The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday features a six-game main slate starting at 7:00 pm ET.
The PG position is relatively weak today: Stephen Curry is the only player priced above $8,000 on FanDuel, and the guy right there (Ricky Rubio) could very well miss today’s game with a sore left hip that kept him out yesterday. Curry has been a poor fantasy asset of late . . .
. . . although he has an intriguing matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who rank third in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency on the year. Further, Steph could see a bump in value with Draymond Green questionable: He’s posted a +4.6 usage rate differential in two games played without the big man. The Warriors are massive 15.5-point favorites, but Curry has been just fine in similar games, posting a +2.22 FanDuel Plus/Minus in 48 instances since the beginning of last year.
Rajon Rondo is coming off a huge 55-point FanDuel outing on Saturday in Brooklyn. That line is very inflated by his 41.4 minutes in double overtime, but he’s still likely too cheap at just $5,500. He will have to battle a tough matchup against a Pistons team that has been excellent defensively of late. Detroit’s main unit — a starting combination of Ish Smith, Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson, Blake Griffin, and Andre Drummond — has been stout defensively, allowing just 93.4 points per 100 possessions in 108 minutes together. Further, this will be a pace-down spot for the Pelicans, who rank fourth in pace on the year and could play even faster with Boogie out. Rondo will be a popular value play in this slate, but there is downside in this matchup; it might be wise to have lower ownership than the field in guaranteed prize pools.
Jerian Grant is playing massive minutes of late for the Bulls, and that shouldn’t change today. He gets a Magic squad with a currently decimated roster: Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are still out, and Elfrid Payton just got traded away. Grant’s not a high-usage player, but at $5,200 and 0.89 DraftKings points per minute, he should be able to reach value.
Dejounte Murray is questionable to play with a sprained ankle, but he would be very intriguing if he does suit up. In two games this season without Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, Murray has led the team in minutes and fantasy production. He’s averaged a ridiculous +14.9 DraftKings Plus/Minus in those affairs.
Donovan Mitchell has a tough matchup against the Spurs, who rank 29th in pace and second in defensive efficiency this season, allowing just 101.6 points/100. Those factors may not matter today, however, given Mitchell’s massive role for this Jazz team. They’re clearly building around him as the primary creator, especially after trading Rodney Hood, and Rubio seems unlikely to suit up tonight. Last game was the first one without either of those players, and Mitchell played 37 minutes and used 34.5 percent of the Jazz’s possessions. He smashed value by nearly seven DraftKings points, and that was despite posting an assist percentage of just 9.5 percent. He’s safe today, especially if Rubio is out.
Spencer Dinwiddie has hit value in four of his past five games, and he’s been particularly impressive dishing out assists, compiling 49 over that time period. He’s Brooklyn’s best player currently, and he’ll continue to carry a large workload as both Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson remain out. In five games without those guys, he’s led the team with 34.3 minutes per game, and he’s averaged a +7.5 DraftKings Plus/Minus during that span. He doesn’t have the easiest matchup in the world against an improved Clippers defense, but he’s much too cheap at only $6,400.
Austin Rivers has played over 30 minutes in both games since returning from injury, and he’s hit value mostly thanks to dishing out 10 assists during that time. He’s still too cheap at $5,100, but there’s also a little downside with Milos Teodosic coming back to run the offense.
Klay Thompson has averaged 36.1 minutes per game in seven games without Draymond this year, and he’s increased his usage rate by 5.7 percent up to nearly 30 percent in those affairs.
Kevin Durant is the only ‘stud’ available on the slate. His $10,900 FanDuel price tag is $3,400 higher than all other options. He should have no problem scoring against the Suns today, who rank third in pace and last in defensive efficiency, although there is a huge blowout risk. Again, the Warriors are 15.5-point favorites, and Devin Booker will not suit up for the Suns. Durant has played 17 games with a spread of -15 or more since joining the Dubs, and in those he’s averaged 46.4 FanDuel points, a +1.40 Plus/Minus, and a 52.9 percent Consistency Rating. Those are fine numbers, but it might make sense to pay up elsewhere given the minutes downside. It is important to note, however, that there is usage upside, as Durant leads the Warriors with a +6.4 usage rate differential in games without Draymond this season.
The Knicks are awful right now, especially without Kristaps Porzingis, but Michael Beasley is still here to put up fantasy numbers. He’s gone for 36.1 and 41.9 FanDuel points over the past two games, and he should be a solid bet for 30-plus minutes and high usage today against the Philadelphia 76ers. The matchup isn’t easy though: Philly ranks fourth in defensive efficiency on the year, allowing just 102.8 points/100. They’re particularly excellent in the most efficient spots on the floor, ranking second in percentage of shots allowed at the rim and first in 3-point percentage allowed. Beas doesn’t mind jacking up mid-rangers, but that does lower his floor a bit for this matchup.
The Suns’ last game was their first without Devin Booker or Tyler Ulis. The former is ruled out; the latter is questionable. In that game, T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson led the team with 42.4 and 39.2 minutes, and they put up 39.8 and 46.3 DraftKings points. They have a tough matchup against the Warriors but should play a ton.
With Rubio out last game, the Jazz elected to go wing-heavy around Mitchell. As a result, Royce O’Neale played 33.1 minutes and produced 33.2 FanDuel points. He’s a low-usage player, but he’s also just $4,000 on FanDuel.
Blake Griffin has been solid for his new squad, and he leads all PFs today with a high +5.83 Opponent Plus/Minus against the Pelicans. He has two more Pro Trends than any other option, and he just put up 54.9 fantasy points on them on the road a week and a half ago. He’s using over 30 percent of Detroit’s possessions while on the floor, and SVG has no issues playing the starting lineup heavy minutes. He’s a fine value at just $9,200 on FanDuel, where he comes with a 90 percent Bargain Rating.
It’s unclear how the Golden State rotations will play out tonight, as this will be the first game Draymond and Jordan Bell have collectively missed. It’s likely Kevon Looney will fill in both at the 4 and 5, and he’s only $3,200 on DraftKings and $3,500 on FanDuel. It’s unlikely he’ll approach 30 minutes, but even 20-25 against this atrocious Suns defense is enticing enough to have exposure in all contest formats. With Dray and Bell off the floor this season, Looney has averaged 0.80 DraftKings points per minute, which is just fine given his low price tags.
In the two games this season sans Kawhi and Aldridge, Bertans has been right there with Murray as the value play.
In those games, he’s averaged over 30 minutes and has posted a massive +12.7 DraftKings Plus/Minus. He likely won’t blow past 20 percent usage, but the minutes upside and low salaries of $4,300 and $3,900 are too good to pass up.
Andre Drummond has absolutely smashed value of late, posting a +9.21 DraftKings Plus/Minus on 70 percent Consistency over his past 10 games. He hasn’t been below 15 rebounds in each of his past seven, and today he faces a Pelicans squad that has really struggled on the glass since losing DeMarcus Cousins. Their starting lineup with Nikola Mirotic in place of Boogie has posted an offensive rebound rate of only 13.6 percent and a defensive rebound rate of just 19.0 percent. Drummond has a huge +4.96 Opponent Plus/Minus on DraftKings, and he’s definitely in play for a 20-20 game.
Pau Gasol leads all players today currently with a +9.44 DraftKings Projected Plus/Minus and should play an increased role down low with Aldridge out. His numbers without Aldridge and Kawhi aren’t amazing — he’s played only 24.7 minutes per game and has used 22.0 percent of the possessions — but that first game was on the front end of a B2B, and his minutes were down. He smashed in the second game with a 14-15-9 line. Pau does have a tough matchup against a red-hot Utah team that ranks in the top seven defensively, but he’s certainly worth the risk at only $4,800 on DraftKings.
DeAndre Jordan leads all players with a +7.38 Opponent Plus/Minus versus the Brooklyn Nets. He put up a 20-20 game against them last season and is fresh off a 20-rebound performance last game versus a tough Philly squad.
Anthony Davis is pricey at $11,400 on DraftKings and $11,700 on FanDuel, but there’s a reason he has the second-highest projected ceiling on both sites. He can fill up the box score fast — he has seven steals and nine blocks over his past two games — and he will continue to use up a ton of possessions without Boogie.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.
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