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 five-game slate starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Today’s slate features a lot of injury uncertainty, so you’re going to need to monitor the news prior to lineup lock. One situation that you’ll definitely want to keep your eye on is in Indiana, where T.J. Warren is listed as questionable. Warren has been the focal point of the Pacers’ offense in the bubble, so his absence would open up plenty of value for the rest of the roster.
Malcolm Brogdon is one player in particular who would benefit. He’s increased his usage rate by +7.5% with Warren and Domantas Sabonis off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.20 DraftKings points per minute. Brogdon isn’t exactly priced like a stud across the industry, but he has the potential to provide stud-like production.
The Mavericks have already ruled out Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis for today’s contest, which leaves them without their two highest-usage players. Trey Burke has been a big part of the Mavs’ rotation in the bubble, and he’s someone who should take on a bigger role in their stead. He’s averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute over his past five games, which makes him an appealing target at just $3,700.
Monte Morris could be an interesting flier for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). Jamal Murray returned to the lineup in their last game and ultimately played 39 minutes in their overtime win. That put a damper on Morris’ production, but he still finished with 28.2 minutes of playing time. Morris has the potential to pay off his current salary over 28 minutes, and he has some additional upside built in if the Nuggets decide to take it easy on Murray. This game means nothing to the Nuggets – they clinched the division with their win vs. the Jazz on Saturday – so they could look to get their starters some rest heading into the playoffs.
Donovan Mitchell is another player whose status is up in the air. He’s listed as questionable, and his absence would make Mike Conley a strong option. He’s seen a usage bump of +3.3% with Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.89 FanDuel points per minute.
The Phoenix Suns are basically the only team on today’s slate which we know are going to give maximum effort. The Sunds have gone undefeated through their first five games in the bubble, but they need to keep winning if they want to make the playoffs.
Devin Booker has been a key contributor for the Suns, scoring at least 35.6 FanDuel points in each of his past five games. He’s also cracked 49.0 FanDuel points in two of his past three games, so it’s not surprising that he owns the highest ceiling projection at the position in our NBA Models.
Jordan Clarkson is simply too cheap at $4,400 on FanDuel, especially if Mitchell is unable to suit up. He’s already been dominating the basketball for the Jazz in Orlando – he’s posted a usage rate of 32.0% over his past five games – and that number would undoubtedly increase with Mitchell on the sidelines.
If you like cheap minutes, Luguentz Dort is your guy. He’s logged at least 30.1 minutes in each of his past five games, and that shouldn’t change as long as Dennis Schroder is out of the lineup. Historically, players with a comparable salary have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.57 when projected for at least 30 minutes (per the Trends tool).
Victor Oladipo is another member of the Pacers who would benefit from the absence of Warren. He’s looked better in the bubble than he did before the shutdown, and he’s coming off a season-high 35 minutes in his last game. He scored 38.25 DraftKings points in that contest, and that kind of production would make him a strong option at $5,800.
Outside of the Wizards, the Lakers have been arguably the worst team in the bubble through their first six games. They’ve stumbled to a 2-4 record and rank 21st in Net Rating. Part of that is due to the fact that they have nothing to play for, but no one wants to be playing poorly heading into the postseason.
With that in mind, it might be time for them to flip the switch.
LeBron James has been a disappointment from a fantasy perspective in Orlando, scoring 54 DraftKings points or fewer in each of his five games. That said, his best performance did come in his last contest, and he’s probable to suit up today vs. the Nuggets. LeBron averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.70 with a comparable salary prior to the shutdown, so this could be an excellent opportunity to buy low on him.
Cameron Johnson is slowly getting more expensive across the DFS industry, but he’s still underpriced. He’s played significant minutes in Orlando – logging at least 36.4 minutes in three of his past four games – and he’s been playing the majority of his minutes at the PF position. That gives him some increased upside on the glass in addition to what he provides offensively.
The Thunder were without Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel yesterday, which left the team without both of their center options. Their statuses for today’s matchup are unknown, but Darius Bazley would be a strong value if they’re unable to suit up. Bazley played 26 minutes with both players out of the lineup on Sunday, and he finished with a season-high 34.9 FanDuel points.
The Raptors are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back and have a brutal matchup vs. the Bucks. They’ve already locked in the No. 2 seed in the East, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they decided to rest some starters. If that happens, Norman Powell would be a strong option at just $4,400 on DraftKings. He has the ability to score the ball, so he can take advantage of an increased usage rate if given the opportunity.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the ultimate wild card on today’s slate. He obviously has one of the highest ceilings in fantasy basketball, but that’s only the case if he sees a full workload. Will that be the case today vs. the Raptors? I’m not sure.
That said, we can use that uncertainty to our advantage in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). He will likely command lower ownership than usual, so rostering him will give you a leg up on the field if does go off. The Bucks also went out of their way to list Giannis as probable with a toothache, so it sounds like he’s planning to play.
Jerami Grant isn’t the sexiest DFS option, but he’s been getting the job done recently. He’s scored at least 25.6 FanDuel points in three straight games, and you’ll take that kind of production at just $5,000. His role should be safe with Will Barton and Gary Harris out of the lineup for the sixth straight game.
Sticking with the Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr. continues to absolutely smash in Orlando. He’s averaged 51.4 FanDuel points per game over his past four contests thanks to his ability to score the ball and rebound. He’s been priced up across the industry, but he still looks like a value.
Kelly Olynyk moved the bench in his last game and ultimately finished with just 22.5 DraftKings points over 22.1 minutes. That snapped a string of four straight games with at least 25.5 DraftKings. He will probably remain on the bench with Jimmy Butler expected to return to the lineup, but that doesn’t mean he can’t see a few additional minutes.
Nikola Jokic is another potential rest candidate on today’s slate, but he’s always a threat for a big game when he’s active. He’s coming off 60.75 DraftKings points in his last game, which marked the second time in Orlando where he’s eclipsed 60 fantasy points.
Unfortunately, consistency is not Jokic’s strong suit. He’s also had two games with fewer than 40 fantasy points, which makes him strictly a tournament option.
There really aren’t any true value options that stand out at center today. That said, Myles Turner is pretty affordable at $6,100 on FanDuel and has solid potential if Warren is ruled out. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +8.2% with both Warren and Sabonis off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.22 FanDuel points per minute.
Deandre Ayton has taken some real steps forward this season and looks like he can be an impact big man at the NBA level. He’s also been solid from a fantasy perspective in the bubble, and he’s an excellent value at $7,700 on FanDuel.
Maxi Kleber has center eligibility on DraftKings, and he should have some added value for the shorthanded Mavs. He’s averaged 0.96 DraftKings points per minute with Doncic and Porzingis off the court, and he could play well over 30 minutes vs. the Jazz. That makes him a nice option at $4,200.