It’s Monday and below are my DraftKings NBA picks for tonight’s nine game slate. As always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
SG/SF: Kawhi Leonard: (8,800)
Leonard was rested on Saturday, for his first back to back of the year. He has no injury concerns and will be a full go for tonight’s home game vs The Hornets. In the first two games as a Raptor, this has been Leonard’s team, with him seeing a 35.1% usage rate. In his last game, he scored 51 DK points vs last season’s #1 defense in The Celtics.
The Hornets have also been great defensively this season (3rd in efficiency), but they really have no one has any shot of stopping Leonard in this massive role. Particularly at home, he should approach 50 DK points, making him one of the safer spends of the slate.
SG/SF: Jimmy Butler: (8,000)
Just like with Leonard, Butler was rested Saturday night. He should be fresh and ready to continue his redemption tour tonight vs The Pacers. Through two games, he is averaging 52 DK PPG and leading The Wolves in usage. (28.5%) This type of workload has him generating an outstanding 1.53 DK PPM.
The Pacers are strong on defense again this season (-2.63 opponent +/-), but Butler’s current rates and motivation, outweigh any matchup concerns. Anyways, in his lone game vs Indiana in 2017, he scored 46.5 DK points, and in home games, he produced 3.95 more DK PPG. Butler is going to cost over $9,000 very soon and we must capitalize on him right now, before his price becomes out of reach.
SF/PF: Kyle Kuzma: (5,500)
With Brandon Ingram suspended, Kuzma is projected to slide back into the starting five, at either SF or PF. It’s hard to look at last season’s rates for Kuzma in this situation, with LeBron now in town, but either way, as a starter, and with The Lakers’ losing depth (Rajon Rondo also suspended), Kuzma is looking at roughly 35 minutes vs The Spurs.
With Demar Derozan taking Leonard’s place, The Spurs have looked weak on defense to start the year. (26th in efficiency) He is currently averaging 0.9 DK PPM and he should easily outproduce this $5,500 price tag, in an expanded role.
PG: Luka Doncic: (6,800)
Doncic followed up his NBA debut with 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block vs The Wolves on Friday night. (43 DK points) He played 36 minutes in this close game (140-136) and Vegas is expecting The Mavs to be in another tight one tonight vs The Bulls. (DAL -5.5) These two teams have both been awful on the defensive end. (DAL 30th and CHI 25th in efficiency. This is the highest total of the night, at 229 points) I saw The Bulls play live Saturday night and their defense was almost laughable vs The Pistons. (118 points)
Kris Dunn will return for them, but I can’t see him changing much in his first game of the season. Starting SG Zach LaVine lives off taking gambles on defense and the amount of open looks he allowed to Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith on Saturday was ridiculous. (7/12 from three between the two PGs) Doncic is going to get whatever he wants in this spot and to add fuel to the fire, The Bulls rank 6th in pace, vs The Mavs who are 20th. Expect 35+ DK points for the rookie in his second home game as a Mav.
SF/PF: LeBron James: (10,500)
If you want a tier one stud, James is the one to attack tonight. His rates have to go up without Rondo/Ingram and this game is in The Staples center. He scored 3.1 more DK PPG at home last season and there is no way LeBron want’s to start his time in LA with two home losses. He is a lock for 60+ DK points and the top overall play of this nine game slate.
C: Deandre Jordan: (8,100)
Jordan is more of a GPP play at this price, but the upside he has vs this Bulls’ frontcourt is something to target in that format. He has put up a double double in each of their first two games (42 DK PPG) and this matchup is a 1.94 opponent +/-.
C: Enes Kanter: (7,300)
Kanter has been a monster, scoring 43.5 DK PPG. With no Kristapas Porzingis (knee), The Knicks need Kanter’s post presence and even though he has an unreliable past, I expect close to 30 minutes on a nightly basis. (31.1 MPG through three) His shoot first and every rebound is mine mentality may not lead The Knicks to wins, but it is the perfect set up for fantasy. (1.4 DK PPM) The Bucks look stout (5th in efficiency), but Kanter is at home and is clearly mispriced right now.
C: Deandre Ayton: (6,800)
Ayton had an awful night Saturday (15.5 DK points), but this was due to the foul trouble he had vs Nikola Jokic. There are definitely concerns again tonight, on the road, vs the defending champs (GSW -12.5), but this matchup has been awesome for centers. (3.91 opponent +/-)
PF/C: Bobby Portis: (6,600)
Portis was abysmal from the field on Saturday (2/12), but still managed to score 32 DK points vs The Pistons. He will obviously have a better shooting night and before this showing, he scored 43.75 DK points in game one, in a very tough spot vs Joel Embiid and The Sixers. This CHI vs DAL tilt should live up to it’s slate high total and this is an ideal time to attack Portis, coming off a subpar game. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
PG: Lonzo Ball: (5,500)
Ball will start for Rondo and this is his chance to show Luke Walton and this coaching staff that he should be starting, over Rondo. Him and James will handle almost all of the playmaking and we can expect an assist rate over 20% for Ball. He is averaging right at a DK PPM this season and with 30-35 minutes, Wall should have no issues achieving five times value.
SG: Josh Hart: (5,100)
Will most likely still come off the bench, but just like the other Lakers in this post, Hart in underpriced for the bigger role he should see. So far, for the new look Lakers, Hart has been a huge asset off the bench, averaging 1.12 DK PPM. He has played 27 and 30 minutes in the first two and with this team losing two starters, he should be right around 30 again. Furthermore, his usage should grow sans Ingram. The bench role makes him shakier than Ball and Kuzma, but Hart still rates as a fine value in this situation.
SG/SF: Wesley Matthews: (5,000)
Matthews steady role has continued this season. (27.5 DK PPG and 34.7 MPG) He should also benefit from the pace increase and is rating as one of the better values in this very high total. I would be surprised if Matthews doesn’t crack 25 DK points vs this Bulls’ defense.
SG/SF: Justin Holiday: (4,300)
Scored 34.5 DK points across 37.3 minutes in the loss to The Pistons. Dunn coming back shouldn’t hurt his playing time, with Denzel Valentine (ankle) remaining out. If the minutes stay over 30, Holiday should get over 20 DK points vs this league worst Mavs’ defense.