WATCH: Levitan’s NBA Leverage for Monday’s six-game slate
Monday’s NBA slate features six games, with the Pistons, Knicks and Jazz playing on the second night of back-to-backs. Notable player statuses to monitor include
Draymond Green (doubtful; finger), Devin Booker (questionable; hip), Ricky Rubio (questionable; hip), Dejounte Murray (questionable; ankle), Tony Parker (questionable; back) and Tyler Ulis (questionable; back) and Tyson Chandler (probable; neck). LaMarcus Aldridge (right knee soreness) and Aaron Gordon (hip) have been ruled out.
Editor’s note: Draymond Green (finger) has been ruled out by the Warriors, and Ricky Rubio (hip) has been ruled out by the Jazz. Devin Booker (hip) has been ruled out, and Tyson Chandler (neck) will start for the Suns.
Editor’s note: Dejounte Murray (ankle) will start for the Spurs while Tony Parker (back) will be available off the bench.
Editor’s note: Tyler Ulis (back) has been ruled out by Suns.
After playing in a back-to-back Friday and Saturday, it will be the third game in four nights for 76ers center Joel Embiid, so his status also will need to be monitored. For up-to-the-minute news on injuries, along with starting lineups and analysis, download the DK Live app.
Let’s look at some players whom fantasy basketball owners can consider using Monday on DraftKings.
StudBen Simmons ($8,500) — The Knicks, who started Enes Kanter and Michael Beasley in their frontcourt Sunday, grade poorly defensively with those two on the court together. In fact, the Knicks have allowed 118 points per 100 possessions with a Kanter/Beasley frontcourt. Simmons takes most of his shots near the basket, with 7.5 per game within 5 feet — ninth highest in the league — so if the Knicks stick with that starting frontcourt, he should have better clearance to the hoop.
Other Options — Stephen Curry ($9,900), Lou Williams ($7,600)
ValueD.J. Augustin ($5,300) — In two starts since the Magic traded Elfrid Payton, Augustin has averaged 31.5 DKFP as their starting point guard. He faces a Bulls team that is poor defensively, ranking 28th in team defense since Jan. 1. Bulls point guard Jerian Grant also grades poorly defensively, ranking 73rd of 97 point guards in defensive real plus-minus.
Other Options — Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,400), Jerian Grant ($5,200)
Zach LaVine ($6,900) — LaVine has played 30-plus minutes in three consecutive games as he builds up his stamina in his return from ACL surgery, averaging a strong 42 DKFP in those contests. He rested Saturday, giving him two full days off for this matchup with the Magic, who rank fourth worst defensively, and their elevated pace should give LaVine extra possessions. LaVine also has a strong 32 percent usage rate with the Bulls this season.
StudZach LaVine ($6,900) — LaVine has played 30-plus minutes in three consecutive games as he builds up his stamina in his return from ACL surgery, averaging a strong 42 DKFP in those contests. He rested Saturday, giving him two full days off for this matchup with the Magic, who rank fourth worst defensively, and their elevated pace should give LaVine extra possessions. LaVine also has a strong 32 percent usage rate with the Bulls this season.
Other Option — Donovan Mitchell ($7,000)
ValueD’Angelo Russell ($5,600) — Russell played his highest minute total since returning from injury, going 32 minutes Saturday and scoring 42 DKFP in an overtime loss to the Pelicans. Prior to that, his previous high in minutes played since his return was 23.5 minutes. Russell has a heavy 33 percent usage rate since returning and is a candidate to provide value if the Nets extend his playing time again.
Other Options — Klay Thompson ($6,300), Evan Fournier ($6,100)
StudKevin Durant ($9,800) — Durant sees more usage by the Warriors with Green off the court, with his rate rising to 32 percent from 27 percent. Durant will face a Suns team that’s poor defensively and plays at a fast pace, which should give him clearance for an explosive fantasy performance while he’s on the court. The risk is that a blowout could cap Durant’s minutes late in the game.
Other Option — Michael Beasley ($6,800)
ValueJosh Jackson ($6,200) — Since being moved into the Suns’ starting lineup Jan. 31, Jackson is averaging 34.5 DKFP and seven rebounds per game and shooting 48.5 percent shooting from the field. He has averaged a heavy 36 minutes per game over his last three, and he might be forced into a bigger role again if Booker is out. The Suns will face the Warriors, who surprisingly rank in the bottom third of team defenses since Jan. 1 as the regular season grows stale for them.
Other Options — Danilo Gallinari ($6,300), Mario Hezonja ($5,600)
StudBlake Griffin ($9,500) — Nikola Mirotic, who is a poor defender, has started at power forward for the Pelicans with Anthony Davis moving to center, giving Griffin a soft defender to face. Mirotic also played 49 minutes in Saturday’s double-overtime win over the Nets, so his legs might be a little fatigued. Griffin has a 30 percent usage rate in six starts with the Pistons, and he has scored at least 40 DKFP in five of those contests.
Other Options — Anthony Davis ($11,400), Nikola Mirotic ($7,000)
ValueOmri Casspi ($3,300) — Green’s injury might open a starting slot for Casspi against the Suns. He has made six other starts this season, averaging 26.5 minutes per — a big bump from his 13 minutes per off the bench. The Suns have one of the league’s worst team defenses, and their quick pace should maximize possessions.
Other Options — Lauri Markkanen ($6,500), David West ($3,700)
StudEnes Kanter ($7,300) — Kanter had his best fantasy performance of the season in his previous matchup with the Sixers, scoring 60.5 DKFP on 12-of-21 shooting with an explosive 22 rebounds. If Embiid sits to rest, Kanter would have better clearance to get to the basket. He might not reach the 60-DKFP threshold again, but this spot sets up nicely for the Knicks’ big man.
Other Options — Joel Embiid ($10,200; if he plays), Andre Drummond ($10,100), DeAndre Jordan ($7,200)
ValuePau Gasol ($4,800) — A matchup against the Jazz generally isn’t ideal, but the Spurs will be without Aldridge and possibly both Murray and Parker, giving them limited offensive options. Gasol’s $4,800 price tag is the lowest it has been this season, and he has crossed the 31.75-DKFP mark in six of his last 10 games, with a sparkling 46.75-DKFP effort against the Grizzlies just a few weeks back.
Other Options — Rudy Gobert ($6,700), Jarrett Allen ($5,000)
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.