It’s SUNDAY FUNDAY Gamers!!! While we are watching the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings turn into popsicles before our very eyes, we can also be making some NBA lineups for today’s nine game slate. DraftKings has contests beginning at 3:30pm ET, 5:00pm and the main six game slate tipping off at 6:00pm. There are plenty of options in the player pool and a several matchups that are full of fantasy goodness, so don’t take today off!
Russell Westbrook – OKC at POR – $10,600 – Yes, he is the most expensive option on the board today, however, this is such a delightful matchup he is worthy of top honors. The Trail Blazers have actually been frisky at home and they should be able stay in the game which bodes well for Westbrook needing to play in the fourth quarter. As we saw on Friday night when the Lakers took the Thunder to the brink in Los Angeles, Westbrook can put up monster numbers (36 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal in 35 minutes) even with Kevin Durant healthy.
Damian Lillard – POR vs OKC – $8,800 – Coming right back with recommendation #2 from this game, we have the scorching Damian Lillard who has maintained his elite fantasy production after missing the better part of two weeks with a strained plantar fascia. In this three games since his return, he is averaging 39mpg, 25.7ppg, 4.3rpg, 8.7apg and 2.7 combined blocks/steals for a stellar 49.8 DraftKings points.
Mario Chalmers – MEM vs BOS – $5,400 – It sounds like Courtney Lee and Mike Conley will be out tonight, but do monitor the news. This is not an easy matchup for Chalmers who will be facing Boston and very likely tough defender Avery Bradley who should be returning to action on Sunday. The Celtics have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing point guards this season, however, if he is the only healthy ball handler, Super Mario could approach 40 minutes in this contest, which would give him ample time to accumulate fantasy production.
James Harden – HOU vs IND – $9,900 – There is a good chance that Dwight Howard will sit out Sunday’s game against Indiana, which would be the second straight game he has missed. For some reason, the new coaching staff thought it was a good idea to let D12 play 41 minutes in Utah on Monday after averaging 37.3 minutes in the prior three games. Remember earlier this season when he had a minutes cap and wasn’t playing on back-to-backs? Yeah, me too. Anyway, why am I writing about Howard when this recommendation is about The Beard?! Harden is a very manageable $9,900 and he has just as good a chance at being the top scorer of this slate as anyone else. Heck, he is averaging 49.7 DraftKings points per game. Enjoy!
Austin Rivers – LAC vs NO – $3,500 – EARLY With Anthony Davis a game-time-decision after bruising his back diving into the stands for a loose ball on Friday night, we do not yet have a line on this game. However, even if he plays, the Clippers will probably be close to double digit home favorites. This bodes well for Rivers getting extra playing time in mop up duty, where he should easily be able to approach 5-6x his current price point.
Rodney Stuckey – IND at HOU – $4,000 – Stuckey is very scoring dependent for his fantasy production, however, as a team, Houston has been in the bottom three all season for most fantasy points allowed (along with Sacramento and the LA Lakers). This should be an up-tempo affair which plays right into Stuckey’s strengths.
Kevin Durant – OKC at POR – $10,100 – Durant is a fine play on Sunday in the game that projects to be the highest scoring one on the schedule at 214 total points. As mentioned in the Westbrook recommendation, if Portland can keep this close, KD and Westbrook will play extra minutes which can turn into fantasy gold. Durant is an incredibly efficient player and over his last three games he is averaging 1.4 DraftKings points per minute.
Chris Johnson – UTA at LAL – $3,500 – Johnson got the start on Saturday for the injured Rodney Hood (ankle) and he performed admirably against the Miami Heat with 31.5 DraftKings points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field, two triples, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. If he gets the start again tonight, he is the best discount dandy in the player pool.
Tony Allen – MEM vs BOS – $4,300 – Allen will be welcoming his former team to Memphis today with his grit, hustle and savvy veteran play. There is a strong likelihood that both Mike Conley and Courtney Lee will be out for this game, which would solidify Tony for close to 30 minutes. Teammates Jeff Green – $5,300 (also a former Boston Celtic) and Matt Barnes – $5,400 are also options, though I like Allen the best of this trio for his 20% price discount.
Kristaps Porzingis – NYK vs MIL – $6,700 – Porzingis is our “stud” by default today as he is the most expensive player at this position that I would consider rostering. He is best left for tournaments where his boom/bust results are far more tolerable than in the H2H contests.
Amir Johnson – BOS at MEM – $4,500 – Johnson has been a steady producer over his last seven games with 27.0mpg, 13.3ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.7apg and 2.0 combined blocks/steals for 28.9 DraftKings points. Because there are really no intriguing options at power forward today, I am completely comfortable plugging in Amir and going for the gusto at other roster positions.
Larry Nance Jr – LAL vs UTA – $4,700 – There is a decent chance that Brandon Bass – $3,900 misses tonight’s game with a corneal abrasion he suffered on Friday. If he is out, both Nance and Julius Randle – $5,000 are in play, though I prefer Nance since he has been in the starting lineup.
DeAndre Jordan – LAC vs NO – $7,900 – EARLY If you are in the early contests, look to Jordan as the top center option in this matchup against the limited New Orleans frontcourt. In two previous meetings this season, Jordan is averaging 36.6 DraftKings points and he should be in line for a double-double in this matchup.
Zaza Pachulia – DAL at MIN – $6,000 – Yes, my crusade to get daily fantasy gamers to recognize Pachulia is still not taking hold. Actually, I do not mind that much since it just keeps him in our inner circle of trust dear readers. Over his last seven games, Zaza has posted at least 34 DraftKings points and though he has not crested the forty fantasy point plateau, the steady production at an affordable price is outstanding, so do not be shy about employing him today in all formats.
Ian Mahinmi – IND at HOU – $4,500 – Mahinmi is another sneaky play that I like to use when I need a discount option at the pivot or utility position, however, he may be on a few players radar after his 40 fantasy point outing Friday against the Pelicans. This is a fine matchup for him, particularly if Dwight Howard is out and he will be another mainstay of m