FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Sunday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're set for an even smaller-than-usual three-game slate. And considering there are multiple big-name absences, our player pool is particularly narrow. It should make for an interesting night of DFS, one where identifying the correct value pivots could go a long way toward successfully navigating cash games and tournaments.

Slate Overview

Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors (-1.5) (O/U: 212.5 points) 

Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks (-7.5) (O/U: TBD) 

New Orleans Pelicans (-3) at Houston Rockets (O/U: 221.0 points) 

As already alluded to, it should be a very interesting mini-slate and could prove particularly unpredictable because of the X-factor of the Hornets' multiple COVID-19-related absences. The projected total for their game against the Hawks remains off the board as of early Sunday morning for that reason, as well as the fact Trae Young is also legitimately questionable due to an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, the other two contests could prove extremely competitive considering the proximity in talent of each of the four teams involved. Even the Pelicans-Rockets tilt could be very interesting, considering Houston has suddenly rattled off five consecutive wins and is clearly gaining confidence. 

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following is a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate. 

LaMelo Ball, CHA (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT 

With Ball out, Ish Smith should draw the start at point guard while the other healthy members of the starting five - particularly Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges - should see significant bumps in usage.

Trae Young, ATL (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

If Young were to sit, Delon Wright and Lou Williams would potentially handle the majority of point guard duties while the usage of the remaining members of the starting five - especially John Collins and Clint Capela - would see a significant rise.

Terry Rozier, CHA (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT 

With Rozier out, Kelly Oubre should get the start at shooting guard and enjoy plenty of usage.

OG Anunoby, TOR (hip)/ Status: OUT 

With Anunoby sidelined, Svi Mykhailiuk could see a start at small forward.

Kevin Porter, HOU (thigh)/ Status: OUT 

D.J. Augustin could step into the starting point guard role with Armoni Brooks also likely to log added minutes.

Other notable injuries: 

Josh Hart, NOP (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Mason Plumlee, CHA (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT 

Cody Martin, CHA (illness)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Jalen Green, HOU (hamstring)/ Status: OUT 

Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL (ankle)/ Status: OUT 

Kevin Huerter, ATL (quadriceps)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Cam Reddish, ATL (illness)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Khem Birch, TOR (knee)/ Status: OUT 

Elite Players

We don't have any players with five-figure salaries and the one carrying the highest figure - LaMelo Ball - is already ruled out (COVID-19 protocols). 

The three potentially active players with the highest chances of producing elite-level scores based on recent performance and/or matchup are Trae Young ($9,600), Christian Wood ($8,700) and Jonas Valanciunas ($8,000)

Young will face a depleted Hornets backcourt if he does play and checks in having scored at least 43.8 FD points in six straight games.

Wood should enjoy an even larger role than usual with the starting backcourt of Porter and Green out of action, a pair of teammates that the big man owns a 31.7 percent usage rate and averages 53.7 FD points per 36 minutes.

Valanciunas has already eclipsed 50 FD points on four occasions and has a 66.5 tally on the season. He'll go up against a Rockets team allowing 56.7 FD points per game to centers.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the players just mentioned, other likely chalk plays include:

Miles Bridges, CHA ($8,600) 

Bridges will take the floor without Ball and Rozier and already averages 41.1 FD points per 36 minutes without his two teammates on the floor this year.

Bradley Beal, WAS ($8,500) 

Beal's name value should lead to him being on plenty of lineups on such a small slate despite the fact his production has been down of late.

Clint Capela, ATL ($8,200) 

Capela will be even more popular if Young misses, but the big man should be on plenty of rosters regardless considering how few quality centers are on a three-game slate.

Fred VanVleet, TOR ($8,700) 

VanVleet is another big-name two-guard that should see plenty of clicks on his name, especially since he's also averaging 39.2 FD points on the season. 

Gordon Hayward, CHA ($7,600) 

Hayward should be another big beneficiary of the Hornets' multiple absences and already comes in having scored 36.2 to 38.2 FD points in three of his last four outings. 

Key Values 

P.J. Washington, CHA at ATL ($6,000)

Washington is yet another healthy member of the Hornets who will be in position to benefit from an absent starting backcourt. The big man is averaging 38.4 FD points per 36 minutes without Ball, Rozier and Mason Plumlee on the floor, and has also produced between 22.6 to 38.0 over his last four while drawing three starts for Plumlee. The Hawks have given up 51.5 FD points per game to centers, furthering Washington's case at a salary he could well deliver at least 5x on. 

Devonte' Graham, NOP at HOU ($5,200) 

Washington's former teammate Graham is also in play in a favorable matchup against a Rockets side ranked in the bottom-half in offensive efficiency allowed to point guards (25.0 percent) and 48.0 FD points per game to ones on the season. Graham is still struggling with his efficiency from in front of the arc as usual, but he's draining a solid 35.1 percent of his three-point attempts and has already offered over a 5x return on value in half of his 22 appearances.

Garrison Mathews, HOU vs. NOP ($4,700) 

Mathews will draw another start with Jalen Green (hamstring) still sidelined, offering him an opportunity to build on a stretch that's seen him drop 22.9 to 28.6 FD points in four of his last five. The 25-year-old is shooting a sizzling 54.0 percent during that span - including 46.3 percent from three-point range - and has posted an impressive 39.7 percent from distance overall. The Pelicans could make for excellent targets considering they're allowing the fifth-highest three-point shooting percentage on the road (37.9) along with 39.5 FD points per contest to two-guards.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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