***UPDATED CORE FOUR AT 6:45PM***
Luka Doncic is now probable, as is Tim Hardaway Jr. Luka is a strong option and Hardaway becomes an appealing value play. Finney-Smith Jr. and Porzingis are doubtful. Jalen Brunson can be added to your player pool as well.
Steven Adams has been ruled out for tonight and so is James Johnson. Willy Hernangomez will start for Adams and becomes a very strong value option.
Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Furkan Korkmaz are starting tonight. Mike Scott and Danny Green are both out. Discussed 76ers team in slate notes section below.
Russell Westbrook is playing, he remains a strong play tonight. Rui Hachimura will have a minutes limit, remove him from the player pool.
Anthony Davis won’t have a minutes limit Monday. My advice is to proceed with caution even with this news. The Lakers are heavy favorite and as a good of a matchup as this is, he might not need to play his regular allotment of minutes.
Add Cedi Osman to your player pool at a GPP value option if he is starting.
Add Torrey Craig and Cam Johnson to your player pool as a value options.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Monday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s 11-game slate.
It’s been a busy day with news, as we have numerous players added to the injury report throughout the day, others being cleared to play, and others being ruled out. As far as those who will not play tonight, Jae Crowder, Gary Trent Jr., Collin Sexton, Dario Saric, Trae Young, and Tony Snell are all out for tonight. Russell Westbrook was added to the injury report with an ankle injury and is now considered questionable. Others who were added to the injury report are Robin Lopez, Danny Green, Josh Jackson, Tony Bradley, Lonnie Walker, and Dorian Finney-Smith, all of which are considered questionable. Rui Hachimura and Rodney Hood are listed as available for tonight’s game, while Kris Dunn was upgraded to probable, and Ben Simmons was upgraded from out to questionable. There is still a ton of news pending, some of which we should get throughout the day.
I will be in the live chat tonight from 6:00PM to 7:00PM discussing news and any changes that we need to take note of, so make sure to stop on by and get all of your questions answered prior to lock.
Remember, the NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Players are listed in order of preference by position.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Jazz 119
- Nuggets 116.25
- Spurs 116
- 76ers 115.75
- Clippers 115.25
- 76ers -12.5
- Raptors -11
- Lakers -10.5
- Jazz -10
- Heat -6
Position By Position
- Russell Westbrook
- Dejounte Murray/ Derrick White
- Ja Morant (GPP)
- Cory Joseph
- Cole Anthony
- Delon Wright
- Tyrese Haliburton
- Paul George
- Jordan Clarkson
- Fred VanVleet
- DeMar DeRozan
- Bradley Beal
- PJ Dozier
- Jimmy Butler
- Keldon Johnson
- Michael Porter Jr.
- OG Anunoby
- Buddy Hield
- Bojan Bogdanovic/Bogdan Bogdanovic
- Zion Williamson
- Tobias Harris (check status)
- Kristaps Porzingis (check status)
- Darius Bazley (GPP)
- Marcus Morris
- Isaiah Roby
- Nikola Jokic
- Rudy Gobert
- Mason Plumlee
- Bam Adebayo
- Joel Embiid (check status)
Key News To Watch
- Clint Capela – questionable
- Tony Bradley – questionable
- Josh Jackson – questionable
- Dennis Schroeder – questionable
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – probable
- Anthony Davis – probable
- Marc Gasol – probable
- James Ennis – questionable
- Terrence Ross – questionable
- Ben Simmons – questionable
- Tobias Harris – questionable
- Joel Embiid – questionable
- Furkan Korkmaz – questionable
- Danny Green – questionable
- Russell Westbrook – questionable
- Robin Lopez – questionable
- Rudy Gay – questionable
- Lonnie Walker – questionable
- Rajon Rondo – questionable
- Steven Adams – questionable
- Nickeil Alexander-Walker – questionable
- James Johnson – questionable
- Tyler Herro – questionable
- Kendrick Nunn – questionable
- Jonas Valanciunas – questionable
- Monte Morris – questionable
- Luka Doncic – questionable
- Josh Richardson – questionable
- Maxi Kleber – questionable
- Dorian Finney-Smith – questionable
- Kristaps Porzingis – questionable
- J.J. Redick – questionable
- Richaun Holmes – questionable
- Philadelphia has their big three listed as questionable with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris all in question for tonight’s contest. Simmons went from being considered out, to questionable, so he is trending in the right direction after missing his last four games due to an illness. Harris has played in the last two games after missing three games with knee soreness, but is back on the injury report with knee soreness again. Embiid missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury and his status is up in the air for tonight. Given that the 76ers are favored by 12.5 points tonight, I expect at least two of these three players to suit up and potentially all three of them. Embiid and Harris pop up as viable options in this matchup, given how poorly this Thunder’s team has fared against opposing frontcourts this season, ranking 28th in defense efficiency against them. Embiid scored 27 points with 10 rebounds, four blocks, and four dimes in just 27 minutes the last time these two teams faced off. The only concern here, which is a legitimate concern, is whether this game stays close or not. The last time these teams faced off a few weeks ago, OKC failed to keep it competitive and the 76ers were without Harris.
- The Clippers continue to be without Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley, and Luke Kennard. When they are off the court, it’s no secret that Paul George is the biggest beneficiary, as he sees a healthy 6.1 percent increase in usage rate. He draws a nice matchup this evening against the 22nd ranked Pelicans defense. It’s a matchup he should exploit, as they surrender the second most three-pointers per game to opposing teams and the third highest field-goal percentage to opponents. This bodes incredibly well for George who generates 40.7 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. The only knock on George is his price tag which has come up significantly, though that goes hand in hand with his production which has been elite. Outside of George, you can look at Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Ivica Zubac as other viable options from this Clippers team.
- The Mavericks have multiple players with unknown statuses early in the day, as Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and J.J. Redick are all listed as questionable. This is news worth keeping a close eye on throughout the day, as there is a possibility that Dallas is shorthanded tonight, which will open up some value in what is a great matchup against a Kings team that plays fast and ranks 29th in defense efficiency. If all of those players listed as questionable end up sitting, the primary beneficiary from a usage standpoint is Tim Hardaway Jr., who sees a 12.4 percent increase in usage rate. He is followed by Trey Burke (7.3%) and Jalen Brunson (6.9%). News will ultimately determine how we can approach this game from a DFS standpoint. Being that this game is the latest game on the slate, that news might not be in prior to lock. My advice would be to have the option of swapping some of these players in or out of your lineup dependent on news. If Doncic and Porzingis play, they are appealing options. If the Mavs are shorthanded, Hardaway Jr., Brunson, and perhaps some frontcourt players would become strong value options.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets: This game has one of the healthier implied totals of the slate at 228 points with just a four-point spread. It’s a matchup we saw just a few nights ago, a game that went into two overtimes and finished with a 139-137 Nuggets victory. We should once again see a competitive game between these teams. The Grizzlies enter this contest ranked 18th in defense efficiency for the season, while Denver ranks 10th. However, both teams are 18th or worse in overall defense efficiency over the last 10 games, so neither is playing great defense as of late. Ja Morant has now topped 40 DK points in three of his last four games, including two 60+ DK point outings, one of which was a game against this Nuggets team. He can be considered a strong GPP option given his immense ceiling and his reasonable price tag. His floor is too unstable to fully trust in cash, but there is no denying his tournament winning upside. Jonas Valanciunas (check status) and Dillon Brooks are other Grizzlies players who are interesting tonight. I prefer them both in tournaments as well, but if you land on either of the two in cash games, I’d be fine with that. Denver continues to be without Jamaal Murray and now will not have Will Barton. This frees up some backcourt opportunities, which I expect PJ Dozier to be the primary beneficiary of. Dozier started last game and played 28 minutes, scoring a career high 23 points. He has now played at least 24 minutes in six consecutive games, including at least 30 minutes in three of his last four. He is a strong point per dollar play, especially on FD where he is still too cheap given his current role. Nikola Jokic has been dominant against the Grizzlies this season, topping 60 DK points in both of their meetings. He continues to offer us a solidified floor with plenty of upside, making him a viable option in all formats and one of the better pay up plays on the slate. Other players from the Denver side you can consider in this matchup are Michael Porter Jr., Facundo Campazzo, and Aaron Gordon (GPP only)
Washington Wizards vs. San Antonio Spurs: This is a contest that I expect will get a lot of attention from the DFS community tonight and rightfully so. It has a healthy over/under of 228.5 points and just a three-point spread. The Wizards enter this contest ranked 24th in defense efficiency for the season, while the Spurs are ranked 15th. This game is straight forward when you look at the plays from both of these teams. For the Spurs, it’s Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, DeMar DeRozan, and Keldon Johnson. For the Wizards, it’s Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. You can throw Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura (prefer FD price) in the mix as well as value options in tournaments. Westbrook is coming off a subpar performance but should get back on track here this evening as the Spurs rank 19th in defense efficiency against opposing point guards for the season. He offers an incredible floor to go along with a massive ceiling, making him a strong option in any format. Starting your lineups off with Westbrook and running it back with some Spurs players is something to consider this evening. I have the Spurs players ranked as follows, Murray, White, Johnson, and DeRozan, all of which I think are viable tonight. It is worth noting that prior to publishing the article, Westbrook popped up on the injury report and is questionable which is something worth keep a close eye on. Beal becomes an incredibly strong play if Westbrook sits.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans: This game could go slightly overlooked tonight and it’s one that is pretty straight forward. As I mentioned above, the Clippers are shorthanded, and Paul George is in a great position for a huge game. From the Pelicans side, it’s Zion Williamson who offers us the steadiest floor and is a strong run back option. Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball (GPP only) are also players you can run it back with here from New Orleans. If Steven Adams sits, Jaxson Hayes and Willy Hernangomez would see an increased role and depending on the starting lineup, we could consider one of them for value. This is a game I want exposure to regardless, but a game stack here is certainly something to consider.
CASH GAME CORE FOUR
DraftKings: Nikola Jokic, Paul George, Willy Hernangomez, Dillon Brooks
FanDuel: Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, PJ Dozier, Keldon Johnson
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**