Get your week started the right way here on Monday by getting over your alma mater’s loss, shaking off the don’t play NBA slate narratives and enjoying this tasty, heavy offense, ten-game slate. Find your core values and some studs tonight on a slate that offers very high game totals for you to exploit. If you have any questions for tonight games, fire away on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
Editor’s Note (3 PM ET): DeMarcus Cousins (35.4pct USG), Rudy Gay (22.2pct USG), Rajon Rondo (18.8pct USG) and Marco Belinelli (19.7pct USG) are all OUT tonight for the Kings. Overall, the four players ruled out account for four of the five highest usage rates on Sacramento this season. This team isn’t very good to start and sitting their three best players tonight won’t help much. The upside is that guys like Seth Curry, Darren Collison, Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein and Omri Casspi should all benefit. As a tournament flier, Seth Curry is especially interesting. He’s averaged over 21 DK FPPG over the last two games in 24.5 minutes per game.
Russell Westbrook – OKC @ TOR – $10,400 – It’s a meh matchup, but Westbrook is averaging 51.5 DK Points per game (DKPPG) over his last five games with 31% raw usage. The Raptors have been susceptible to good games from better PG, too. Last month Damian Lillard went for 62.25 against them, Isaiah Thomas 36.5 and Goran Dragic at 34.25. Patrick Beverley just went for 35 against Lowry and company, so even though they don’t get beat by everybody, the top guys can score, and Westbrook may be THE top guy.
Ricky Rubio – MIN vs. PHX – $6,900 – Great target here in Brandon Knight and the Suns with a healthy 218.5 game total and Rubio playing good ball lately, averaging 38.9 DKPPG over his last five games. Rubio and Zach LaVine have been great since LaVine moved into the starting SG slot – over the last 15 games, the starting lineup with Rubio and LaVine is at 113 points per 100 possessions and in the 37 games that they’ve run out the Rubio-LaVine-Wiggins-Dieng-KAT lineup, it’s scored 116 points per 100 possessions. That’s good.
Other Options – Damian Lillard (vs. SAC, $9,500), Shelvin Mack (vs. LAL, $5,900), Rajon Rondo (@POR, $7,600)
Jeff Teague -ATL @ CHI – $5,500 – Forget being left behind in Detroit (amazing!) Teague has been a relaxed, highly aggressive player since he remained with the Hawks after the trade deadline. Over the past 15 games, Teague has averaged 11.3 drives per game, good for fifth in the league over that span. It’s pumped his raw usage up to 26% and the Hawks are playing their best basketball of the season because of it. For Chicago’s part, they continue to be a solid target for opposing point guards, so as long as Teague gets to his 30 minutes, he’s a solid value here at $5.5K.
Jose Calderon – NYK @ NO – $3,900 – A lot of folks are hip to Calderon, who has produced 23 DKPPG over his last five games. With a plus matchup today against New Orleans, he’s in a similar spot as when he went back-to-back 30+ DK point games against the Bulls.
Other Options – Devin Harris (@DEN, $3,100), D.J. Augustin (vs. DAL, $4,700), Tim Frazier (vs. NYK, $4,100)
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Devin Booker – PHX @ MIN – $6,500 – He got into foul trouble last time out but that’s not a huge concern night to night for the rookie 2-guard in Phoenix. Even with Brandon Knight back, Booker is the scoring stud on this team. He has a positive matchup against MIN and 29% raw usage over his last five games, keeping him a value at $6.5K. When the team was looking to score down the stretch against Boston, Booker continued to deliver. When Brandon Knight tried to be a hero, he air-balled a 26 footer. Anecdotal? Yes. But Booker is the guy in Phoenix right now.
“…that hasn’t stopped a 29 DKPPG average over the last five games”
Zach LaVine – MIN vs. PHX – $5,900 – While Booker is nice offensively, he can be had defensively, so this might be a fun matchup to watch. LaVine falls behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in the offensive distribution list for the Wolves but that hasn’t stopped a 29 DKPPG average over the last five games (including a 12.5 stinker in a tough spot against Utah).
Other Options – C.J. McCollum (vs. SAC, $7,200), Evan Turner (@ LAC, $5,900)
Norman Powell – TOR vs. OKC – $3,200 – If he starts again for Terrence Ross, batter up for a punt play here. It’s a neutral matchup against OKC and Powell has seen 26.75 and 25 DK points in the last two games as a stand in, getting 13 and 11 shots in those two outings but more importantly getting 39 and 34 minutes. So while he’s not a high ceiling guy, it’s solid value.
Editor’s Note (6:30 PM ET): Terrence Ross has been ruled out for Monday night, making Normal Powell a strong value play for Toronto (see analysis above).
Avery Bradley – BOS @ LAC – $5,000 – Neutral matchup here, but Bradley has been outrunning his number, getting 31 DKPPG over his last five games. His raw usage is 20% and his minutes per game is 35.6 over that span, and the Celtics will need Bradley to stay on JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford tonight.
Other Options – Raymond Felton (@ DEN, $4,200), John Jenkins (if starting, @ MIN, $3,000)
Kevin Durant – OKC @ TOR – $10,000 – Paying up or going completely basement looks like the best options at SF tonight and the best of the best is Durant, who gets a mish-mash of SF defense from the Raptors. Durant is averaging 50 DKPPG over his last five games with 30% raw usage. The game total in TOR tonight is a solid 211 and the spread is three so it’s very likely that Westbrook and Durant will be called on for mid 30s minutes tonight.
Gordon Hayward – UTAH vs. LAL – $6,600 – Since Shelvin Mack’s arrival, the offense has spread around a little bit more and Mack has taken the play-making role. This has somewhat lessened Hayward’s production, but he has one of the top individual matchups tonight, especially as Kobe plays through the end of his last season.
Other Options – Carmelo Anthony (@ NO, $8,300), Luol Deng (vs. BKN, $5,800)
Maurice Harkless – POR vs. SAC – $3,500 – So if you heading to the basement at SF, Harkless has burned before but has back to back 30 minutes games and around 26 DKPPG over the last three games. Sacramento is a tough matchup for SF, typically, but the pace should provide ample opportunity to accrue points.
Alonzo Gee – NO vs. NYK – $3,300 – This is strictly if Jrue Holiday and Norris Cole are out again tonight (both questionable as of this writing). Gee has started those two games and while he is not a high DK point per minute (DKPPM) player, he’s received 40+ minutes in both, allowing him to average 27 DKPPG over those games.
Other Options – Thabo Sefolosha (@ CHI, $3,900), Sergey Karasev (@ MIA, $3,000)
Paul Millsap – ATL @ CHI – $7,900 – Power forward is deep tonight, but Millsap may be the sneaky play due to the injury label on him after he got scratched across the forehead and took stitches. He’s expected to play tonight and that injury is not going to impact his play in a solid positive matchup against the Bulls. The Hawks are playing strong basketball right now and Millsap is heading up the effort for the Hawks, leading the team with 48.58 DKPPG over his last three games. His 59.25 DK point effort against the Pistons is even more impressive when you factor in that he left his fourth quarter shift early to get those stitches.
LaMarcus Aldridge – SAS @ MEM -$7,300 – He’s been dominant and with Kawhi Leonard out again tonight along with the other resting Spurs, LMA can have the run of the house against a MEM team that is a plus matchup for opposing PF. Aldridge has averaged 40 DKPPG over the last five games with 28.8% raw usage over that span. With Leonard, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili all out, his DKPPM jumps to 1.30 for the season.
Other Options – Kristaps Porzingis (@ NO, $6,100), Gorgui Dieng (vs. MIN, $6,000)
David Lee – DAL @ DEN -$5,000 – Lee’s minutes have gone down somewhat, averaging only 16 per game over his last four games, but he continues to produce (20 DKPPG) when he gets a chance. On a back to back, heading into Denver, Lee could see closer to the 26 minutes he got the last time this happened, as he went on to score 46.5 DK points in that one.
Ed Davis – POR vs. SAC – $4,200 – Davis is locked into the low 20s in minutes played with Meyers Leonard out, and he’s been producing in those minutes, getting over 30 DK points in three straight games. The matchup against the Kings is going to be a high scoring, high pace affair, which allows Davis to get the rebounds, blocks and putbacks he uses to drive his fantasy production.
Other Options – Amir Johnson (@ LAC, $4,600)
Karl-Anthony Towns – MIN vs. PHX – $8,100 – So it’s clear I like Minnesota tonight mainly because even with Tyson Chandler, the Suns are a good target for opposing centers. KAT has been great no matter the matchup recently, scoring 45-46 DKPPG over his last five games.
DeAndre Jordan – LAC vs. BOS – $7,900 – DeAndre likes to rebound and the Celtics are in the bottom five in offensive rebounds allowed and team rebounds allowed. Jordan is having a nice run of 43.4 DKPPG over his last four games and the pace up nature of this game should suit his production well.
Other Options – Hassan Whiteside (vs. BKN, $8,400), Brook Lopez (@ MIA, $7,100)
Willie Cauley-Stein – SAC @ POR – $3,700 – Now that Cousins is playing, I like the WCS coming off the bench, as he has the last two games, to produce against the forgiving Portland frontcourt. Cauley-Stein has 31.75 and 42 DK points his last two games as coach Karl says he’s been the beneficiary of “lobs and dunks”. Portland is not the type of team to prevent that, so one more night for me and WCS.
Jusef Nurkic -DEN vs. DAL – $4,100 – Michael Malone has taken to running Nurkic out more than starter Nikola Jokic, which has allowed the strong peripherals play of Nurkic to post some nice nights. His raw usage is high, too, getting 27% when he’s on the floor over the last five games, leading to his 28 DKPPG over that span.