We have some early starts on games here for our Monday Martin Luther King day slate. It’s a nice all day grouping of 10 games for NBA DFS. The spreads are all over the place, but 8 of the 10 games do have totals over 200, so we should see some really high scores come out of this slate. The early game between the Knicks and Philly is not available on the slates I looked at on DraftKings, so we will skip that one and discuss the other nine. Let’s take a look at each game to see some of the top options as well as some of the best spots to target for fantasy purposes.

Utah Jazz @ Charlotte Hornets

Over/Under: 190
Line: Hornets -4

This is one of the worst games on the day to target for fantasy purposes. Utah plays a slow pace and is very good on the defensive end, especially now that Gobert is back. Charlotte has lost 9 of it’s last 10 games, so they are not playing good ball either. Despite the losing streak, they are favored in this one. This is also the game with the lowest total on the day, so it’s ugly all around. Nic Batum and Kemba Walker have done most of the scoring and everything else for this Charlotte team. On the flip side, Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood have basically done the same for the Jazz. The cheap value guys like a Cody Zeller have underperformed, and as much as I like Trey Lyles, he will struggle for minutes and upside now that Trevor Booker is active here as well. Overall this is just a bad game to target. I would use the stars if I used anybody, but on a nine game slate, why would you want a ton of exposure here?

Targets

  • Kemba Walker ($7900)
  • Nicolas Batum ($7200)
  • Gordon Hayward ($7400)
  • Rodney Hood ($5900)


Portland Trailblazers @ Washington Wizards

Over/Under: 214
Line: Wizards -5

This is a great game to target for fantasy goodness. Neither team plays much defense and both of them play a high pace. The point guard matchup is an ideal one to look at as Lillard has been going big since returning from injury and Wall has been awesome for the last month or so. Portland pretty much relies on CJ McCollum and Lillard to do all the scoring. They are the two guys I would be looking to target on the Blazers in any matchup. Wall will get some help down low from Marcin Gortat, especially with all the injuries to the bigs on the Wizards. Gortat has a good matchup against the weak interior defense of Portland, so he could be in line for a monster game. This game should be high paced and high scoring, so I would not fault anyone who threw in 3-5 guys fro here, which could include some cheaper options like Oubre (If Porter out), Temple, Aminu, Leonard, or Plumlee. The problem I have with the Portland bigs is do you use Ed Davis, Leonard, or Plumlee? All three see some minutes and have some upside, but none are consistent enough to make them safe for a cash game play. This is a good game to have GPP exposure to, but I would stick to the Wizards side for any cash game plays. I do like Wall over Lillard at basically the same price. It will be a popular decision many will have to make, so I wanted to throw my two cents in on it for the reasons I mentioned above.

Targets

  • John Wall ($9500)
  • Marcin Gortat ($7000)
  • Damian Lillard ($9600)
  • CJ McCollum ($7300)


New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies

Over/Under:
Line: Grizzlies -2

This game is likely to come in with a total around 200 whether or not Mike Conley plays. If Conley is out, it does make the decisions somewhat easier to make on who to play. Mario Chalmers has thrown up some big numbers with Conley out, so despite his rising price, he is someone to look at here. Marc Gasol is also in play with a great DvP matchup. New Orleans has really struggled to stop centers and Gasol is coming off a huge 37 point and 8 rebound performance against the Knicks. Randolph, Green, Allen, Lee, and Barnes are all splitting minutes and alternating good and bad games, so none of them are easy to use and I would avoid them all if the whole group is healthy like they are expected to be here. On the New Orleans side, Tyreke is back and Anthony Davis is in, but neither guy has been great lately. Both should be the top fantasy scorers for the Pelicans, but I’m not sure either returns good value. Jrue holiday has been the guy who has been the best on a points per dollar scale, but he does less when everyone is healthy too, so it’s not a great spot to target Pelicans on a large slate against a pretty solid defensive team. I would lean more towards the Memphis side for my plays here, but this is not a game you want huge exposure to with so many better spots on this slate.

Targets

  • Marc Gasol ($7600)
  • Mario Chalmers ($6900)
  • Jrue Holiday ($6100)
  • Anthony Davis ($10100)


Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons

Over/Under: 203.5
Line: Pistons -3.5

The Bulls have lost four of their last five and are giving up a ton of points lately. The Pistons are fresh off a win over the Warriors and have won 4 of their last 6, so they are playing better ball right now. Andre Drummond is the main guy I want to target here. He has played Chicago twice already and put up 74 and 54 fantasy points in those two games. With no Noah, He will see a lot of Pau with some Taj Gibson defense mixed in. That is a very favorable matchup for him. The other guy I want exposure to here is Reggie Jackson. I know he has not been playing great, but Brandon Jennings is likely out, which means he will see a few more minutes. Throw in the horrible Chicago point guard defense and this looks like a nice spot for him. With Noah out for the bulls, we should see more minutes for guys like Pau, Taj, Mirotic, and Portis. I think Taj and Pau would be the main beneficiaries, so I would look to them here. I’m not a fan of Derrick Rose lately, but Jimmy Butler is playing pretty well. He would be the only other Bull I may have some exposure to in a decent matchup for him here. The price is rising and I am still trying to figure whether it makes more sense to pay up for him or Pau. I think Butler is where I am leaning now, but would not argue with anyone who choose to use Pau instead. Pau should see more minutes and is a tad cheaper, so it’s definitely a question that is worth debating.

Targets

  • Jimmy Butler ($8500)
  • Taj Gibson ($5800)
  • Andre Drummond ($8900)
  • Reggie Jackson ($7000)


Orlando Magic @ Atlanta Hawks

Over/Under: 200
Line: Atlanta -8

The HAwks are definitely not the same team they were last year, but they get a soft opponent in this one, so it may not matter. Atlanta is not scoring as much this season and is giving up more points, especially recently. Before holding a horrid Brooklyn team to 86 last time out, they had allowed 98 or more in 7 straight games and that has a been a big reason for their recent struggles. Offensively, Paul Millsap is the main dog and he has played well. If you back out the games they were blowing out or getting blown out, he has played over 32 minutes and put up 45-55 fantasy points on a regular basis recently. My second favorite play for them may actually be Kyle Korver who is still dirt cheap and is starting to score a little more. For the Magic, Victor Oladipo is out. that means elf Payton should get a lot more run at the point and now that he is back from his four game absence. Evan Fournier has the softest matchup against Korver and will also see a bump in minutes with no Dipo. Tobias Harris is also going to get a few more minutes as he will not be losing some to Fornier, but he has a tougher DvP set up against Bazemore. Nikola Vucevic has been dominate lately and is the big strong type of offensive player that can give Al Horford a hard time. I would be looking more towards the Hawks in this one, especially Millsap who should eat Aaron Gordon for lunch here. It’s not the best spot overall, but I would want some exposure to this game, just do not go too heavy.

Targets

  • Nikola Vucevic ($7200)
  • Evan Fournier ($5300)
  • Kyle Korver ($4200)
  • Paul Millsap ($8200)


Brooklyn Nets @ Toronto Raptors

Over/Under: 200
Line: Raptors -12

The Nets are arguably the worst team in the NBA right now. They averaged only 86 points during a five game skid before putting up 110 in a win over the Knicks, 104 in a game vs. Portland, and then back to 86 again in their most recent loss to the Hawks. Against a good team like the Raptors who are streaking, I would expect more of the downside to appear again. I am very nervous about using anyone in this game to be honest. I fully expect it to turn out the way the Hawks game did with the Nets down big going into the fourth quarter and the starters all seeing less run. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan handle much of the scoring load for the Raptors and would be the targets is you though it might stay close. I do not think that it will, so I would not use anyone from this game and feel really confident about that fade.

Targets

  • Kyle Lowry ($8700)
  • Demar Derozan ($8100)
  • Donald Sloan ($4500)
  • Brook Lopez ($7500)


Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Over/Under: 208
Line: Cleveland -2

This is another great game to target fr fantasy purposes. You know it should stay close and you know the starters should get full run. We also have some pretty nice DvP matchups throughout the lineup here. Steph has a nice one with Kyrie Irving who is not a great defender. Lebron will likely see a combo of Barnes and Iguodala defense. While neither is a bad defender, I still think Lebron has a big advantage in that matchup. He will also be motivated to play well against the defending champs, so I can see a big game coming from him. Kevin Love has a tough matchup with Draymond on paper, but Dray still is not 100%. I think he is still hurt and his lack of production was a big reason they are coming off a loss to the Pistons. The only other guy I think capable of a big game here is Klay Thompson. Klay could put up a good game for the Warriors and may need to in order to keep them in this one. Steph can not do it alone, and I do not see anyone else capable of scoring some serious points. I do think this is a big win for the Cavs, but more importantly I like the high priced studs to really play well on both sides of this one. It should be an interesting game and one I look forward to watching as a basketball fan, but maybe not as much as a fantasy basketball player.

Targets

  • LeBron James ($9800)
  • Kevin Love ($7100)
  • Steph Curry ($10500)
  • Klay Thompson ($7800)


Boston Celtics @ Dallas Mavericks

Over/Under: 204
Line: Bos -1.5

This is a very interesting game for fantasy purposes and a tough one to figure out. For the Celtics, they are healthy all over for the first time in awhile. That makes them a better team, but tough to decipher for fantasy purposes. IT2 has been the top scorer, but he is expensive now. He is also the guy who has the biggest drop in minutes in order to get some for Marcus smart. Lately he has played the whole first quarter and sat almost all of the second so Smart can get some court time. Evan Turner is also a victim of a healthy team as his minutes have dropped too. Smart and Bradley are the cheaper guards, with Bradley having the more solid profile of minutes. He is probably my favorite play for the Celtics here. As for the big men, Amir Johnson was on a tear but is now playing less minutes too in order to give some time to Sullinger and Olynyk. I do not really have a good feeling about any of those guys and will avoid them all. Jae Crowder is the one guy who has seen consistent minutes. He is a solid play and has returned 6X value in back-to-back games. His upside is not huge, but he is contributing across the board. For the Mavs, Zaza and Dirk have been a consistent 30-35 fantasy points at around $6K. Both guys are cash game safe and my top plays on the Mavericks. Other than that, I do not see much here I really love. The spread means it should be a close game and the total is solid, so I think having some exposure here is a good idea.

Targets

  • Avery Bradley ($5500)
  • Jae Crowder ($6600)
  • Dirk Nowitzki ($6400)
  • Zaza Pachulia ($6200)


Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Clippers

Over/Under:
Line:

We have some injury situations to contend with here which makes this game tough to figure out at the moment. Dwight Howard iss out on Sunday, but may be resting to play on Monday. DeAndre Jordan missed the last game and is jeopardy of missing this one too. Without knowing for sure, it’s tough to nail this down. Patrick Beverley is out for the Rockets and has been for a few games. That means Chris Paul, who is playing very well, is likely to have a big game. The only other guy I really like here is Cole Aldrich is Jordan does sit, which looks likely to happen. Fr the Rockets, I think Harden is in play for cash. He has not flashed the upside we want out of him, but this could be a very high scoring game and the Clippers do not play good defense on wing players. If Howard is in, he could have a good game. If not, I like Clint Capela as a cheap fill in option. That would probably be where I looked for my secondary play off of Harden who we mentioned is in line for 40ish fantasy points, but may lack the 6X upside we have not seen out of him in over a month.

Targets

  • Chris Paul ($9700)
  • Cole Aldrich ($4200)
  • James Harden ($9900)
  • Clint Capela ($5600) or Dwight Howard ($7700)