***UPDATED CORE FOUR AT 6:20PM***
Afternoon updates: Mike Scott is projected to start and could see minutes in the mid-20’s, making him a viable option at min price. Cameron Johnson is cash viable with Payne ruled out.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Monday!
We have a seven-game slate this evening, after the Dallas and New Orleans game was postponed. There is a lot of news to digest today and there will be more throughout the day, so make sure you are on top of the news as we head into lock. Russell Westbrook will sit out tonight once again for the Wizards. The 76ers remain very shorthanded tonight and are a great team to target for value. Cleveland, New York, Atlanta, and the Pacers are also missing some key players tonight. Both Buddy Hield and Richaun Holmes are listed as questionable. I will be keeping a close eye on their statuses as it can impact the way we approach this slate and our roster construction.
Remember 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.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Suns 118
- Bucks 117.75
- Trail Blazers 117.75
- Pacers 116.25
- Hawks 114
- Bucks -10
- Suns -6.5
- Hawks -6.5
- Pacers -5.5
- Trail Blazers -5
Position By Position
Damian Lillard (DK $9700/ FD $9600) – Lillard is coming off a subpar performance by his standards, scoring 17 points with six dimes, four boards, and a steal, while shooting 31 percent. He is in a great position for a bounce back game against a Raptors team that ranks 20th in defense rating. Toronto yields the eighth most three pointers per game to opposing teams, which bodes well for Lillard who generates 42.9 percent of his points from beyond the arc. The Raptors are also giving up the fourth most rebounds per game to opposing point guards and Lillard averages nearly five boards per game. He has a solid history against the Raptors, averaging 46.1 DK points per game and a consistency rating of 72.7 percent in their last 11 meetings.
Malcolm Brogdon (DK $8300/ FD $8400) – Brogdon is playing some really good ball right now and it’s hard not to consider him this evening. He has topped 40 DK points in four straight games, including three 50+ DK points performances. Tonight, he draws a fantastic matchup against a Kings team that ranks dead last in defense rating and place up in pace. Not to mention, Sacramento allows the second most real points, eighth most assists, ninth most rebounds, and most fantasy points (both sites) to opposing point guards. If that still doesn’t do it for you, how about this, the Kings allow the seventh highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams and Brogdon generates 39.8 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. Lastly, Sacramento also gives up the most points in the paint and he generates 37 percent of his points from inside the paint. Brogdon is playing the fourth highest minutes per game of any player in the league at this time and sports a healthy 23.6 percent usage rate. He is in an incredible spot tonight and makes for a very strong play in all formats.
Kyle Lowry (DK $8200/ FD $7700) – For me on DK, I’m finding the extra $100 to get to Brogdon, but on FD the difference is $700, so you can certainly make the case to consider Lowry instead. This is a great matchup against Portland who ranks 23rd in defense rating and plays up in pace. The Trail Blazers have also been extremely generous to opposing point guards this season, yielding over 50 fantasy points per game to the position on both sites. Lowry generates 45 percent of his points from beyond the arc and Portland allows the second most three-pointers per game to opposing point guards. This should be a great game environment, considering it has the highest over/under on the slate and just a five-point spread. Lowry has not flashed a huge ceiling this season, but provides a solid floor, especially in this specific matchup. He has a pretty solid history against this team too, averaging 45.8 DK points over their last seven meetings, as well as a 85.7 percent consistency rating.
Raul Neto (DK $4600/ FD $4700) – With Westbrook out this evening, Neto is in line to get the start. In three starts this season, Neto has averaged 24.7 minutes, 13.3 points, 3.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game. He sees the highest usage bump when both Westbrook and Bryant are off the court, as Neto sees a 7.5 percent increase. This is not a great matchup against a Suns team that plays solid defense, but at this price, Neto does not need to do all that much to reach value. I prefer him on DK where he is also SG eligible, which gives you more roster construction flexibility.
Isaiah Joe (DK $4100/ FD $3900) – Joe led the 76ers in minutes last game, playing 44.9 minutes. He struggled with his shot, shooting 22 percent from the court, but did attempt 18 shots, including 11 from beyond the arc. Joe finished the day with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal. He is in line for another start and should once again play big minutes for a Philly team that will once again be without a lot of players. The Hawks are far from a great defensive unit and both of these teams play relatively fast, so it should be a nice game environment. He is cheap and makes for a solid point per dollar play. Please note, on DK is he listed as a SG.
Victor Oladipo (DK $6900/ FD $7000) – Oladipo has been struggling with his shot in recent games, shooting under 40 percent in four of his last five games. Tonight, he finds himself in a good position to turn things around against a bad defensive team and one who allows the highest field goal percentage to opposing teams. Despite not shooting well, Oladipo has attempted no less than 16 shots in four straight games, including at least 20 shot attempts in each of the last two. The good thing here is that even when his shot is off, Oladipo finds multiple ways to score fantasy points with his contributions in peripheral stats. This is not only a good matchup and game environment for him, but he also comes in at a very affordable price considering what he brings to the table.
Tyrese Haliburton (DK $6200/ FD $5400) – Haliburton has played no less than 29 minutes in three straight games and has taken full advantage of his opportunities, scoring 35+ fantasy points in two of those contests. He has flashed his ability to score, while also being a good facilitator and racking up the defensive stats. Haliburton averages a fantasy point per minute and should once again play 28-30 minutes in what should be a great game environment. I prefer him on FD where he is cheaper, but he is viable on both sites.
Tyrese Maxey (DK $4700/ FD $5200) –The 76ers are extremely shorthanded tonight once again and we saw them run a tight rotation the last time out. Unlike last game, they will have Embiid on the court, but will still be without several key players. Maxey got the start last game and played 43.7 minutes, while seeing a healthy 31.1 usage rate. He went off for 39 points with seven boards, six dimes, and two steals, scoring over 60 fantasy points on both sites. With Embiid back, Maxey will take a hit in the usage department, but he should still have plenty of opportunities in this contest and comes at an affordable price. He should be in line for another 30+ minute evening against a mediocre Hawks defense, one who has been very generous to the position. Please note, on DK Maxey is listed as PG.
Dakota Mathias (DK $3900/ FD $4100) – Mathias started last game and played 41.1 minutes, including the entire fourth quarter. He attempted 13 shots, scoring 12 points with five assists, one rebound, one block, and one steal, finishing with 24+ fantasy points on both sites. Philly gets some frontcourt players back tonight, but their backcourt remains thin. It’s unsure whether or not Mathias cracks the starting lineup tonight, but even off the bench he should play significant minutes considering how thin they are at the position and at this price, it’s tough not to consider him a strong point per dollar option.
Harrison Barnes (DK $6500/ FD $6200) – The SF position is not all that great tonight, but Barnes is standing out as one of the more solid plays at the position this evening. He comes in at a fair price, plays big minutes, and is in a good matchup. Barnes is averaging 34.2 minutes per game on the season, playing at least 30 minutes in all but one game. He leads the team in minutes per game, is second in points per game, and third in rebounds per game. He has established a solidified role for Sacramento and is one of their top scorers. The matchup against the Pacers is not great by any means, but Barnes has been consistently productive, even in subpar matchups. Buddy Hield is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest, if he misses, Barnes gets a bump. When Hield has been off the court this season, nobody sees a higher usage increase than Barnes at 5.9 percent.
Rui Hachimura (DK $5500/ FD $4900) – Hachimura is underprice on FD tonight and the fact that he is SF eligible there makes him an even stronger play considering how thin the position is. No Westbrook and Bryant tonight means that Hachimura will see a usage increase, as when those two are off the court, Hachimura gets a 6.7 percent usage bump. The Suns play solid defense, but they have struggled against the position this season, allowing the seventh most real points and sixth most rebound per game. Hachimura should play 29-31 minutes tonight, with upside for more, and averages 0.86 fantasy points per minutes so he should be able to pay off his affordable price tag.
Cam Reddish (DK $5100/ FD $4500) – Reddish can be volatile, but he should play decent minutes against a shorthanded 76ers team. In addition, with some of the players out for Atlanta today, Reddish also gets a usage bump. Reddish is averaging 29 minutes per game this season but has played at least 30 minutes in four of the last six games. The matchup on paper is not great being that Philly is one of the best defensive teams this season, but they are missing a ton of players tonight, so the matchup is far more appealing. Considering the situation and his price tag, Reddish makes for a strong point per dollar play this evening.
Danny Green (DK $4700/ FD $4800) – Taking into consideration all of the players that are out tonight, nobody in Philly sees a higher usage bump than Green does. He sees a 7.9 percent usage increase when the players sitting tonight are off the court. The 76ers are going to run a tight rotation once again this evening as I have said multiple times in this article, this means that Green should play minutes into the mid-30’s in this contest. He has now played 30 or more minutes in each of his last three contests and that has resulted into 27 or more DK points in two of those games. In addition to the usage bump, Green sees a 5.5 percent increase in assists with these players off the court. He will also rack up defensive stats and has been more active on the board as of late. Green’s price is affordable and considering the overall situation tonight, he makes for a strong value option. The matchup is also a favorable one.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (DK $11000/ FD $11200) – Antetokounmpo missed Saturday’s game with back spasms but is on track to play tonight with no limitations. He is the most expensive player on the slate tonight now that the Dallas game has been postponed. We know what Giannis brings to the table and there is not much I can say about him that you don’t already know. He is a stat sheet filler and is all but a lock to double-double. Orlando gives up the seventh most points in the paint, so they are in trouble tonight, as Antetokounmpo generates 54.9 percent of his points from inside the paint. The only concern here is the potential blowout, as the Bucks are the biggest favorites on the board. That said, if this game does indeed blowout, he will likely be a big reason as to why.
Julius Randle (DK $9600/ FD $9400) – You will notice that unlike the SF position, the PF position is loaded with options tonight. Randle’s price is starting to get up there but that is because of how well he has played this season. He leads the Knicks in points, rebounds, and assists per game, while sitting second in minutes per game. He is sporting a healthy 27.3 usage rate this season and is a walking double-double machine, while having triple-double upside. Tonight’s matchup is one he should take full advantage of. The Hornets allow the fifth most rebounds to opposing teams. In addition, they allow the ninth most points in the paint. Considering that Randle is sixth in the NBA in rebounds per game and 39.7 percent of his points come from inside the paint, this is a fantastic spot for him.
Domantas Sabonis (DK $9300/ FD $9200) – Like Randle, Sabonis has been extremely consistent this season. He leads the Pacers in rebounds per game and is second in both points and assists per game. Sabonis has double-doubled in every single game this season and has one triple-double as well. His ability to stuff the stat sheet every night gives him an incredible floor with a massive ceiling. The matchup against the Kings is a great one, as they rank dead last in defense rating. Sacramento surrenders the most points in the paint, which bodes extremely well for Sabonis who generates 68 percent of his points form inside the paint. Sabonis is coming off a one his best games of the season and should carry that momentum over into tonight’s favorable matchup.
Pascal Siakam (DK $8100/ FD $8400) – Siakam has posted three straight strong performances and will be in a position for another strong outing. He is cheaper than Sabonis and Randle, but also does not offer as safe of a floor. That said, he is still very much in play against a Portland team that ranks 23rd in defense rating and one that plays at a top seven pace. Siakam has scored 20+ real points in three of his last four games. He has nine or more rebounds in three straight and is also producing defensive stats. His 12 assists the other night can be considered an outlier, though he has shown his ability to be a good passer multiple times this season. In other words, Siakam can produce fantasy points multiple ways. Tonight’s game between the Raptors and Trail Blazers should be up-tempo and neither of these teams are defensive juggernauts, so there will be plenty of scoring in this one.
P.J. Washington (DK $6400/ FD $6300) – Washington has played at least 28 minutes in three straight games, including 36 or more minutes in two of those contests. He should once again see 29-32 minutes tonight, with upside for more and he is producing over a fantasy point per minute. Though he is not a big scorer, Washington rebounds, can pass, and racks up the defensive stats. This is not the greatest of matchups, as the Knicks have played good defense this season and play at a slow pace. That said, Washington is still someone I am considering tonight because of his affordable price tag, his projected minutes, and his ability to produce while he is on the court.
Joel Embiid (DK $9800/ FD $9900) – Embiid will be forced to carry this shorthanded Philly team on his shoulders tonight. Going back to last season, when both Harris and Simmons were off the court, Embiid saw a massive 5.1 percent usage rate. That is huge considering he is already sporting a healthy 28 percent usage rate this season. The matchup itself is not that great as the Hawks have been solid defending opposing centers but considering the massive usage and the opportunity at hand for Embiid, it’s tough no to consider him a strong option.
DeAndre Ayton (DK $7300/ FD $6700) – Ayton is someone I normally prefer in tournaments, but tonight on FD I am making the exception and would not mind rolling him in out in cash. He comes in at an affordable price tag and draws a phenomenal matchup. Washington is allowing the ninth most rebounds per game and just lost their big man for the season, so they have become even more vulnerable. In addition, they are allowing the 13th most points in the pain. Ayton is a walking double-double and generates 72.9 percent of his points from inside the paint. He is going to absolutely feast on the Wizards tonight and dominate this front court. I prefer him on FD where he is underpriced, but he is viable on all sites.
Myles Turner (DK $6200/ FD $7400) – Turner has been quietly posting solid numbers this season. He is averaging 12.2 points, six rebounds, and a career high 4.1 blocks per game. Tonight, he faces a Kings defense that is awful and one who has been extremely generous to opposing centers. Sacramento gives up the fifth most real points, third most rebounds, second most assists, and third most fantasy points per game to the position (both sites). In addition, this unit gives up the sixth most blocks per game, which bodes well for Turner who is leading the NBA in blocks per game. Not to mention, the Kings give up the most points in the paint and Turner generates 50 percent of his points from inside the paint.
Hassan Whiteside (DK $4200/ FD $4200) – If Holmes us unable to suit up tonight, Whiteside could be in for an expanded role. Last game, Whiteside played 24 minutes off the bench, finishing with 11 points, eight boards, two assists, a steal, and a block. He averages over a fantasy point per minute and could play 22-25 minutes once again should Holmes sit this contest out, which would be enough for him to hit value considering his efficiency.
DraftKings: Malcolm Brogdon, Tyrese Maxey, Myles Turner, Joel Embiid
FanDuel: Malcolm Brogdon, Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid, Julius Randle
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**