Monday’s fantasy basketball slate has nine NBA games. The Clippers are playing on the second night of a back-to-back, which means that Kawhi Leonard is a strong candidate to sit out for load management. Ja Morant (back) is listed as probable and is expected to return after missing the Grizzlies’ last four games. Other notable players with statuses to monitor include Malcolm Brogdon (hand), Gordon Hayward (hand), Derrick Favors (personal) and Aron Baynes (calf).
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up-to-the-minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.
Here are some plays that fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings:
StudD’Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies ($7,700)
The injury-depleted Warriors have relied heavily on Russell this season. Russell’s 31% usage rate ranks ninth-highest among all starters this season, and that number has sat at 34% since Stephen Curry (hand) went out of the lineup, which ranks fourth highest during that span. Russell is playing his third game back from an extended injury absence, but he built up to 29 minutes in his most recent game and is a candidate to play a more normal minute load on Monday.
Russell draws an appealing matchup against a Grizzlies team that has been poor defensively. The Grizzlies have allowed the fourth-most points to opponents, seventh-most assists to opponents and rank as a below-average rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. Memphis has also been poor at contesting the 3-point line, allowing the fifth most wide-open 3s per game based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. Russell is shooting an explosive 54% on wide-open 3s this season, much better than his 35% rate on all 3-pointers. The extra space Memphis allows from deep could help Russell get hot from downtown in the matchup.
ValueJa Morant, Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors ($6,900)
Prior to injuring his back, Morant led the Grizzlies in potential assists created per game (11) and usage rate (30%). Provided he is not overly limited in his return to the starting lineup, Morant will be in a good position to score and dish out assists against a Warriors team that has been poor defensively. Golden State has allowed the fifth-most assists per game and has the sixth-worst team defense by points allowed per possession. Morant’s nice salary is also down $500 from his last game. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on potential minutes restrictions for Morant.
StudDevin Booker, Phoenix Suns vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($8,500)
James Harden is the obvious stud at SG, but for fantasy owners looking for an alternative, Booker has a good matchup against a Timberwolves team that plays fast, which has contributed to Minnesota allowing a lot of points to opponents. Minnesota has played the fourth-fastest pace in the league and has allowed the fifth-most points to opponents. Phoenix also plays a quick pace, ranking ninth fastest, so this matchup could feature a lot of possessions to help increase chances for fantasy scoring. In Booker’s previous game vs. Minnesota, he scored an explosive 65 DKFP and missed a 35-point triple-double by one assist.
ValueBogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets ($4,800)
Injury issues combined with a string of subpar performances has tanked Bogdanovic’s price down to $4,800, a $2,400 difference from where it sat two weeks ago. Bogdanovic is still sporting plus usage since De’Aaron Fox (ankle) went out of the lineup, with his usage rate sitting at 26% in 11 games since Fox’s injury, a boost from 22% previously. Bogdanovic will be in a better position to bounce back with fantasy production against a Rockets team that has played a lightning-fast pace, ranking second in the league in possessions per game. Houston has allowed the eighth-most points to opponents and fourth most assists to opponents in part due to their fast pace.
StudPaul George, Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers ($7,800)
George has two compelling reasons to play him on Monday. The first is that Kawhi Leonard is a strong candidate to rest, which would put George in position for expanded volume. George’s usage rate sits at 32% in minutes with Leonard off the court this season, a boost from 27% with Leonard on the court. The second is that George has a narrative game at Indiana, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career before requesting a trade. Expanded volume in Leonard’s absence is probably the best reason to play George, but he also may have extra motivation in this matchup.
Editor’s Note: Leonard (knee) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Pacers.
ValueTerance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers ($3,000)
Mann started the last three times Kawhi Leonard was out of the lineup, averaging 26 minutes per start, a seismic boost from his anemic five minutes per game off the bench. If Mann is in the starting five again, he is a potential punt play at the minimum price due to the expanded minutes. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on the Clippers’ starting lineup.
StudDomantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Clippers ($7,800)
Sabonis’ volume has spiked due to a consistent starter’s role. Sabonis is averaging 34 minutes per game this season, a 10-minute boost from the 24 minutes per game he averaged last season. The result has been much more opportunities at rebounds and points. Sabonis is averaging about five more shots per game, four more points per game and four more rebounds per game from his 2018-19 numbers. Sabonis is averaging a strong 43 DKFP per game, which makes him a worthy consideration at his $7,800 price tag. Sabonis also has some degree of a narrative game, facing off against Paul George, who he was traded for prior to the 2017-18 season.
ValueBlake Griffin, Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans ($7,200)
Griffin’s efficiency stats are down after his start to the season was delayed due to injury, but he is still sporting heavy usage. Griffin’s 30% usage rate ranks 13th among all starters. Griffin takes his strong usage into an excellent matchup against the Pelicans, who have been atrocious defensively. The Pelicans have allowed the second-most points per possession, second-most points per game, fifth-most rebounds per game and eighth-most assists per game. Griffin is in an excellent spot for fantasy production against a team that ranks in the bottom third in team defense and team rebounding.
StudKarl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves at Phoenix Suns ($9,300)
By player efficiency rating (28.7), Towns is having the best season of his career, and the boost in efficiency can be in part attributed to expanded 3-point volume. Towns is taking a career-high nine 3-point attempts per game, roughly double the amount of 3s he took per game last season, and he is shooting an outrageously strong 43% from 3, which is even more impressive by the standards of the center position, which generally lacks long-distance shooters.
Towns has a good matchup against a Suns team that has been below average defensively and ranks in the bottom third in points allowed to opponents. Both the Timberwolves and Suns rank in the top 10 in pace, so this matchup could feature a strong amount of possessions for more opportunities at fantasy scoring.
ValueJaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors ($6,300)
All three of Jackson’s highest field-goal attempts in a single game this season have come in each of his last three games, all with Ja Morant (back) out of the lineup. Over those three games, Jackson is averaging 19 field goal attempts per game with a very heavy 34% usage rate, both boosts from his season averages of 13 field goal attempts per game with a 25% usage rate. Morant’s expected return on Monday may cut into some of that expanded usage, but Memphis has a strong matchup against the Warriors, who rank in the bottom third in both team defense and team rebounding, putting Jackson in a good position for fantasy production provided he can stay out of foul trouble.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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.
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