Welcome back everyone. For the first Monday of 2021, there are nine NBA games on tap. DraftKings continues to offer huge tournaments for DFS players and below are some of my favorite targets at each position.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings, $9,300
Curry was brilliant Sunday night, exploding for a career-high 62 points in the win over the Blazers (75.75 DKFP). The three-time NBA champion has now provided at least 45.0 DKFP in five of six games this season, and he will be competing in a large O/U game total of 232.5 points tonight vs. the Kings, per the DraftKings’ Sportsbook.
Additionally, the Kings are only 3.5-point favorites and in the last five tilts Curry has played in with a total above 230 points and spread under five, he is scoring 48.0 DKFP per game. Sacramento is the ninth-worst defense in the NBA in terms of efficiency and Curry is one of the best high-end spends of the night.
Other Options: De’Aaron Fox ($8,200), John Wall ($7,600, bump up if James Harden is out)
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets at Philadelphia 76ers, $5,600
I hate this matchup vs. the Sixers for Ball (first in defensive efficiency), but this will likely be one of the final times we can roster the rookie at a price less than $6K this season. He only logged 17 minutes per game in his first three NBA contests, but has seen 29 minutes per game in his most recent three. During this span, the third overall pick from the 2020 NBA Draft has scored 37.8 DKFP per game.
Even if he doesn’t start, Ball has earned himself roughly 30 minutes every night going forward, which is more than enough time for the 19-year-old to smash value at his salary for Monday, regardless of the difficult matchup. Six games into his NBA career, Ball is generating 1.22 DKFP per minute.
Other Options: Delon Wright ($4,000, if Derrick Rose is rested), Jalen Brunson ($3,300, must play if Luka Doncic is out)
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics, $7,700
After losing their first three of the season, the Raptors have played more competitively in their last two contests, and VanVleet has been a huge factor. First, the combo-guard scored 47.25 DKFP vs. the Knicks on New Year’s Eve, and then he followed this up with 50.5 DKFP against the Pelicans on Saturday night.
Now, VanVleet will return home to take on the Celtics, who he is producing 39.8 DKFP against in his past ten meetings with the divisional rival. Boston has shown some flaws on the defensive end in the early going of the season (21st in defensive efficiency) and VanVleet has 40-plus DKFP upside in this competitive setting.
Other Options: Collin Sexton ($7,200)
Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets, $5,600
Curry has fit in perfectly with the Sixers, providing 28.0 DKFP per game as the team’s starting two-guard. He has four showings over 30.0 DKFP in six contests this season, including 34.5 DKFP vs. the Hornets this past Saturday, which is the same defense Curry will face tonight.
He is knocking down 2.8 three pointers per game at a 52% clip, and this Hornets defense has been susceptible against long range shooters like Curry, surrendering 13.8 made three pointers per game — the eighth-most in the league. The 30-year-old should top 30.0 DKFP again tonight and is an option that could go under the radar for this full slate.
Other Options: Eric Gordon ($5,700, if Harden is out), George Hill ($4,800)
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets, $7,600
As noted above, the Sixers will play the Hornets for the second-straight game this evening. On Saturday night, Harris was unstoppable in this matchup, posting a season-best 57.75 DKFP in the win. His price tag has only inched up $300 since this outburst and the Sixers’ forward is now contributing 47.9 DKFP per game across his last four.
It is only a few weeks into the season, but Harris is scoring 1.25 DKFP per minute in 2020-21, after only supplying 1.0 DKFP per minute a year ago. Charlotte is giving up the ninth-most DKFP per game to opposing power forwards and Harris should be priced over $8K in this spot.
Other Options: Jaylen Brown ($8,300), Jerami Grant ($6,900)
Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks, $3,900
For the Pistons’ first back-to-back set of the season, the team elected to sit Blake Griffin ($6,600) for one of the games. There is speculation that this will be the routine all season for the veteran and, with Griffin playing 29 minutes vs. the Celtics on Sunday, there is a strong possibility he is inactive Monday when the Pistons visit the Bucks.
In the two games Griffin has missed this season, Bey has started in both and logged 30 minutes in each. The rookie is producing 27.0 DKFP per game with the starting role and is a strong punt if he finds himself in this situation again on Monday.
Other Options: Josh Richardson ($5,300, better if Doncic is out), Sterling Brown ($3,900, if Harden is out)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors, $8,600
Plain and simple, Tatum is very underpriced right now. He just went off for a season-high 59.5 DKFP in last night’s win vs. the Pistons, putting him at 45.5 DKFP per game for the year. The 22-year-old’s $8.6K salary for Monday night ties his season-low on DraftKings and if Tatum is able to meet his season average tonight, he would provide a 5.3x value return at his current cost. His opponent, the Raptors, aren’t the greatest matchup by any means (fifth in defensive efficiency), but this is a defense Tatum knows very well.
The Celtics beat the Raptors in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this past summer and the Duke product averaged 48.5 DKFP per game during the series.
Other Options: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800)
Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons, $4,900
If you believe the Bucks can run away with a win tonight against the Pistons — which Vegas believes is very possible with the Bucks favored by 13.5 points on the DraftKings’ Sportsbook — Portis needs to be in your GPP player pool. Portis is averaging 25.5 DKFP per game in a Bucks’ uniform this season and most of his damage has come when Milwaukee has been a part of a blowout.
Four of the Bucks’ first six contests have been decided by double-digits and Portis is contributing 31.5 DKFP in 25.8 minutes per game off the bench in those tilts. The 25-year-old has always been an excellent point per minute producer (1.13 DKFP per minute this season) and we could see him flourish in garbage time again on Monday.
Other Options: Darius Bazley ($5,800), Kelly Oubre Jr. ($5,500)
Christian Wood, Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $7,400
Regardless of Harden’s (ankle) status, Wood needs to be considered at this reasonable price. DeMarcus Cousins’ ($4,700) return hasn’t meant much for Wood, with him still logging 32.5 minutes per game in these past two with the veteran active as the Rockets’ backup center. Over this time, Wood has generated 49.9 DKFP per game, and tonight he will be in a prime matchup vs. the Mavs, who have allowed the eighth-most DKFP per game to opposing centers this season.
The 25-year-old is already looking like one of the best free agent signings of this past offseason, with three double-doubles in only four starts, and Wood should tally another against Dallas.
Other Options: Joel Embiid ($9,900), Nikola Vucevic ($8,800)
Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks, $6,100
Capela has been let off his leash. He only saw 20 minutes per game in his first two starts of the year, but since, the former Rocket has received at least 30 minutes of work in back-to-back contests, lifting him to 40.9 DKFP per game. The expanded workload has helped him record consecutive double-doubles and, with no game last night or tomorrow for the Hawks, Capela should obtain over 30 minutes again Monday.
In addition to the volume expected for the productive big man (1.3 DKFP per minute this season), Capela gets a gorgeous matchup vs. the Knicks. Six games into the season, this New York defense has given up the most DKFP per game to opposing centers, and Capela is a value that can’t be ignored.
Other Options: Tristan Thompson ($4,400), Maxi Kleber ($3,900)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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 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.