This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
After a meager four-game slate last week, we're back to a full one here. We have nine games in total, with three of them making up the night slate. We're going to key in on this slate because that's where all the big prize pools take place. With that in mind, let's get into it!
ORL vs. GS: This is the game where all the value will come from, with seemingly the four best players all injured. That's why we're looking at a 206.5-point total, which is one of the lowest I've seen all year. We also have the Magic entering this matchup as an 8.5-point favorite, but there should be plenty of minutes to go around for all the cheap players. Get your value plays from this game!
TOR vs. UTA: This contest features two of the best defenses in the NBA. In fact, both clubs sit Top-7 in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. That has us looking at a 209.5-point total, with Toronto entering as a 2.5-point favorite. Despite the tough defense, it's going to be difficult to fade studs like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
LAC vs. WSH: This is easily the highest-scoring game on the slate. We're projecting this total to be in the 230-range, with Los Angeles entering as a double-digit favorite. While it's expected to be high-scoring, that blowout potential makes this the riskiest game of the day - especially with volatile minute guys like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
PG: It's rare to say the point guard position is ugly, but that's certainly the case here. Fred VanVleet is actually the top option at $8,200 while Mike Conley is second at $6,400. Markelle Fultz, Ky Bowman and Patrick Beverley make up the mid-tier and there's really no one below $5,000 worth using.
SG: Bradley Beal has been the best player among this player pool and that will make him one of the chalkiest plays of the day below $10,000. Donovan Mitchell and Lou Williams are second and third, while Evan Fournier and Norman Powell sit in the $6,000-range. Jordan McRae and Terrence Ross make nice GPP plays below $5,000.
SF: Paul George and Pascal Siakam are the cream of the crop barely above $9,000 at this position. Bojan Bogdanovic, Jonathan Isaac and Alec Burks make up the mid-tier. If you're looking for someone cheap, Joe Ingles, Glenn Robinson and Wes Iwundu represent nice values.
PF: Kawhi Leonard is the highest-priced player on this slate at $10,200. The next highest guy is Draymond Green at $7,000, with Aaron Gordon, Serge Ibaka and Eric Paschall all sitting in the $6,000-range. There are some great values here too, with Khem Birch, Royce O'Neale, JaMychal Green and Chris Boucher all $4,500 or lower.
C: We have five players who will make up all of the ownership here, with all five being separated by about $1,000 apiece. They go in this order: Rudy Gobert, Montrezl Harrell, Thomas Bryant, Marc Gasol and Mo Bamba. You could also consider Willie Cauley-Stein.
Injuries to Monitor
While we don't have any new injuries, there are some big ones to keep an eye on.
Klay Thompson/Stephen Curry/D'Angelo Russell/Kevon Looney (GS): This is nothing new, but it does open up a ton of value on this team. These injuries have given opportunities to players like Ky Bowman, Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson, Eric Paschall and Marquese Chriss.
Kyle Lowry/Serge Ibaka (TOR): This pair has been out for over two weeks now and both are due to return sometime soon. Ibaka actually enters this matchup questionable while Lowry is doubtful. With these two gone, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet have taken over ball-handling duties while Norman Powell has been getting more shots.
These two are separated by $200 at the small forward position and picking the right one here will be a huge factor on this slate. While PG-13 owns the far better matchup, Siakam is the better play. The reason for that is George has been struggling with Kawhi Leonard. In fact, he's only averaging 34.3 FD points over his last seven games while Siakam is averaging 45 fantasy points over his last 12 fixtures. There's a possibility Siakam will play 10 more minutes than George, with the Clippers being a monster favorite and the Raptors projected to play a close game.
These are the two-highest priced players on the slate. To be honest, I probably won't have much exposure to either but Leonard is the easy choice. The reason for that is because of the game script. Leonard and the Clippers play a Wizards' team that sits dead-last in points allowed while Beal will have to oppose guys like Leonard, George and Patrick Beverley as a monster underdog. Even though Leonard is more expensive, he's definitely the more valuable player.
Bradley Beal, WSH ($9,400)
Beal is a guy we should be fading today, but it's certainly not due to his recent form. Over his last nine games, BB is averaging 47.1 FD points per game. That makes him the hottest player on this slate and that alone should guarantee him high ownership with no one above $10,200.
Mo Bamba, ORL ($4,700)
With Vucevic out, Bamba has been highly owned and will definitely remain so in a three-game slate. In fact, we have him projected for 25 percent ownership, despite not playing more than 22 minutes in any game this season. That's why we prefer someone else and we'll go over that in the next section.
Evan Fournier, ORL ($6,300)
While many people will look at Birch, Bamba and Aaron Gordon in the absence of Vucevic, Fournier has been the one who's benefited most from his absence. The Frenchman has posted at least 33 FanDuel points in eight of his last 10 games and has averaged 34.4 fantasy points per game during that span. That's no surprise when you see he leads the club with a 28 percent usage rate when Vucevic is off the floor. Not to mention, he gets to face a putrid Warriors' defense.
Khem Birch, ORL ($4,500)
It's possible Birch will be chalky, but this is chalk we should swallow. Not only has Birch been starting for Vucevic, he's been extremely productive. In fact, he's averaging 24.4 FD points across 26 minutes over his last two games. That alone is approaching 6X value and getting to face a 29th-ranked Warriors' D makes him one of the best per-dollar plays on the board.
Royce O'Neale, UTA ($3,900)
O'Neale has been playing way too much to be sitting below $4,000. Over his last 11 starts, O'Neale is averaging 19 FanDuel points across 30.4 minutes a game. That may not sound pretty, but that's still 5X value at this dirt-cheap price tag.