Monday’s main slate offers up a solid six-game slate with some intriguing matchups as well as plenty of fantasy options to consider from the dozen teams taking the floor. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:
Target worth paying up for: Trae Young ($10,500) vs. GS (24th)Young has scored at least 29 points in each of his past five games, averaging 36.4 points to go with 7.8 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 56.6 DKFP per contest. He’ll look to stay red-hot as the Hawks host the injury-riddled Warriors. Atlanta’s offense is all about Young, and he should continue to get all the usage he can handle and elite-level production at least until John Collins returns from suspension.
Best value: Dennis Smith Jr. ($3,200) vs. MIL (29th)DSJ stepped in for an injured Frank Ntilikina ($4,500; back, questionable) and finished with 32.75 DKFP on 17 points, seven assists, a rebound and two blocked shots in 38 minutes against the Celtics. Smith has had an up-and-down year overall but did have a strong showing with 32.5 DKFP against the Mavs in his only other game with this size workload. If Ntilikina is out and Elfrid Payton ($5,000; hamstring) is still sidelined, Smith will carry the load at PG against the Bucks and should offer a huge return on investment.
Positional StrategyThere are plenty of solid midrange options if you don’t want to go to either extreme in the two picks above. Devonte’ Graham ($7,200) continues to offer consistent production, and Malcolm Brogdon ($8,100) and Ben Simmons ($8,300) both have great upside. Ja Morant’s (back) injury opens up time for Tyus Jones ($5,600) and De’Anthony Melton ($3,400) to step into larger roles, and the Bulls added Kris Dunn ($4,600) to the starting lineup in their last game to go with a three-guard look. There are lots of PG to consider no matter where you land on the salary structure in this pool.
Target worth paying up for: Zach LaVine ($7,900) at SAC (20th)LaVine seems to be healthy and ready for a nice run as the focal point of the Chicago offense. He has been a very volatile play all season but has scored at least 28 points with over 45 DKFP in three of his past four games and all three of those games came on the road. He’ll be on the road again as the Bulls visit the Kings in the late game. He has an elite ceiling as he showed with 49 points and 60.5 DKFP against the Hornets just over a week ago. He also had 36 points and 58.75 DKFP against the Warriors on Wednesday. LaVine can be a letdown in some games but also can put up huge numbers and I like this matchup against the Kings.
Best value: Glen Robinson III ($5,100) at ATL (30th)Robinson bounced back from a woeful 0-for-10 shooting performance against the Heat by shooting 8-of-16 on Sunday in the Warriors’ four-point loss to the Magic. Robinson finished with 19 points and 27.25 DKFP in 37 minutes. He has been carrying a huge workload with all the injuries in Golden State and has posted over 23 DKFP in six of his past eight contests. The Hawks are a great matchup for Robinson, who stands out as the best midrange play since many other options in this price range have much tougher matchups.
Positional StrategySG is not nearly as deep as PG, so it makes sense to find someone you really like in this spot and adjust your PG accordingly. Many of the top PG options can also be used in this spot, so take advantage of the dual eligibility and load up on guards that can produce in multiple categories.
Target worth paying up for: Buddy Hield ($7,100) vs. CHI (15th)Sure, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000) is the elite option at SF, but the risk of a blowout against the Knicks and limited minutes is too large for me to be excited about spending so much salary to get him. Instead, you can save almost $5K by going with Hield, who has been heating up lately. Last week in Boston, Hield hit 11 three-pointers on his way to 41 points and 57.30 DKFP. He followed that with 22 points with 35.5 DKFP against the Sixers and 21 points with 41.25 DKFP against the Nuggets. Hield is getting plenty of shots with at least 12 three-point attempts in each of those three games. He should be able to keep things rolling in a fantasy-friendly matchup with the Bulls.
Best value: T.J. Warren ($6,200) at MEM (27th)Warren scored 29 points on Saturday against Philadelphia and has at least 15 points in six of his past seven games. He finished with 38 DKFP by adding in four boards an assist and a steal in his 32 minutes and has averaged 18.6 points and 27.2 DKFP in 33.5 minutes over his past seven contests. The Grizzlies are short-handed and have struggled to defend opposing forwards all season, so Warren should be able to continue his hot streak as he heads to Memphis.
Positional StrategySF is a little bit thin on this 12-team slate, but there are some options trending up. Kelly Oubre ($7,000) has a high ceiling but can be boom-or-bust, and Dillon Brooks ($5,200) will have to step into a larger role with Morant out. If you want to go ultra-cheap, Justin Holiday ($4,200), James Ennis III ($3,800) and Justin James ($3,800) could be worth a look. With Giannis’ in a higher-risk spot due to a potential blowout, it makes the most sense to lock in a mid-level play like Hield, Warren or Barnes and find extremes at other spots.
Target worth paying up for: Domantas Sabonis ($8,000) at MEM (27th)Sabonis had 13 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and 43.25 DKFP against the Grizzlies last week when Memphis was much closer to full strength than they will be for this contest. He had over 39 DKFP in five straight games before dropping down to just 32.0 DKFP against the Sixers Saturday. In a much softer matchup, Sabonis should bounce back and fill up multiple categories in Memphis.
Best value: Harrison Barnes ($6,000) vs. CHI (21st)Barnes has been extremely efficient lately and has posted over 32 DKFP in three of his past four games. He had a 30-point explosion Saturday to lead the Kings’ comeback win over Denver and added in enough non-scoring numbers to get to 40.75 DKFP. He doesn’t pile up counting stats or fill in the whole box score like most of the players I like to target, but his scoring has been good enough lately to still make him worth a look at this salary against the Bulls.
Positional StrategyPF offers some nice big men in the $5K-$7K range highlighted by Richaun Holmes ($6,500), Al Horford ($6,400), Eric Paschall ($5,600), Miles Bridges ($5,500) and PJ Washington ($5,100). Keep an eye on Kevon Looney ($3,400) in his return from injury, although it’s uncertain exactly what his minutes will be restricted to in his first game since opening night. Depending on the Grizzlies’ situation, Brandon Clarke ($5,000) or Bruno Caboclo ($3,000) could also be worth a look as a value play with big-time upside.
Target worth paying up for: Joel Embiid ($10,300) vs. UTA (15th)Not even going up against the Stifle Tower is enough to knock Embiid out of this spot. He played both halves of the Sixers back-to-back on Friday and Saturday and produced 57.25 and 58.75 DKFP, respectively. He has posted three monster double-doubles since being held scoreless in Toronto last week and looks to be on a mission to make fantasy owners forget that outlier ever existed. The Sixers have actually been a tougher matchup for centers than Utah this season, and the other elite big-men have the night off, so go with Embiid if you have the salary to go big in the middle.
Best value: Robin Lopez ($4,400) vs. NY (6th)Lopez got his first start of the season filling in for his brother Brook on Saturday and hit a career-high three three-pointers on his way to 13 points, six rebounds and 33.0 DKFP in 24 minutes. While the long-range shooting probably isn’t something to count on, RoLo will likely provide solid work on the glass and quality minutes if Brook Lopez ($5,700; back, doubtful) is sidelined as expected. RoLo could also have a little extra motivation facing his former team. He started and played 30-plus minutes twice against the Knicks at the end of last season when he was with the Bulls and posted 42.25 DKFP and 21.25 DKFP.
Positional StrategyWhile Embiid is the only truly elite play, there are a few solid lower mid-range options if you can’t get all the way up to his five-figure salary. In addition to RoLo, Aron Baynes ($5,400) gets a nice matchup if he can play through his calf injury. Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,200) is also worth a look if he doesn’t lose too much time to Looney, and Ersan Ilyasova ($4,000) has scored at least nine points in four straight and could get more time with Lopez out. If Jonas Valanciunas ($7,500; illness) remains out, the Grizzlies’ frontcourt should also provide some value.
Key news to monitor on DK Live:
QUESTIONABLECameron Johnson (illness)
Mikal Bridges (quad)
Cam Reddish (wrist)
Frank Ntilikina (back)
PROBABLEAron Baynes (calf)
Ty Jerome (ankle)
DeAndre’ Bembry (hip)
Tomas Satoransky (toe)
Bogdan Bogdanovic (hamstring)
DOUBTFULMichael Kidd-Gilchrist (calf)
Josh Richardson (hamstring)
Brook Lopez (back)
Chandler Hutchison (shoulder)
OUTKevin Huerter (shoulder)
JaKarr Sampson (back)
Sterling Brown (shoulder)
Otto Porter (foot)
Marvin Bagley III (thumb)
Draymond Green (rest)
Marcus Morris (neck)
No report yet from the Warriors and Grizzlies
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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.