The NBA is officially back and bringing us slates like never before. Monday’s five-gamer tips off at 2:30 p.m. ET and continues with games tipping off all the way through 9:00 p.m. ET. This makes following along with all the news on DK Live even more important. Here are some lineup thoughts heading into the big slate.
Set your lineup here: NBA $500K Monday Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (TO)
Worth Paying Up For: Jamal Murray, DEN vs. LAL ($7,100)
It’s a tough slate to pay up at PG, with some key absences and rising salaries amongst the studs. Murray played his first game in the bubble on Saturday and showed no signs of rust against the Jazz. He finished two assists shy of a triple-double, on his way to a 53.5-DKFP outburst, although a couple of overtimes helped the outcome. Murray averaged close to 38 DKFP in three regular season matchups against the Lakers.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Trey Burke, DAL vs. UTA ($3,700)
Get ready to hear a LOT about the Mavericks on this slate. Luka Doncic (ankle), Kristaps Porzingis (knee) and Dorian Finney-Smith (hip) are all listed as out for this matchup, opening up a ton of minutes and usage. Burke’s played over 30 minutes in a couple of games just with Seth Curry ($4,100) injured, so down this many bodies, he should have an extremely expanded role. We’ve seen him go off for a near 50-DKFP effort and he has scored 20-plus DKFP in consecutive games leading into this matchup.
Point guard is pretty much about Luka’s absence and capitalizing on some value. But on the other side of the Mavs’ matchup, Donovan Mitchell ($8,100) is questionable with a leg injury. He played through a questionable tag on Saturday and was tremendous, so the expectation is that he’ll be good to go again. But if he does sit out, look to pivot to some Utah value.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jazz PG/SG Donovan Mitchell (leg) has been ruled out for today’s game vs. the Mavericks.
Worth Paying Up For: Devin Booker, PHX vs. OKC ($8,700)
SG is a pretty thin position on this slate and with all the Dallas value, we can afford to pay for stars in just decent spots. Booker’s always a high-upside play and has scored at least 49 DKFP in two of his past three. No star is in a must-play situation on this slate, so it comes down to roster construction and playing high floor/ceiling targets.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Delon Wright, DAL vs. UTA ($3,300)
Wright is just another place you can turn to the Mavs for value. He hasn’t show the upside of some of the other wings on Dallas, but he’s also much cheaper. Wright averaged 18.4 DKFP in 21 minutes per game against the Jazz this season and we can project him for over 30 minutes on this slate.
We want to make sure Jimmy Butler ($7,200) is good to go without a minutes restriction in his likely return from a foot injury, but if that’s the case he’s underpriced. He’s the safer pivot off a play like Booker, and saves some cash — not that we need it on this slate.
Worth Paying Up For: LeBron James, LAL vs. DEN ($10,200)
Again, fewer studs on a slate with a ton of value means paying up for a player that might not stand out as an elite target. LeBron is priced fairly and in a matchup against one of the best teams in the West. LBJ got going for 54 DKFP against the Pacers on Saturday, his best game in the bubble. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take this game seriously as a good chance to get his team prepared for the playoffs. There’s time to rest later this week.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL vs. UTA ($5,600)
I would guess THJ will be the highest-owned play on the slate but I’m not willing to fade him. He’ll be the Mavericks’ go-to scorer in the absence of the team’s two stars, leaving no reason to fade, other than ownership.
I think it makes sense to pay up for LeBron on this slate, especially in cash games. You may glance over him at first like I did but then you quickly realize there aren’t many other options. Butler is SF eligible if you want the safer point-per-dollar play.
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Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. TOR ($10,600)
Giannis played hard against the Mavericks on Saturday night, dropping almost 62 DKFP, so the Bucks aren’t completely shutting it down even with the top-seed wrapped up. Giannis has been spectacular against the Raptors this season, averaging over 69 DKFP in a pair of games. The question becomes: Do the Bucks want to take this game seriously? Milwaukee may opt to save its best effort for a potential postseason matchup, which leaves a little doubt in my mind.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Maxi Kleber, DAL vs. UTA ($4,200)
Kleber’s scored over 23 DKFP in consecutive games for Dallas in just 24 minutes per contest. Without KP and DFS, it’s tough to imagine Kleber doesn’t see 30-35 minutes against Utah. Fading some of the Dallas chalk in GPPs makes sense, but you’ll still need some of them to build a competitive lineup. It’s tough to justify fading Kleber.
How you view the MIL/TOR game has a lot to do with whether or not you spend up at PF, which changes your entire build. If you think these two teams actually go at it and play to win, Giannis and Pascal Siakam ($7,400) are both much too cheap.
Worth Paying Up For: Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. DAL ($7,600)
Somebody on the Utah side has to benefit from all these Mavericks sitting. Gobert should be priced over $8,000 given his recent outings and he has played well against the Mavs this season — 47.8 DKFP per game in two contests. He should be able to have his way even more against Dallas’ B-Team.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Boban Marjanovic, DAL vs. UTA ($3,000)
Am I worried about Boban playing enough minutes? Yes. Do I care? No, not since he’s minimum salary. Boban’s yet to go off in the bubble but he’s been extremely efficient, as always, in limited minutes. But look at the last game before the shutdown — 31 minutes and 57.75 DKFP. There’s legit 15-20X upside here if Dallas takes Boban’s leash off for this one.
With all the focus on the DAL/UTA matchup, I think DeAndre Ayton ($8,000) and Bam Adebayo ($7,900) are some nice pivot plays.
OUT (Opt-out players not included)
Luka Doncic (ankle)
Kristaps Porzingis (knee)
Will Barton (knee)
Dennis Schroder (personal)
Kendrick Nunn (personal)
Dorian Finney-Smith (hip)
Aron Baynes (knee)
Gary Harris (hip)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ankle)
T.J. Warren (foot)
Donovan Mitchell (leg)
Jimmy Butler (foot)
Steven Adams (leg)
Goran Dragic (ankle)
Nerlens Noel (ankle)
Danny Green (hip)
Kelly Oubre Jr. (knee)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (tooth)
LeBron James (groin)
Anthony Davis (ankle)
Seth Curry (leg)
Dwight Howard (knee)
Set your lineup here: NBA $500K Monday Shootaround [$100K to 1st] (TO)
Set your lineups here: NBA $500K Friday Shootaround [$100K to 1st]
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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 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.