Good riddance to last week! There were numerous COVID breakouts, and the Texas teams had all of their games postponed, making every slate tough to navigate. The good news is that Houston and Dallas are both expected to return to action here, but the San Antonio-Indiana game has already been postponed. That leaves us with six games on this ledger, so let’s go ahead and get into it!
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Check out today’s NBA Tip-Off from DraftKings >>
Most Value Per Dollar
This is the sort of slate where we could have some blowouts. We say that because Los Angeles and Utah are both monster favorites against weak Eastern Conference teams. All of the other spreads are relatively close, but the Houston-Chicago matchup is the only one with a spread within three points. That game features two of the Top-4 teams in terms of pace, and that should lead to some fantastic fantasy production. In terms of totals, these are much lower than usual. The stout defenses on this slate are definitely why, and it could lend to a lower-scoring night outside of Houston.
If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros.
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.
Isaiah Roby (OKC) $4,900:
We’re going to take a calculated guess and say that Al Horford rests here in the second half of a back-to-back set. He’s actually done that in every B2B this season, with Roby starting for him in every instance. In the nine starts that Roby has made, he’s scored at least 24 DraftKings points in eight of them en route to a 29-point average. That’s a crazy total from someone this cheap, and it makes him the best value play of the day!
Rudy Gobert (UTH) $7,400:
Gobert has remained way too cheap on DraftKings all year, and it’s hard to understand why. The big man has scored at least 29 fantasy points in all but three games this season, averaging 40 fantasy points per game. He’s been even better recently, averaging 42 DK points per game across his last eight outings. That’s terrible news for a Hornets team surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing centers, and it makes it hard to believe Gobert remains below $8K.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (LAL) $3,900:
Someone needs to step up in LA with Dennis Schroder and Anthony Davis out of the lineup. KCP did just that on Saturday, dropping 25 fantasy points in 35 minutes of action. That might not sound big, but it’s an enormous total from a sub-$4K player. The best part of this play is the matchup, though, and we’ll discuss that more later on.
Deandre Ayton (PHO) $6,900:
Ayton has quietly developed into one of the best rebounders in the NBA, averaging 14.6 points and 12.7 rebounds a game over his last 14 fixtures. That has led to a 34-point average in that span which is too good from someone in this price range. The matchup against Portland is the icing on the cake, though, with the Trail Blazers ranked 29th in defensive efficiency.
John Wall (HOU) $8,000:
There’s a lot of talk about Houston’s struggles, but it’s certainly no fault of Wall’s. In fact, the former All-Star is having quite the bounceback season, scoring at least 34 DraftKings points in 11-straight games. He’s providing nearly 38 fantasy points per game in that span, making him too cheap at $8K. His speed becomes particularly intriguing in this matchup, with Chicago ranked fourth in pace and 26th in total defense.
Enes Kanter (POR) $7,000:
Can we give Kanter some credit? He’s taken a lot of flack in the past, but he’s stepped into the Jusuf Nurkic role seamlessly and posted some career numbers. Since taking over that role on January 16, Kanter is averaging 34 fantasy points in 30 minutes a night. He’s always been a per-minute beast throughout his career, and as long as he keeps playing 30-plus minutes, Kanter should be dropping 40-spots at ease. It’s not like Ayton is the model defensive center either.
Josh Richardson (DAL) $4,900:
People forget that Richardson started to turn things around before last week’s cancelations, but we didn’t. Over his last eight games played, J-Rich is averaging 25 DK points in 32 minutes a night. Those 32 minutes are the key here because Richardson will inevitably become a $6K player if that continues. Memphis is not a problematic matchup either, surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards.
Wendell Carter Jr. (CHI) $5,300:
This 21-year-old is going to be a great center at some point, and we can see why recently. Since returning from injury last week, Carter has scored at least 23 DraftKings points in four-straight games. He’s doing that damage despite his rebounding rate plummeting, and it’s just a matter of time before he gets closer to double-digits. The most encouraging sign is that he played 33 minutes on Saturday, showing that he’s fully healthy. Houston being ranked third in pace only adds to WCJ’s intrigue.
Duncan Robinson (MIA) $5,200:
Robinson is starting to turn things around. He’s scored at least 21 fantasy points in four-straight fixtures, averaging 23.4 DK points per game in that span. More importantly, he’s playing 36 minutes a night in that span while attempting 12 shots a game. If we get a sharpshooter like this playing that much and taking that many shots, it’s just a matter of time before that average gets closer to 30 fantasy points.
Wesley Matthews (LAL) $3,700:
Matthews is another guy who needs to step up in Los Angeles. Wes got a rare start on Saturday with the aforementioned absences, providing 27 DK points across 31 minutes of play. That’s something you rarely see from someone this cheap, and this happens to be the best matchup in the NBA.
Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,400: Doncic has been one of the best fantasy options since entering the league, and he’s in the midst of another special stretch. Over his last 23 games played, Luka is averaging 30 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 10 assists per game. Good luck fading that!
- Damian Lillard (POR) $10,900: With C.J. McCollum and Nurkic out of the lineup, Lillard is making MVP waves. He actually has a 35 percent usage rate with those guys off the floor, scoring at least 48 fantasy points in 16 of his last 18 games. Lillard also has at least 58 DK points in four-straight, averaging 61 fantasy points per game in that span.
- LeBron James (LAL) $10,400: With AD and Schroder sidelined, LBJ is posting gaudier numbers than usual. Over his last nine games, LBJ is averaging 27.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. That’s terrifying for the rest of the league with his usage rate rising, and this matchup is easily the best in basketball. Not only does Washington play at the fastest pace in the NBA, but they also rank 29th in defensive efficiency.
- Chris Paul (PHO) $7,800: CP3 struggled in his first month with the Suns, but he’s on a heater now. Over his last 15 games, Paul is averaging 42 DraftKings points per game. That even includes two duds due to blowouts, and it should be closer to a 45-point average. That’s awful news for a putrid Portland defense, surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards.
- Ja Morant (MEM) $7,500: Morant had 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists on Saturday, despite not playing in the fourth quarter. That means he was well on his way to another stat-stuffing gem, scoring at least 36 fantasy points in six of his previous seven games. That means we want to use him as much as possible until he gets above $8K, especially against a 27th-ranked Dallas defense.
Notable Players to Fade
- Al Horford (OKC) $6,400: You probably saw this one coming. Horford has yet to play in both ends of a back-to-back set all season, and we certainly don’t expect him to suit up here.
- Coby White (CHI) $6,200: White is a talented youngster, but struggles are inevitable when you’re 21-years-old. He’s failed to surpass 29 fantasy points in 12 of his last 17 games, which is pretty much what you need from someone in this price range. Houston’s fourth-ranked defense makes it even scarier.
- Devonte’ Graham (CHA) $5,700: With LaMelo Ball starting now, Graham has been put on the backburner. He’s scored 16 or fewer fantasy points in each of his last three games. That’s already worrisome, but the fact that he’s dealing with a knee issue makes him impossible to trust.
- Joe Ingles (UTH) $5,400: Ingles was superb in the absence of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell, but he’s not the same where they’re both in the lineup. In fact, Ingles is averaging fewer than 20 DK points per game in the 18 outings he’s come off the bench.
Create DraftKings lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. Our Lineup Optimizer allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players. We’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.
Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.