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.
Luka Doncic has cooled off a bit after his torrid start to the season, but he’s still been one of the best producers in fantasy. He’s averaged 1.52 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, resulting in an average of 52.2 FanDuel points per game. No one else on today’s slate can even come close to that mark.
Unfortunately, he’s in a difficult spot today vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. They currently rank in the bottom 10 in pace, and Doncic owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.10.
Still, he’s hard to ignore at just $10,900 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and Doncic has averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.86 with a comparable price tag (per the Trends tool). Today’s slate is also loaded with values, so he should be pretty easy to fit in your lineups.
The Rockets are expected to be one of the best sources of value today. Russell Westbrook will get the night off for rest, while James Harden is listed as questionable. Harden was initially listed as doubtful, so there is no guarantee he’s able to suit up. If both players are ruled out, that would open up a ton of opportunities for the rest of the roster. Harden and Westbrook have absolutely dominated the basketball for the Rockets this season, posting a combined usage rate of 70.9%.
Austin Rivers has posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past three games, and he stands out as an excellent value at $3,600 on FanDuel. He’s currently projected for 35.5 minutes, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.61. Point guards in particular have averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.99.
Chris Clemons doesn’t provide the same safety as Rivers, but he might provide more upside. He’s averaged 1.24 FanDuel points per minute this season, and his usage rate of 34.0% ranks second on the team with Westbrook and Harden off the court. He should see a solid handful of minutes, and he’s priced at the absolute minimum across the industry.
Derrick Rose should continue to carry a large workload for the Pistons. He leads the team in usage this season, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.7 on DraftKings in games without Blake Griffin. His salary has come up across the industry, but he has a nice matchup vs. the Cavaliers. They currently rank 29th in defensive efficiency.
On the other side of that matchup, Collin Sexton deserves consideration at $6,100 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 95%, and Sexton has posted an average Plus/Minus of +6.53 over his past 10 games. He’s also posted a perfect 100% Consistency Rating over the past month, yet his price has barely budged over that time frame.
The Jazz lead the slate with an implied team total of 116.75, and they’re in a solid pace-up spot vs. the Rockets. Houston has played at the second-fastest pace this season, and don’t expect Mike D’Antoni to slow down much even if his two star players are out of the lineup.
With that in mind, Donovan Mitchell has more appeal that usual. He has historically played well in comparable pace-up situations, averaging a Plus/Minus of +2.00. He’s a stronger option today on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 87%.
Ben McLemore is another potential value option for the Rockets. He hasn’t been all that productive recently, averaging just 0.61 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, but he projected for 30.2 minutes in our NBA Models. That’s a lot of potential playing time at just $3,600 on FanDuel.
The Heat are going to be an important team to monitor prior to lineup lock. Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, and Kendrick Nunn are all questionable for today’s matchup vs. the Magic, and their availability will be a huge factor. The Magic are a poor matchup — they rank 27th in pace and sixth in defensive efficiency — but the Heat will be an appealing team to target if they’re shorthanded. Make sure to check out the Labs Insiders tool for all the latest injury news and lineup projections.
Dennis Schroder has been an excellent value recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games. He’s seen a few additional minutes recently, and that should continue with Abdel Nader and Terrence Ferguson out of the lineup once again. He’s a steal at just $6,00 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 97%.
There really is no one to consider paying up for at SF today. Danilo Gallinari is the only player priced above $5,800 on FanDuel, and even he’s priced at just $6,200.
That said, Eric Gordon has the chance to provide stud-like production at a massive discount. He has been asked to carry the majority of the Rockets’ offense with Harden and Gordon off the court this season. He’s increased his usage rate by a whopping +18.9% in that situation, resulting in a usage rate of 40.6%. Overall, he’s averaged 1.23 FanDuel points per minute. He would be nearly impossible to fade at just $4,400 on FanDuel if Harden is ultimately ruled out.
The real question is whether or not you should pay up for him on DraftKings. They’ve jacked his price up all the way to $6,900, and he has some bust potential at that salary. The Rockets are currently 12.5-point underdogs vs. the Jazz, so this game has some blowout concerns. He still offers a ton of upside at his current salary, but he’s not a free square.
Sticking with the Rockets, Danuel House is significantly cheaper than Gordon at just $3,900 on DraftKings. He hasn’t been nearly as productive, but he’s still expected to play significant minutes vs. the Jazz.
Andrew Wiggins has SF eligibility on DraftKings, which increases his appeal. He’s coming off a poor performance in his last game, scoring just 29.75 DraftKings points, but he recorded just three rebounds and one assist. Wiggins isn’t exactly known for piling up the peripherals, but he did average 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists over his previous four contests. He scored at least 41.25 DraftKings points in three of those games, so he has upside at $7,100.
DeMar DeRozan is another player with dual SG/SF eligibility, and he should see a boost in value today with LaMarcus Aldridge out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +4.9% with Aldridge off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.22 DraftKings points per minute.
Kevin Love has been an excellent source of value recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in eight of his past nine games. That said, his salary hasn’t budged over the past month on FanDuel, and his current $7,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%. He has the second-highest ceiling projection at the position, but he’s projected for just 13-16% ownership. That makes him an excellent target for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Thaddeus Young is coming off 34.7 minutes in his last game, and he should continue to see a large workload with Lauri Markkanen sidelined. He’s currently projected for 32.1 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 0.95 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s in a solid spot vs. the Spurs, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.92, and his $4,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%.
P.J. Tucker should see a ton of minutes today for the shorthanded Rockets. He’s been largely ineffective recently, averaging just 0.51 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, but he has the potential to carry a massive workload today. Clint Capela is listed as doubtful, and the Rockets won’t have a ton of viable options in their frontcourt if he’s ultimately ruled out.
Aaron Gordon is simply too cheap at $5,700 on FanDuel. That represents a price decrease of -$900 over the past month, and his current price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 81%. Gordon has historically been a great investment with a comparable salary, averaging a Plus/Minus of +3.33.
Bam Adebayo has power forward eligibility on FanDuel, where his $8,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%. His price tag has decreased by -$1,200 over the past month, so he’s an interesting buy-low target.
Andre Drummond is coming off 54.25 DraftKings points in his last game, and he could’ve had an even larger performance. He didn’t shoot particularly well from the field, making just 8-20 field goal attempts, and he recorded just two assists, two blocks, and one steal. Drummond has averaged nearly three assists and two steals per game this season, so he could be due for some positive regression moving forward.
His matchup vs. the Cavs is solid. They are a solid rebounding team, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been abysmal defensively. They’ve allowed the most points per game in the paint this season, giving Drummond an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.23. He’s one of the best values of the day on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 92%.
Jakob Poeltl is one of the strongest plays on the entire slate. He’s priced at just $3,200 on DraftKings, and he’s averaged 33.7 minutes per game in his first two games without Aldridge this season. He’s averaged 32.75 DraftKings points in those contests, so he’s very hard to pass up at his current salary.
Isaiah Hartenstein is another potential value option. He’s priced at the absolute minimum, and he should see a solid handful of minutes if Capela is unable to play. The Rockets can’t really go small vs. Rudy Gobert and the Jazz. Hartenstein has averaged 1.15 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need a ton of minutes to potentially pay off his salary.
Speaking of Gobert, he’s a viable option at $9,000 on DraftKings. That represents a pretty sizable increase over the past month, but it still results in a Bargain Rating of 86%. He leads the position with 11 Pro Trends, and he should be able to dominate the Rockets on the interior.
Pictured: Spurs C Jakob Poeltl (25)
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen-Getty Images