Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 29th, 2018. Monday night we get a decent slate with six games to attack. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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C: Nikola Jokic: (8,600) Jokic has been underpriced in his last two games and now he is even cheaper tonight vs The Celtics. No matter who they start around him, Jokic has been great recently, averaging 46 DK PPG over his last four starts. Jokic was hurt in their first game vs The Celtics this season, but I don’t think he will have any issues against this defense, even though they are the top rated unit this season. They have really struggled with star opposing big men as of late, allowing the most total rebounds over their last three games. They currently rate at a 2.3 opponent +/- for starting centers and we have seen players like Joel Embiid (60.5 DK points) and Anthony Davis (75 DK points) eat them alive over the past few weeks.
He is averaging 1.31 DK PPM this season and with 35-40 minutes, which is expected with this game having the smallest spread of the night at 1.5 points, Jokic should definitely get us five times value with 50-55 DK point upside. He looks a very strong value based on his current Vegas prop DK projection of 44.42 points. He is my favorite high end spend of this slate and will be a building block in all my lineups on Monday night.
PF/C: Greg Monroe: (5,600) Despite riding the bench and being a DNP CD for most of his time in a Suns’ uniform, Monroe has suited up and played in four straight games. He came off the bench last night, but with this being the second leg of a back to back, veteran starting center Tyson Chandler should be rested, which would put Monroe as The Suns’ starting center tonight vs The Grizzlies. He is a very effective fantasy player, averaging 1.12 DK PPM this season, and in the 11 games he has played in without Chandler, Monroe is averaging 29.5 DK PPG. His matchup tonight vs Marc Gasol and The Grizzlies is far from ideal (0.42 opponent +/-), but if he is the starter he should log 25-30 minutes, which is plenty of time for him to meet five times value, even in this tougher matchup.
He has a really good chance of getting us 30+ DK points, especially when you consider he is averaging 34 DK PPG in the last eight games he has seen 25+ minutes. Hopefully we know Chandler’s official status before roster lock, but even if we don’t, I think Monroe is a worthwhile risk, as Chandler would most likely play very limited minutes even if he is active. Back up center Alex Len’s (ankle) status is also worth watching, because if he was out, it would almost guarantee Monroe a good amount of playing time. Finally, starting SG Devin Booker is questionable tonight with ribs and hip injuries, and if he was out, Monroe would become an even better play, with him seeing a team high 6.1 DK point increase in the minutes he has played without Booker this season.
C: Hassan Whiteside: (7,700) Whiteside is easily one of the most frustrating players to roster in NBA DFS. He is so boom or bust that he is always better as a GPP target. Tonight is a perfect time to attack him after the bad showing he had in his last game. It really doesn’t make much sense to me, seeing as he wasn’t dealing with foul trouble, but in his last game, which was vs The Hornets, Whiteside only logged 18 minutes in the win, resulting in a low 17.5 DK points. Before this, he was playing 29 MPG and scoring 43 DK PPG over his last five.
Tonight, he is in a great spot to bounce back in a huge way, going against a very weak Mavs’ interior defense, that has allowed the second most rebounds in the league in their last three games and is a rating as a high 5.03 opponent +/-. This month, when he has faced an opponent +/- of at least 3.0 points, he is averaging 40.5 DK PPG, in a sample size of six games. As I said, he is always a better GPP target, but depending on how risky of a DFS player you are, I think he is also viable in cash with how strong this matchup is.
PF: Maxi Kleber: (3,800) Unless some injury news open up some values, finding cheap plays you can use with confidence is a difficult task on Monday night. Kleber, at only $3.800, seems like one of the better cheap gambles, if his growing role with The Mavs continues again tonight. His minutes mostly have been lower this season, but in these past two games, Kleber is averaging 30 MPG. His fantasy scores have obviously benefited from the bigger role, as he has scored 20+ DK points in both games, averaging 26 DK PPG. He is never going to be a high usage option (11.4%), but is a very active player who can fill up a stat sheet in every category.
He has averaged 0.83 DK PPM in these past two starts and if he sees close to 30 minutes again tonight, he should be able to get us 20+ DK points in this decent matchup vs The Heat. (1.74 opponent +/-) He is one of the better bodies they have available to throw at Whiteside and I think there is a pretty good chance his expanded role continues this evening. The floor is low for him, but if this continues, Kleber will end up being a very good point per dollar value.
Also Consider: Dario Saric (Embiid is out. Saric is averaging 37 DK PPG in the nine contests without Embiid is this season. He scored 48.75 DK points in the one game without both Embiid and J.J. Redick. Saric is viable in all formats), Richaun Holmes (hasn’t been playing much, but has to be back in the mix with Embiid out. He is averaging 23 DK points and 22 minutes in the eight games he has played without The All Star center and scored 29.75 DK points in the one tilt without Embiid and Redick), Robert Covington (40 DK points in 38.4 minutes of action in that one game that Embiid and Redick sat), Troy Daniels/Isaiah Canaan (One of these players would likely start if Booker was out. Canaan is averaging 26.75 DK PPG in the six without Booker and Daniels is averaging 19.53 DK PPG in the ten games he has suited up for The Suns with Booker sitting. Canaan is the better play, that could see an even bigger bump if both Booker and Daniels were out), Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr. (both of these Mavs are slightly cheap for their current roles), Gary Harris (matchup is decent with Smart out), Mason Plumlee (if he starts, he will get us value against this Celtics defense that is struggling inside), T.J. Warren (would become a very nice play if Booker sat this one out. His usage goes up 3.6% without Booker and he is scoring 36.25 DK points per 36 minutes of action), Khris Middleton (better if Brogdon is out again), Kyrie Irving (minutes would be up if they were out Rozier on top of Smart. Either way he is averaging 48 DK PPG over his last five), Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum (both see small boosts without Smart. Brown is the better play. He scored 41.8 DK points in the first game vs Denver this season), Terry Rozier (if active. 26 DK PPG in the four Smart sat), Shane Larkin (would be a viable punt if Rozier is unable to go. He would have to play close to 30 minutes off the bench), Will Barton (his usage is so bad right now, dropping all way down to 11.4% last game, but The Celtics will be without Smart and possibly Rozier, which would help his matchup significantly. Also, he would see a nice boost if SF Wilson Chandler was out. His usage rises 1.2% without Chandler this season), and Wayne Selden/Andrew Harrison. (if Tyreke Evans is out. The up tempo matchup vs The Suns is awesome for guards)