The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
With so many injuries to key players on the slate, you can use our Conditional Projections tool to create lineups that account those absences ahead of time.
Monday features an eight-game slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Bucks are going to be the key team on today’s slate. Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently listed as doubtful, and his absence would obviously open up a ton of opportunities for the rest of the roster. The Bucks’ implied team total of 118.5 is also still tied for the top mark on the slate.
Jrue Holiday is one player who stands out as a big beneficiary. He’s increased his usage rate by +6.9% with Giannis off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.24 DraftKings points per minute. That gives him the potential to provide stud-like production at a mid-range price tag.
Sticking with the Bucks, Pat Connaughton is someone who has the potential to provide excellent value on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $4,000, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 72%, and he should see a healthy number of minutes if Giannis is ruled out. He’s currently projected for 29.9 minutes in our NBA Models, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.14 (per the Trends tool). Connaughton has also increased his production to 0.76 FanDuel points per minute with Giannis off the court, which is a decent mark for a punt play.
It didn’t take long for the Raptors to ramp up Fred VanVleet’s minutes. He returned to the lineup three games ago following a stint in the health and safety protocols, and he’s played at least 40.5 minutes in each of his past two games. He’s been priced down to just $7,600 on DraftKings for tonight’s matchup vs. the Rockets, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 88%. That makes him a prime buy-low target.
Darius Garland stands out as one of the best pure values at the position on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 87%. He also owns an elite matchup vs. the Kings, who rank dead-last in defensive efficiency. Overall, his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.79 ranks first at the position.
Terry Rozier is another midrange option with massive upside on Monday. The Hornets lost LaMelo Ball to a fractured wrist, which means his season has sadly come to an end. Rozier should be one of the players asked to pick up the slack. He’s increased his usage rate by +1.2% with Ball off the court this season, and he’s increased his assist rate by +3.0%.
That makes him simply too cheap at $5,900 on FanDuel. His price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%, and his 11 Pro Trends are tied for second at the position.
If you’re looking to go a bit cheaper with the Hornets, they have a pair of value options as well. Devonte’ Graham stands out as the most obvious value. He began the year as a member of the starting lineup before ultimately losing his job to Ball. He will likely return to the starting lineup on Monday, and he has the potential to see a nice uptick in playing time. He’s averaged 1.00 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with a few additional minutes.
Malik Monk should continue to come off the bench but should also see a boost in playing time. He’s averaged 1.03 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, which puts him right in the same ballpark as Graham. He’s also slightly cheaper across the industry.
The Clippers have already ruled out Serge Ibaka and Patrick Beverley vs. the Hawks, which means Paul George should be looking at another monster workload. He finished with 45.75 DraftKings points over 32.7 minutes in Saturday’s blowout win, and he played more than 41.3 minutes in his previous contest.
Donte DiVincenzo is the Bucks’ option at shooting guard. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.1% with Giannis off the court this season, and he’s averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s a strong option on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 78%.
Guess where I’m going with this pick? Khris Middleton stands out as one of the top overall options on today’s slate (assuming Giannis is ruled out). He’s seen the biggest bump in usage with Giannis off the court this season at 7.6%, resulting in an average of 1.29 FanDuel points per minute. He wasn’t particularly effective in his only full game without Giannis this season, but he still managed to rack up 40.0 FanDuel points. That would be more than enough to pay off his current salary across the industry.
Danuel House is massively underpriced at just $3,800 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 85%, and House is coming off 33.8 FanDuel points yesterday vs. the Thunder. He’s currently projected for 32.4 minutes in our NBA Models, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.50. John Wall is also a candidate to rest on the second leg of a back-to-back, and House would undoubtedly see a boost in that situation.
Make sure to monitor Wall’s status using the Labs Insiders tool.
Kawhi Leonard stands out for a lot of the same reasons as George. He has also carried a large workload with Ibaka out of the lineup, and he’s seen a slight price decrease following a poor performance in his last outing. He’s priced at just $8,900 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 92%.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is questionable for Monday’s matchup vs. the Timberwolves, and his status could be important. Lu Dort put together a huge performance in his absence yesterday, and he’d have the potential for another big game vs. the Timberwolves. Minnesota ranks just 26th in defensive efficiency, and Dort has increased his usage rate by +6.3% with SGA and George Hill off the court.
Christian Wood is coming off 36.1 minutes in his last game, which is the most he’s played since returning to the lineup. If he’s going to play that much again today, he’s underpriced across the industry. Wood has averaged 1.37 FanDuel points per minute this season, and the Raptors represent a nice matchup for big men. Wood’s Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.06 is the fourth-highest mark at the position.
Another position, another option for the Bucks. Bobby Portis drew the start the last time Giannis was out of the lineup, which makes him the top candidate to start today. Portis finished with 37.7 FanDuel points in that contest, and he’s capable of averaging over a fantasy point per minute. The Pacers also represent an elite matchup, giving Portis an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.71 on FanDuel. He’s going to command monster ownership, but he’s the top value option on the slate.
Marcus Morris played just 21.2 minutes in his last game, but he played at least 30.5 in each of his first previous two games without Ibaka. Their last game was a blowout, so I’d expect Morris to return to his usual workload vs. the Hawks. He’s another elite value at the position, particularly on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 88%.
If you are going to load up on the Bucks tonight – which is an advisable strategy – you might want to consider running it back with someone from the Pacers. Domantas Sabonis is the clear top choice in that department. He’s averaged 1.31 DraftKings points per minute this season, and the Bucks represent a nice pace-up spot for the Pacers. Sabonis has also seen a significant price decrease over the past month.
Karl-Anthony Towns has had a rough season, but he’s finally starting to play like his old self. He’s scored at least 52.0 DraftKings points in three of his past five games, and he’s scored at least 60 DraftKings points in two of them. His playing time is also on the rise, logging at least 34.3 minutes in each of those five contests. Towns remains one of the best producers at the position on a per-minute basis, so he has nice upside vs. the Thunder.
Ivica Zubac has started at center in place of Ibaka, and he’s put together some huge performances in that role. He scored at least 30.7 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, and he still managed a positive Plus/Minus in his last game despite playing reduced minutes in a blowout. He’s way too cheap at $4,500 on FanDuel.
Jarrett Allen stands out as arguably the best value of the day on FanDuel. His $6,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%, and he should be able to dominate against the Kings. They’ve struggled mightily against opposing big men this season, giving Allen an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.58.
Al Horford is another center with a nice matchup on Monday. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.03 on DraftKings, and he would be another beneficiary if Gilgeous-Alexander is unable to play. Horford has averaged 36.43 DraftKings points in seven games without SGA and Hill, so he would be a strong option at just $6,100.