DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Sunday (2/21)

After a small five-game slate on Saturday, we’ve got a larger seven-game slate on tap for tonight at DraftKings. A marquee matchup between the Clippers and Nets headlines the action, and the game will get underway at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Sunday’s DraftKings slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.

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Most Value Per Dollar 

Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary, ranked in order of how much they’ll cost you.

Three games have projected point totals above 230 tonight: BKN/LAC, DEN/ATL, and SAC/MIL. As a result, you can expect to see plenty of players from both sides featured in this article, but I’m especially keen on the Nuggets and Bucks. Interestingly, all but two of the spreads sit between 2.5 and 3.0 — BKN/LAC and SAC/MIL are the two exceptions — so Vegas expects close matchups. That means star players in those matchups should see run deep into games.

Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,800
I rarely feature players this expensive in this part of my DFS articles, but the fact that I’ve done so today should push you to roster Jokic. His matchup with Clint Capela isn’t great, but Jokic posted 47 points, five rebounds, and eight assists in the last meeting between these two teams. He’s hit at least 5x value against this price in all of his last five games, too.

Khris Middleton (MIL) $7,800
Middleton and the Bucks have struggled with Jrue Holiday sidelined, but tonight is the perfect opportunity for Middleton to bounce back against a weak Sacramento defense. The game is already projected to be the slate’s highest-scoring, with a total set at 238, per the BettingPros consensus odds.

Jerami Grant (DET) $7,600
Grant struggled in his last time on the court, but that feels like an outlier performance. His salary isn’t terribly high, and with Detroit likely to be without starting point guard Delon Wright, Grant may have to pick up even more of the slack.

Norman Powell (TOR) $6,900
Powell has been going off with Kyle Lowry sidelined. He scored 44 points (6.3x value against this price) and 48 points (6.9x value) in his last two games, and with Lowry doubtful to play tonight, he should be another reliable weapon even with a higher salary. It helps that the Sixers give up the sixth-most DKPPG to shooting guards.

Darius Bazley (OKC) $5,600
Bazley had been averaging 33.2 DKPPG (5.9x value) up until a bad game against the Bucks. I expect him to bounce back against the Cavaliers, who give up the sixth-most DKPPG to power forwards.

R.J. Barrett (NYK) $5,400
The T’Wolves struggle against small forwards (ninth-most DKPPG) and shooting guards (eighth-most DKPPG), the two sports where New York most often uses Barrett, and he hasn’t been a bad contributor in recent days. He is averaging 32.2 DKPPG (5.9x value) over his last two appearances.

Donte DiVincenzo (MIL) $5,100
The Kings have struggled on the perimeter, and DiVincenzo could benefit substantially this evening. He hasn’t looked great in the past few games, but as with Middleton, this is the perfect spot for him to bounce back.

Serge Ibaka (LAC) $5,000
Playing a center against the Nets is basically a DFS free space. Sure, Ibaka has to split time with Ivica Zubac, but his price is set low enough for that not to matter. You could also just pivot to Zubac ($4,300) instead if you really want to punt center.

Danillo Gallinari (ATL) $4,400
The Hawks and Nuggets are projected for the slate’s third-highest total (231.5), so I’m a big fan of some of Atlanta’s lower-end assets. The Nuggets allow the third-most DKPPG to small forwards, and with Gallinari averaging 25-plus minutes over his last four, he has a decent shot to hit value here.

Dennis Smith Jr. (DET) $4,000
Smith is the next man up for the Pistons at point guard. The Orlando Magic give up the sixth-most DKPPG to point guards, too, and that should help Smith hit value at this low-end price point.

Studs Worth Their Salary

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,000: The Kings may not have bigs Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes in this one. With Antetokounmpo forced to do more of the offensive work for Milwaukee with Holiday sidelined, he should continue to hit value against this price.
  2. Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,800: See above. Jokic is a sure-thing to hit value at a surprisingly low salary — I expected to see him in the $11k range.
  3. Paul George (LAC) $9,100: George looked good in his return to action, but this game against Brooklyn promises a ton of points (235.5 — the slate’s second-most), and George is the more affordable of Los Angeles’ two stars.
  4. Jamal Murray (DEN) $8,600: I have mixed feelings about featuring Murray here. On the one hand, it looks like Bubble Murray has returned; on the other, his price has increased by almost $2,000 since last Sunday. Fortunately, this game against the Hawks should feature a lot of points, so Murray is a strong stud to feature tonight.

Notable Players to Fade

  1. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $9,500: Towns hasn’t been bad since his return to action, but he hasn’t flashed the slate-winning upside that you’d want from someone in this price range.
  2. Tobias Harris (PHI) $8,600: Ben Simmons missed the Sixers’ last two games, and Harris’ price has increased $1,000 due to his strong performance through that span. He probably won’t post the kind of numbers that brought his salary up to this point once Simmons gets back — and the point guard is probable this evening.
  3. Clint Capela (ATL) $8,000: I wouldn’t trust Capela against Jokic. The Nuggets give up the second-fewest DKPPG to centers, and even if we see a high-scoring game, Capela probably won’t hit his ceiling here.
  4. Terrence Ross (ORL) $6,800: Ross’ salary is out of control. Yes, he’s had a few strong games recently — including a 52 DK point showing against the Knicks — but I just can’t trust him with this much of my cap space.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.