Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Monday’s nine-game NBA slate, along with some strategies unique to this slate.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s Timberwolves-Nets game has been postponed.
Worth Paying Up For: Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards at Utah Jazz ($11,000)
The Jazz can be a daunting matchup since they are third in defensive efficiency. Maybe for mere mortal basketball players, but not for Westbrook. He is averaging 1.49 DKFP per minute on the season and the last time these teams met on March 18, he went bonkers for 82.25 DKFP. Can you expect that again? Probably not but he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP in each of the past 10 games with four above 60 and a high of 94.5, so it’s within the range of outcomes.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,800)
Kyrie Irving ($9,800) and James Harden ($10,600) are out for this game, so Brown will likely start at point guard. On the season, in 31 starts, Brown has averaged 25.8 minutes, 10.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals. There has been one game this season that he’s played alongside Kevin Durant ($9,000) with both Irving and Harden out. That was on Jan. 13 against the Knicks and he played 30 minutes, garnered a 25.6% usage rate, and contributed 36 DKFP. The matchup with the Timberwolves is a pristine one as they play at the third-fastest pace in the league and are 27th in defensive efficiency. In addition, they boost the FPPM to point guards by 20.45% above league average.
Worth Paying Up For: Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz vs. Washington Wizards ($9,200)
When Mike Conley ($6,900) has been unable to play this season, it’s been almost automatic to play Mitchell because he slides up to the point guard position and takes on more ball-handling responsibilities. In those games, Mitchell has put up 39.5, 51.5, 60, 46, 52, 35.25, 35.25, 45, 62.5 and 56.5 DKFP. Conley is out today. In addition, Jordan Clarkson ($5,600) is doubtful. With both Clarkson and Conley off the floor, the usage rate increases 2.2% to 35.8% for Mitchell. Now he gets one of the juiciest matchups in fantasy: the Washington Wizards, who play at the fastest pace in the league and are 26th in defensive efficiency. The last time these teams met, Mitchell put up 60 DKFP. Conley was out that game, but Clarkson played 25 minutes.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($4,400)
In the past 11 games, Brunson has averaged 29.3 minutes, 11.4 field goal attempts, 14.6 points, four rebounds and 3.9 assists. He’s scored at least 20 DKFP in nine of those games with five above 30. He did have an 8-DKFP performance two games ago in which he only played 22 minutes, but that seems like an outlier.
Worth Paying Up For: Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors ($7,000)
It’s hard going against Luka Doncic ($10,700), but he’s just been Luka lately, instead of HalleLuka. Over the past eight games, he’s scored at least 40 DKFP in each game but hasn’t gone over 56 in any. That’s a fine output, but at that price, you want the chance for ceiling games. Could it happen? Sure, on any given night, Luka can go bonkers but considering his recent form and the stout 76ers defense, I’m looking to spend up for Westbrook and/or Mitchell. Which brings me to Porter Jr. He’s averaging 1.06 DKFP per minute on the season. Over the past seven games, he’s averaged 34.2 minutes, 15.6 shot attempts and garnered a usage rate of 23.2%. He’s scored at least 30 DKFP in each game with two above 40 and a high of 55. The matchup is a good one as the Warriors boost the FPPM to power forwards by 15.72% above league average, tops in the Association.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Moe Harkless, Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans ($3,300)
Harkless has started the past two games. He played 20 minutes in the first one but then received 31 minutes in the most recent game. He put up 29.5 DKFP. Harkless is a low-usage player so he won’t score many points, but he will knock down 3-pointers, grab rebounds and derive most of his value from contributions in the defensive categories. The Pelicans are 28th in defensive efficiency, so there is a chance for some upside here.
Worth Paying Up For: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings ($9,700)
Zion faced the Kings twice in the first month of the season. He put up 40.5 and 38.5 DKFP while garnering a usage rate of 24% and 23%, respectively. That was before he became the Zion that we know and love. This Zion goes for 65.5 DKFP against the Nuggets and 68.25 DKFP against the 76ers. In his past two games, he’s put up 57.25 and 68.25 DKFP while garnering a usage rate of 35% and 41%. The Kings play at the eighth-fastest pace and are dead-last in defensive efficiency.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Naji Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings ($3,400)
Over the past six games, Marshall has started three and averaged 26.5 minutes. He’s contributed 22.75, 26, 25.75, 16.25, 10.75 and 34.25 DKFP. There’s variance to his game as the usage rate has been sub-10% in two games and over 15 in three, but Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($6,100) and Lonzo Ball ($7,600) are out. Marshall should get plenty of playing time with both out and should more than pay off his salary considering the near-minimum price tag.
Worth Paying Up For: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets ($10,500)
The center position is loaded up at the top today so there are many paths to victory. It comes down to whether you’re a dog or KAT person. Thank you, I’ll be here every Monday so please leave a tip in the hat jar when you walk out. Over the past 10 games, Towns has averaged 37.4 minutes, 19.7 shot attempts, 28.6 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.3 blocks. He’s scored at least 50 DKFP in every game with two above 60 and one 70.5-DKFP explosion against the 76ers. The Nets play at the ninth-fastest pace and are 25th in defensive efficiency.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Karl-Anthony Towns (personal) has been ruled out for tonight’s game.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic vs. San Antonio Spurs ($4,300)
Over the past three games, Bamba has played 25, 22 and 21 minutes. Wendell Carter Jr. ($5,900) is still starting but when Bamba is on the court, he’s getting busy as the usage rate has been 28%, 27% and 25%. He’s also grabbing rebounds and is blocking shots. It has translated to 37, 30.5 and 30.75 DKFP. With Operation: Tank in full effect, the Magic are going to play all their young players so that they can develop. The Spurs are also a good matchup because they boost the FPPM to centers by 7.55% above league average.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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There’s plenty of value today with a ton of good game environments. WAS/UTA, SAC/NO, and BKN/MIN all have totals above 230. As a result, ownership percentages should be spread out fairly evenly, so it comes down to personal preference.
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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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