Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Monday’s main NBA slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.
Worth Paying Up For: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets ($8,100)
SGA’s been about as safe as it gets lately, generally finishing in the 40-50 DKFP range — a reasonable floor with some 6X upside. George Hill remains out, leaving some extra backcourt production on the table. The matchup against Houston might not be as good as you’d expect, but it’s above average and brings no red flags.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets ($4,300)
The larger trickledown in Hill’s absence has been the emergence of Maledon. The rookie has actually started alongside SGA in all three games Hill has missed and has improved in each one along the way, earning 17.5 DKFP, 24 DKFP and 36.75 DKFP. I’m not counting on another 10X game, but Maledon’s played 30-plus minutes in consecutive games and is still too cheap.
Worth Paying Up For: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks ($9,000)
SG is a pretty weak position on this slate, so I’m looking to roster Maledon here or go to Haliburton as another viable value. But if you want to pay up, LaVine is one of the only sensible options. He’s appropriately priced for his matchup against the Knicks and has been a consistent 40-50 DKFP. I’d just prefer to spend elsewhere.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans ($5,200)
Haliburton’s role just keeps growing, now playing at least 30 minutes in four straight games. He’s attempted 10 or more field goals in each contest and stuffs the stat sheet with impressive numbers for a guard. There’s 30-40 DKFP upside here, and Haliburton isn’t yet priced for his ceiling. The matchup against the Pelicans should also be favorable.
Worth Paying Up For: Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings ($8,200)
Ingram’s had some serious issues hitting value recently, finishing with fewer than 40 DKFP in eight of his past nine games. Previously at $9,100, there is somewhat of a discount here, but I’d only explore it in tournaments. Ingram’s only big game going back over those past nine was 53 DKFP against Washington — one of the worst defenses in the league. The Kings are nearly as bad, and allow that same type of output. But just based on Ingram’s recent game log, there’s plenty of risk here.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets ($4,200)
OKC in general seems to have some good value on this slate. I’m writing up Dort on pure principle, priced at $5,400 just three games ago. Dort plays 30-plus minutes per game but has been awful from the field in his past four games. We saw 46-DKFP upside out of him, so looking for a bounce-back with his salary down $1,200 could be valuable. Darius Bazley ($5,100) and Hamidou Diallo ($4,400) are also reasonable options with Houston allowing the second-most DKFP to SF.
Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Portland Trail Blazers ($11,000)
Giannis is expensive, but his recent play, the spot, and the matchup all point to him being worth it. Milwaukee’s been involved in some very high-scoring games recently, but it has really been struggling against lesser competition — losing to New Orleans and Charlotte over the weekend. Giannis played 39 minutes in both losses, scoring 67.75 and 72 DKFP. The Bucks are due to bounce back soon, and Portland is another banged-up team struggling on defense. The Blazers rank 26th in DKFP allowed to PF.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks ($5,000)
Covington missed a pair of games due to a concussion, returning on Saturday to play over 34 minutes. He should be a safe play because of his secure role, but the ceiling is lacking. Without many good values at PF, I’ll likely pay up. But this should be a high scoring game, and getting a player likely to see 35 minutes at $5,000 is always a solid option.
Worth Paying Up For: Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($8,600)
Drummond’s clearly seen his role decrease since adding frontcourt pieces in the James Harden trade, but it somehow hasn’t changed his fantasy production much. More duds have popped up in his game log, but Drummond still carries the same high ceiling, especially in strong matchups. Minnesota allows the second-most DKFP to the center position, and Drummond finished with 25 points and 22 boards for 62.5 DKFP in this matchup on Sunday. Nikola Jokic ($10,900) is also worth strong consideration against a Detroit frontcourt allowing the most DKFP to centers.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat ($5,300)
Zeller took a couple of games to work his way back in after returning from a hand injury, but even in limited minutes, was putting up 20-plus DKFP. Zeller’s now averaging 30 minutes over his past three contests and has scored at least 37 DKFP in two of his past three games. The matchup against Miami isn’t ideal, but the Pacers and Bucks are no slouches, and Zeller was able to produce in those spots.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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The best value is at guard, and the top overall plays seem to be at PF/C. This is probably a slate I’ll double down at center and play Giannis, and look to fill out the rest with five value plays. Paying up at guard would be a bit more contrarian in tournaments.
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