Sunday is one of those magical days where all four major sports leagues are in action. It’s of course Week 8 of the NFL season but there’s also NHL, the World Series and of course, basketball. Let’s take a look at who to target in Sunday’s NBA contests.
Russell Westbrook – OKC vs DEN – $10,300 – It will cost us a pretty penny, however, Westbrook is a phenomenal play and I just don’t see rookie Emmanuel Mudiay or veteran Jameer Nelson slowing him down one bit. There is some concern that OKC may limit their stars minutes after the epic double overtime game on Friday, but I want to make sure to have Westbrook on a few Sunday rosters.
Kyle Lowry – TOR vs MIL – $7,900 – If the price tag is too steep for Westbrook, the slimmed down Lowry still presents a lot to love. He is clearly on a mission and looking to improve on last year’s playoff showing. Through two games he is averaging 18.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.5 apg and 3.5 combined steals/blocks. This is a solid matchup for him against Michael Carter-Williams and I will have my fair share of Lowry on my rosters.
Dennis Schroder – ATL at CHA – $5,100 – (EARLY) It will be interesting to see how the Atlanta Hawks handle playing time this season as it appears they are continuing to be true San Antonio Spurs like doppelgangers. With Thabo Sefolosha being eased back into the mix after breaking his leg and Kyle Korver already being given a maintenance day, it looks like Schroder will be the winner for a few extra starts here and there and likely extra run when the Hawks are ahead. He has been solid averaging about a fantasy point per minute through three games and he should continue to see a solid 25+ rotation minutes making him a terrific discount option Sunday.
Jimmy Butler – CHI vs ORL – $7,700 – (EARLY) Through three games the player affectionitly known as Jimmy Minutes is averaging just a tick shy of 40 DraftKings points per game and he gets a great matchup against the Magic. Don’t be afraid to employ his services in your early contests.
James Harden – HOU at MIA – $10,000 – The Beard is an awesome option most games, but this matchup is particularly tasty as the Miami backcourt will be hard pressed to do anything more than be a minor annoyance. Harden is the rare player that offers 50+ fantasy point upside every time he takes the court and he is a nice pivot away from Westbrook.
Kent Bazemore – ATL at CHA – $3,600 – (EARLY) If Bazemore is starting, he is definitely in the mix as an early value option on Sunday. After burning so many gamers in the first game of the season with single digit fantasy production, he has rallied to average 20.5 DraftKings points in his last two games. The caveat is of course that Thabo Sefolosha needs to be ruled out with a recovery day for him to have the best chance for a successful stat line.
Will Barton – DEN at OKC – $3,300 – Not every recommendation can be a flashy top shelf option, so here is a very sneaky play. Last season Barton showed some nice flashes of brilliance and at this price point, he is a fine discount dandy in this matchup with the Thunder. On the season he is averaging just over 24mpg and nearly a fantasy point per minute. Yeah, enjoy this post-Halloween treat!
Kawhi Leonard – SAS at BOS – $7,800 – (EARLY) There is a strong indication that there has been a changing of the guard and the Spurs are fully Leonard’s team. Fortunately he has a lot of help, but he will be the featured player most games and will be in the mix for 40+ DraftKings points in most matchups. The only concern is that if the Spurs roll out to a big lead, he will have limited fourth quarter duties under the watchful eye of Coach Popovich. With the season still young and San Antonio needing to bank wins in a difficult Western Conference, that does not seem to be much of a concern just yet.
Kevin Durant – OKC vs DEN – $9,600 – There is a bit of a blowout risk with banking on the OKC stars after their crazy game on Friday, however, it is the end of Daylight Savings Time so he does get an extra hour of sleep. Okay, see now I don’t really buy that either so I am going to tread lightly and mostly look to KD in tournaments.
Ryan Kelly – LAL vs DAL – $3,200 – Shhhhh, let’s keep this between us…but Kelly is a very sneaky option on Sunday. In the Lakers first two games he has averaged 24mpg and a very nice 21.5 DraftKings points in those contests. Most gamers are going to be looking elsewhere for their value plays, so this is where we can plant our flag!
Paul Millsap – ATL at CHA – $7,600 – (EARLY) The glorious aspect that is often overlooked when gamers assess Millsap is his ability to produce across all categories. While we do not see him post more than 45 DraftKings points, we are usually not disappointed with his floor of 25+ fantasy points.
Pau Gasol – CHI vs ORL – $7,600 – With the brutal double overtime game on Friday, I suspect the soft Orlando frontcourt will be even less interested in playing defense than usual. This is a fine spot to roll with the boring Gasol who should be in the mix for 35-45 fantasy points.
Marvin Williams – CHA vs ATL – $3,900 – (EARLY) Well now, here we are with a nice storyline…REVENGE! After spending his first seven seasons with the Hawks, Williams has a nice spot here for a “Hi, remember me?” game. With all the ailing Charlotte players, Williams has been asked to play 36+ minutes per contest through the first two games and he has responded with 28 DraftKings points at Miami in the season opener and 36.5 against this very same team in Atlanta just 48 hours ago.
Julius Randle – LAL vs DAL – $5,300 – Until the Lakers youngsters are appropriately recognized by the DraftKings pricing algorithm, they will be a fine source of value. For the time being we need to think of Randle as a boom/bust tournament option, but he carved up the Timberwolves for 32.8 fantasy points in 30 minutes in the season opener. In the spirit of full disclosure, he did fall flat on Friday in Sacramento against the Kings with just 4.5 DraftKings points in a paltry 16 minutes of court time due to foul trouble.
Nikola Vucevic – ORL at CHI – $7,700 – Through three games, the Bulls are allowing 48.2 DraftKings points per outing to opposing centers. Remember, Coach Thibodeau is no longer calling the shots and rookie coach Fred Hoiberg is fine using Joakim Noah off the bench and letting Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic “patrol” the paint. This bodes well for Vooch who has excellent upside in this matchup.
Al Horford – ATL at CHA – $7,400 – (EARLY) Big Al Horford should have the advantage against Big Al Jefferson in this matchup as he is the more nimble Al. We should see him play a solid 30-32 minutes and flirt with the forty fantasy point plateau.
Zaza Pachulia – DAL at LAL – $5,300 – The Lakers really don’t have much of an inside presence and Zaza makes for a solid discount dandy on Sunday. He should be in the 20-25 DraftKings point range which is just fine for his price point as he does have 30+ fantasy point upside.