Now that the NFL season is completed, the sports world will focus completely on NBA action for a while & what a way to get into fire into this all basketball attention than with 10 competitive matchups on Monday night. Let’s get started.
Russell Westbrook ($11,300) – Westbrook & his OKC Thunder teammates are on a road trip right now that featured an emotionally exhausting loss at the hands of the super team, the Golden State Warriors, on Saturday night. That was a blip in the radar – Westbrook is still the best option outside of Steph Curry any night in the NBA. The Suns look completely lifeless & are very much checked out for this season & look to get a high draft pick in June. Take Westbrook to have a big night, but watch for him to possibly rest in the 4th quarter.
Damian Lillard ($9,000) – Lillard & his Portland Blazers will be looking to keep up a solid pace against a Memphis Grizzlies team that prides itself on being more of a grind it out team. Even though the total could be down a bit, Lillard & C.J. McCollum are the top options for the Blazers in terms of shooting options & due to the sheer offensive opportunities for not only points but assists, steals & other stats that can bring in a ton of DK points. Lillard is a great option if you are not a fan of paying big for Westy.
Other Options – Chris Paul ($9,500), Rajon Rondo ($8,000), Kyle Lowry ($8,700)
Shane Larkin ($3,900) – Larkin has been the starting point guard for a while now after the injury to Jarrett Jack earlier this season. While the Nets & Nuggets isn’t a sexy matchup on paper, Larkin should have a good matchup going against the Nuggets rookie Emmanuel Mudiay, who is still learning the NBA game each day more & more. For a player to use up some cap space or give some cap relief for another part of your roster, Larkin is a good sleeper for a tournament game.
George Hill ($5,700) – Hill has been very underrated this season, averaging 13 PPG but more importantly being a leader on the court. Hill will have an experience & size advantage on the Los Angeles Lakers D’Angelo Russell on Monday night & with the Lakers pretty much running everything through all things Kobe, Hill’s defense on Russell could bring in solid points & Russell does not have any real defensive skills as of yet to be competitive with Hill. Hill could be a solid matchup in tournament play.
Other Options – T.J. McConnell ($4,100), Reggie Jackson ($6,600), Zach LaVine ($5,200)
C.J. McCollum ($7,100) – McCollum is the clear #2 scoring option to Damian Lillard in Portland yet remains incredibly productive. McCollum has had 10 straight games where his DK ceiling is 51 & floor has been 20. He has been turning the ball over quite a bit for fantasy owners’ liking over the last 4 games (18 turnovers) but with his scoring doing well & knowing he is going to continue gaining chances to be a strong focal point in the offense, McCollum is still a solid pick to go with.
DeMar Derozan ($8,000) – Derozan, along with his teammate Kyle Lowry, are having a massive season for the Raptors, leading the team in scoring. With Jimmy Butler out, Derozan takes over as the best shooting guard option for Monday night. The Pistons do have a tendency to play tough defense at times, but as usual, the sheer opportunities for Derozan to be creative on the offensive end in points & other offensive areas makes Derozan a solid cash game pick on Monday. Having a DK ceiling of 50 & floor of 27 should also make owners feel relaxed about his consistency.
Other Options – Victor Oladipo ($6,900), Monta Ellis ($6,500), Andrew Wiggins ($6,500)
Kobe Bryant ($6,100) – Well, the Mamba is striking again! Bryant has been playing like his old MVP level self over the last 4 games for the Lakers, having a DK ceiling of 58 & floor of 35. While he may or may not play this game just because he is trying to preserve himself, with the team out of contention & Bryant getting to the point where he doesn’t have many NBA cities left to visit in his career, ride out this hot streak he is on as long as you possibly can in tournaments.
Jamal Crawford ($4,900) – With Blake Griffin out of the Clippers lineup, Crawford gets more opportunities to just launch up shots, which, for DK players, is a great piece of confidence to have. Over the last 4 games he has been a great factor in the offense, averaging 25-30 DK points each night & giving the Clippers a scoring boost. He won’t give you much else other than the scoring & 3-point shots, but at under 5k, he can be a big difference in winning & losing each night in DFS. Ride him out in a tournament format only, especially if Paul is on and is getting him open shots consistently.
Other Options – Marco Belinelli ($4,600), J.J. Redick ($4,900), Dion Waiters ($4,500)
Kevin Durant ($10,700) – After that slow start to the NBA season when injuries where making people question if Durant was slowing down at all, the former MVP is back with a vengeance, playing as the best small forward in the entire NBA. He draws a Suns team that is woeful on offense & will have the opportunity to have a 65-70 DK point night. Feel comfortable playing Durant in tournaments and cash games.
Other Options – Paul George ($8,500), Danilo Gallinari ($7,000), Nicolas Batum ($6,700)
Stanley Johnson ($5,900) – Johnson has stepped up to become an integral member of the Pistons rotation this season, having double digit points in 7 straight games. Johnson has been improving regularly on defense & his scoring has become much more consistent as the season has progressed. Close to $6,000 may be a bit high, but with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope remaining out his minutes and his usage should remain pretty high and he can hit value tonight.
Omri Casspi ($5,300) – Casspi is in play if Rudy Gay is forced to miss Monday night’s game after sitting out on Sunday. His production has dipped a bit of late but if Gay sits, his usage should be relatively high and he has the ability to stretch the Cavs defense from deep and rack up a few supplementary stats in the rebounds and assists category.
Other Options – Kent Bazemore ($5,200), Al-Farouq Aminu ($5,200)
DeMarcus Cousins ($11,200) – Cousins is the highest priced player on Monday night, but for great reason. He is unquestionably the best power forward in the NBA this season & even though the Kings are going through turmoil with this coaching situation, Cousins is still playing like an MVP, averaging 50 DK points per game. He doesn’t look to be slowing down at all & the Cavs may play shorthanded without Kevin Love, who isn’t a big defensive stopper anyway. Look for Cousins to continue to play well to entice teams to possibly try & make a deal for him, possibly even Cleveland trying to make a blockbuster move before the trade deadline. I see a monster game in a game that could be a “tryout” for a new organization.
Anthony Davis ($10,000) – Davis’s random injuries have overshadowed a relatively strong fantasy season, averaging 46 DK points per game & doing it on the offensive & defensive end with his rebounding & shot blocking. He will be matched up most likely against Gorgui Dieng who is a solid shot blocker but doesn’t have the skill set to keep up with the far more talented Davis. Either way, Davis at this price is probably the top play of the night.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($7,900), Thaddeus Young ($6,700), Nerlens Noel ($6,500)
Serge Ibaka ($5,600) – Ibaka has struggled for most of this year but the matchup tonight should be high tempo and at this price there’s a lot of upside in Ibaka’s block and rebounding potential. Markieff Morris and Tyson Chandler aren’t a defensively dominant duo and Ibaka should be able to produce against the Suns porous defense. He still is more of a tournament play because of his volatility this year but is looking at a floor around 20 DK points and a ceiling around 40 DK FP.
Other Options – Marvin Williams ($5,500), Tristan Thompson ($5,200)
Andre Drummond ($8,200) – I don’t need to say much about Andre Drummond except the following stats. 43 double-doubles this year. 8 double-doubles in his last 10 games. Going up against Jonas Valanciunas. Play in all formats Monday night.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,200) – Another guy who is dominating in the league right now. The future NBA Rookie of the Year has 9 double-doubles in his last 10 games & is showing that he is the #2 offensive option (some nights #1) on the T-Wolves, who are constantly improving each night. A matchup with Towns & Anthony Davis could be interesting, but Towns is playing on a different level & could be a sleeper in terms of ownership on Monday night with many looking at Gasol & Drummond.
Other Options – Pau Gasol ($8,700), DeAndre Jordan ($7,900)
Al Horford ($6,600) – Still confused as to why Horford is listed at under $7k every night, but nonetheless, he is & he is a phenomenal value in cash games. He is averaging 33 DK points per game & in only a few games has he even wavered in not having the 30-35 point nights. He has a tough matchup against Vuvecic of the Magic, but Horford has shown he can hold his own for a long time against the elite centers in the league & this shouldn’t be any different. Not a good play for tournaments, but cash games, Horford is a solid lock.
Other Options – Ian Mahinmi ($4,700), Cody Zeller ($4,900), Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,100)