Sure there’s some Monday Night Football in play as the NFL wraps Week 7, but there is also a tasty nine-game NBA slate on tap giving fantasy basketball players a great way to start the week. The Warriors are the only one of the 18 teams taking the floor who are finishing a back-to-back, as they come home to host the Suns after losing on Sunday in Denver. The two games on National TV are the Celtics hosting the Magic in one of three Eastern Conference matchups and LeBron’s Lakers going for their first win as they host the Spurs.
There are a lot of options to sort through as you build your Monday night roster, so start building your team by checking out these studs and values who are set up for success.
StudDamian Lillard, POR vs. WAS, $8,600 — Lillard has started the season strong with at least 45 DKFP in his first two games. He had 28 points against the Lakers and 29 against the Spurs, helping Portland score over 120 points in each game to start the season 2-0. He’s in a favorable matchup at home again tonight as the Blazers host the Wizards. He had 46 and 53 DKFP in two games against Washington last season and should be right around 45-50 DKFP once again, making him a solid play under $9K.
Other Options — Kemba Walker ($7,900), Luka Doncic ($6,800)
ValueLonzo Ball, LAL vs. SA, $5,500 — Without Rajon Rondo (suspension), Ball should get more minutes for the Lakers against the Spurs. He played 26 minutes Saturday against Houston and had 14 points, six boards, four assists and 29.5 DKFP. Ball knocked down 4-of-8 three-point attempts and showed the ability to still fill up the stat sheet in non-scoring categories as well. He should be a great mid-range investment in his expanded role.
Other Options — J.J. Barea ($4,900), Cory Joseph ($3,900)
StudKawhi Leonard, TOR vs. CHA, $8,800 — Kawhi got Saturday’s game off for rest, but is expected to return when the Raptors come home to host the Hornets. Leonard has looked sharp in two games with Toronto, producing 43.75 and 51 DKFP in wins over the Cavaliers and Celtics. Leonard has a double-double in each of those contests and has been productive despite just one steal and no blocks. Expect those defensive numbers to pick up as Loenard adjusts to his new team while he continues to be an elite play.
Other Options — Jimmy Butler ($8,000), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($7,100)
ValueBryn Forbes, SA at LAL, $4,600 — Forbes has filled in for the banged-up Spurs at PG and turned in two solid efforts. He opened the year with 11 points and 21.25 DKFP against the Timberwolves and was even better with 26.5 DKFP on 17 points Saturday in Portland. Forbes gets a good matchup against the Lakers backcourt, and he’s a low-risk play since he is taking so many shots and spending so much time with the ball in the Spurs’ rotation.
Other Options — Josh Hart ($5,100), Garrett Temple ($4,000)
StudGiannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. NY, $11,100 — The Bucks have started 2-0 behind two big games from Antetokounmpo, who has at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and 56 DKFP in each of his first two games of the season. He has struggled a little bit with turnovers and has gone 0-for-9 on three-pointers, but his big non-scoring numbers and work on the glass have kept him a fantasy star. If he starts hitting from long distance against the Knicks, he could have an even better game in what should be a high-scoring early game. If you’re spending for a five-figure star, The Alphabet would be my top pick.
Other Options — LeBron James ($10,500), DeMar DeRozan ($7,400)
ValueKyle Kuzma, LAL vs. SA, $5,500 — Kuzma should get some extra usage over the next few games in place of Brandon Ingram (suspension). He took double-digit shots in each of the Lakers’ first two games and produced 23.25 and 22.5 DKFP despite a below-average shooting percentage. He’s usually aggressive on the offensive end, so he has a high ceiling whether he starts or keeps coming off the bench. Kuzma showed last season he can dominate over short stretches, and the Lakers could definitely use a spark without Ingram and Rondo.
Other Options — Marcus Morris ($4,600), Danny Green ($4,300)
StudJayson Tatum, BOS vs. ORL, $7,500 — Tatum has started the season strong as he looks to build on 2017-18’s postseason breakout. He fell just short of a double-double in each of his first two games, finishing with nine rebounds. He had 14 boards in his most recent contest, though, adding 24 points on his way to a season-high 46 DKFP. That performance happened with Gordon Hayward ($5,800) resting, but Tatum has shown he is one of the Celtics’ top offensive options even when Hayward and Kyrie Irving ($7,000) are on the floor. He’s in a great matchup against Orlando, so look for him to continue to produce as Boston looks to improve to 3-1.
Other Options — Kevin Durant ($10,400), LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,800)
ValueJaren Jackson Jr., MEM at UTA, $5,200 — The Grizzlies crushed the Hawks 131-117 on Friday, but they lost JaMychal Green (broken jaw) for 4-6 weeks. Green’s absence will open the door for Jackson to enter the starting lineup and get plenty of run. The No. 4 overall pick from last year’s draft showed off his upside on Friday, scoring 24 points to go with seven rebounds, two blocks, two assists and 41.75 DKFP. He has a tough matchup against the Jazz, but I still think he’s a play loaded with upside at just over $5K.
Other Options — Jae Crowder ($4,700), Zach Collins ($3,700)
StudDeAndre Jordan, DAL vs. CHI, $8,100 — Jordan has posted a double-double in each of two games with the Mavericks, and got the best of Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,700) on Saturday in his most recent contest. Jordan finished with 22 points, 10 boards, five blocks and 51.0 DKFP vs. the T-Wolves. While he won’t always score enough to get a fifty-burger, his blocks and boards should always be there, making him a low-risk play at just over $8K. Jordan seems to be fitting in nicely with the Mavs’ young guards and should be set up for more success against an iffy Bulls’ defensive frontcourt.
Other Options — Nikola Vucevic ($7,700), Rudy Gobert ($7,500)
ValueNoah Vonleh, NY at MIL, $4,300 — Vonleh has grabbed double-digit rebounds and has produced over 27 DKFP in two of three games this season, appearing to be the primary backup to center Enes Kanter ($7,300) for the Knicks. With Kevin Knox (ankle) out, Vonleh could get some extra time at forward as well. He has nice value upside due to his non-scoring contributions off the bench for coach David Fizdale’s up-tempo offense.
Other Options — JaVale McGee ($4,900), Gorgui Dieng ($3,600)
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.