After a relatively quiet Sunday, the NBA is back with an eight-game slate on Monday. The action on DraftKings gets underway at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors ($10,700) – SGA’s transformation into a full-fledged superstar is officially complete. He may not get the same attention as some of the league’s other top players, but he has done literally everything for the Thunder this season. He’s averaging 31.0 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, resulting in an average of 50.05 DKFP. He was rewarded with his first-ever All-Star nod, and it has been richly deserved.
SGA’s price tag is up to $10,700, and that is probably on the expensive side. However, he’s scored at least 50.5 DKFP in six of his past seven games, and he has a few things working in his favor on Monday. He’s taking on the Warriors, who have played at the fastest pace in the league this season, and the total of this contest sits at 234.5.
The Thunder are also still without Lu Dort, and SGA has increased his usage rate by +6.5% with Dort off the floor this season. He also ups his fantasy output to 1.61 DKFP per minute in that scenario, so he carries a bit of additional upside for as long as Dort is sidelined.
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($6,200) – The Warriors were dealt a big blow over the weekend, with Steph Curry suffering a leg injury that will sideline him for multiple weeks. The Warriors are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference standings, and they’re just 1.0 games above the Blazers, who are in 11th. They’re going to have to fight to stay in the playoff picture and defend their title from last year.
Poole is going to be asked to pick up the slack, and he’s done a solid job in place of Curry in the past. He’s averaged 34.9 minutes in 15 games without his star teammate this season, and Poole has responded with 37.52 DKFP per game. That’s more than enough production to justify a selection at $6,200. His average salary in games without Curry this season has been over $7,800, so he’s not going to be this affordable for long.
Other Options – Zach LaVine ($8,100), Jrue Holiday ($7,600)
Jaden Hardy, Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz ($3,400) – The Mavericks made one of the most surprising moves in recent NBA history after trading for the disgruntled Kyrie Irving. His Nets’ tenure was nothing short of a disaster, and he’s failed to adapt to playing next to LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. Maybe his fourth team will finally be the charm?
Irving isn’t going to be ready to go on Monday, while Luka Doncic remains out of the lineup with a heel injury. With Spencer Dinwiddie no longer part of the equation, the Mavericks are going to have tons of value available, especially if Christian Wood (thumb; questionable) is also sidelined.
Hardy should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.8% with Doncic and Dinwiddie off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.89 DKFP per minute. He could approach 30 minutes vs. the Jazz, making him one of the best values of the day at $3,400.
Other Options – Cam Thomas ($5,000), Edmond Sumner ($4,500), Frank Ntilikina ($3,000)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Portland Trail Blazers ($12,100) – There’s going to be plenty of value available on Monday’s slate, so paying up for Giannis makes a ton of sense. He owns the top ceiling on the slate by a mile, and he’s been playing some of his best basketball of the season of late. He’s racked up at least 59.5 DKFP in six straight games, and he’s gone for at least 70.5 DKFP in four of his past five. Giannis has been dominant on the interior, piling up points and rebounds like a prime Wilt Chamberlain, and he even chipped in 11 assists in his last contest.
He shouldn’t find much resistance against the Blazers. They’ve allowed the seventh-most points in the paint per game this season, and the Bucks’ implied team total of 123.25 ranks second on the slate.
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs ($8,800) – The Bulls are the only team with a higher implied team total than the Bucks on Monday. They’re in a prime spot against the Spurs, who rank dead-last in defensive efficiency and fourth in pace. It doesn’t get much better than that from a scoring perspective.
DeRozan has seen a slight reduction in fantasy value in his second season in Chicago, but he remains one of the most gifted scorers in the league. He’s averaging 26.0 points per game while shooting 51.1% from the field, and he’s played all the minutes he can handle recently. He’s averaged 37.8 minutes over his past eight games, and he can do some serious damage with that much playing time vs. the Spurs. DeRozan has feasted against his former team since arriving in Chicago, averaging 35.0 points per game in three matchups.
Other Options – Christian Wood ($8,400; questionable), Klay Thompson ($7,000)
Kelly Olynyk, Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks ($4,100) – The Jazz quietly have an abundance of big men, with Olynyk, Lauri Markkanen, and Walker Kessler all playing well at times this season. However, the team has started all three players since Olynyk returned to the lineup three games ago, so it’s possible that there’s enough playing time for each of them.
Olynyk was limited in his first two games back, but he returned to just under 30 minutes in his last contest. If he’s going to continue to play that much, he’s undoubtedly underpriced at just $4,100. Olynyk has averaged 0.91 DKFP per minute this season, so he can pile up fantasy points quickly. Even if he returns to mid-20s minutes in this spot, he should still be able to return value.
Other Options – Andrew Wiggins ($5,800), Jonathan Kuminga ($3,700), Corey Kispert ($3,500)
Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($9,600) – There is definitely a bit of sticker shock with Porzingis at $9,600, but he’s been worth every penny of late. He’s scored at least 49.25 DKFP in five of his past six games, and the lone exception was a blowout win where he played just 23 minutes.
Porzingis will have his hands full vs. the Cavaliers on Monday, but he could be looking at a massive workload. Kyle Kuzma has already been ruled out due to an ankle injury, while Bradley Beal is questionable with a foot injury. Porzingis has increased his usage rate by +4.8% with both players off the floor this season, and he’s averaged 1.41 DKFP per minute in that scenario. He should provide a bit more value than usual even if Beal is able to go, but he’s best deployed if Beal joins Kuzma on the sidelines.
Other Options – Domantas Sabonis ($10,500), Jarrett Allen ($6,800)
Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($3,800) – The Blazers got off to an excellent start this season, but they’ve dropped well back in the Western Conference standings. They’re going to have to continue to survive without Jusuf Nurkic, who will miss his fourth consecutive game on Monday.
Eubanks has seen a nice uptick in playing time without Nurkic, racking up 26.3 minutes in his last outing. He didn’t provide much fantasy value in that spot, finishing with just 16.25 DKFP, but there should be better performances on the horizon. Eubanks has averaged 0.85 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s displayed plenty of upside when given the chance to play expanded minutes. He’s averaged 23.36 DKFP in 11 games with at least 24 minutes this season, so he’s definitely in play at $3,800.
Other Options – Zach Collins ($4,300), Jaylin Williams ($3,100)
Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.