The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
The Sunday NBA DFS slate differs by site: FanDuel features a seven-game slate starting at 6 p.m. ET, while DraftKings features a six-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Russell Westbrook headlines the point guard position on FanDuel and is coming off 69.4 FanDuel points in his most recent contest. He has a difficult matchup vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, who rank first in the league in defensive efficiency, but Westbrook is capable of going off against anyone. He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
Rajon Rondo returned from a lengthy absence in the Lakers’ last game and showed no signs of rust, tallying 48.7 FanDuel points in 37 minutes vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. He should continue to be a huge part of the Lakers offense with both LeBron James and Lonzo Ball sidelined. He’s increased his usage rate, assist rate, and rebound rate with both players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.20 DraftKings points per minute.
He has a fantastic matchup today vs. the Phoenix Suns, who rank just 28th in defensive efficiency this season, and the Lakers’ implied team total of 116.25 ranks third on the slate. He’s a strong play across the industry, but he’s particularly underpriced on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 86%.
Dennis Smith Jr. is one of the best pure values of the day on DraftKings, where his $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%. There are still questions about how his game fits next to Luka Doncic in the long term, but Smith has scored at least 28.5 DraftKings points in each of his past two games.
Emmanuel Mudiay is expected to miss at least the next two weeks with a shoulder injury, which opens the door for Trey Burke to return to the Knicks’ rotation. He scored 40.5 FanDuel points in 33 minutes in his last contest, despite the fact that he hadn’t seen any playing time over the past two weeks. Burke has averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can make the most of his playing time.
Chris Paul is expected to return to the Rockets’ lineup today vs. the Orlando Magic, which likely spells the end of the magical run that James Harden has taken fantasy owners on over the past month.
He put together one of the most dominant stretches of basketball we’ve ever seen from an offensive perspective, averaging a Plus/Minus of +7.50 and a ridiculous 74.5 DraftKings points per game. To put that in perspective, Westbrook averaged “just” 67.6 DraftKings points when he had his monster fantasy season two years ago.
With Paul back in the fold, Harden will likely cede some of his massive usage rate to his All-star teammate. He’s priced at $13,700 on DraftKings and $13,800 on FanDuel, which will be really tough to pay off in that situation. He still offers the highest raw projections in our NBA Models, but there are better plays available from a value perspective.
Dion Waiters got the night off on Friday vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers but is not listed on the injury report for today’s contest vs. the Knicks. It’s an excellent matchup — the Knicks rank 29th in defensive efficiency this season — and Waiters played 28.5 minutes in his most recent contest. He could be inline for another big workload if Tyler Johnson is unable to suit up: He’s currently listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Donovan Mitchell has flown a bit under the radar recently with all the attention being focused on Harden, but he’s averaged an outstanding Plus/Minus of +9.22 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his 8,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 81%.
Khris Middleton has been priced down to just $6,400 on FanDuel for today’s matchup vs. the Thunder, which represents a decrease of -$900 over the past month. That makes this an excellent buy low opportunity, as Middleton has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.15 with a comparable salary (per the Trends tool).
Giannis Antetokounmpo is coming off his best game in more than month after scoring 71.3 FanDuel points vs. the Hornets in his most recent outing. Giannis has averaged an elite 1.78 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, but the biggest question is his workload on a night-to-night basis. The Bucks have been so good this season, currently ranking in the top two in both offensive and defensive efficiency, that they just haven’t needed him to play big minutes for much of the season.
With that in mind, today’s matchup vs. the Thunder could actually be a good one for him. Even though he has a difficult individual matchup with Paul George, the fact that the Bucks are favored by just one point on the road means Giannis could see a larger workload than usual. He’s only available on FanDuel given the 6 p.m. ET start, but he’s an excellent target for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
On DraftKings, it’s hard to ignore what Kawhi Leonard has done recently. He’s scored at least 43.25 DraftKings points in each of his past six games and has averaged 55.63 DraftKings points over that time frame. Maybe the Raptors know what they’re doing with this whole “load management” thing after all. He’s underpriced for today’s matchup vs. the Mavericks at $9,700, giving him a Bargain Rating of 93%.
Kelly Oubre was a bit of a disappointment during his tenure with the Wizards but has found new life coming off the bench for the Phoenix Suns. He’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +12.07 over his past 10 games on FanDuel and has scored at least 48.0 FanDuel points in three of his past 11 games. He’s in a wonderful spot today vs. the Lakers, who have played at the second-fastest pace this season. Oubre should also see a boost with T.J. Warren out of the lineup.
Josh Richardson scored just 12.0 FanDuel points in his most recent contest, but he did see at least 36.5 minutes for the second straight game. That gives him an optimistic outlook today vs. the Knicks. Richardson has averaged 0.90 FanDuel points per minute this season, and his $6,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%.
What else can be said about Luka Doncic at this point? The guy is doing things as a teenager that haven’t been done since LeBron and has a realistic chance of making the All-Star team in a loaded Western Conference as a rookie. He has a brutal matchup today vs. the Raptors but is flat out underpriced at just $8,200 on DraftKings. He leads all players on today’s slate with 14 Pro Trends.
LaMarcus Aldridge has been up-and-down for much of the season, but he’s in the midst of a very nice stretch on FanDuel. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.85 over his past 10 games, yet his salary has actually decreased by -$200 over that time frame. He’s in an outstanding spot today vs. the Washington Wizards, who have been destroyed by opposing big men virtually all season. They rank 29th in team rebound rate and 23rd in defensive efficiency, giving Aldridge an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.20.
Daryl Morey is going to have to send Sean Marks a thank you card for waiving Kenneth Faried. The timing couldn’t have been better for the Rockets after losing Clint Capela to an injury, and Faried has stepped in and done an excellent job replacing his production.
He scored 20.0 DraftKings points in his first game, 33.5 in his second, and 44.0 in his third and has seen has playing time increase in each contest as well. He’s currently projected for 34 minutes in our NBA Models and has averaged 1.12 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, which makes him a strong target at just $5,900.
Noah Vonleh bounced around the league for much of his first four seasons but is putting together an excellent season with the Knicks. He’s averaged 1.08 FanDuel points per minute over the past month and has played at least 30.5 minutes in each of his past three games. He’s a steal at $6,100.
Aaron Gordon is coming off a huge performance in his last game, scoring 44.2 FanDuel points vs. the Washington Wizards. He has a much tougher matchup today vs. the Rockets but has nice upside at his current $6,700 price tag on FanDuel.
Karl-Anthony Towns has raised his level of production over the past month, resulting in an average of 1.78 DraftKings points per minute. He’s scored at least 57.5 DraftKings points in each of his past four contests, including 60.5 in his most recent contest vs. the Jazz.
He’ll face the same team on today’s slate, and the Jazz have surprisingly been vulnerable against opposing centers this season. Towns’ owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.35 on DraftKings, where his $10,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%.
The best matchup at the center position belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, and they have multiple options who could provide some value. Ivica Zubac moved into the starting lineup in the Lakers last game and has averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Head coach Luke Walton has stated that he likes the combination of Zubac and Rondo, so Zubac will likely continue to start for as long as Ball is sidelined.
That relegates JaVale McGee to a bench role, but both players saw roughly the same amount of playing time in their last game. McGee hasn’t been quite as effective as Zubac recently, averaging 1.18 FanDuel points per minute, but he is slightly cheaper at $4,400. Both players are excellent values on FanDuel, where each player owns a Bargain Rating of 75%.
On the other side of the same matchup, Deandre Ayton would be an interesting option if he’s able to suit up. The Lakers have been almost as bad against opposing centers as the Suns, and Ayton would have the opportunity for a few extra shot attempts with Warren out of the lineup. He’s also been priced down to just $6,600 on DraftKings, which represents a decrease of -$700 over the past month.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.
Pictured: Lakers G Rajon Rondo
Photo Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports