Welcome to NBA Sunday! A bit of a different format for today, as I think this layout is especially helpful on smaller slates to help build player pools in our optimizer. With that, here are some of my favorite targets at each position.
Russell Westbrook (FD $11800, DK $11100)
This one is fairly straightforward. We have Russ in an elite spot versus a bad Wizards defense ranked 27th in defensive rating. The Wizards also give up the 29th most FD points and 25th most DK points to opposing PGs. Russ is a stud in an elite matchup and on a small slate, he’s fairly tough to fade even at his high price.
Kemba Walker (FD $8900, DK $9200)
Similar to Russ, Kemba is a fantasy stud in an elite matchup. I’m more interested in Kemba at his decreased FD price, but both prices are fine. After three straight sub-par games from a production standpoint, this is the perfect bounce back spot for Kemba, as the Suns are 23rd in DvP versus PGs on DK and 24th on FD. Because of recency bias and with Westbrook also in an elite spot Kemba will likely be lower owned then he should be.
Fred VanVleet (FD $5300, DK $5400)
This is a brutal spot for VanVleet facing an elite Pacers defense, but the intrigue with VanVleet is there ONLY if Kyle Lowry remains out. With Kawhi already out, VanVleet would see increased usage. I don’t love him, but he’s a fairly safe target at his price if Lowry can’t go.
Devonte’ Graham (FD $4000, DK $3800)
Everything said about Kemba’s matchup can also be said about Graham, who is only in play if Jeremy Lamb remains out. If Lamb can’t go, Graham is an elite value with an elite matchup. I’d expect him to be highly owned and on FD will likely be paired with Russell Westbrook a lot.
Devin Booker (FD $9000, DK $8900)
This isn’t the greatest matchup for Booker but I expect this game to be fairly high scoring and Booker will be a big part of that. A big reason why I love Booker is that he will likely be low owned, as most will gravitate to Beal and he disappointed many in his last outing vs the Clippers. Bad games are going to happen, but it’s crucial to remember Booker has been really good since returning from injury, this is a good bounce-back spot for him.
Dennis Schroder (FD $5400, DK $5300)
Schroder is too cheap even with somewhat mediocre production of late as around 28 minutes in the low $5k range is really appealing versus the Wizards. If you’re fading Westbrook, I love getting Schroder in there. I’m also a big fan of pairing Westbrook and Schroder in GPPs.
Delon Wright (FD $3800, DK $3600)
This is more of a GPP dart and is also dependent on Kyle Lowry news. Wright is a great pivot off of Monk or Graham, as we could see Toronto ride both VanVleet and Wright together for long stretches with Green/OG, Siakam, and Ibaka. The Pacers play a ton of minutes with both Collison and Joseph which should lead to added minutes for Wright. This is a sneaky GPP spot for Wright.
Paul George (FD $10200, DK $10300)
George isn’t cheap, but it’s hard to ignore his production and this matchup on a small slate. Not much needs to be said, we know attacking the Wizards is a sound strategy in DFS, George is a stud in an elite spot on a small slate. I’m fine pairing Westbrook and George together in the same lineup. With that being said, SF has some really strong options tonight so George is far from a necessity, the strong positional strength will also lower his ownership.
Josh Richardson (FD $7300, DK $7000) + Justise Winslow (FD $7000, DK $6900)
Similar things can be said about these two, as their both upper middle priced SFs with an elite matchup, I slightly prefer Josh Richardson. Why are these two strong targets? It’s the Hawks, who rank first in pace, 25th in defensive rating, and 30th in TO%. All of those equate to fantasy goodness and all three of those statistics positively correlate with how JRich and Winslow play. Both will see ample ball handling opportunities vs a bad defense leading to +scoring and +assists while the Hawks propensity for turning the ball over will lead to strong defensive upside for both.
TJ Warren (FD $6200, DK $6300)
TJ Warren is simply too cheap still. Warren is priced around his floor and carries legit 40+ point upside in the low $6k range. While it’s not an elite matchup the Hornets are nowhere close to a team that I avoid attacking in DFS. Target Warren with confidence.
Norman Powell (FD $3900, DK $3700)
On a small slate with some appealing pricy options, we are starving to find some value, Powell provides that. Regardless of Lowry’s status, Powell will see around 20 minutes and at his price that should be enough to see any sort of value. Powell is a capable producer, his upside is there if Lowry can’t go.
Pascal Siakam (FD $7100, DK $6500)
Siakam is the biggest beneficiary with Kawhi ruled out and will see even more ball-handling opportunities if Lowry remains out. Once again, the Pacers are a brutal matchup, but Siakam is blowout proof and sees a usage bump with Toronto’s main offensive threats out. Expect Siakam to be high owned.
Otto Porter Jr. (SF on FD $4900, SF/PF on DK $5200)
Porter should continue to see his minutes rise in his third game back from injury and remains too cheap. If Porter plays anywhere from 20-25 minutes that’s enough for him to see any value. If Porter is in the 25-30 minute range, he carries elite upside at his down price. On DK, Porter’s PF eligibility is crucial, as PF isn’t particularly strong.
Richaun Holmes (FD $4000, DK $3500)
I love Holmes at both of his prices, he’s too cheap and provides elite upside with a somewhat safe floor. Holmes won’t play big minutes, but his defensive upside is incredibly intriguing especially on FD. I’m not in love with PF overall on FD, and I love pairing him with Siakam.
Hassan Whiteside (FD $7200, DK $7700)
The Hawks play at an elite pace and are ranked 23rd in True Shooting %. That means lots of missed shots, which leads to lots of rebounding opportunities for Whiteside, who always carries some risk against pacey teams. However, the Hawks minimize some of that risk, as they play a traditional big for the majority of the game. That should keep Whiteside somewhat around the basket a lot and minimizes the risk of him getting exposed on the perimeter, which is what usually forces Spoelstra to limit his minutes. Whiteside is also just too cheap on FD and will likely be low owned because of Biyombo.
Alex Len (FD $5800, DK $4900)
Len is a production monster when the minutes are there, and the minutes seem to be there for him. Sure, his price is up but even so, especially on DK, 20-25 minutes is enough for him to exceed value. He’s a low owned high upside target on both sites.
Bismack Biyombo (FD $3600, DK $3400)
Biyombo is the ultimate chalk tonight and is incredibly hard to fade at close to minimum salary vs the Suns. Expect him to be the highest owned player on the slate and for good reason, as Biyombo has the very real opportunity of 10xing his price. He’s an elite target who provides cap relief and elite upside. On a small slate where we’re looking to jam in studs, Biyombo allows you to do that.
Stefano Vaccarino is the NBA Product Manager for The Quant Edge. Formerly known as Rotodamus NBA on Twitter, Stefano provides consistently accurate NBA insights and predictions. His perception of the game and understanding of analytics allows him to identify profitable NBA situations.