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 slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Trae Young has been playing some of his best basketball recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past five games on FanDuel, and he’s eclipsed 50.7 FanDuel points in three of them. That said, his salary hasn’t moved much on FanDuel, and his current $10,000 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%.
Young is in a nice spot today vs. the Golden State Warriors. They rank just 26th in defensive efficiency, and the Hawks’ implied team total of 114.5 ranks second on the slate. The Hawks are also catching the Warriors on the second leg of a back-to-back, so they could be even worse on the defensive end than usual. Overall, Young leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
Ja Morant is currently dealing with a back injury, and he’s going to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. That means he’s almost certainly out for today’s contest vs. the Pacers, which opens up some value at PG with the Grizzlies.
Tyus Jones stands out on FanDuel, where his $4,000 salary results in a Bargain Rating of 99%. He drew the start without Morant in the Grizzlies’ last game, and he’s averaged 0.83 FanDuel points per minute this season. He’s currently projected for 26.9 minutes in our NBA Models, and Jones has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +11.11 and a Consistency Rating of 100% with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
De’Anthony Melton is more of a wild card, but he did finish the game ahead of Jones yesterday. He filled up the stat sheet, logging nine points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals over just 22.6 minutes. That was just the second time all season that Melton played more than 11 minutes, but he has a potential role with Morant sidelined.
Malcolm Brogdon is an interesting buy-low option vs. the Grizzlies. His price has decreased by $800 over the past month on FanDuel after missing a few games due to an injury. That said, he’s played at least 37.8 minutes in each of his past two games, so he’s back to carrying a full workload. That makes him an appealing target vs. the Grizzlies given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.79.
Frank Ntilikina left the Knicks’ last game after just seven minutes with an injury, and he’s currently questionable to suit up today. If he’s ruled out, Dennis Smith Jr. would become a very appealing punt play. He led the team with 38.4 minutes in their last game, and he responded with 32.7 FanDuel points. DSJ has always been a strong producer on a per-minute basis, so he has the potential to do a lot of damage if he gets another increased workload.
There are a bunch of options to choose from at the top of the SG position today, but Buddy Hield looks like the top option. De’Aaron Fox remains out for the Kings, which gives Hield some additional offensive upside. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.98 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s played at least 40.5 minutes in two of his past three games.
He stands out on FanDuel in particular, where his $7,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75%.
Grayson Allen is another potential value option for the Grizzlies. He’s priced at just $3,200 on DraftKings, and he’s coming off 30.1 minutes in yesterday’s contest. He’s averaged 0.75 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he could see a similar workload today vs. the Pacers. They’re a strong defensive team — they currently rank sixth in defensive efficiency — but Allen still owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.24 on DraftKings.
On the other side of that contest, Jeremy Lamb owns one of the best individual matchups at the position given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.86 on FanDuel. He’s been an excellent producer this season, averaging 0.96 FanDuel points per minute, and he’s played at least 30.9 minutes in four straight games.
R.J. Barrett is another candidate to see a few additional minutes if Ntilikina is ultimately ruled out. He played 35.1 minutes in his last game, and he’s averaged 0.89 FanDuel points per minute as a rookie. He owns 10 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $6,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75%.
Giannis Antetokounmpo stands out as the lone super stud on a slate that is loaded with value. That’s going to make him a very popular option. He’s been absolutely dominant this season, posting an average of 1.94 DraftKings points per minute this season. To put that in perspective, James Harden averaged 1.65 DraftKings points per minute last year, and Russell Westbrook averaged 1.69. What Giannis is doing right now is pretty unprecedented.
The only issue with Giannis has been a lack of minutes in blowouts. The Bucks won their most recent game by nearly 40 points, which limited Giannis to just 19.6 minutes of playing time. The Bucks rank first in the league with a Net Rating of +10.3, so those games happen pretty frequently.
Today’s contest vs. the Knicks certainly looks like a potential blowout. The Bucks are currently favored by a whopping 16 points, which makes them one of the largest favorites of the entire season. Giannis has never been that large of a favorite, but he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of -2.27 on FanDuel when favored by at least 13 points.
The Warriors are really lacking in terms of NBA talent right now, and they’ll likely be without Draymond Green today vs. the Hawks. That makes Alec Burks a really strong option at his current salary. Burks has increased his fantasy production to 0.97 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he ranks second on the team in usage with Green, Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell off the court this season.
The Hawks also represent a solid matchup, giving Burks an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.59 on FanDuel.
Glenn Robinson III is another potential option for the Warriors. He hasn’t been as effective as Burks this season, averaging 0.73 DraftKings points per minute, but he did play a team-high 37.5 minutes in the Warriors’ last game. He doesn’t offer the same ceiling as Burks, but he might offer a safer floor given his current workload.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has SF eligibility on DraftKings in addition to SG eligibility across the industry, and he’s been a fantasy monster recently. He’s averaged a whopping 1.20 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he leads the team with a 28.3% usage rate with Fox off the court this season. He is dealing with a hamstring injury, but he’s currently listed as probable for today’s contest vs. the Bulls.
Domantas Sabonis is coming off one of his worst games of the season, but that can be excused vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the league, and Sabonis was plagued by both turnovers and foul trouble in that contest.
That’s caused his salary to drop a bit for today’s contest vs. the Grizzlies, which makes him an excellent buy-low option. The Grizzlies are a much friendlier matchup, and Sabonis leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel. He’s one of the strongest options to pay up for on today’s slate.
Kevon Looney is set to return to the Warriors lineup today. It’s tough to know what to expect from him — he will almost undoubtedly be on some sort of minutes restriction — but he’s averaged 1.51 DraftKings points per minute in his very limited playing time this season. He’s dirt cheap at just $3,400 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%.
Nemanja Bjelica continues to see a few additional minutes for the shorthanded Kings, and he’s averaged 0.97 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.92 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, where his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.
Jabari Parker has failed to live up to expectations as a former No. 2 overall pick. His career has been hampered by injuries, and he’s been one of the worst defenders in basketball when he has been on the court. That said, he’s always been able to put the ball in the basket. He’s doing that at a high rate for the Hawks this season, resulting in an average of 1.20 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s seen a nice boost in playing time given the suspension to John Collins, which gives him one of the higher ceiling projections at the position.
Joel Embiid has struggled a bit this season, but he’s started to show some signs of life recently. He’s scored at least 57.25 DraftKings points in three straight games, resulting in a Plus/Minus of at least +11.75 in all three contests. He’s been priced up a bit over that time frame, but his $10,300 salary on DraftKings still results in a Bargain Rating of 71%.
Unfortunately, he’s in a difficult spot today vs. the Utah Jazz. The haven’t been the same defensive force that they were last season, but they still rank ninth in defensive efficiency this year. The 76ers are currently implied for just 106.25 points, which represents a slight decrease compared to their regular-season average (108.8). Embiid also has a brutal individual matchup vs. Rudy Gobert, who finished first in the league in Real Defensive Plus-Minus last season.
Still, Embiid did score 53.7 DraftKings points in his first meeting vs. the Jazz this season, and there aren’t a ton of options worth paying up for on today’s slate.
Mitchell Robinson is always going to have appeal on FanDuel given his ability to rack up blocks. He’s averaged 1.15 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he has played more minutes recently in games in which he’s managed to avoid foul trouble. He’s in a nice spot today vs. the Bucks, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.12 on FanDuel, and you shouldn’t have to worry about the blowout factor too much with him.
Myles Turner is one of the better values at the position on DraftKings, where his $5,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%. He hasn’t been playing as many minutes as he was to start the season, but he may not need a ton of playing time today given his matchup vs. the Grizzlies. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.34 on DraftKings.
Speaking of the Grizzlies, they have the potential to be shorthanded in the frontcourt as well as the backcourt today. Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Anderson both missed yesterday’s contest, and Brandon Clarke exited early due to a hip injury.
If all three players are out today, Jaren Jackson Jr. would become a very strong option. He’s averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute this season, and the Grizzlies wouldn’t have very much depth behind him.
Pictured: Tyus Jones
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports