With four NBA games on Sunday, there are only two players with five-digit salaries at DraftKings. The decision to use teammates Russell Westbrook $10400 and Kevin Durant $10000 (or either, or neither) is critical in building DFS lineups.
It’s a perfect storm for a lopsided Thunder victory. Smarting from a home loss to the Bulls on Christmas Day, they got Saturday off while the Nuggets were getting trounced in San Antonio. Nikola Jokic $4400 and Will Barton $7000 were the only productive players, as Denver’s starters combined for a mere 33 points. The only concern is that Russ and KD will be unneccessary after a brief third-quarter stint. If you do expect garbage time, Enes Kanter $4500 is the safest play; Dion Waiters $3800 and Anthony Morrow $3100 will get plenty of shots but are both streaky shooters — a combined 3-for-16 in that 35-point annihilation of the Lakers on Wednesday.
LAL @ MEM is a 6:00 Eastern tipoff, so don’t get shut out of the most lucrative contests. DK also features Late action at 7:00 on the other three games, where the Lakers and Grizzlies are off the board.
Plays of the Day
The Late $18K Sharpshooter is only a $3 buy-in (FREE with your initial deposit at DK) where the top 1,380 finishers (from up to 6,899 teams) win cash. First place is worth $1,000 cash.
The most significant matchup may be Portland at Sacramento. As mentioned in yesterday’s Spin, it was a raw deal for teams that played on Christmas Day to get back-to-backs. The Cavaliers fulfilled their contractual obligation to appear in the building, but Kyrie Irving (rest) sat out and everyone else including LeBron James went through the motions, trailing the Blazers 34-12 after a quarter and 63-34 at the half.
Damian Lillard $8800 (foot) rested again and remains questionable, so C.J. McCollum $7200 started at PG and Allen Crabbe $4600 dropped a career-high 26 points. Mason Plumlee $5300 double-doubled and Meyers Leonard $3700 looked sharp off the bench. Presumably none of them will be exhausted.
The Kings haven’t played since surprising Indiana on Wednesday. DeMarcus Cousins $9900 is a must-start for me, with Rajon Rondo $8400 one of two good PG options. Darren Collison $4800 is a combo guard who takes over at SG for Ben McLemore $3700 and runs the point when Rondo gets a breather. That earned him 35 minutes (24 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB) against the Pacers. Rudy Gay $6900 and Omri Casspi $5900 are both SF-eligible; Al-Farouq Aminu $5100 can cover only one.
The Knicks are in Boston after both teams played elsewhere last night. Kristaps Porzingis $7400 (finger) was not effective as the Hawks pulled away in the second half. Robin Lopez $3900 took a 6-stitch cut near his eye and played just 20 minutes. Carmelo Anthony $8200 didn’t show any ill effects from his sore ankle and managed a double-double (18 & 14) in 30 minutes, to no avail. Meanwhile, six Celtics hit double figures as they beat Detroit. Avery Bradley $5100 led the balanced attack (18 PTS, 4 REB, 3 STL) and Amir Johnson $4400 (foot) looked spry after sitting out two games. I really like Isaiah Thomas $7700 against Jose Calderon $3800 but if Arron Afflalo $4900 takes IT2, the Spaniard will be on Bradley.
The early game is least interesting in both fantasy and reality. Kobe Bryant $6300 and company will have trouble scoring in Memphis, and the Grizzlies’ best players may not get their typical minutes. Mike Conley $6200, Marc Gasol $7300 and Zach Randolph $5700 did not get much help last night as they lost in Charlotte. More is needed from Matt Barnes $5800, Jeff Green $5400 and Mario Chalmers $3800 tonight; there are better investments.
My sample lineup is four Kings, two inexpensive Celtics and the two Nuggets who figure to be playing catch-up most of the night. Other variations will replace Barton and Jokic.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10400||Rajon Rondo $8400||Darren Collison $4800|
|SG||C.J. McCollum $7200||Will Barton $7000||Avery Bradley $5100|
|SF||Kevin Durant $10000||Omri Casspi $5900||Jeff Green $5400|
|PF||DeMarcus Cousins $9900||Zach Randolph $5700||Amir Johnson $4400|
|C||Marc Gasol $7300||Mason Plumlee $5300||Nikola Jokic $4400|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.