*** UPDATED CORE FOUR @ 6:50PM ET***
Steven Adams has been ruled out for tonight. Willy Hernangomez becomes an incredibly strong play and is part of the core four.
Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and Goga Bitadze have all been ruled out for tonight. Bump up Sabonis (he’s in the core four), LeVert, Brissett, and McDermott. Add Justin Holiday in your player pool as a cheap GPP option. T.J. McConnell would be viable if starting. Edmond Sumner is starting and can be considered a viable cheap option. Keep in mind he offers limited upside.
LeBron James has been ruled out. Add Kyle Kuzma into your player pool and AD is viable as well. Alex Caruso can be added to the player pool as well as a cheap option. Neither of these players are a priority.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Monday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s eight-game slate.
Not a ton of news has come in throughout the day, which means that we should be in for a news-filled afternoon as there is a lot of pending news for tonight. This should be a high scoring night given that there are three contests with implied totals of over 235 points. Picking the right game stack will be key for tonight.
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
- Wizards 124.75
- Pacers 121.25
- Pelicans 120
- Hawks 119
- Warriors 117
- Jazz -7.5
- 76ers -5
- Wizards -3.5
- Nuggets -3.5
- Grizzlies -3
Position By Position
- Russell Westbrook
- Stephen Curry
- Killian Hayes
- Cole Anthony
- Damian Lillard/Trae Young (both GPP only)
- Malcolm Brogdon (check status)
- Josh Jackson
- Bradley Beal
- C.J. McCollum (GPP)
- Andrew Wiggins (GPP)
- Lonnie Walker
- Caris LeVert (prefer if Brogdon is out)
- Saddiq Bey
- Rui Hachimura
- Joe Ingles
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Oshae Brissett
- Keldon Johnson
- Zion Williamson
- Domantas Sabonis
- Robert Covington
- Moritz Wagner
- Isaiah Stewart
- Doug McDermott
- Joel Embiid
- Willy Hernangomez (if Adams sits)
- Mo Bamba (GPP)
- Rudy Gobert
- Jonas Valanciunas (GPP)
Key News To Watch
- Hamidou Diallo – questionable
- Norman Powell – questionable
- Malcolm Brogdon – questionable
- Jeremy Lamb – questionable
- Goga Bitadze – questionable
- Andrew Wiggins – questionable
- Steven Adams – questionable
- Bogdan Bogdanovic – probable
- Nikola Vucevic – questionable
- Zach LaVine – doubtful
- Nerlens Noel – questionable
- Grayson Allen – questionable
- LeBron James – questionable
- Dejounte Murray – questionable
- The Pistons will be shorthanded tonight, as Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder, Jahlil Okafor, Mason Plumlee, and Dennis Smith Jr. are all out tonight. In addition, Hamidou Diallo is listed as questionable. We have seen this situation several times in recent weeks, so this is not something that should be surprising to anyone. When these players are off the court, Josh Jackson, Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart are the primary beneficiaries. Jackson gets a 2.4 percent usage bump, Stewart sees a 1.7 usage bump, while both Hayes and Bey receive a one percent usage bump. Tyler Cook sees the biggest usage bump of three percent, though his minutes are extremely volatile even in these situations. The matchup for the Pistons tonight is elite, against an Orlando team that ranks 26th in defense efficiency for the season and in the last 10 games as well. The prices on most of these Pistons players have adjusted compared to what they were a few weeks back, but they are still reasonable given the circumstances and the matchup. Rostering a few Detroit players is totally viable this evening.
- LeBron James returned to action on Friday night and has played in each of the Lakers last two contests. He played 32 minutes in his first game back and played 28 minutes last night, sitting out the final six minutes due to ankle soreness. For what it’s worth, the Lakers were trailing by a lot when James exited and although they got within range, he never returned. His status for tonight is up in the air, though I expect him to play. If he plays, he would be a risky option tonight given the ankle issues and the fact that the Lakers are on a second half of a back-to-back. On the other hand, Anthony Davis has now played at least 31 minutes in four straight games and has topped 40 DK points in three straight contests. Neither of the two are priority plays tonight, but if you want to take a chance on one of them, I’d say Davis is the way to go. If James sits, we can look at someone like Kyle Kuzma as a potential solid point per dollar play.
Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers: The matchup between the Pacers and Wizards has an incredibly high over/under of 246 points and just a four-point spread. Washington enters this contest ranked 24th in defense efficiency for the season, while Indiana ranks 23rd. Both teams are also top five in pace, which means that this should be an incredible game environment. By now you already know that it begins with Russell Westbrook on the Wizards side. There is not much I can say about Westbrook that you don’t already know. For goodness sake, the man had 14 triple-doubles in the month of April and has 20 triple-doubles over his last 26 games. Westbrook nearly scored 100 DK points (not kidding) the last time he faced off against the Pacers, finishing with 35 real points, 21 assists, and 14 rebounds, which was good for 94.5 DK points. I am not expecting him to go off for 90+ DK points, but I do expect a big performance out of him in this contest. Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, and Davis Bertans (GPP only) are the other three players from Washington I have interest in tonight. For Indiana, Malcolm Brogdon is questionable for this contest and his status is important. If he plays, he’s viable on FD where his price remains reasonable. If he ends up sitting, T.J. McConnell and Caris LeVert get a bump. LeVert is someone you can already consider in tournaments, though at his price tag on both sites, it would be better if Brogdon sat. Domantas Sabonis is my favorite Pacers player tonight, though he comes in at a hefty price tag. That said, the matchup against the Wizards is elite as they rank 23rd in defense efficiency against the position. Sabonis returned from a six-game absence on Saturday and went off for 26 points, 19 rebounds, and 14 assists, recording his seventh triple-double of the season. The last time these two teams faced off, Sabonis went for 35 points, 11 rebounds, and six dimes, scoring 61 DK points. Other Pacers players you can consider this evening are Oshae Brissett, Doug McDermott, and Justin Holiday.
Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans: Most of the attention will be in the game above, but this is another game that offers us some appealing options. The Warriors and Pelicans contest has a healthy 237-point implied total and just a 2.5-point spread. What we know here is that the Warriors play fast and struggle immensely against opposing front courts, rankings 20th in defense efficiency. They also rank 26th in defense efficiency inside the paint, allowing the most rebounds per game. This is a spot Zion Williamson should thrive in and a matchup that I fully expect him to take advantage of. He is coming off a near triple-double, scoring 37 points with nine rebounds and eight dimes. Look for him to carry that momentum over into this contest. Brandon Ingram is an intriguing tournament option given the game environment, though I prefer his FD price. Steven Adams is listed as questionable and if he sits, Willy Hernangomez would be in line for another start. If that ends up being the case, Hernangomez becomes an incredibly strong center option this evening, at a reasonable price. Hernangomez has started in three of the last four games, has a double-double in each of those starts, and has scored at least 30 DK points in each of those games. This is an elite matchup for him. On the Warriors side, Stephen Curry finds himself in a great spot against a Pelicans team that ranks 29th in defense efficiency against opposing point guards. Curry should light this team up as they allow the second most three-pointers per game and the third highest three-point field goal percentage, which is where Curry generates 49.9 percent of his scoring from. Andrew Wiggins is listed as questionable this evening and if he plays, he is an appealing tournament option. If he sits, Kent Bazemore, who is borderline in play tonight, would become a nice option for value. Draymond Green is a high variance GPP option as well.
DraftKings: Russell Westbrook, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, Willy Hernangomez (so long as he’s starting)
FanDuel: Russell Westbrook, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, Willy Hernangomez (so long as he’s starting)
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**