Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! The NBA is celebrating the great Dr. King with a full day of basketball, including a five-game main slate starting at 3 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Utah Jazz ($8,300) – 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 DKFP 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 DKFP 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.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Timberwolves SG/SF Anthony Edwards (hip) will be available to play today vs. the Jazz.
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves ($7,200) – This 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 ($9,400) is questionable with a hip injury, which caused him to miss the team’s last game. 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 DKFP, and he’s scored at least 40.0 DKFP 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.
EDITOR’ NOTE: Jazz SF/PF Lauri Markkanen (hip) has been ruled out today vs. the Timberwolves.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,400), Donovan Mitchell ($9,200)
Malik Beasley, Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,000) – Clarkson isn’t the only backcourt option for the Jazz on Monday. Beasley is also worth considering at his $5,000 price tag. He’s been a strong per-minute contributor this season, averaging 0.89 DKFP 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.
Other Options – Gary Trent Jr. ($5,500), Collin Sexton ($4,200)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors ($10,300) – This slate is light on star power, with only three players priced above $9,600. 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 DKFP 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 DKFP. 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.
Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors at New York Knicks ($7,300) – Barnes is another player who has played well recently. Last year’s Rookie of the Year has scored at least 47.25 DKFP 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 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Barnes would get a nice boost if Fred VanVleet ($7,600) 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.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Raptors PG Fred VanVleet (back) will be available to play today vs. the Knicks
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($9,000), Evan Mobley ($6,300)
Naji Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans at Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,700) – 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 DKFP 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 five-game slate.
Other Options – De’Andre Hunter ($4,700), Taurean Prince ($3,000)
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($8,700) – 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’re currently without starting center Clint Capela. They’ve also allowed the fifth-most points in the paint per game, and they’ve allowed the seventh-most DKFP to opposing centers.
Other Options – Jonas Valanciunas ($6,800), Jarrett Allen ($5,900)
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,100) – Kelly Olynyk remains out with an ankle injury, so 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 DKFP per minute, and he’s made the most of his minutes recently. He’s racked up at least 37.0 DKFP 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 ($7,400) 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.
Other Options – Precious Achiuwa ($3,300), Jaxson Hayes ($3,000)
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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.