The NBA is rolling into the new week with an eight-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($9,600) – It’s taken some time for Young and Dejounte Murray to gel in Atlanta, but they’ve started to figure things out. They’re currently sitting at 13-10, good for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and both players have played well for fantasy purposes.
Young missed the Hawks’ last game, but he’s not on the injury report on Monday. He should return to the lineup vs. the Thunder, and Young has gone off for at least 51.75 DKFP in three of his past four games. The Thunder also represent an excellent matchup, ranking third in pace this season. The Hawks are currently implied for 121 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat at Memphis Grizzlies ($7,100) – As usual, we’re going to have to deal with the Heat’s injury report shenanigans on Monday. They have half their team listed as either probable or questionable, so it’s tough to get a feel for who they will have available.
Fortunately, Herro is listed as probable after suiting up in the past five games. They eased him back into the rotation in his first game back, limiting him to 29.4 minutes vs. the Wizards, but they cranked his workload way up afterwards. He’s racked up at least 37.3 minutes in four straight games, and he’s responded with at least 43.25 DKFP in each of his past three.
The status of Jimmy Butler will be crucial here. If Butler is out of the lineup, Herro is undoubtedly underpriced in a pace-up spot vs. the Grizzlies. However, Herro still managed to return value with Butler active on Friday, so it’s not a dealbreaker one way or the other.
Other Options – James Harden ($9,000), Jrue Holiday ($7,400)
Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors ($4,200) – The Pacers have been one of the biggest surprises of the early season, thanks mostly to the play of Tyrese Haliburton. However, Haliburton missed Sunday’s game vs. the Blazers, and he’s already been ruled out for Monday vs. the Warriors. T.J. McConnell also missed the Pacers’ last contest, and he’s officially listed as questionable.
With the team down their top two point guards, Nembhard has had to take over as the top facilitator. He’s handed out at least eight dimes in back-to-back games, and he leads the team with a 36.1% assist rate in those contests. He’s also scored at least 13 points in both contests, so he’s provided outstanding fantasy value in back-to-back games.
There’s some blowout risk vs. the Warriors — the Pacers are listed as 11-point underdogs — but Nembhard has played at least 35.5 minutes in back-to-back blowouts. He’s cheap enough that it helps mitigate some of the risk.
Other Options – Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,600), T.J. McConnell ($3,900; questionable)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic ($11,900) – Is it time to buy low on Antetokounmpo? His salary has dipped below $12,000 for the first time since October 29, and he draws a phenomenal matchup vs. the Magic. They rank 27th in defensive efficiency, and they allow the 10th-most points in the paint per game. They’ve moved down to 24th in that department over their past three games, and Antetokounmpo does most of his damage in that area.
Even in a down year, Giannis still leads all players with an average of 1.74 DKFP per minute this season. This seems like a prime spot for him to hit his ceiling.
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors ($5,400) – Mathurin isn’t really priced like a stud, but he has the potential for stud-like production with Haliburton out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate to a team-high 34.2% with Haliburton off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.13 DKFP per minute. The Pacers continue to bring Mathurin off the bench, but he eclipsed 32 minutes sans Haliburton on Sunday.
Other Options – Terry Rozier ($7,800), PJ Washington ($5,600)
Jalen Johnson, Atlanta Hawks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($3,700) – The Hawks have some minutes available in the frontcourt at the moment. John Collins and De’Andre Hunter are both sidelined with injuries, while Bogdan Bogdanovic is still working his way into shape.
That leaves a solid chunk of playing time for Johnson, who racked up 32 DKFP over 32.7 minutes on Friday. That game was with Young also out of the lineup, but Johnson is still expected to see around 30 minutes in a good matchup vs. the Thunder. He’s increased his production to 0.91 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he stands out as one of the best value options on the slate.
Other Options – Jalen McDaniels ($4,900), Dario Saric ($3,300)
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks ($7,500) – Ayton doesn’t play as many minutes as the typical stud center, but he makes up for it with his efficiency. He’s averaged 1.19 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s been even better of late. Ayton has displayed increased offensive aggression recently, posting a usage rate of at least 29.1% in three of his past five games. He’s scored 43, 57, and 66.25 DKFP in those contests, and he played just 25.3 minutes in the game he finished with 43. That gives him an outstanding ceiling for his price tag if he can get back to his usual workload Monday vs. the Mavericks.
Other Options – Myles Turner ($7,300), Clint Capela ($6,400)
Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Clippers ($5,400) – The Hornets are in really rough shape at the moment. They’re playing without LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Dennis Smith Jr., while Miles Bridges remains in limbo. That doesn’t leave the team with a ton of NBA-caliber talent.
Plumlee has always been a solid per-minute contributor, but his playing time has been inconsistent. That’s not the case this season. He’s playing closer to 30 minutes on most nights, and he’s averaged 1.05 DKFP per minute. He’s scored at least 36.25 DKFP in back-to-back games, and he’s priced very fairly at $5,400. His salary peaked above $6,000 recently, so he stands out as a strong per-dollar investment.
Other Options – Kevon Looney ($4,500), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl ($4,300)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.