FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Sunday, December 31

FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Sunday, December 31



This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

FanDuel has omitted the opening matchup for their main slate, so action will begin at 7:00 p.m. EST with a five-game offering. Hopefully you’re enjoying a fantasy football championship by day’s end, but if not we have four months of NBA action ahead of us and we’ll always be here to provide our recommendations.

SLATE OVERVIEW

For the latest spreads and over-unders, visit RotoWire’s NBA Odds page. There, you can also find player props, futures, picks articles and sportsbook bonus codes.

Highest totals: SAS/BOS (240), OKC/BKN (237.5)

Back-to-back games: LAL

INJURIES

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire’s NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report. Below are some of the most recent and relevant injuries for Sunday. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. Use your best judgment when evaluating ongoing injury scenarios elsewhere on the slate.

SAS Zach Collins (ankle) – OUT

Collins’ absence will mean a heavier load for Victor Wembanyama ($8,900), but I won’t speculate beyond the rookie on this roster.

LAL D’Angelo Russell (lower body) – OUT

With Russell out, Austin Reaves ($6,500) will take on a more significant offensive role.

ELITE PLAYERS

There are six players with five-figure salaries Sunday, but Domantas Sabonis ($9,700) interests me the most. It’s rare to see him below 10k, and Memphis’s recent rebounding issues make Sacramento’s big man a compelling draw. If forced to go above 10k, my selection would probably fall to LeBron James ($10,300), who will see an assist boost without Russell.  

Kristaps Porzingis ($8,800) will be back for the Celtics, and his return will be a big boost against the Spurs, who may not carry a full frontcourt. He’s also easy to slot due to dual eligibility. If you’d rather spend up at a position other than center, Chet Holmgren ($8,300) has enjoyed a nice run of production recently. And although Nic Claxton (illness) is expected to play, Holmgren may be able to get a step ahead due to the injury designation.

Also consider: Jayson Tatum, BOS ($9,800) @ SAS

EXPECTED CHALK AND VALUE PLAYS

CJ McCollum, NOP ($7,900) vs. LAL

McCollum usually showed up against the Lakers back in his Portland days. Even though I slid past some Pelican talent to get here, the vet is in a nice spot with D’Angelo Russell sidelined. The Lakers have only played one game without Russell’s services this season, and the shuffle could result in some thin backcourt coverage. McCollum could be poised for a big night if left alone. If forced to go lower on New Orleans, I’d look to Herbert Jones ($5,100) for value.

Jalen Williams, OKC ($7,300) vs. BKN

Though the Thunder are favored, this should be a high-paced matchup. Williams’ numbers have been exemplary with averages of 24 points, 4.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots the past four games.

Keegan Murray, SAC ($6,600) @ MEM

The Kings have struggled to find support for De’Aaron Fox and Sabonis this season, but Murray often emerges as the third-best scoring threat and has taken a massive step forward in his second year. Even with the salary a little higher than I’d like, the limited player pool calls for a two-position talent in this salary range. I’d ideally use Murray at SF with more options available up front at PF.

Cameron Johnson, BKN ($5,900) @ OKC

The Nets underwent a lineup shuffle that left Cam Thomas the odd man out. And even with Johnson battling a knee injury, he’ll likely slot into Brooklyn’s starting lineup. He may be able to gain a step over Josh Giddey, who is still nursing an ankle injury. I’m also a proponent of Mikal Bridges ($7,600) in this spot.

Jalen Suggs, ORL ($5,800) @ PHX

Suggs has enjoyed three solid games of production after a two-game absence. Even with the Suns presenting a stiff challenge, his reemergence as a playmaker will be a great asset in this matchup.  Booker may slide over to cover Suggs, but could see a few more looks at the basket if he lines up against Bradley Beal or Grayson Allen.

Though it’s feasible to run with only one elite today, here are a couple of picks from the bargain basement who could give you more salary cap relief if you go with more star talent: SG/SF Malaki Branham, SAS ($4,500) vs. BOS; SG/SF Cam Reddish, LAL ($4,500) at NOP

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.

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