The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday’s NBA DFS slate differs by site. FanDuel features a six-game main slate starting at 1:30 p.m. ET, while DraftKings features a five-game main slate starting at 4 p.m. ET.
There are higher-priced options available, but Ja Morant stands out as one of the best values at the position. He’s taking on the New Orleans Pelicans, and that game figures to be extremely high scoring. The total sits at 238.5 points, which is the top mark on the slate by a significant margin. Both of these teams have also played at a top-seven pace this season.
This game has massive playoff implications for the Grizzlies, so expect Morant to see a large workload. He’s averaged just 30.2 minutes per game this season, but he’s played at least 36.6 minutes in each of his first two games during the restart. He’s also increased his fantasy production to 1.13 DraftKings points per minute within the bubble, which is a great combo for fantasy purposes.
The Wizards have lost each of their first two games in Orlando, and things don’t figure to get much better for them moving forward. That said, they should still provide some solid fantasy value.
Ish Smith stands out as one of their top options. He’s playing a solid handful of minutes, and he’s scored at least 31.5 DraftKings points in each of his first two games. He’s one of the best pure values at the position on DraftKings, where his $4,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%.
The Pacers have the potential to be pretty thin in the backcourt on Monday. Malcolm Brogdon missed their last contest, and he’s currently listed as questionable with a neck injury. Victor Oladipo, who did play in their first game during the restart, is listed as doubtful for rest purposes.
With that in mind, expect Aaron Holiday to carry a large workload. He played 34.4 minutes in his last game and responded with 35.0 FanDuel points. Holiday has been a strong option all season with Brogdon, Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis off the court, averaging 0.97 FanDuel points per minute, and Holiday’s $4,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.
Ben Simmons is now the starting PF for the Philadelphia 76ers, but he still has PG eligibility on FanDuel. He’s underpriced at just $8,100, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and he leads all players at the position with 36.3 projected minutes in our NBA Models.
Jrue Holiday has struggled so far in Orlando, posting an average Plus/Minus of -9.59 over his first two games. That does include a blowout in his last contest, which obviously hurt his overall numbers, but that still counts in DFS.
His poor numbers have caused his salary to drop to just $7,600 on FanDuel, which makes him a clear buy-low target. His current price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%, and he has one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Grizzlies. The Pelicans lead the slate with an implied team total of 121.25 points, and Holiday owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.37 on FanDuel.
If you’d like to go with a cheaper option for the Pelicans, consider J.J. Redick. He’s priced at just $3,700 on DraftKings and $4,000 on FanDuel, and he benefits from the same elite matchup as Holiday. Redick isn’t expected to see a ton of minutes off the bench — he’s currently projected for 24.1 — but he’s capable of scoring points in bunches thanks to his ability to score the ball from deep.
Redick has averaged 0.90 DraftKings points per minute this season and 0.98 DraftKings points per minute during the restart.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dropped 36.5 DraftKings points in his last contest, resulting in a Plus/Minus of +4.05. So why did his salary actually decrease by $800 for Monday’s matchup vs. the Nuggets? Denver isn’t a great matchup from a fantasy perspective, but neither are the Jazz. If SGA can find success at $6,800 in that matchup, he should be able to pay off a reduced price tag.
He leads the position with nine Pro Trends on DraftKings, and his Bargain Rating of 96% also ranks first at the position.
Jordan Clarkson should continue to carry a large workload for the Jazz. He’s attempted 17 field goal attempts in each of his first two games, and there’s no reason to expect a decrease with Bojan Bogdanovic sidelined. Clarkson has been priced up a bit on DraftKings, but his $4,700 salary on FanDuel is still very reasonable.
LeBron James is the most expensive player on this slate, but he hasn’t posted his usual gaudy stat totals in Orlando. He’s struggled in particular shooting the ball from the field, going just 13-for-34 through his first two contests. Overall, his average of 1.26 DraftKings points per minute in the bubble is well below his average of 1.67.
Unfortunately, things don’t figure to get much easier for him on Monday. He’s taking on the Jazz, who are not an ideal matchup from a fantasy perspective. They’ve played at the fifth-slowest pace this season, giving LeBron an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.15. He could be worth some buy-low consideration on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 95%, but he’s a tournament option only.
The Spurs are playing without LaMarcus Aldridge in Orlando, which has opened up some additional opportunities for the rest of the roster. Rudy Gay has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his first two games despite the fact that he shot just 3-for-15 from the field in his last contest. He has the potential for an even bigger performance vs. the 76ers if his jump shot starts falling.
On the other side of that matchup, Tobias Harris stands out at $6,800 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s coming off 45.6 FanDuel points in his last outing, and his matchup vs. the Spurs results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.35.
Danilo Gallinari is not the sexiest DFS option, but he typically gets the job done. He’s posted an average of 1.08 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to pay off his $5,600 salary. He was limited to just 19.2 minutes in his last game, but the Thunder didn’t need to push him in a blowout win. His minutes should normalize if this contest can stay competitive.
Anthony Davis is the other superstar available for the Lakers, and he’s also struggled since the restart. He scored 34 points in his first game vs. the Clippers, but he still wasn’t able to post a positive Plus/Minus in that contest. His offensive production fell off in his second game vs. the Raptors, so he struggled from a fantasy perspective in that game as well.
That said, I am more bullish on a Davis bounce back on Monday. He’s been priced down to just $9,600 on FanDuel, which is simply too cheap for a player of his caliber. He’s been priced at a comparable salary in only two previous contests this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.73 in those games. If you take the sample size back further, Davis has historically posted an average Plus/Minus of +11.00 over 17 contests (per the Trends tool).
You will have to monitor the news before locking in Davis or LeBron — the Lakers could always look to rest one of their studs with the No. 1 seed virtually locked up — but I’m buying Davis as long as he’s active.
The Nuggets are another team that is expected to be shorthanded on Monday. Gary Harris and Will Barton have already been ruled out, while Jamal Murray has been listed as doubtful.
That means Michael Porter Jr. should draw another start, which should lead to a healthy amount of playing time. He’s been excellent when on the court this season, averaging 1.20 DraftKings points per minute, which makes him an excellent value at his current price tag across the industry.
Brandon Clarke stands out as one of the better values at the position on DraftKings, where his $4,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%. His playing time has fluctuated through his first two games — he played 34 minutes in one and 24.8 minutes in the other — but he has big upside if he plays toward the top of his minute range. He’s averaged 1.16 DraftKings points per minute this season, and his matchup vs. the Pelicans results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.26.
Sticking with the Grizzlies, Jaren Jackson Jr. is underpriced across the industry. He’s played more minutes since the restart, but his salary hasn’t been updated to reflect his increased role. Unsurprisingly, he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his first two games.
Playing without Al Horford in the starting lineup definitely worked out for Joel Embiid in his first game. Embiid finished with 41 points and 21 rebounds, resulting in a whopping 81.25 DraftKings points. He’s in a tough spot vs. the Spurs — he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.73 — but his $9,700 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.
Myles Turner couldn’t stay on the floor in his last game. He racked up six fouls over only 19.8 minutes vs. Embiid and the 76ers, which might throw some people off his scent.
That said, there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Turner. For starters, he has a much friendlier matchup vs. the Wizards. He shouldn’t have nearly the same issues with foul trouble, and the Wizards ranked 29th in defensive efficiency and 30th in team rebound rate this season.
Turner has also increased his usage rate by a team-high +8.9% with Brogdon, Oladipo and Sabonis off the court this season. Turner has excellent upside at his current salary.
It’s hard to ignore what Thomas Bryant has been doing inside the bubble. He’s coming off a monster performance on Sunday, racking up 58.1 FanDuel points over 35.6 minutes, and he’s averaged 1.24 FanDuel points per minute over his first two games overall. He’s been priced up a bit across the industry, but his $6,300 salary on FanDuel is still pretty reasonable.
Steven Adams has one of the best matchups on the board vs. the Nuggets, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus +5.03 on DraftKings. His $5,400 salary on DraftKings also comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%, so he’s definitely a viable option.
Pictured above: Anthony Davis (Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)