Monday’s six-game slate is well stocked with stud and value plays. It also potentially provides one of the highest upside games, with a total set at 245 for the matchup between the Rockets and Pelicans. Here’s your cheat sheet by position:
Target worth paying up for: Russell Westbrook ($8,800) at NO (30th)
James Harden’s ($11,500) been carrying the load for Houston lately, but that leaves Westbrook with a plummeting salary in just about as good a spot as you could ask for. Russ went for 65 DKFP against the Pelicans last month, which contributed to New Orleans ranking dead last in DKFP allowed to PG. Lonzo Ball (hip) is sidelined, so Westbrook will be defended primarily by backups in a game with a massive total.
Best value: Frank Jackson ($3,300) vs. HOU (20th)
Ball’s absence leaves minutes to be had in the backcourt, and while Jackson strangely didn’t see them Saturday, he has played a major role in the rotation earlier in the season. Jackson has the potential to play 25 minutes in this game, but even 20 should be enough to exceed value with the fantasy environment we’re projected in this game.
Most of the targets at PG will come from the same game. Jrue Holiday ($7,400) could be the main beneficiary of Ball’s absence, but you’ll need to pay up for him. PG is deep on this slate, though, so you even can consider rostering a PG in UTIL. Donovan Mitchell ($7,300) and Ja Morant ($6,500) both stand out.
Target worth paying up for: James Harden ($11,500) at NO (8th)
Harden’s an impossible fade in cash games right now, and you can fade him at your own risk in tournaments. He’s dropped 70-plus DKFP in three straight games, proving he can put up elite games while sharing the floor with Westbrook. Harden only scored 40 DKFP in his first matchup against the Pelicans but shot terribly — 8-for-29 from the field and 2-of-18 from downtown. Look for him to keep rolling here.
Best value: Marcus Smart ($5,400) vs. DAL (11th)
Smart went for more than 30 DKFP in San Antonio on Saturday, playing just 25 minutes because of a brief exit from a knee to the groin. With Gordon Hayward (broken hand) out, Smart should jump back into the starting lineup for Boston, giving him some extra upside at home against the Mavs.
Guard is shaping up as a spend-up spot. Smart is probably the preferred mid-priced salary-saver, and there are plenty of spots to pay up in the HOU/NO game. Hopefully some news gives us a stronger value play at guard, but paying down at forward might be the way to go.
Target worth paying up for: Kawhi Leonard ($9,400) vs. TOR (30th)
Leonard’s on a strong stretch of five games with 50-plus DKFP and now gets to face his former team. The Raptors are banged up right now and bring us some of the top values on the slate, but it also puts the Clippers in a better spot. With Kawhi gone, Toronto ranks last in the NBA in DKFP allowed to SFs.
Best value: Terence Davis ($3,000) at LAC (19th)
Davis has snuck in for some minutes with the injuries on the Raptors, and we might need a minimum-priced play on this slate. He scored 24.75 DKFP in 17 minutes against the Lakers on Sunday, which would be a welcomed stat line on this slate.
There are some attractive alternate plays to Leonard if you don’t want to pay up as high. Brandon Ingram ($7,800) scored 63.25 DKFP in his matchup against Houston earlier in the season, and the matchup is just as strong this time around. Jayson Tatum ($7,500) also gets a boost with Gordon Hayward out, and has already been a consistent option with Hayward on the floor.
Target worth paying up for: Pascal Siakam ($8,700) at LAC (12th)
Siakam hit his stride a few games back against Sacramento, and now with Kyle Lowry (thumb) out and Serge Ibaka (ankle) almost certainly sidelined for an extended period, he’s the lone focal point of the offense. Siakam should be in for 40-plus minutes and 25 field goal attempts against the Clippers, and he’s pulled down 10 or more boards in three straight.
Best value: Chris Boucher ($3,400) at LAC ($3,400)
Boucher should be the most popular value play on the slate and benefits for the same reasons as Siakam. Toronto needs minutes filled both in the backcourt and frontcourt, and Boucher’s size and versatility make him a candidate for minutes. He played 24 minutes Sunday against the Lakers, nearly hitting 30 DKFP.
PF is probably the most flexible position on the slate. You can pay up for multiple plays listed in this article, and there are a decent amount of values here compared to other positions. Use that flexibility wisely given how tight salaries are at guard and center.
Target worth paying up for: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000) at DET (27th)
Per usual, center has plenty of options to pay up for. If you have the salary, I’ll side with KAT. Even with Andre Drummond ($9,800), the Pistons rank just 27th in DKFP allowed to centers, which is contrary to the perception of Drummond’s ability on defense. But Towns being an inside-out threat opens up his scoring ability, and he continues to maintain a floor of around 50 DKFP.
Best value: LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,300) vs. MEM (22nd)
Aldridge has been one of the most difficult players to gauge this season. He finally broke out for 57 DKFP on Thursday, then disappeared for 10 DKFP on Saturday. The bust does drop his salary down to the lowest I can remember it, and he has a favorable matchup against Memphis. It’s worth considering taking the savings, but keep in mind the floor with LMA has been unusually low this season.
KAT’s my top play to pay up for, but there’s a play in every price range at center. I would consider fading Drummond in this spot, though. The matchup against Towns could lead to foul trouble, and Drummond’s upside takes a hit in what we expect to be the season debut of Blake Griffin ($7,200).
Key news to monitor on DK Live:
Eric Paschall (hip)
Derrick Rose (hamstring)
Serge Ibaka (ankle)
Jeff Teague (illness)
Brandon Clarke (back)
Omari Spellman (ankle)
Emmanuel Mudiay (hamstring)
Bruce Brown (knee)
Blake Griffin (hamstring)
Draymond Green (finger)
Shabazz Napier (hamstring)
Paul George (shoulders — expected to make season debut later in week)
Kyle Lowry (thumb)
Gordon Hayward (hand)
Lonzo Ball (hip)
Jordan Bell (shoulder)
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.