With seven games scheduled for Monday night, you have plenty of players to choose from for your DFS lineups. That’s a good thing, because there is also a full slate of fantasy contests to choose from on the first day of Championship Week. There is more than $2 Million up for grabs this week, so get started. Good luck.
POINT GUARD TARGETS
Damian Lillard vs. PHO ($7,900) – Phoenix is an interesting case-study in why some teams are good – or bad – against certain positions in terms of allowing fantasy points. In the case of the Suns, they get involved in high-scoring games (good for shooters), and they make sure the pace of the game stays up-tempo (bad for most bigs). The fact that they’re 2nd against Power Forwards and 24th against Point Guards actually, in this case, has not much to do with the actual strengths and weaknesses of the defenders they have at those positions. That doesn’t mean it’s not true – start Lillard with confidence.
Mike Conley vs. SAC ($6,100) – With Collison’s injury, Sacramento has been thin at guard for a while now, and it shows on the defensive end. Conley gets mentioned this high only because of a slow night for PGs, combined with a couple of injuries to guys who would normally be in front of him, but he is out there contributing in a lot of different ways for the Grizzlies night in and night out. If the Kings can defend their bigs enough to make even a couple of extra looks go Conley’s way, he could be a nice value.
Zach LaVine vs. UTA ($5,600) – As many games as Rubio doesn’t play – which is plenty – LaVine is useful. He is averaging 30 fantasy points per game over the past couple of weeks, and Rubio isn’t exactly looking like a lock to come back and stay back anytime soon, so it’s no surprise this guys price is rising.
Greivis Vasquez vs. HOU ($4,600) – With Lowry out, he should continue to see more minutes and opportunities. The question is really just how well he will be able to take advantage of those chances.
SHOOTING GUARD TARGETS
James Harden @ TOR ($11,500) – Yup, he’s good. It really doesn’t matter what the defense does, apparently – if he’s got the mindset to go off, he does. He has 50+ fantasy points in four out of five games, including three over 60 (and one over 70 – 50-10-4).
DeMar DeRozan vs. HOU ($7,800) – DeRozan has come back and shown that his floor is right around 30 fantasy points. He went 1-10 against the Lakers, for 6 points, and still scored 30.5 for your fantasy squad. I will take that for under $8,000, every day. So, you should probably do it now because the price is going up.
Khris Middleton @ ATL ($6,400) – Guys like this are the reason the Bucks show up as such a bad match-up for, well, everyone. But he can just do so many different things well, you know Bucks fans love him. And while this may end up being a pretty low-scoring affair, Middleton is one of those guys who does need a bunch of buckets to get you to his fantasy scoring average.
Ben McLemore @ MEM ($3,600) – The Kings are just banged up. McLemore is a 22-year-old kid who clearly has a lot of room for growth in his game, but he can make an impact on the action on the court, and he is being pressed into action. He isn’t going to do it every night, but when the match-up is right, the minutes are there for him to do enough different things that at the end of the game, you’re happy with the final result.
SMALL FORWARD TARGETS
Gordon Hayward @ MIN ($8,000) – Hayward can score, and he’ll usually grab you a few boards, maybe dish out of a couple of dimes, but he does have a tendency to have the occasional stinker. For a guy with his scoring average, you don’t love the floor in the low-20’s. That shouldn’t happen against the Wolves.
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ ATL ($7,300) – The other main reason the Bucks are so nasty on defense, he creates his own opportunities, for whatever they are. What I mean by that is, don’t worry about how good Atlanta is on defense. He doesn’t score in the flow of an offense – he scores with suddenness and force, often after a rebound or defensive play you didn’t think he should be able to make. And since scoring is only part of his overall value, he should be fine in this one.
Josh Smith @ TOR ($6,500) – Smith has been an intriguing fantasy options for years now, and with Motiejunas and Jonas both banged up, he could all of a sudden see a much more prominent role in this offense. A prominent role without being the go-to guy might very well be a sweet spot for a player with Smith’s talent.
Nicolas Batum vs. PHO ($6,500) – In a couple of games back, he has played 32 and 37 minutes, which is encouraging. In his last game, he buried three of five threes, which is even more so. He is exactly the kind of streaky shooter who could exploit a lot of opportunities in a fast-paced game such as you’re likely to see against Phoenix.
POWER FORWARD TARGETS
Nerlens Noel vs. LAL ($7,800) – In his last six games, he has had four with over 40 fantasy points, including three over 50. Despite the position here, he is playing center for the Sixers, which honestly only improves the match-up against the Lakers.
Paul Millsap vs. MIL ($7,300) – Millsap sat out Saturday’s action, but just for rest, now that Atlanta has clinched. Going forward, you do have to worry somewhat about their stars being on a bit of a clock even when they are active, but in what should be a close contest, he should see plenty of action.
Zach Randolph vs. SAC ($7,000) – He’s got downside in the teens, but he is usually right around 30 fantasy points; good value for this money. In a game where Gasol and Cousins will be locking horns, the road might be cleared for Randolph to do some damage down low.
Ersan Ilysova @ ATL ($6,900) – The Bucks are going to need him on the glass in this one, and when he cracks double-digit rebounds, you are very likely to see a 40+ fantasy point performance.
Rudy Gobert @ MIN ($8,400) – He’s got four straight double-doubles, with 11 blocks over that span, including a 13-15 performance with four blocks and three steals last time out. You should see more of the same against the Minnesota frontcourt.
Marc Gasol vs. SAC ($7,200) – Gasol is not likely to rebound enough tonight to have a really BIG game, but his floor seems to be 25-30 fantasy points, so he is a very safe play ever time out there, especially in 50/50s and similar contests.
Al Jefferson vs. BOS ($6,800) – Big Al is going against the team that drafted him, and they don’t have anyone on their roster who can hang with his moves in the post. Considering Boston’s backcourt is back to relative health, they are a pretty formidable match-up for opposing guards, so look for Charlotte to look to the post for their offense.
NOTE – If Big Al – listed as “Questionable” – is not active, look for Bismack Biyombo ($3,200), who could do some damage on the boards in this match-up. If Jefferson is active, he should receive his full complement of minutes.
Jonas Valanciunas vs. HOU ($5,800) – He has been consistently north of 25 fantasy points over the past couple of weeks, and is a legit threat for 35 if he can get to double-digit rebounds, a distinct possibility in this one.