brogdon. Both will command high ownership, but one area that Simmons can take advantage of that Brogdon may not is opponent pace of play. Both are playing teams will slower pace of play, but Indiana’s opponent, the Clippers, has a -3.9 Pace Differential (PaceD), giving Pacers guards a worse matchup based on that stat.
George Hill was largely absent in Oklahoma City’s comeback win over Chicago on Friday night. Hill is a top-three play and has a top-three Projected Plus/Minus against the 76ers tonight and is a salary-saving $4,500 on FanDuel.
Short slates mean potentially leaning on teammates at the same position. Shake Milton has been great since he and Simmons came back for Philadelphia. Milton is also expected to carry minimal ownership on a short slate and makes for a great contrarian play if the 76ers continue to play Simmons and Milton together.
De’Aaron Fox is the top Bargain and Pro Trends option at point guard tonight. He is also coming off a down performance and could see slightly lower ownership than a Simmons or Brogdon because of that. He also falls in the middle of the well-known point guards in terms of pricing and could get lost in the shuffle of players saving salary.
Paul George is the big ticket at shooting guard tonight, but I want to save $500 on FanDuel and play Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA also has a higher projected Ceiling on FantasyLabs and will carry similar ownership and projected usage. I am also not shocked that George and SGA are the PER leaders at the position tonight. Those two are excellent plays but I want to save salary if I can get similar production.
If you are playing the hits (studs) tonight, JJ Redick is a great value play as his production is starting to align with his minutes increase. He has attempted at least seven 3-pointers in each of his last three games and is a lock at the charity stripe when he does attempt free throws. Redick has topped his Projected Plus/Minus in each of his past three contests.
Buddy Hield and Eric Bledsoe top Justin Phan’s Model today and are both priced around $5,000 on FanDuel.
I never expected to see Jordan Clarkson’s usage consistently over 25% once he joined the Utah Jazz, but his production and usage have been a pleasant surprise. He should continue to get plenty of looks tonight against the Denver Nuggets and is a top-five play at the two.
I plan on staying away from Donovan Mitchell tonight. The scoring is there, but his inability to offer consistent production in multiple categories caps his upside. His Projected Plus/Minus is well below other top options such as George and SGA.
Kawhi Leonard may be my favorite high-priced play at all positions tonight. The Clippers-Pacers game has the second-highest projected game total, and the Clippers have the second-highest projected team total. Aaron Holiday cannot and should not be expected to slow down Leonard enough in this game.
Brandon Ingram is a cheaper pivot from Leonard with similar projections. There are no Leverage plays in the higher-priced tier at small forward tonight. Ownership will remain relatively flat up top.
Luguentz Dort had his best scoring night of the season against Chicago on Friday and has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position. He is the top-rated small forward on the slate and pairs well with Leonard on FanDuel if you are looking to “Stars and Scrubs” the position based on pricing.
Will Barton has a relatively safe floor and is priced in the dead zone at small forward at $6,100. He also makes an interesting play because he only has 11 turnovers despite seeing his playing time top 25 minutes in over half of Denver’s games this season. In a game of decimals, avoiding negative stats can be the difference.
Harrison Barnes has played at least 30 minutes in six consecutive games and has a 20-point floor on FanDuel over that time. He is second behind Dort in overall rating at small forward tonight. The Kings have a projected team total of 112 tonight.
Domantas Sabonis and Zion Williamson are the highest-priced options on FanDuel and have a price difference of $1,900. These two have similar floor/ceilings but Williamson’s Projected Plus/Minus more than doubles Sabonis’. Marvin Bagley of the Kings is going to be guarding Williamson. Godspeed Marvin. I can see a combination of Kawhi Leonard and Nicolas Batum on Sabonis this evening.
Marcus Morris has a Usage Rate over 20% in four of five games played this season, a stretch teammate Serge Ibaka has not hit since the first five games of the season. Morris ($3,800 on FanDuel) is $1,800 cheaper than Ibaka.
Bojan Bogdanovic is $4,300 on FanDuel, has a higher ceiling than Morris and has topped 20 points in three of four contests. Both are in play tonight.
JaMychal Green has hit at least two 3-pointers in every game played this season. That is solid production for cheap.
Mike Muscala can also shoot the 3 and disrupt opponents’ defensive sets on pick-and-rolls effectively at the top of the key. Less athletic bigs, such as his opponents Dwight Howard and Tony Bradley tonight, could be victims to this strategy.
Nikola Jokic is the only center averaging over 39 FanDuel points on the slate tonight. FantasyLabs projects 21-25% ownership for Jokic, but I expect it closer to 40% with some decent savings at other positions.
Dwight Howard is the highest-rated center on the slate tonight and is expected to be guarded by Isaiah Roby of the Thunder. Howard should be a lock for 12-plus rebounds and a double-double is easily in play.
Steven Adams and Richaun Holmes square off against each other today and make solid pivot plays off Jokic and Howard. The duo is second and third in Projected Plus/Minus, respectively, and are projected to carry under 15% ownership while playing over 30 minutes. Adams is $1,000 cheaper on FanDuel.