Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! The NBA is honoring Dr. King with a full day of basketball, and the main slate differs by site. FanDuel is offering a seven-game main slate starting at 2:30 p.m. ET, while DraftKings is offering a five-game main slate starting at 3 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
The matchup between the Jazz and Timberwolves should feature plenty of fantasy value on both sides. It leads the slate with a 234.0-point total, and the Timberwolves are listed as just two-point home favorites.
The Jazz are also dealing with a crucial injury at the moment. Lauri Markkanen is questionable with a hip injury, which caused him to miss the team’s last game. Jordan Clarkson was asked to carry a larger workload than usual in his absence, leading the team with a 37.7% usage rate. He responded with 57.75 DraftKings points, and he’s scored at least 40.0 DraftKings points in three straight games. Clarkson would be a strong option at his current price tag even if Markkanen is available, but he becomes one of the top options on the slate if the big man is ruled out once again.
Kyle Lowry remains out of the lineup for the Heat, so Gabe Vincent should continue to handle most of the point guard responsibilities. He’s carried a massive workload with Lowry sidelined of late, racking up at least 39.4 minutes in three straight games, and he’s responded with at least 45.6 FanDuel points in his past two. He’s not projected for quite as many minutes on Monday, but his 31.1 is still more than enough to put him in DFS consideration. Vincent is a particularly strong target on FanDuel, where his $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%.
Steph Curry has struggled since returning to the lineup, averaging just 1.04 FanDuel points per minute. He’s obviously capable of much better, and perhaps the absence of Klay Thompson will help him turn things around. Curry has seen a usage bump of +4.4% with Thompson off the floor this season, and he’s coming off 34.5 minutes in his last outing. Both bode well for better numbers for Curry on Monday, and his $9,200 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%.
The Pacers are one of four teams available on the FanDuel main slate that are not available on DraftKings, along with the Bucks, Suns, and Grizzlies. T.J. McConnell has done some heavy lifting for the Pacers with Tyrese Haliburton sidelined of late, racking up at least 36.9 FanDuel points in three straight games. He’s gotten more expensive for Monday’s matchup vs. the Bucks, but his recent production suggests he’s still too cheap.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Anthony Edwards is currently questionable with a hip injury, but he has been able to play through it in his past few games. Not only that, he’s managed to play very well. He’s racked up at least 45.5 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he continues to benefit from the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s increased his usage rate (+1.5%), assist rate (+2.4%), and rebound rate (+0.3%) in 23 games without Towns this season, resulting in an average of 1.22 DraftKings points per minute.
Edwards has also seen a sizable price reduction for Monday’s matchup vs. the Jazz. He was priced at $9,000 in his last outing, which was a much more difficult matchup vs. the Cavaliers. Cleveland ranks second in the league in defensive efficiency, while Utah is all the way down in 26th. Mitchell was able to return value at an elevated salary in that spot, so there’s no reason he can’t do it again vs. the Jazz.
Clarkson isn’t the only backcourt option for the Jazz on Monday. Malik Beasley is also worth considering at his $5,000 price tag on DraftKings. He’s been a strong per-minute contributor this season, averaging 0.89 DraftKings points per minute, but his playing time has been inconsistent. However, he’s started to carve out a slightly larger role for himself. He’s played at least 32.1 minutes in two of his past three games, and he should see around 30 minutes vs. his former team. With the T’Wolves ranking fourth in pace, Beasley can do some damage with that much playing time.
Bennedict Mathurin is another nice option for the Pacers on Monday. He finished with just 23.8 minutes in his last game, but that stands out as a clear outlier. He played close to 40 minutes two games ago, and he’s projected for 32 minutes in our NBA Models. Mathurin has seen a team-high +4.6% usage bump with Haliburton off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.93 FanDuel points per minute.
Gary Trent Jr. finished with just 17.75 DraftKings points in his last outing, but he oddly played just 20.3 minutes. Still, Trent averaged 38.6 minutes in his prior seven games after moving back into the starting unit, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s also increased his production to 0.98 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Scottie Barnes has been playing well recently. Last year’s Rookie of the Year has scored at least 47.25 DraftKings points in three of his past four games, including 53.0 in his last outing. He’s displayed an ability to contribute to every area of the box score, and he’s increased his production to 1.05 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Barnes would get a nice boost if Fred VanVleet is unable to suit up. VanVleet struggled mightily in the team’s last contest, and he’s questionable Monday with back soreness. Barnes has served as one of the team’s primary distributors with VanVleet off the floor this season, increasing his assist rate by +3.5%, and he could see a few additional minutes as well.
Naji Marshall should continue to be a nice source of value for as long as Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are sidelined. He’s returned value in six straight games, scoring at least 29.75 DraftKings points in each contest. His salary has gotten a bit more expensive over that time frame, but his $5,700 price tag is still very favorable. His matchup vs. the Cavaliers is not, but Marshall has been too good to pass up on a small slate.
Taurean Prince is questionable for the Timberwolves, but he’s an interesting punt play at the absolute minimum on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 99%, and Prince is projected for just over 24 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, min-priced players have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.15 with a comparable minute projection (per the Trends tool).
The Suns remain extremely thin at the moment, with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Cam Payne, and Cameron Johnson all sidelined with injuries. Mikal Bridges should continue to play all the minutes he can handle in their absence, and he should see a few additional shot attempts as well.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
This DraftKings slate is light on star power, with only three players priced above $9,600. Julius Randle is one of them, and it’s hard to ignore what he’s done for the Knicks recently. He’s increased his production to 1.42 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he continues to play all the minutes he can handle for head coach Tom Thibodeau. He’s played at least 38.3 minutes in 12 of his past 13 games, and he’s averaged 40.0 minutes per game over that time frame.
Randle did see a slight reduction in value in his first two games with R.J. Barrett back in the lineup, but he bounced back with a monster performance in his last outing. He racked up 42 points, 15 boards, and four assists vs. the Pistons, resulting in 71.75 DraftKings points. He posted a usage rate of at least 30.4% for the second straight contest, and he grabbed at least 15 rebounds for the fourth straight game. Randle draws a brutal matchup vs. the Raptors, but he possesses arguably the highest ceiling on the slate.
De’Andre Hunter stands out as an excellent value on DraftKings, where his $4,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%. Hunter has posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.29 over his past 10 games, and he should continue to see plenty of playing time as long as Clint Capela is sidelined. Capela has been upgraded to questionable for Monday’s matchup vs. the Heat, but he will likely be limited even if he’s able to return. That should keep Hunter safe for at least one more game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is available on the FanDuel slate, and he’s obviously worth considering as a pay-up option. He leads all players in ceiling projection by a wide margin. Very few players in basketball can match his upside – he’s averaged 1.61 FanDuel points per minute this season – and he’s in an elite spot vs. the Pacers. They rank second in pace and 24th in defensive efficiency, so Giannis has even more upside than usual.
Markkanen is another strong option to consider on FanDuel if he’s able to suit up. He’s been excellent recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +7.74 over his past 10 games, and his $8,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%. His ownership could also be lower than usual given his questionable designation.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Bam Adebayo is another potential stud option to consider. He’s posted the best season of his career from a scoring perspective, averaging 21.5 points through his first 39 games. He’s increased his usage rate to a career-best 26.5%, and Adebayo is capable of contributing as a rebounder and distributor as well.
His matchup vs. the Hawks is also a good one. They’ve played at the fifth-fastest pace this season, and they’ve allowed the fifth-most points in the paint per game. Ultimately, Adebayo leads the position with a +6.6 Opponent Plus/Minus.
Kelly Olynyk remains out with an ankle injury, so Walker Kessler should continue to get a bit more run at center. That’s great news for DFS players. Kessler has been extremely efficient with his playing time this season, averaging 1.09 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s made the most of his minutes recently. He’s racked up at least 37.0 DraftKings points in three of his past four games, despite playing 26.9 minutes or fewer in two of them. He saw 31.8 minutes in his last contest, so his minutes are trending in the right direction.
The Timberwolves could also be without Rudy Gobert on Monday, who is currently questionable with a groin injury. If he’s out, this matchup would become much more appealing for the Jazz’s rookie center.
Deandre Ayton is arguably the top center option on FanDuel. He’s seen a big spike in offensive responsibilities given their current injury situation, and his $7,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%.
If VanVleet is unable to suit up for the Rockets, it’s very possible that Precious Achiuwa moves into the starting lineup. That would make him one of the best values of the day. He’s averaged 1.00 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of minutes to pay off his current price tag.
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