This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
This is one of the biggest Sunday slates of the season with the NFL over and it should make for a fasicnating DFS day after the trade deadline. There's a lot to discuss, so, let's go ahead and get into it!
ATL vs. NYK: While these are two bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference, it should make for a fun game. We project this to be a narrow spread within three points. The Hawks sit 28th in defensive efficiency while the Knicks rank 22nd, which makes for DFS gold.
PHI vs. CHI: This could be the most lopsided game on the slate. The Sixers enter this matchup as a 10.5-point favorite, which is no surprise when you see Chicago ranks 28th in defensive efficiency while Philly is fourth in that statistic.
WSH vs. MEM: This is the game to key in on. We have two teams that rank top-six in pace and bottom-three in points allowed. That's why we have a 240-point total with Memphis entering this matchup as a 1.5-point road favorite.
HOU vs. UTA: This is a contrast of styles. Houston enters this matchup second in pace and 23rd in points allowed while Utah is 20th in pace and sixth in points allowed. That's why we have a close 3.5-point spread in favor of the Rockets.
CLE vs. LAC: Cleveland is going to have a hard time here sitting 29th in defensive efficiency and 24th in offensive efficiency while the Clippers sit sixth in both statistics. That's why I project them to enter this matchup as a 7.5-point road favorite.
POR vs. MIA: The records would indicate a Miami blowout, but they come into this matchup extremely shorthanded. Look for the spread to be within two.
PG: Damian Lillard, Trae Young and Russell Westbrook are the top options here right around $10,000. Ben Simmons is next at $8,200 while Elfrid Payton is one of the hottest players in the league at $7,300. Ja Morant is one of my favorite plays of the day at $6,200. Mike Conley is also a nice value at $5,600. Ish Smith, Tomas Satoransky and Kendrick Nunn are represent good cheap options as well.
SG: James Harden is the highest-priced player on the slate at $11,500, while Bradley Beal is next at $10,300. Zach LaVine, Donovan Mitchell and C.J. McCollum make up the next tier. Cheaper options worth considering include Dillon Brooks, Kevin Huerter, Lou Williams, RJ Barrett, Duncan Robinson and Josh Richardson.
SF: This is one of the weaker position, with Paul George up top at $8,600. If Kawhi Leonard is out, PG will be the highest-owned player out there. Tobias Harris ranks next at $6,600. Bojan Bogdanovic, Danuel House, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Jones Jr are all in play in the $5,000s.
PF: Kawhi Leonard is up top here but he's likely going to sit. Julius Randle is next at $8,200 while Bam Adebayo is $8,000. John Collins and Kevin Love are in the $7,000s while Jaren Jackson Jr and Robert Covington are $6,000. Al Horford and Thaddeus Young are fantastic values in the $5,000s.
C: Andre Drummond is expected to make his Cavs' debut and is the highest-priced center at $10,300, If Joel Embiid plays, he should roll against Chicago at $9,300. Rudy Gobert should have success against a Houston team with no centers and also comes in at $7,900. Jonas Valanciunas and Montrezl Harrell are the only other options in play.
Injuries to Monitor
This is nuts after the trade deadline and before the All-Star break, so, we'll break it down by team.
Atlanta: Trae Young enters this matchup questionable with an ankle issue. If he's out, look for Jeff Teague to start and Kevin Huerter to take on the most ball-handling duties. Dewayne Dedmon and Clint Capela are both up in the air after being traded. If both are out, look for Damian Jones to start and for John Collins to play big minutes, or maybe Dewayne Dedmon. Cam Reddish and DeAndre' Bembry are both questionable too.
Philadelphia: Embiid left Friday's win with a neck issue. If he's out. Al Horford gains the most value while Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris take on increased roles. With that being said, Horford is also questionable. If both are out, ride Simmons and Harris in every lineup.
Chicago: Every player on the Bulls is pretty much on the injury report. The guys we expect to sit are Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. Look for Zach LaVine to have monster usage and for Thaddeus Young to play 30 minutes as a starter.
Los Angeles: Kawhi Leonard will likely sit in the second half of a back-to-back set. Patrick Beverley will also be out because of a nagging groin injury. That means Paul George should be in for monster usage, in addition to Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.
Miami: Where do we start? Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard all have injuries while Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala just joined the team. It's unclear who will suit up, but that should leave a ton of minutes for guys like Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson and Derrick Jones.
These three guys all sit within $400 of one another at the point guard position and picking the right one will be critical to success. The guy we're going to go with is Young, as long as he plays. The main reason for that is because of the matchups. Both Westbrook and Lillard face top-10 defenses while Young squares off with a 26th-ranked Knicks' defense. Trae has also been absolutely rolling recently, scoring at least 53 FanDuel points in seven of his last 11 games while averaging 62 FD points per game in those six outings.
Paul George, LAC ($8,600)
This is one of those where you have to swallow the chalk. With Leonard and Beverley likely missing this game, George should handle the ball on every possession for the Clippers while taking 20-plus shots. With those two off the floor, PG-13 is averaging 1.54 FanDuel points per minute while posting a 35 percent usage rate. That makes him hard to overlook and impossible to fade against one of the worst defenses in the NBA.
Elfrid Payton, NYK ($7,300)
Anyone who's been playing NBA DFS recently knows that Payton is going off right now. Not only does he have at least 33 FD points in nine-straight games but is also averaging 39.7 fantasy points per game in that span. That's a recipe for success against an Atlanta team who sits 28th in defensive efficiency and 29th in points allowed. All of that makes Payton a good option, but extremely chalky as well.
Lou Williams, LAC ($5,400)
While everyone will be choosing Paul George, we're going to pivot and ride Williams instead. The reason for that is because Sweet Lou possesses a 34 percent usage rate with Beverley and Leonard off the floor. In the 11 games without Leonard, Williams has scored at least 26 fantasy points in 10 of them while averaging 35.8 FD points per game. That's all you can hope for from a player priced at only $5,400.
Ish Smith, WSH ($5,400)
It looks like Smith is back to starting point guard duties with Isaiah Thomas mercifully being traded. In his 13 starts this season, Smith is averaging 24.1 FanDuel points per game across 29 minutes of action. That appears to be a floor in a matchup like this, with Memphis sitting fifth in pace and 25th in total defense.
Some other great value plays worth considering include: Kevin Huerter, Reggie Bullock, Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, De'Anthony Melton, Ja Morant, Josh Richardson, Al Horford, Mike Conley, Landry Shamet, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Trevor Ariza and Caleb Swanigan