James Harden

With Christmas Eve as an off day, and just five games on Wednesday, we’re left with a massive 11-gamer for Monday night. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:

Point Guard

Target worth paying up for: James Harden ($11,000) at SAC (26th)

It took me a second to realize that I was correctly seeing that Trae Young ($11,200) was priced above Harden. While Young is hot and appropriately priced, I’m having trouble figuring out why Harden has dipped $1,900 in three games. The Kings are far from a poor matchup.

Best value: Ish Smith ($4,500) at NYK (8th)

Isaiah Thomas (fighting with fans in the stands about free ice cream) is suspended, which opens up a nice role for Smith. It’s the perfect time to take the value against the Knicks. Smith’s already flashed a nice ceiling, topping 30 DKFP in two of his past four.

Positional Strategy 

The 11-game slate pretty much gives you a strong PG play in every price range. Honorable mention to Damian Lillard ($8,300), who gets to face the Pelicans at home.


Shooting Guard

Target worth paying up for: Bradley Beal ($9,300) at NYK (8th)

It’s going to be a Wizards-heavy slate, but all of the plays are for value. Beal’s the lone pay up spot to consider, scoring over 56 DKFP in four of his past five, entering a prime matchup against the Knicks.

Best value: C.J. McCollum ($6,500) vs. NO (12th)

Maybe $6,500 is a little expensive for value, but McCollum could be the best price-per-dollar play on the slate. He’s scored over 42 DKFP in four straight games, but takes a $700 dip in salary to face the Pelicans? That makes no sense.

Positional Strategy

I’m locking in CJ here, but Harden is obviously a play as well if you fill up your PG/SG slots. The Warriors have some solid value at SG too.


Small Forward

Target worth paying up for: Buddy Hield ($6,700) vs. HOU (30th)

Hield’s salary is down thanks to some foul trouble and poor shooting in his past few games. But he’ll get his usual 35 minutes against the Rockets, who he topped 40 DKFP against earlier in the year.

Best value: Damion Lee ($4,300) vs. MIN (24th)

Lee is one of those GSW SG plays, but you probably get more value out of him at SF. Lee’s averaging over 30 minutes and close to 30 DKFP over his past four.

Positional Strategy 

SF is the weakest position on the slate. Save some salary here with other strong pay up spots.


Power Forward

Target worth paying up for: Domantas Sabonis ($7,800) vs. TOR (25th)

Sabonis is questionable with a hip injury, but expects to play in this one. He’s coming off a 59-DKFP game and faces an extremely thin Toronto frontcourt.

Best value: Admiral Schofield ($3,500) at NYK (18th)

Davis Bertans has become a DFS legend this season, pretty much because he’s been Washington’s only healthy forward. Well, now he’s hurt, and Schofield will have to step into a major role. He hasn’t been great recently, but he checks a ton of boxes, and will only play more against the Knicks.

Positional Strategy 

Julius Randle ($6,700) is your mid-priced play, and will benefit if Marcus Morris (Achilles), who is doubtful, winds up being ruled out. PF doesn’t have a top priced star to pay for, but is otherwise very balanced.


Center

Target worth paying up for: Bam Adebayo ($8,700) vs. UTA (16th)

Bam’s coming off a bad game against the Knicks, and his salary is down $200. A matchup against Utah isn’t something that should scare you from rostering him.

Best value: Anzejs Pasecniks ($3,500) at NYK (8th)

More Wiz value. Washington just doesn’t have the bodies, so this guy that nobody has heard of will probably wind up being one of the most popular values on the slate.

Positional Strategy 

Take the Washington frontcourt value. But if you’re paying up, Bam feels like more of a tournament play. Hassan Whiteside ($7,900) is the chalk spot to pay up against the Pels.


Key news to monitor on DK Live:

QUESTIONABLE

Karl-Anthony Towns (knee)
Joel Embiid (illness)
Domantas Sabonis (hip)
Jonas Valanciunas (foot)
Blake Griffin (illness)
Bruce Brown Jr. (calf)
Carmelo Anthony (knee)
Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle)
Jeremy Lamb (groin)
Eric Paschall (knee)
Glenn Robinson (knee)
Larry Nance (knee)

PROBABLE

Zach LaVine (shoulder)
Clint Capela (heel)
Ricky Rubio (illness)
Wendell Carter Jr. (abdomen)
Dario Saric (leg)
Frank Kaminsky (knee)
Christian Wood (knee)
Derrick Rose (knee)

DOUBTFUL

Marcus Morris (Achilles)

OUT

Pascal Siakam (groin)
DeAndre Ayton (ankle)
Davis Bertans (quad)
Norm Powell (shoulder)
Rui Hachimura (groin)
Mike Conley (hamstring)
Marc Gasol (hamstring)
Isaiah Thomas (suspension)
Mo Wagner (ankle)
Luke Kennard (knees)

Get all the news and analysis up to the minute on DK Live.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.