We have a nice set of seven games for NBA DFS action on Monday night. Only one has a total under 200 and we have two others with spreads of 10 or more. The one most people will be targeting is likely the game between New Orleans and Sacramento. We should see the highest ownership come out of that one. The matchups with the Bucks and Bulls and the Clippers and Mavericks should both be pretty good as well. They make for nice targets if you want to get away from the chalk. Below we discuss each game and which players are in good spots for fantasy production.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Line: Cavaliers -10
This is not one of the better spots to target on the day. The total is nothing special, the spread is high and climbing, and the Grizzlies are on the tail end of a road back-to-back. Memphis has won five of it’s last six games, but have not looked good doing so and have not really beaten any good teams on the way. The Utah win was nice, but the other four were against Sacramento, Denver, and the Lakers twice. Most of those games saw around 200 points scored with Memphis right around 100 and most of the opponents just beneath. They do play a slow paced game, so it’s a tick down for Cleveland. Conley and Zach Randolph have carried the team since the Green trade and Gasol injury. We have seen guys like Mario Chalmers, Matt Barnes, and even Lance Stephenson raise their game to be complimentary pieces. Some of them are still cheap and may be worth a flyer as a salary saver if needed.
As for the Cavaliers, they have won 9 of their last 12. The scoring is up and the defense is still very solid, so they may pace up the Grizzlies, but are not going to make it easy on them. Kyrie, LeBron, and Kevin Love do most of the damage for the Cavs on a nightly basis. Love and LeBron probably have the best matchups in this one. Mozgov, Tristan Thompson, and JR Smith are the main other guys on the floor. All have had a big game here and there, so they are worth a look as well. It’s not the best spot for fantasy value, but the Cavs are still expected to score 110+. As long as it does not get ugly, some Cleveland guys should have good games.
Editor’s Note (5:20 PM ET) – Mike Conley will not play tonight for Memphis. In 12 games without Conley this season, Mario Chalmers ($4,500) has averaged 25.7 DraftKings points per game. That’s nearly 4 points higher than his season average. If he scored 25 fantasy points tonight, at his current price tag, he would reach over 6X value and makes for an intriguing play at the PG position. Also worth noting, Chris Andersen will sit out for the Grizzlies and Tony Allen remains doubtful to play.
Editor’s Note (5:40 PM ET) – Zach Randolph and Matt Barnes will also miss tonight’s game against the Cavs. With these injuries the Grizzlies have VERY limited bodies available for this one. Targeting multiple Memphis players tonight is a great way to save some salary cap. Lance Stephenson ($4,000), PJ Hairston ($3700) and Chalmers are the best of the Grizz cheapies but even guys like Vince Carter and JaMychal Green should see big minutes.
Editor’s Note (6:00 PM ET) – Tony Allen offers some positive news for the Grizz tonight as he will take the court in Cleveland. This slightly hurts the value of Hairston and Stephenson but the Grizzlies are still extremely short on wing depth with Barnes out.
AVAILABLE TO PLAY:— Ross Wooden (@RossWooden) March 7, 2016
- Kevin Love ($6900)
- LeBron James ($9600)
- Lance Stephenson ($4000)
- Mike Conley ($6700)
San Antonio Spurs @ Indiana Pacers
Line: Spurs -7
This is the lowest total on the day and one of the bigger spreads, which is not what we like to see for fantasy purposes. This is not going to be one of the better games to target. The whole Pacers team is reasonably priced. Hill, Turner, Ellis, and Mahinimi have all been playing solid basketball and reaching right around their 5X-6X value numbers lately. Paul George is the guy who has been giving you upside and he has thrown some big 50 and 60 fantasy point performances in over the last week. He draws Kawhi eonard defense here though, so it’s not the best spot to pay up for him. In fact it’s not a great spot to pay up for any Pacers as the spurs D is legit and Indiana has one of the lowest expected team totals on the day.
As for the Spurs, they just keep winning. We have reached the point in the season where they are heavily resting key players, and we already see Duncan, Aldridge, and Danny Green’s names on the injury report. Kawhi has been a stud and would be the way I leaned at the same price point in his matchup with Paul George. Manu is back, but that only adds to the log jam of players they have available. Other than Kawhi, it’s tough to nail down a great #2 option. Aldridge has been the guy taking more of an offensive load, so if he plays I would look his way.
- Kawhi Leonard ($8200)
- LaMArcus Aldridge ($6800)
- Monta Ellis ($5800)
- Ian Mahinmi ($4500)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Charlotte Hornets
Line: Hornets -9
This is an interesting game to look towards for fantasy points. Charlotte has played up in pace this year, but not as much so lately. They have hung up a few really big numbers, but those came against teams like Philly and Phoenix, so nothing to get too excited about. They have been solid defensively though, which kind of ticks down the high pace Timberwolves for me a bit. The Wolves have been playing games well into the 200s recently with many reaching totals of 215 and above. That is why I do think we need to look at some of the Hornets here. Kemba’s been playing unreal over the last few games and it looks like Batum is ready to join him after his last outing. Minnesota wing defense can be scored on, so I would look for Batum to continue his good play. Marvin Williams has been solid, but is getting pricey. Big Al Jefferson is seeing a ton of usage when in the game, but has still not reached back up to his normal level of minutes pre-injury.
For Minnesota, I think Karl-Anthony Towns is always in play. The rookie has huge upside and has produced this year. He has seen his price get jacked up, but he has paid it off with some 45-55 point games since it has. Zach LaVine is also an interesting option. With Martin out of town, he has seen consistent minutes and done something with them. Gorgui Dieng, Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, and Shabazz Muhammad are the other guys worth a look. All have been a little less reliable, so they are fringe options at best in a tough matchup.
- Kemba Walker ($8000)
- Nicolas Batum ($6800)
- Zach LaVine ($6000)
- Karl-Anthony Towns ($8300)
Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans
Line: Pelicans -1
This is one of the best games to target for fantasy value. A huge 220 total between two fast paced teams with a spread of only 1. The Pelicans are the side where I am really eyeing a few guys. Norris Cole is questionable and Eric Gordon and Bryce Dejean Jones are already out. That opens up a ton of minutes for Jrue Holiday who may even get an elusive start. It also means a big bump in minutes for a cheap Toney Douglas whether or not Cole sits. I would not use him if Cole plays, but he becomes a must start for the price if Cole is out. Anthony Davis will be a name you hear a lot, but I still do not trust him. He has only gone 5X value in 9 of his last 27 and only twice has he been over 6X since Christmas day. I know how great a matchup this is, but he is strictly GPP only for me and definitely not a guy I want heavy exposure to.
For Sacramento, Boogie Cousins is always the first guy to look at. He is averaging over 55 fantasy points in his last 13 games and only twice failed to reach at least 47.5. His price is high, but a cosistent 50 point night has become standard for Cousins with upside potential. Rudy Gay has been ruled in for this game and is dirt cheap at $5900. He has not produced like he normally does lately, but that price feels way too cheap. Rondo has also not been great, but with all the uncertainty in the backcourt that was already weak vs. PGs, I can not forget to include him too. I would shy away from the Acy, McLemore, Cauley Stein group, but all are cheap and the game sets up for everyone to do well. They make interesting salary saving options if you are trying to stack up this game and the high priced studs in it.
- Rudy Gay ($5900)
- DeMarcus Cousins ($10200)
- Toney Douglas ($3200)
- Jrue Holiday ($7700)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls
Line: Bulls -6
Milwaukee is on the tail end of a back-to-back, but it’s not a lot of traveling and they had an afternoon game on Sunday. The way both teams have played recently, I expect this to be a nice game that could even reach to the over here. Milwaukee is without MCW, but that has really not mattered to them. Giannis Antetokounmpo has seen the most upside here. He is up close to 40 minutes a game recently and has put up 65 or more fantasy points in 4 of his last 7 games. He has three triple doubles and two more double doubles during this stretch and is playing the best basketball of his young career. His teammates like Jabari Parker and Kris Middleton are also seeing big minutes lately. Both guys have been very good and producing even with the rising prices. Guys like Monroe, Bayless, and Mayo have also been in play, but I would shy away from the fringe guys here in what is a tougher matchup without a huge projected team total. Monroe is the possible exception due to bad interior defense from the Bulls. The fact he has averaged under 30 minutes lately is my main pause as it saps his upside.
For Chicago, they are starting to get healthy which messes up the rotations and the fantasy points we have seen. Rose, Butler, and Gibson are all expected to be active here. Throw in big minutes for Pau Gasol too, and you are left with 1 starter’s spot and then some bench time for the crew of Nikola Mirotic, Bobby Portis, E’Twaun Moore, Dunleavy, Brooks, and McDermott to fight for. That is quite a few mouths to feed and a lot of guys who are going to see their minutes slashed. I do like the four mentioned and Mirotic the most as I think all the weapons being back kills the value we had been getting on Portis, Moore, and the Small forward options.
Editor’s Note (6:25 PM ET) – Jimmy Butler is out tonight. It’s a set back for the Bulls All-Star shooting guard but for DFS it’s par for the course. Derrick Rose ($6,600) should see the biggest bump in production as his usage rate jumps from 25 with Butler on the court to 31.8% with Butler off of it. E’Twaun Moore ($4,600) will draw the start for Butler and his price has dipped back down a bit after being inflated for starters minutes in recent weeks.%
- Jimmy Butler ($8400)
- Pau Gasol ($8300)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo ($8200)
- Jabari Parker ($6500)
Los Angeles Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks
Line: Clippers -4
This is another nice game to target for fantasy. It should be fast paced and remain close throughout, so we should see maximum minutes from the key players. The Clippers have been very good lately too. They have won 12 of the last 17 and Chris Paul has been a major reason. The star PG has consistently put up 44-55 fantasy points in each of the last 10 with two breakouts to the upside for 70. The Mavs are decent against point guards, but most of those point guards are not Chris Paul. The other upside play is DeAndre Jordan. His scoring and rebounding numbers have both been up and he is still blocking a decent number of shots. While it’s not pretty to watch him go 50% at the line, we do not mind the Hack-A-DeAndre with no penalty for missed free throws. It stops the clock and lengthens the game while also giving him free chances to score. Guys like We Johnson and Jeff Green have seen good minutes and been ok lately too. With Austin Rivers back, it hurts JJ Reddick and Jamal Crawford a tad as they lose a few minutes from the stellar performances they had in weeks past.
The Mavericks are a lot tougher to nail down for fantasy purposes. I think the safest play is actually a cheap David Lee who has been a scoring and rebounding machine in his limited minutes. As long as he stays cheap, he can return nice value. Dirk is the guy with the best upside of the remaining players. He does not always see big minutes, but the guy can still score when he does. Chandler Parsons has less upside, but he has been the more consistent of the two. He’s a decent forward option as well against a team that struggles against all forwards. Guys like Raymond Felton, Deron Williams, Wes Matthews, and JJ Barea all steal minutes from each other. All of them have had a few solid games lately too, which makes it tough to figure out. I would prefer guys like Matthews if only because the matchup with Reddick/Rivers/Austin is softer than facing Chris Paul.
- Chris Paul ($9700)
- DeAndre Jordan ($7600)
- David Lee ($4800)
- Dirk Nowitzki ($6100)
Orlando Magic @ Golden State Warriors
Line: Warriors -14
We should see a ton of points in this game, with most of them coming from the Warriors. Orlando has actually played pretty well lately, but it has only translated into them being a .500 team. The Warriors had been dominant before inexplicably losing Sunday to the Lakers. I can not imagine that loss sits well with them, so I expect them to bounce back big here at home. Steph Curry shot horrendously in that Laker game and he is too good to do that again. Orlando PG defense is not great, so I expect to see him go off and get back on track. Draymond Green also should be in a good place here. Aaron Gordon is solid, but Draymond has been a triple double threat all year. With Iguodala likely out, I like Harrison Barnes if you want some cheap exposure to this game. No Iggy could mean Barnes plays with the starters and still gets a rotation even if the game is well in hand.
For the Magic, I guess you have to continue to ride the hot hands. Elf Payton and Nikola Vucevic have been the big two and probably have the softest matchups. Fournier and Oladipo are both active here, so it hurt both of them a little and Mario Hezonja a lot. We are not sure how Orlando wants to handle that situation since it’s late in the season and they may want to see what they have. It just feels like a tough matchup for a team that suddenly has a lot of guys healthy for a few spots. Many have been using a lot of Magic players when either Fournier or Oladipo were out, but I think I want to see how the rotations play out and avid using them against a team with a good defensive efficiency despite a high number of points allowed. Orlando is paced up here, so I will not rule them all out completely.
Editor’s Note (5:30 PM ET) – Draymond Green is questionable to play tonight for the Warriors. Green has played in 60 of Golden State’s 61 games this season so there isn’t a ton of information on who benefits most if he were to be sidelined but Andrew Bogut did have 33.8 DK points in that one game. Green’s absence would also mean a slight crowding out effect where Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala see some additional opportunities. Iguodala and Bogut are both on the questionable list for Golden State tonight as well though, so be sure to follow the news on the trio of Warriors leading up to a late tip off on Monday night.
- Stephen Curry ($10600)
- Draymond Green ($8500)
- Nikola Vucevic ($7500)
- Elfrid Payton ($5700)