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 nine-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Point guard is pretty thin at the top today. Only Trae Young owns a salary above $7,600 on FanDuel, and he’s in a difficult spot vs. the Magic. They rank 28th in pace and seventh in defensive efficiency, giving Young an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.08 on FanDuel. The Hawks are also implied for just 106.0 points, which represents a solid decrease from their season average (110.0).
Still, Young deserves some consideration on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 95%. He’s also been phenomenal recently, averaging a Plus/Minus of +7.25 over his past 10 games, and he leads the position with 13 Pro Trends.
The Heat will be an important team to monitor today. Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro both missed their last contest, and their statuses for tonight’s game vs. the Warriors is currently unknown. Their absences would open up a bunch of value with the rest of the roster, so make sure to check out the new Labs Insiders tool for any updates.
If both players are ruled out, expect Goran Dragic to carry a large workload. He posted a usage rate of 33.3% in his last game, resulting in 43.3 FanDuel points over 30.9 minutes. The Warriors are also an excellent matchup, and Dragic remains very reasonably priced at $5,400 on FanDuel.
Don’t look now, but Mike Conley might be starting to figure things out with the Jazz. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in four straight games, and he’s averaged 36.75 DraftKings points per game over that time frame. That makes him a solid option at just $5,500 on DraftKings.
Ky Bowman is way too cheap at $3,800 on FanDuel. He’s coming off 29.1 minutes in his last game, and he responded with 24.9 FanDuel points. He’s projected for a similar workload today, and PGs with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.47 (per the Trends tool).
There are plenty of options to choose from at SG, but Fred VanVleet stands out as one of the strongest options. He’s scored at least 37.1 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, so he’s been able to make the most of the Raptors’ recent injury situation. Marc Gasol has missed six straight games, and he’s already been ruled out for tonight’s contest vs. the Timberwolves. Kyle Lowry also missed last game, and he’s currently questionable.
Look for VanVleet to operate as the team’s starting PG if Lowry is out again. He’s dominated in 12 games without Lowry this season, averaging 39.11 FanDuel points per game. The result is an average Plus/Minus of +5.3 despite an average salary of over $7,500. He’s priced at just $6,700 on FanDuel vs. the Timberwolves, so he’d be an awesome value if Lowry is unable to play.
Sticking with the Raptors, Terence Davis has become an important part of their rotation. He’s absorbed a lot of Norman Powell’s minutes after he went down with an injury, and Davis may not relinquish them when Powell ultimately returns.
Davis has been outstanding from a fantasy perspective all season, averaging 1.02 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s increased his production to 1.15 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s currently projected for 27.2 minutes in our NBA Models, and he could see even more playing time if Lowry is ultimately ruled out. He’s underpriced across the industry and has an excellent ceiling for his price tag.
There aren’t a ton of great values today on DraftKings, particularly at the guard positions. Victor Oladipo is one of the few exceptions. He’s been priced all the way down to $4,200, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 95%. Oladipo hasn’t exactly crushed since returning from injury — he’s scored 25.25 DraftKings points or fewer in each of his first five games — but his playing time is trending in the right direction. Oladipo is also way too talented to continue averaging 0.76 DraftKings points per minute, so expect that to improve as he gets further removed from his injury. That could start tonight vs. the Nets, who have been dreadful vs. opposing backcourts this season.
Kyrie Irving is expected to remain sidelined for the Nets, which means we can continue targeting Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert. LeVert is the easy top choice on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 99%, and he’s seen a huge bump with Irving out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate to 32.5% in those contests, averaging 1.08 FanDuel points per minute.
Dinwiddie seems like the preferred target on DraftKings, where the price gap between the two players is much smaller.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently questionable for today’s matchup vs. the Kings, and his status will obviously be a huge factor. He’s definitely in play if he’s able to suit up. He’s been awesome recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +6.98 over his past 10 games, and no one in basketball can match his average of 1.97 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.
That said, the more appealing DFS situation might be if Giannis is actually ruled out. No only does it open up a ton of value for the rest of the roster, it also means the Bucks are more likely to play a competitive game. The spread has already dropped from 14 to 10 just off the threat that Giannis won’t play.
Khris Middleton would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of his absence. He’s increased his usage rate by +8.2% in four games without Giannis this season, resulting in an average of 48.25 DraftKings points per game. He’s also averaged just 31.2 minutes in those contests, so he has an even higher ceiling if this game stays competitive.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is price at the absolute minimum on DraftKings, but he’s seen a decent bit of playing time for the Nets recently. He’s currently projected for 24.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 0.78 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. You could do worse if you need a pure punt.
Bruce Brown has SF eligibility on DraftKings, which increases his appeal vs. the Hornets. He’s been carrying a large workload recently, and that doesn’t figure to change today. The Pistons will likely still be without Derrick Rose, and Brandon Knight and Svi Mykhailiuk are both questionable. He’s averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he can take advantage of a bump in playing time.
Jae Crowder didn’t waste any time making an impact in his Heat debut. He logged nearly 35 minutes and contributed 43.7 FanDuel points. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance — he shot 54.5% from the field and 62.5% from 3-point range — but he’s way too cheap at $4,200 on FanDuel.
Domantas Sabonis has been a solid investment recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past four games. That said, he hasn’t exactly dominated in his past three contests, scoring between 36.7 and 38.2 FanDuel points in each.
That could change today vs. the Nets, who have surrendered plenty of big games to opposing big men this season.
Sabonis owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.72 on FanDuel, which is one of the top marks at the position. He also leads all PFs with 13 Pro Trends, and his $7,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. Sabonis might not garner the typical massive ownership of a stud — he’s currently projected for just 17-20% — but he probably should.
There aren’t a ton of PF options I’m considering paying down for today, but P.J. Washington is an exception. He was excellent to start the season, and he’s averaged 0.90 DraftKings points per minute as a rookie. His playing time has been a bit down recently, but he’s projected for nearly 30 minutes tonight vs. the Pistons. That makes him underpriced at just $4,400 on DraftKings.
Christian Wood has seen a massive price increase on FanDuel, where he’s the fourth-most expensive option at the position. That said, that’s probably where he deserves to be priced at the moment. He’s scored at least 34.5 FanDuel points in four straight games, and he’s locked into a big role with Andre Drummond now residing in Cleveland. With that in mind, he’s a massive value at just $7,200 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 93%. He’s also in a nice spot today vs. the Hornets, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.55.
Kristaps Porzingis rested in the Mavericks last game, and he was limited to just 21.3 minutes in his previous game due to foul trouble. He also has a tough matchup today vs. the Jazz, which could make him a bit overlooked. Porzingis has still averaged a ridiculous 53.89 DraftKings points per 36 minutes in eight games without Doncic this season, so he looks like an elite buy-low target for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Karl-Anthony Towns looked liberated in his first game following the Andrew Wiggins trade. He led the Timberwolves to 142 points vs. the Clippers, scoring 22 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists. D’Angelo Russell wasn’t available to make his debut in that contest, and he’s currently questionable for tonight’s matchup vs. the Raptors.
If he’s unable to suit up, Towns remain an appealing option even in a difficult matchup. He posted a usage rate of just 21.7% in his last game, and that number is bound to increase moving forward. That gives him a pretty massive ceiling at just $10,000. His 12 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on FanDuel, where he owns a Bargain Rating of 93%.
The Pistons could provide some value at the center position today. John Henson stands out on DraftKings at just $3,700. He isn’t expected to see a ton of minutes — he logged merely 17.5 in his last game vs. the Knicks — but that didn’t stop him from posting a positive Plus/Minus at that salary. He’s averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to do damage.
Thon Maker is the preferred target on FanDuel. He’s actually slightly cheaper than Henson despite the fact that he’s playing more minutes at the moment. He hasn’t been as productive as Henson on a per-minute basis, but his average of 0.99 means he’s no slouch.
Bam Adebayo leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on DraftKings, and he’s in an elite spot vs. the Warriors. They’ve been dreadful against opposing centers this season, giving Bam an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.93. He’s also seen one of the biggest boosts in value with Butler and Herro off the court this season, so their absences would make him an even stronger target.
Serge Ibaka disappointed in his last game, but there’s no reason not to expect a bounce-back. He’s been awesome recently, posting a positive six of his past eight games, and he should continue to see a bump in playing time with Gasol out of the lineup.
Pictured: Pacers PF/C Domantas Sabonis (11)
Photo Credit: Michael Reaves-Getty Images