The first Monday of 2017 tips off with a nice, 8-game slate. There are some interesting options, so let’s jump right into some players to target tonight.
Kyrie Irving ($7,800) – Irving is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the last game and is listed as questionable for tonight. Fortunately this is a 7pm game, so we should know his status before lineups lock. Assuming he plays, this is a great spot for him as the Pelicans have allowed 2.68 points above expectation to opposing point guards and are yielding the third most fantasy points per game to the position. In addition, he has been playing lights out as of late with four double-doubles in his last five games and three games with 60 or more fantasy points during that stretch.
Other Options – Russell Westbrook $12,300, Giannis Antetokounmpo $10,400, Stephen Curry $8,600, Eric Bledsoe $7,600
Michael Carter-Williams ($4,000) – Carter-Williams got the start in the last game for the Bulls and has played at least 25 minutes in back-to-back games. He is expected to get the start once again tonight, making him an enticing play at this price. He faces off against the Hornets who have allowed 2.02 points above expectation to opposing point guards and are a much different team on the road. He can be frustrating with his inconsistent shooting, but his peripheral stats increase his floor, making it an easier path for him to pay off his salary at this price point.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday $6,500, Patrick Beverley $5,400, Shelvin Mack $5,000 (if he starts)
Nicolas Batum ($8,000) – Batum has been playing very well in recent games, exceeding 44 fantasy points in seven of his last nine games, including a 56.75 fantasy point performance against the Bulls where he recorded a triple-double. During that nine game stretch, he is averaging 18.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 44.3 fantasy points per game. His price has increased a decent amount, but that is a reflection of his production. The matchup itself is not the most appealing one, but that has not affected Batum in his recent hot streak.
Other Options – James Harden $12,400, Klay Thompson $6,600, Bradley Beal $6,500 (questionable)
Rodney Hood ($4,900) – Hood has shot the ball well in the last two games, hitting 12-of-22 field goals and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. He gets a great matchup against the Nets who are giving up the second most fantasy points per game to shooting guards and 2.8 three-pointers per game. In addition, they have allowed 2.48 points above expectations to the position. The Nets are also playing at the fastest pace in the league which should create some extra touch opportunities for Hood. When George Hill is off the court, Hood sees a 1.9 percent usage rate increase, per Fantasy Labs. There are several thing to like about Hood tonight, making him a strong tournament play in my opinion.
Other Options – Gary Harris $4,700, Jamaal Crawford $4,700, Justin Holiday $4,200
Kevin Durant ($9,900) – Durant has topped 50 fantasy points in five of his last seven games, including three 60+ fantasy point performances during that stretch. Tonight’s matchup against the Nuggets is one that favors him as they have allowed 1.55 points above expectation to opposing small forwards. The last time he faced the Nuggets he scored 42.3 fantasy points in 29 minutes.
Other Options – LeBron James $10,500, Jimmy Butler $8,700, Gordon Hayward $8,100
Trevor Ariza ($5,500) – Ariza has scored over 30 fantasy points in three of his last four games. He faces off against the Wizards who are giving up 2.1 three-pointers per game to opposing small forwards and a team he fared well against in their last meeting. Ariza scored 15 points with five rebounds, three steals, two dimes and 31.3 fantasy points the last time he faced Washington, while draining four from beyond the arc. The Wizards are ranked 11th worst as far as defense efficiency is concerned, so this lines up to be a solid matchup for Ariza.
Other Options – Otto Porter $6,100, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist $4,600
Kevin Love ($8,800) – Love gets a good matchup against the Pelicans who are allowing the fourth most fantasy points and second most rebounds per game to opposing power forwards. New Orleans is giving up the most rebounds per game (38.8) with a -4.4 differential. Love has topped 55 points in four of his last nine games. He has three consecutive double-doubles and six in his last seven contests. I think he makes for a fine play tonight, but if Kyrie Irving is unable to give it a go, Love becomes an even stronger play.
Other Options – Anthony Davis $10,300, Draymond Green $7,500, Jabari Parker $7,300
Serge Ibaka ($6,700) – Ibaka is at an odd price where it is not quite value, but it is still a price point that he is capable of exceeding expectations. He has been playing well as of late, averaging 19 points, eight rebounds, 2.2 blocks, two assists and 38.4 fantasy points per game in his last five games. During that stretch, he has also drained eight three-pointers. He faces off against the Knicks who rank in the bottom six in defensive efficiency. Ibaka fared well against New York in their last meeting, scoring 23 points with 10 rebounds and one block, which was good for 40.5 fantasy points.
Other Options – Wilson Chandler $5,700, Derrick Favors $4,900
Rudy Gobert ($7,400) – Gobert has double-digit rebounds in 19 consecutive games and faces off against a team that is giving up the second most rebounds per game (48.1) with a -4.1 differential. The Nets are also yielding the most fantasy points and third most points per game to opposing centers and have allowed 8.51 points above expectation to the position. Gobert is not going to attempt a ton of shots, but this is a matchup where he will have the potential to grab plenty of rebounds and dominate the boards. He is my top center of the slate.
Other Options – DeAndre Jordan $7,200
Enes Kanter ($5,100) – Kanter has been my go-to affordable center in recent games, and it is paying off. In his last six games, he is averaging 28 minutes, 19.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 31.7 fantasy points per game. He has scored fewer than 30 fantasy points just once during that stretch.
Other Options – Marcin Gortat $6,400, Nikola Vucevic $6,200, Montrezl Harrell $5,100
Note: Keep a close eye on news prior to lock as this could open up some value plays that were not considered early in the day.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Armando28) 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.