Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Monday’s seven-game NBA slate, along with some strategies unique to this slate.
Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets @ San Antonio Spurs ($11,000), and Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks @ Orlando Magic ($10,700)
You are witnesses to history. For the first time in DK history, two players are being written up for the same section! Today is truly a blessed day.
Both Harden and Doncic are projected for the same amount of points and they both have excellent matchups. Harden goes up against a Spurs team that is 10th in pace and boosts the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 18.79% above league average, second-most generous. Doncic faces a Magic team that boosts the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 11.52% above league average, fourth-most generous. Also, back in late January, Donic put up 66.25 DKFP against the Spurs.
The Brooklyn game has a higher O/U, 234 vs. 221, as Dallas is 21st in pace while the Magic are 16th. Harden averages 1.46 DKFP per minute while Doncic is at 1.57, but Harden plays three more minutes on average more than Doncic.
Harden and Doncic are both excellent options today, so it really comes down to preference, pricing and ownership percentage.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Mike Conley, Utah Jazz @ New Orleans Pelicans ($6,500)
Conley has been all over the map this season from a DKFP perspective. He’s gone over 50 DKFP twice this season while scoring in the 20s nine times. Over the past three games, he’s put up 31, 40.5 and 32 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging 1.12 DKFP per minute. Now he gets a matchup against a Pelicans team that is 29th in defensive efficiency and boosts the fantasy points per minute to point guards by a whopping 20.27% above league average. This game has the highest O/U on the slate at 236.
Worth Paying Up For: Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets @ San Antonio Spurs ($9,100)
As mentioned above with regards to Harden, the game environment is a good one for the Nets. On the season, Irving is averaging 1.3 DKFP per minute. Without Kevin Durant on the court, he sees a usage bump of 2.6% to 32.3%. Over the past five games, he’s put up 51.5, 43.5, 47.8, 29.9 and 52.3 DKFP while garnering a usage rate of 32.6% on average. There should be plenty of possessions in this one, so Irving should have ample opportunities to produce fantasy goodies.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Cody Martin, Charlotte Hornets @ Portland Trail Blazers ($3,500)
Over the past two games, Martin has played 27 and 25 minutes, contributing 17.75 and 18.25 DKFP, respectively. Cody Zeller missed both games while Gordon Hayward missed one, so there’s uncertainty as to what his role will be when everyone is healthy. Both Hayward and Zeller are doubtful for Monday’s game and, if one of them is unable to go, then Martin should get playing time in the mid-20s. On the season, he’s averaging 0.76 DKFP per minute. I know it’s not an exciting option, but Portland is one of the worst defensive teams in the league and the price is very cheap.
Worth Paying Up For: DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs vs. Brooklyn Nets ($8,400)
I guess we are stacking this game if possible, huh? On the season, DeRozan is averaging 1.15 DKFP and is coming off a 54.75 DKFP explosion last game. Now, he had gone for 28, 41.5 and 24.25 DKFP the prior three games, so the floor is low and there’s volatility to his game. With that said, this game should be an up-and-down, competitive affair. Against small forwards, the Nets boost the fantasy points per minute by 13.46% above league average, the second-most generous in the league.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets @ Portland Trail Blazers ($4,800)
Bridges is a relatively low-usage player who scores his points in transition, spotting up beyond the arc or throwing down alley-oops. Offense isn’t his game, though. He’s out there grabbing rebounds and racking up defensive stats. On the season, he’s averaging 0.85 DKFP per minute and has gone for 31.75, 23.5 and 24 DKFP in the past three games. He’s gone over 30 DKFP seven times this season, so there’s upside.
Worth Paying Up For: PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets @ Portland Trail Blazers ($6,200)
Another Hornet. That makes me wary, especially since they will be playing the second leg of a back-to-back. It is what it is, though. Washington went for 66.25 DKFP last night, so if the ownership gets sky high I’ll think about pivoting, although I’m not feeling Domantas Sabonis and Zion Williamson at their price tags. So, here we are. The boon for Washington’s game has been playing the small-ball center role. As mentioned above, Zeller could miss another game, so more minutes at center could be in store for Washington. Prior to last night’s explosion, he went for 43 DKFP in 29 minutes vs. the Warriors. The matchup vs. the Trail Blazers is an excellent one as they boost the fantasy points per minute to centers by 10.41% above league average.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte Hornets ($5,200)
Anthony could play 20 minutes or 32 minutes. We just never know, so there’s risk here. As a result, there’s profit potential as well since ownership will likely be low, especially since he played 20 minutes last game and contributed 17 DKFP. Plus, the price isn’t cheap. On the season, Anthony is averaging 0.91 DKFP per minute. When Anthony is on the floor, he’s going to huck and chuck, as evidenced by the 23.3% usage rate on the season. He’s scored at least 30 DKFP six times this season, with two of those 40-burgers. Now he gets a matchup against a Hornets team that boosts the fantasy points per minute to power forwards by 15.25% above league average. If he gets the minutes, the matchup is one in which he should prosper.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets @ Chicago Bulls ($10,800)
Jokic is averaging a ridiculous 1.59 DKFP per minute. He’s scored at least 50 DKFP in 25 games this season, with a high of 88.5. The floor/ceiling combo is unmatched on the slate. The Bulls play at the sixth-fastest pace and are middle of the pack in defensive efficiency. Against centers, they boost the fantasy points per minute by 8% above league average. As if Jokic needed any more help.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Justin Patton, Cleveland Cavaliers @ Houston Rockets ($3,200)
The Rockets tried the small-ball lineups with P. J. Tucker at center. Not so good. As a result, they brought up Patton, the 16th-overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, to provide size and length. He’s 6-foot-11 and 241 pounds with a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He’s played four games so far and is coming off a 20.25 DKFP performance in which he played 26 minutes before fouling out. He’s notched a block in every game and will grab rebounds. He also has range from beyond the arc. His size will be needed against Jarrett Allen, who eviscerated the Rockets for 61 DKFP a week ago.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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There isn’t great value on this slate, at least before lineups have been announced, so a stars and scrubs strategy may not be the best path to travel. I haven’t built lineups yet but I’m leaning toward living in the mid-range today. We shall see. When looking at the top, though, there are plenty of good options, so ownership should be evenly spread out among them.
- George Hill (thumb)
- Cole Anthony (rib)
- James Ennis (calf)
- Aaron Gordon (ankle)
- Caris LeVert (kidney)
- T. J. Warren (foot)
- JaMychal Green (shoulder)
- Gary Harris (thigh)
- Paul Millsap (knee)
- Chandler Hutchison (leg)
- Lauri Markkanen (shoulder)
- Otto Porter Jr. (back)
- Kevin Durant (hamstring)
- Rudy Gay (health protocols)
- Keldon Johnson (conditioning)
- Devin Vassell (health protocols)
- Derrick White (health protocols)
- Andre Drummond (trade)
- Kevin Love (calf)
- Larry Nance Jr. (finger)
- Christian Wood (ankle)
- C. J. McCollum (foot)
- Jusuf Nurkic (wrist)
- Devonte Graham (kneecap)
- Gordon Hayward (hand)
- Cody Zeller (hip)
- Malcolm Brogdon (knee)
- Jeremy Lamb (knee)
- Joel Embiid (ankle)
- Tobias Harris (knee)
- J. J. Redick (hamstring)
- Jeff Green (shoulder)
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee)
- Cedi Osman (back)
- Eric Gordon (knee)
- Kristaps Porzingis (back)
- Tyler Johnson (migraine)
GAME TIME DECISION
- Eric Gordon (knee)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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.
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