WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – JUSUF NURKIC
Happy Monday! We tip off the week with a nice 12-game slate and plenty of options to choose from. Below I will go over some players to consider on this slate, so let’s waste no more time and jump right into it.
Stephen Curry ($10,400) – The Warriors head to Atlanta to take on the Hawks who are yielding the third most fantasy points per game to point guards over the last five, while playing at the 12th fastest pace. With Kevin Durant sidelined, Curry sees a six percent usage increase. He has scored at least 47 fantasy points in two consecutive games and has averaged 1.6 fantasy points per minute during that stretch. This is a great spot for Curry, who should be able to exploit the matchup.
Other Options – Chris Paul $9,000, Kyrie Irving $8,900, Damian Lillard $8,800
Ty Lawson ($4,600) – Lawson has topped 28 fantasy points in three consecutive games, including back-to-back 30 fantasy point outings. During that stretch, he is also averaging over 30 minutes per game. He gets a favorable matchup against the Nuggets who are ranked dead last in defensive efficiency and play up in pace. They are giving up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards and have allowed 5.53 points above expectation to the position. Lawson averages 0.9 fantasy points per minute, which is good enough at the price point to exceed expectations with the minutes he has been receiving.
Other Options – Ricky Rubio $6,700, Dennis Schröder $6,100, T.J. McConnell $5,400
C.J. McCollum ($7,600) – If you decide to pay up at SG tonight, I think McCollum makes the most sense. He offers a ton of upside and faces a team that he torched the last time he faced them. Granted, Damian Lillard did not play in that contest, but the Timberwolves had no answer for him. Minnesota ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency and are giving up 38.8 fantasy points per game to the position. McCollum has topped 40 fantasy points in three of his last nine games and offers 50+ fantasy point upside. He could go overlooked, making him an interesting option.
Other Options – James Harden $11,500, Klay Thompson $7,200
Gary Harris ($5,200) – This is a great example of targeting a player who is coming off of a terrible performance. Harris was held scoreless on Saturday and posted just three fantasy points. However, he is in a good bounce back spot and comes in at an affordable price. The Kings are yielding the fourth most fantasy points per game to shooting guards and are ranked 25th in defensive efficiency. Harris has topped 29 fantasy points in five of his last seven games and is averaging 28.6 fantasy points per game against Sacramento. Recency bias could cause his ownership to be lower than it should in this matchup, making him an enticing tournament play.
Other Options – Tim Hardaway Jr. $5,000, Tony Allen $5,000, Courtney Lee $5,000
Kawhi Leonard ($9,600) – Leonard’s price has risen, but that is due to his strong play as of late. Over his last three games, he is averaging 32 points, nine rebounds, 4.3 assists, four steals and over 50 fantasy points per game. He faces off against the Rockets who play up in pace, which creates extra potential touch opportunities. Houston is also yielding the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. Lastly, over their last five games, they are ranked 21st in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – LeBron James $11,200, Jimmy Butler $8,600, Andrew Wiggins $7,600
Maurice Harkless ($5,500) – Harkless continues to play big minutes for Portland, averaging 35.1 minutes per game over his last five. During that stretch, he has averaged 13.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.6 blocks and 28.8 fantasy points per game. The Timberwolves have allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to small forwards over their last 10 games. They also rank 23rd in defensive efficiency. Harkless has displayed his ability to score 30+ fantasy points on any given night, and even if he does not do so, he has established a decent floor in his role.
Other Options – Terrence Ross $5,700, Jae Crowder $5,700, Nemanja Bjelica $3,900
Blake Griffin ($8,700) – Griffin is reasonably priced, and I am unsure as to why. He faces a Celtics’ frontcourt that is undersized and vulnerable. Boston is yielding 44.6 rebounds per game with a -3.2 differential. They are giving up 47.4 fantasy points per game to power forwards and have allowed 2.21 points above expectation to the position. Griffin is averaging a healthy 1.3 fantasy points per minute this season and he’s topped 50 fantasy points in four of his last 10 games.
Other Options – Anthony Davis $9,500, Draymond Green $8,200, Paul Millsap $7,400
Marvin Williams ($5,700) – Williams has been playing well in recent games, averaging 36 minutes, 14.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 blocks and 29.3 fantasy points per game since returning from the All-Star break. He has topped 29 points four times during that stretch and has scored fewer than 28 fantasy points just once. He gets a good matchup against Indiana, who is giving up the seventh most fantasy points per game to power forwards. In addition, the Pacers are ranked 28th in defensive efficiency over their last 10 games. While Williams’ price has increased due to his recent play, it is still reasonable considering the matchup and his ability.
Other Options – Zach Randolph $6,400, Al-Farouq Aminu $5,500, Aaron Gordon $5,500
Marc Gasol ($8,300) – My biggest concern here is a potential blowout, but if we are not taking that into consideration, no other center has as good of a matchup. The Nets are yielding the fourth most fantasy points, sixth most points, sixth most assists and third most blocks per game to opposing centers. They are also allowing +5.31 points above expectation to the position. In addition, they allow the sixth most points in the paint. Brooklyn also surrenders the second most rebounds per game with a -3.7 differential. Lastly, they rank 28th in defensive efficiency and play up-tempo basketball. There is plenty to like about Gasol tonight, but the blowout factor has me taking him in tournaments only.
Other Options – Karl-Anthony Towns $10,300, Nikola Jokic $10,100, DeMarcus Cousins $9,500
Pau Gasol ($5,900) – Tonight is one of those nights where we could potentially have both Gasol brothers in one lineup. Pau’s price is creeping up, but it is still affordable, especially when taking the matchup into consideration. Houston is yielding the third most fantasy points per game to centers and have allowed 2.86 points above expectation to the position. They surrender the seventh most points in the paint per game and are also giving up 43.5 rebounds per game. Gasol is averaging over a fantasy point per minute over his last five game and 31.8 fantasy points per game. Assuming we do not get ‘Popped’ and Gasol gets benched, he should provide solid return on investment.
Other Options – Cody Zeller $5,400, Robin Lopez $4,200, Bismack Biyombo $3,000 (becomes top center value play if Vucevic is out)
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.