We have a decent five-game NBA slate here to break down. There are fewer options on smaller slates, making it more challenging to differentiate your lineups. Still, there are also a lot of pluses to these slates in how we can use strategy to our advantage.
We have three teams on back-to-backs with the potential for some players to unexpectedly sit and some definite injury news to monitor. Let’s take a look at the slate.
PHI (106.25) @ DET (101.25)
The main thing we need to look at on the Philly side is the lack of bodies offering good value to open up for DFS. Danny Green, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris are all definitely out. This launches Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, Georges Niang, and Tyrese Maxey into fantasy relevance as great value plays. Furkan Korkmaz may be in play as well. While Seth Curry is not as cheap, he is also an option due to his increased role.
Joel Embiid is currently slated to play, which would cut into the usage for all these guys. Whether he plays or not, all of these Sixers are relevant DFS options. If he sits, they become even more so. Andre Drummond would become a good play as well, even at his now elevated price tag. Embiid himself is a decent play if he plays with increased usage due to Simmons/Harris/Green being out.
Cade Cunningham will be one of the more popular plays on the slate for Detroit at his low price tag. Saddiq Bey, Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk, and Isaiah Stewart are other Detroit options to varying extents depending on the site and exact price point.
UTA (111) @ ATL (109.5)
On the Utah side, it really depends on the availability of Donovan Mitchell, who is currently questionable. If he plays, the only players that really stand out from a point-per-dollar perspective are Bojan Bogdanovic on DraftKings and Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert on FanDuel. If he sits, we have a substantial sample size to go by on the beneficiaries for Utah. Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Mike Conley, and Jordan Clarkson become fantastic values for their increased minutes and/or usage.
If Atlanta is fully active, no one stands out as a great value outside of DeAndre Hunter on both sites and Clint Capela on FanDuel. However, they are on the second half of a back-to-back, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone sit, despite no one listed on the injury report. If a big player like Clint Capela, John Collins, or Trae Young were to sit, other Hawks would get usage and/or minutes bumps and become better plays. All have recently dealt with injuries, making it more likely one gets rested on the second half of the B2B.
BOS (104) @ MIA (110.5)
Nothing stands out too much in this game as far as point-per-dollar value on Boston. They aren’t mispriced, and there are a lot of mouths to feed between Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams. All of them are playable and capable of big games on any given night, but no one stands out at these price tags with all of them healthy. They are on the second half of a back-to-back, and there is some chance someone could be rested. Most likely, it would be Horford. This would give a bump to some of the other Celtics.
It is a similar situation for Miami without a ton of blatant point-per-dollar value. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are playable on any given night. Adebayo’s price on DraftKings makes him a solid option. Kyle Lowry is a bit underpriced on FanDuel. One could always take a shot on Butler, Adebayo, Lowry, Tyler Herro, or Duncan Robinson. Still, they don’t pop as top plays tonight outside of Bam on DK and Lowry on FD.
HOU (103.75) @ PHX (114.25)
If Daniel Theis (Questionable) sits for Houston, Alperen Sengun likely draws the start and would become a value option. The only player from Houston really projecting well for his price at the moment is Kevin Porter Jr. The two Houston players other than Porter likely to play 30+ minutes are Christian Wood and Jalen Green. You could play any of them on a five-game slate or even Jae’Sean Tate, but none stand out outside of KPJ.
DeAndre Ayton and Cameron Payne could sit for the Suns, giving a bump to other Phoenix players. Ayton’s injury is significant to monitor. It would likely give way for JaVale McGee to start at Center and become a good value play. Chris Paul is priced really well on FanDuel at just $7,800, making him a great option there. Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges are both well priced on FanDuel. At the same time, Cameron Johnson and DeAndre Ayton enter the conversation on DraftKings. Ayton’s $6,600 price on DraftKings presents excellent value, and hopefully, the Q tag lowers ownership, assuming he does play.
OKC (101.25) @ LAL (114.25)
This one has real blowout risk, as does the HOU/PHX game, but we don’t always want to shy away from these games, especially on a small five-game slate. Dwight Howard is listed as probable for LA, and LeBron James has just been ruled out. Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis see increased usage and become better DFS plays and top spend-up options with LeBron out. Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony, and Malik Monk may have more DFS relevance, as well, with LeBron sitting. We’ll have to keep an eye on the starting lineup. While Avery Bradley is not a good fantasy producer, if he were to draw another start, he could be a bit of a value on DK at just $3,000.
On OKC, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looks decent on FanDuel at his $7,600 price. On DK, he is a worse point-per-dollar play, although he is always capable of a huge game. If this is indeed a blowout, he’s the most likely OKC player to see a reduction in minutes. Josh Giddey really pops as a great value on both sites and would be more likely to get full minutes in a blowout. On DraftKings, all of Giddey, Lu Dort, and Darius Bazley look like good values. Dort is currently questionable, and if he sits, it will open up some more OKC value, so keep an eye on that news.