James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs, $11,000
Harden has been a huge letdown of late, scoring less than 50 DKFP in back-to-back starts, but we have to expect some positive regression tonight vs. the Spurs. Kevin Durant (hamstring) will remain out and before these last two subpar showings, Harden was dominating, producing 66.6 DKFP per game in his previous five, all of which came without Durant. This season, San Antonio has been a very friendly spot for point guards, with the Spurs giving up the most DKFP per game to the position. Plus, the Spurs will be missing multiple key players due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols and should be even weaker than usual on the defensive end.
Coming off their first loss in eight games, the Nets and Harden should get back on track Monday, and hopefully, his ownership is lower than usual after burning most DFS players Saturday night.
Other Options: Damian Lillard ($10,400), LaMelo Ball ($8,700, if Devonte’ Graham and Gordon Hayward are out), Dejounte Murray ($8,100)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Devonte’ Graham has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Trail Blazers. Gordon Hayward is doubtful.
Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers, $4,500
The Sixers are certainly a team to monitor today. Both Joel Embiid ($10,600; ankle) and Tobias Harris ($7,900; knee) are questionable ahead of Monday night’s matchup vs. the Pacers, and if either of them were to sit, Milton would automatically become one of the better value plays on the slate. With Harris absent Saturday, Milton recorded 27 DKFP across 31 minutes against the Cavs. Additionally, when Embiid has been off the court this season, Milton’s usage has jumped a notable 5.1%, upgrading his production to one DKFP per minute.
Evident from these numbers, Milton would be a viable target if one of Embiid or Harris were missing, and he could become a near must-play if both starters were inactive. In all the time he has played without both Embiid and Harris this season, Milton has generated 1.13 DKFP per minute, behind a team-high 31.1% usage rate.
Other Options: T.J. McConnell ($6,100, if Malcolm Brogdon is out), Patty Mills ($4,700)
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $8,600
Mitchell is one of the safest options in fantasy basketball. For the month of February, the shooting guard has provided at least 40 DKFP in 11 of 14 starts, including four outputs of over 50 DKFP, and tonight’s matchup vs. the Pelicans is a perfect spot for Mitchell to find his ceiling. New Orleans ranks second-to-last in defensive efficiency and opposing shooting guards have exposed them for the fifth-most DKFP per game to the position this season.
Monday night will be the third time that Mitchell has faced the Pelicans this year, and in the first two meetings, the All-Star shined with 48.8 DKFP per game. This Western Conference matchup possesses a high 234.5 point O/U game total on DraftKings Sportsbook, which is the largest total the Jazz have found themselves in this season. When Mitchell has started in a total of 230 points or more over the past two seasons, we have seen the 24-year-old flourish with 44.4 DKFP per game.
Other Options: Kyrie Irving ($9,100), Terry Rozier ($8,000, if Devonte’ Graham and Gordon Hayward out)
Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs, $5,400
With Durant sidelined, the Nets needed someone to step up besides Harden and Kyrie Irving, and Brown has seized the opportunity. In these past four with the superstar missing, Brown has started and supplied 31.1 DKFP per game. The third-year pro out of Miami has been red hot, shooting 68% from the field in these past four, and Nets head coach Steve Nash has had no choice but to give Brown big minutes.
He has logged 29.3 minutes per game during this stretch, which is a significant leap from the 20.3 minutes Brown is averaging for the season. His improved play should continue against this soft Spurs defense, and the increase in Brown’s salary could translate to depressed ownership.
Other Options: Evan Fournier ($6,700), Malik Monk ($5,500, if Devonte’ Graham and Gordon Hayward are out), Cody Martin ($3,500, if Devonte’ Graham and Gordon Hayward are out)
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs vs. Brooklyn Nets, $8,400
Returning from a one-game absence due to a personal matter, DeRozan was outstanding Saturday night, posting 54.75 DKFP in the win against the Pelicans. With Rudy Gay, Devin Vassell, Derrick White and Quinndary Weatherspoon all out because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, DeRozan was forced to play 38 minutes and take on a 28.6% usage rate. All of these players have been confirmed to be out again tonight, and DeRozan’s offense will be needed if the Spurs want to keep up with the high-powered Nets.
His usage will surely be north of 25% again and in the 10 tilts his usage has eclipsed this mark in 2020-21, DeRozan is contributing 42.7 DKFP.
Other Options: Ben Simmons ($8,800, if Joel Embiid or Tobias Harris are out)
Royce O’Neale, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $4,800
If you’re stacking the Jazz vs. Pelicans game tonight, O’Neale makes a ton of sense at only $4,800. His role has been steady, logging over 30 minutes in 11 of his past 12 games as the Jazz’s power forward. He is amassing 25 DKFP per game across his past eight and the Pelicans are terrible at defending power forwards, yielding the fourth-most DKFP per game to the position.
O’Neale isn’t the most exciting play, but given the lack of depth at small forward tonight, the 27-year-old and his secure role are viable in this excellent game environment.
Other Options: Derrick Jones Jr. ($5,500), Danny Green ($4,400, if Tobias Harris is out)
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls, $7,000
Until one of Paul Millsap (knee), JaMychal Green (shoulder) or Gary Harris (thigh) returns, Porter Jr. will always be an appealing target. With these three unable to play, Porter Jr. has supplied 34.5 DKFP per game over his past three. With the Nuggets destroying the Thunder by 30 points Saturday night, Porter Jr. was only needed for 28 minutes, but in the prior two, he had cracked the 40-minute mark in each start.
In this road matchup against the Bulls, who have won three of their past four, Porter Jr. should get back to seeing massive minutes in the competitive tilt. With this type of volume, the 22-year-old is a legitimate threat for 40-50 DKFP.
Other Options: Kristaps Porzingis ($8,200), Tobias Harris ($7,900, if active and Joel Embiid is out)
Trey Lyles, San Antonio Spurs vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,400
If you haven’t noticed by now, I love attacking this matchup between the Spurs and Nets tonight, and Lyles should be able to out-produce his price tag with his team so depleted. In the same exact situation on Saturday night, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich used a very tight rotation, with only seven players seeing above 20 minutes. With 35.8 minutes of action, Lyles finished third in playing time for San Antonio and scored 21.25 DKFP against the Pelicans.
That fantasy score isn’t the greatest achievement, but Lyles should improve tonight with the hefty workload, against this Nets defense that ranks 26th in defensive efficiency. In his past 10 games with 30 minutes or more, Lyles is averaging 29.9 DKFP.
Other Options: Robert Covington ($5,700), Miles Bridges ($4,800, if Gordon Hayward and Cody Zeller are out), Al-Farouq Aminu ($3,800)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cody Zeller and Gordon Hayward are doubtful for tonight’s game vs. the Trail Blazers
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls, $10,800
Jokic was unstoppable in the blowout win vs. the Thunder on Saturday, notching a triple-double of 61.25 DKFP in only 30 minutes. The center has produced 54.8 DKFP per game in these past four with the Nuggets down Millsap, Harris and Green, and the Bulls will have no answer for the superstar on Monday. Opposing centers are scoring DKFP at the fifth-highest rate against the Bulls this year and Bulls starting center Wendell Carter Jr. currently ranks second-to-last in real defensive plus/minus for his position.
Jokic should destroy him for a minimum of 50 DKFP and another triple-double is absolutely in the realm of possibilities.
Other Options: Joel Embiid ($10,600, if active and Tobias Harris is out), Nikola Vucevic ($10,200), Jarrett Allen ($8,500)
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $6,200
Cody Zeller (hip) has missed the past two and is uncertain to play tonight. If the center is unable to suit up again, which seems likely, Washington will need to be one of your core plays. He has been the primary beneficiary with Zeller injured, scoring 43 DKFP against the Warriors this past Friday and then a season-high 66.25 DKFP vs. the Kings last night. The Hornets have used more small-ball lineups with Washington at the five, and the 22-year-old has been very active on the glass with the role, tallying 10 and nine rebounds.
In his previous 10 games, Washington was only collecting 5.3 rebounds a night and his success shouldn’t stop in this juicy matchup with the Blazers. Not only does this club rank 28th in defensive efficiency, but they are also surrendering the eighth-most rebounds per game this season. At only $6,200, Washington will be a very difficult fade if Zeller is inactive for the third straight time.
Other Options: LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,200), DeAndre Jordan ($5,500, if Jeff Green is out), Dwight Howard ($3,500, if Joel Embiid is out), Justin Patton ($3,200, if starting)
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