Monday features a nine-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Monday’s matchup between the Hornets and Kings stands out as the clear top game for fantasy purposes. There is a smidge of blowout concern – the Kings are listed as 10-point home favorites – but this game has a 241-point total. Both teams rank in the bottom nine in defensive efficiency and play at an above-average pace, so there should be plenty of points scored.
LaMelo Ball has played well since returning to the lineup three games ago, scoring at least 40.5 DraftKings points in each. He’s gotten up serious volume from 3-point range, attempting 35 total triples in those contests, and he’s knocked down 16 of them. Ball might be due for a bit of regression in that department, but he can easily overcome it with more work in the peripheral categories. Ball’s assist and rebound numbers are down over that stretch, but he’s averaged 7.0 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game for his career.
Markelle Fultz stands out as an elite value on DraftKings, where his $5,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%. He’s averaged 0.91 DraftKings points per minute since joining the rotation, and he’s currently projected for just under 30 minutes in our NBA Models. Fultz has racked up at least 26.5 DraftKings points in three straight games, and he’s displayed a ceiling of 47.75 DraftKings points in that stretch. That gives him tons of upside with minimal downside at his current salary.
De’Aaron Fox has cooled off a bit after a hot start to the year, but he’s still averaged 1.21 FanDuel points per minute this season. His salary has also decreased to $8,400 after peaking at $9,900 on FanDuel, so he has plenty of buy-low appeal in a smash spot vs. the Hornets.
De’Anthony Melton continues to carry a massive workload for the Tyrese Maxey-less 76ers. He’s logged at least 38.2 minutes in three of his past four games, and he’s scored at least 31.6 FanDuel points in each of them. He’s very reasonably priced on FanDuel, where his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Devin Booker is officially questionable with a groin injury, but as long as he’s active, he stands out as a priority target against the Lakers. LA ranks eighth in pace this season, and while they have been solid defensively, their numbers are going to fall off a bit with Anthony Davis sidelined. The Suns are currently implied for 120.5 points in this matchup, which trails only the Kings’ mark of 125.5.
Booker went absolutely nuts in his last game, racking up 58 points, six rebounds, and five assists en route to 75.0 DraftKings points. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance vs. the Lakers, but he clearly has plenty of upside at his current price tag.
Booker would also see a bump if Deandre Ayton remains sidelined. He’s currently questionable, and Booker has increased his usage rate by +2.7% with Ayton off the floor this season.
Have the Thunder started to get sick for Vic? The race for Victor Wembanyama is one of the least-kept secrets in the NBA at the moment, so expect plenty of jockeying for ping-pong balls over the second half of the year. The Thunder have shut down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in each of the past two years to try to get more ping pong balls, so expect them to do it again sooner rather than later.
SGA and Josh Giddey have both been ruled out for the second straight game, leaving Isaiah Joe as one of the team’s primary facilitators. He hasn’t played a ton this season, but he’s been tremendous when he’s seen the floor. He’s averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute, and he unsurprisingly racked up 30.25 DraftKings points in his first start of the year on Saturday. Tre Mann played 17.6 minutes off the bench in that contest, and he’s also going to be unavailable on Saturday. That means Joe could see even more playing time vs. the Blazers, so he’s an incredibly difficult fade.
Editor’s Note – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been upgraded to questionable. If he is in the lineup, Joe would go from one of the best values on the slate to virtually unplayable.
Devin Vassell played just 9.1 minutes in the Spurs’ last game, but his salary has dipped to just $6,700 for an elite matchup vs. the Rockets. It results in a Bargain Rating of 91%, making Vassell a very appealing bounce-back target.
Jalen Green has seen a nice uptick in peripheral production over the past few weeks, making him a much more consistent fantasy performer. He did struggle in his last game, but he ultimately played just 31.4 minutes. He had played at least 33.6 minutes in each of his three prior contests, and he finished with at least 36.75 DraftKings points in each. He’s another strong bounce-back option at shooting guard.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
I’m actually starting to feel kind of bad for the Lakers. Just when it looked like they might be ready to turn the corner, Davis goes down with a foot injury that is expected to sideline him for at least a month.
That means that the Lakers’ playoff chances will once again rest on the broad shoulders of LeBron James. LeBron may not be able to carry a team the same way he did in the past, but he’s still one of the best fantasy producers in basketball. He’s averaged 1.42 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and that figure increases to 1.47 with Davis off the floor. LeBron has racked up at least 50.75 DraftKings points in three straight games, so he’s simply too cheap at $10,000 on DraftKings.
The Thunder are going to provide plenty of value on this slate, and they have plenty of viable SF options. However, don’t forget about Cedi Osman. He’s currently projected for 26.88 minutes in our NBA Models, and Osman has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.97 with a comparable minute projection and a sub-$4k salary (per the Trends tool). That gives him plenty of appeal at just $3,100.
Harrison Barnes is pretty boring as far as DFS options go, but he has been getting the job done for DFS players of late. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games on FanDuel, and he erupted for 36.4 FanDuel points in his last outing. Barnes is a very safe option on FanDuel, especially given the matchup vs. the Hornets.
The Timberwolves obliterated the Bulls on Sunday, racking up 150 points without Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. That resulted in reduced minutes for most of their regulars, but Kyle Anderson still stands out as underpriced on FanDuel. His $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%, and he should return to 30+ minutes if Monday’s matchup vs. the Mavericks is more competitive.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
After LeBron, there’s a pretty significant drop-off at the forward spots. However, Paolo Banchero is worth some consideration at $7,700. He got off to a red-hot start this season, but he cooled off substantially over the following weeks. He had a stretch from late November into early December where he failed to return value in six straight games.
That said, Banchero looks like he might be heating up again. The Magic have quietly won six games in a row, and Banchero has scored at least 35.25 DraftKings points in each of them. That includes three games of at least 42.5 DraftKings points in his last four outings. He’s capable of doing a little bit of everything for fantasy purposes, and he’s averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute this season.
The Thunder are the clear team to target for value on Monday. Grabbing Joe is the clear choice in the backcourt, but things get a bit messier in the frontcourt. They have a bunch of guys who all figure to play between 20 and 30 minutes, so you can go in a few different directions.
Aleksej Pokusevski is the most intriguing in my eyes. His minutes are particularly volatile, playing as many as 34.5 minutes and as little as 8.1 minutes in his past five games, but he is an elite per-minute producer. He’s racked up 1.00 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he has massive upside on nights where he hits his minute ceiling. He’s priced at a point where he only needs around 20 minutes to potentially return value, so he provides an elite ceiling with minimal downside.
Josh Okogie was a notoriously terrible per-minute producer during his four-year stint with the Timberwolves, but he has looked like a completely different player with the Suns. He’s averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 24 minutes vs. the Lakers. That’s enough to make him viable at $4,100.
Kevin Love’s playing time is trending in the wrong direction, but he’s impossible to ignore completely at just $3,700 on DraftKings. He posted a 36.7% usage rate in his last contest, and Love has previously displayed the ability to go off in less than 20 minutes. He should command minimal ownership, making him an interesting pivot for tournaments.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Nikola Jokic went ham and eggs against the Hornets on Sunday, posting a stat line of 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 10 assists. That’s ridiculous production, even from someone who routinely posts eye-popping numbers.
Domantas Sabonis isn’t nearly the same caliber of player as Jokic, but he’s probably the closest facsimile in the league. He’s capable of scoring, rebounding, and distributing the basketball at a high level, and he’s averaged 1.34 DraftKings points per minute this season. The Hornets have been the gift that keeps on giving against opposing centers all year, allowing the most DraftKings points per game to the position, so Sabonis should be able to do some serious damage in this spot.
Thomas Bryant has not been priced up to reflect his new role in the wake of the Davis injury. He finished with 34.0 DraftKings points across 23.7 minutes in relief of Davis on Friday, and he followed that up with 33.0 DraftKings points in 32.8 minutes as a member of the starting unit on Sunday. Bryant has averaged 1.14 DraftKings points per minute this season, so there’s no reason to expect anything different on Monday. As long as this game doesn’t turn into a blowout – the Suns are listed as 10-point favorites – Bryant is a phenomenal bet to return value.
It’s time to consider buying low on Jonas Valanciunas. He’s down to just $5,100 on DraftKings, but he’s still averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute this season. That gives him a chance to pay off his salary in less than 25 minutes, even in a subpar spot vs. the Bucks.
Clint Capela remains out for the Hawks, giving Onyeka Okongwu a bit of appeal at $5,200 on FanDuel. He’s averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s scored at least 26.5 FanDuel points in three of his past five games.
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