Skip to main content

FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy: Sunday (1/3)

Jan 3, 2021

Paul George should never be only $8,000.

While most eyes will be fixated on football today, we DFS grinders are ready for more basketball. It’s been an exciting start to the season but there’s been chaos in terms of resting and late scratches. That means it’s up to you guys to keep an eye on updates but we’ll do our best to try to predict those things and adjust our projections. With all of that in mind, let’s get into this Sunday slate!

If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

Create FanDuel lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

Point Guard

Luka Doncic (DAL) at CHI $11,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Damian Lillard (POR) at GS $9,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Mike Conley (UTA) at SAN $6,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • Doncic just had his best game of the season on Friday and is the highest-priced player on the slate for good reason. We’ll explain why later.
  • Lillard destroys the Warriors and we’ll dive into those numbers in the studs section.
  • Conley has returned to his All-Star form this season with 37 FanDuel points per game and it’s a wonder why he’s still below $7,000

Shooting Guard

Paul George (LAC) at PHX $8,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Dennis Schroder (LAL) at MEM $5,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Josh Richardson (DAL) at CHI $4,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • PG13 should never be only $8,000. He’s averaging over 40 fantasy points per game and gets a solid matchup.
  • Schroder has been a nice find for the Lakers, averaging 30 FD points per game.
  • Richardson has struggled with the Mavs so far this season but he’s too good of a player to be sitting below $5K.

Small Forward

LeBron James (LAL) at MEM $10,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kevin Durant (BRK) vs. WAS $9,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Otto Porter (CHI) vs. DAL $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • LeBron James is the best player of our generation and he’s cruising like usual. He’ll find his way into the studs section yet again.
  • Durant has looked outstanding in his return to action and we’ll talk about his numbers in the studs section too.
  • Porter has been a monster the last two games without Lauri Markkanen, averaging 38 FanDuel points per game. That makes him the value of the day.

Power Forward

Anthony Davis (LAL) at MEM $10,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Robert Covington (HOU) at GS $5,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Naz Reid (MIN) vs. DEN $4,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • Davis is obviously a great play against one of the worst defenses in the NBA.
  • Covington has really struggled in his first few games with Portland but he can go off against a Warriors team that doesn’t know what the word defense means.
  • Reid has been starting for Karl-Anthony Towns, scoring at least 28 fantasy points in two of his last three starts.


Nikola Jokic (DEN) at MIN $10,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Thomas Bryant (WAS) at BRK $5,800 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Serge Ibaka (LAC) at PHX $5,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium


  • Jokic eats triple-doubles for breakfast and we’ll discuss his numbers more in the next section.
  • Bryant has at least 25 FD points in five-straight games and is averaging over 30 FD points per game in that span. Why is he below $6K?
  • Ibaka continues to start for the Clippers and it’s just a matter of time before he sees an increase in production and price.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Luka Doncic, DAL ($11,300): Doncic hasn’t been quite as good as he was last season but 27 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists on Friday shows just how special he can be. We love that against a Bulls team that ranks 28th in points allowed and 21st in defensive efficiency.
  • Nikola Jokic, DEN ($10,600): Despite dealing with foul trouble on Friday, Jokic is still averaging a triple-double for the season. That makes him one of the best options on the board against a 21st-ranked Minnesota defense missing KAT.
  • LeBron James, LAL ($10,400): James has been rolling recently, averaging 27 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.7 steals over his last three fixtures. That’s bad news for a Memphis team that ranks 27th in points allowed and 25th in defensive efficiency.
  • Kevin Durant, BRK ($9,600): Durant has been killing his price tag all season long. In fact, he’s got at least 28 points in four-straight games, providing 9.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks over his last two games. That should be no problem to duplicate against a Wizards team that had the worst defense in the NBA last season.
  • Damian Lillard, POR ($9,300): Lillard was born in Oakland and it always makes him hungry against the Warriors. In 27 career games against them, Lillard has a 30 percent usage rate while averaging 28.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game. This could be the worst Warriors defense he’s ever faced too.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Bradley Beal, WAS ($9,800): Beal has been awesome at times this season but it’s hard for me to trust him at this price tag with Russell Westbrook out there. The former OKC MVP steals statistics and usage from all of his teammates and that’ll make it hard for Beal to live up to this lofty price tag. That looks even worse when you consider that Brooklyn has the best field goal percentage defense in the NBA right now.
  • Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($8,000): Mitchell has been bad in the first week of the season, averaging just 21 points on 34 percent shooting. That’s scary with his lack of peripheral statistics, especially since he’ll have an elite defender like Dejounte Murray covering him here.
  • Zach LaVine, CHI ($7,700): LaVine has not been as good as he was last season and that scares me against a Dallas defense that’s allowed 83 points to the Miami Heat and 73 points to the Los Angeles Clippers over the last week.
  • Devin Booker, PHX ($7,500): Booker and CP3 have hurt each other’s fantasy value and Booker’s price simply hasn’t dropped enough. We hate that even more considering he’ll have to match up with either Kawhi Leonard or Paul George here.
  • Chris Paul, PHX ($7,200): Paul has actually taken a bigger hit than Booker, averaging just 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.8 steals per game. Those are some of the worst averages of his career and it likely won’t get better against this elite Clippers defense.

Create FanDuel lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.

Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

What's your take? Leave a comment

Build winning DFS lineups

Use the FantasyPros Lineup Optimizer to build winning lineups based on expert projections.