This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
This is one of the biggest Sunday slates of the season. We have seven games in total and a ton of fantasy points on the board. There's so much going on, let's just get into it.
We have two games starting at 6ET, which includes the IND-ORL and CHA-PHI matchups. The Pacers-Magic game is actually expected to be the lowest-scoring game of the day, sitting with a 203-point total. The Sixers-Hornets fixture happens to be the most lopsided matchup of this slate, with Philly entering that game as a 13-point favorite. The next five games are all at different times and it's clear the NBA wanted to have a showcase night for all of these teams. Up next is the Bucks-Thunder matchup. We're looking at Milwaukee entering this matchup as a 7.5-point road favorite in a game with a total of 223.
The next two games are extremely close matchups. We have the Knicks playing host to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns welcoming the Brooklyn Nets to Talking Stick Resort. Both of these games list two-point spreads, but we're looking at different paces for each. The Cleveland-New York game has a 210-point total while the Brooklyn-Phoenix fixture comes in with a 233-point total. That makes the Suns-Nets matchup one of the best games to target on this slate.
The final two games are both lopsided fixtures. The first one is Portland playing host to Atlanta as an 8.5-point favorite. We're looking at a 228-point total in that game, as Damian Lillard and Trae Young should have plenty of success. The final game is the Lakers hosting the shorthanded Raptors. Toronto comes into this game with half their roster sidelined and that's why Los Angeles comes in as a 9.5-point favorite. We'll go over that more later...
PG: Per usual, the point guard position is stacked. We have Damian Lillard, Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and Malcolm Brogdon up top. Players like Chris Paul, Ricky Rubio, Terry Rozier and Eric Bledsoe fill out the mid-tier. If you want to go cheap, target guys like Frank Ntilikina, Aaron Holiday or Raul Neto.
SG: This is the weakest position of the slate. The highest priced guys are Devin Booker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with no one else viable above $7,000. Fred VanVleet, Khris Middleton, C.J. McCollum and RJ Barrett make up the next tier in the $6,000-$7,000 range. If you want someone cheaper, consider Josh Richardson, Evan Fournier, Danny Green or Norman Powell
SF: This is all about LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Pascal Siakam. No one else is above $8,000, with players like Jonathan Isaac, T.J. Warren, Tobias Harris, Kelly Oubre, Marcus Morris and Danilo Gallinari filling out the middle-tier. There aren't many good cheap options at this position.
PF: Anthony Davis sits at a whopping $11,300 and no other PF is above $9,000. The next tier includes guys like Kevin Love, Domantas Sabonis and Julius Randle. If you want cheaper than that, consider Jarrett Allen, Dario Saric or Anthony Tolliver. With the lack of cheap guys at the forward positions, pay up here and get a couple of cheap guards into your build.
C: Joel Embiid is the marquee at this position sitting at $10,600. Nikola Vucevic and Tristan Thompson are the only other players above $7,000, with players like Aron Baynes, Steven Adams, Cody Zeller, Brook Lopez, Marc Gasol and Chris Boucher making for cheaper plays.
Injuries to Monitor
Myles Turner (IND): Turner enters this matchup questionable with an ankle issue, but he's likely to sit again. Domantas Sabonis has been a monster in his absence and Malcolm Brogdon has been asked to do more too.
Jeremy Lamb (IND): Lamb will miss this game due to an ankle injury, and T.J. Warren should get even more shots in his absence. Look for Aaron Holiday and Justin Holiday to get more playing time as well.
Mitchell Robinson (NYK): The big man is still in the concussion protocol and is unlikely to play here. If he sits, look for Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis and Julius Randle to pick up rebounds and usage in his absence.
Hassan Whiteside (POR): Whiteside is currently dealing with a foot issue and this frontcourt could become a disaster if Skal Labissiere is out due to an ankle issue of his own. That doesn't even take into consideration that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins have long-term injuries, leaving Anthony Tolliver, Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja as the only frontcourt players left on the roster.
This is a question you're going to have to ask yourself with a lack of value plays at this position. For me, it's definitely Giannis. The Greek Freak has been unbelievable this season, averaging 62 FanDuel points per game. That's 8.3 more fantasy points than James and he's actually in the better circumstance here against an inferior defense and a closer spread.
I actually don't understand why these guys are so close in price. Booker is the far superior option for a multitude of reasons. The biggest one being his usage, with Booker posting a higher rate than SGA while averaging more shots. He also boasts the much better matchup, facing a 28th-ranked Brooklyn defense while SGA goes up against an elite Milwaukee defense.
What's funny is that we have one elite player at both center (Embiid) and power forward (A. Davis). As for point guard, there are so many solid options up top and it's hard to go wrong with either Lillard, Irving, Young or Brogdon.
Damian Lillard (POR): Lillard just dropped 60 points in his last game and people are going to want to play him after that, especially with all of the injuries Portland is dealing with.
Joel Embiid (PHI): The next highest priced centers are guys like Nikola Vucevic, Tristan Thompson and Aron Baynes in that order, so don't be surprised to see Embiid highly owned with Ben Simmons out and a lack of tempting options at that position.
Marc Gasol, TOR ($5,400): Gasol has surely struggled this season, but he's able to step up. This is a great opportunity for him to do just that with Lowry and Ibaka injured, as he should see a major increase in usage, shots and minutes. He's plenty capable too, averaging over 30 FanDuel points per game last season.
Mario Hezonja, POR ($4,300): With so many injuries in Portland, Hezonja could be in for some monster usage. That's all you can ask for with a talented player like this, with him scoring at least 20 fantasy points in five of his last seven games. If Hood is out, don't fade Hezonja.
Raul Neto, PHI ($3,700): I considered putting Neto in the chalk section, but part of me believes he'll be overlooked. That would be a silly notion too, with Neto playing 30 minutes in back-to-back games in the absence of Simmons while averaging 25.5 FD points per outing. That doesn't even take into consideration he faces a Charlotte defense who sits 24th in defensive rating.