It’s been a crazy few days in daily fantasy basketball. The craziest element to me has been LeBron James finally living up to expectations. That’s nice to see, but King James isn’t available on Monday’s nine-game daily fantasy basketball slate.
Despite that fact, this is a loaded slate, with the likes of Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo demanding to be rostered when you piece together your NBA DFS lineups. This is a slate of studs, so you will have to decide whether you’re paying up and if so, who deserves your cash.
Deciding which stud to spend on is the first aspect of building a winner tonight, but you could be aided by potential news of Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid and Victor Oladipo all being out. Keep an eye on their statuses and make sure you check who else could be sitting out Monday’s slate.
With that, let’s dive into this big slate and see what my favorite lineup looks like for tonight’s NBA DFS action at FanDuel:
Update: There is word that Russell Westbrook may play (game time decision), so adjust your lineups as needed. He’s an amazing contrarian play for GPPs if he does suit up, while his presence would obviously hurt the upside of Schroder and PG-13.
PG: Patrick Beverley – Los Angeles Clippers ($4.8k)
Bev looks like an elite value play on this slate, as he draws a pace-up game against a bad Hawks team. He should see a lot of Trae Young defense and the up tempo nature of this showdown (231.5 Total) could get him more shots, dimes and steals than we’re accustomed to seeing. He logged 31 minutes in his last game and if he can do that again he has a real chance at smashing this price tag.
PG: De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings ($7.8k)
I also love Eric Bledsoe here, but Fox offers a bit more upside and may go overlooked on a slate with Kemba Walker, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving on it.
He’s actually not a bad price given the fact that he’s at home and will draw Dennis Schroder’s terrible defense. This Kings vs. Thunder game has a tight +2.5-point spread and a solid 221.5 Total over at Sportsbetting.ag. It’s looking like a fine NBA DFS environment.
SG: Dennis Schroder – Oklahoma City Thunder ($7.5k)
Russell Westbrook is out thanks to the birth of his child, so Schroder will again be looking at a massive role for the Thunder. He also serves as a late-game hammer in a terrific matchup with the Kings. Schroder has posted a 30.6% usage and 1.13 fantasy points per minute with Russ off the floor this year, making him an elite play tonight.
Update: Keep in mind Schroder is probably not a core play if Russ does end up suiting up tonight. Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Luka Doncic are all fine pivots at a similar price range if that’s indeed the case.
SG: J.J. Redick – Philadelphia 76ers ($5.6k)
Redick doesn’t often do much beyond score the ball, but the addition of Jimmy Butler hasn’t negatively impacted that part of his game at all. He’s red hot as a scorer right now, topping at least 20+ actual points in four of his last five games. If he can rack up a few dimes, boards and maybe even a steal or two, he could be a great value play tonight.
I also don’t mind Malcolm Brogdon, who is $200 cheaper and in a great spot against the Nuggets at home.
SF: Tyreke Evans – Indiana Pacers ($4.7k)
Victor Oladipo has been ruled out, firmly putting Reke on the radar as a chalky value pick. He has excelled this year with Dipo off the floor, posting a sick 32% usage rate and almost 40 fantasy points per 36 minutes, according to RotoGrinders’ CourtIQ tool.
Evans has a tough matchup with the Jazz, but he’s going to have the ball in his hands a ton and be called on to score and create. I can’t see myself fading him with Oladipo sidelined. Bojan Bogdanovic is the same price and is also in play. He’d probably be the more contrarian pick, but it’s not a move I’m into making.
SF: Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder ($10k)
PG-13 is my stud of choice tonight. Westbrook is still out the and he has been flat out raking with 32+ real points in each of his last three contests. George can do so much beyond scoring and is technically a solid value right now despite putting up 45+ fantasy points in each of his last five games. I find it awfully hard to believe he’s going to sack out in a great spot against the Kings, either.
Update: You can still use PG-13 if Russ plays, but he’s not worth this steep price. I’d pay up for Giannis or just save at SF and use T.J. Warren, Nikola Mirotic or Danilo Gallinari.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs ($8.1k)
Ridge did just play last night, so if you’re worried about fatigue setting in, consider paying up for Blake Griffin ($9.4k) or pivoting to Tobias Harris. Both are great plays on this slate, but Ridge proved once again last night he can be a monster (54 fantasy points).
I’m not even demanding that production tonight, but he feels like a solid value and will face a Pelicans team he dropped 44.4 fantasy points on earlier this year.
PF: Maxi Kleber – Dallas Mavericks ($3.6k)
This is my true punt and likely “lowest score” for the night. Dwight Powell is out and Dallas is banged up elsewhere, so there could be a few more minutes for Kleber. I certainly don’t love a matchup with Memphis, but he should be operating off the bench and this is a guy who can score a bit and also rack up rebounds and blocks. He’s a fine punt and really opens things up for me tonight.
If you want to pay up a little bit more but get a tad more upside, consider Jerami Grant ($5.4k) against Sacramento to close this slate out.
C: Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz ($7.9k)
Indiana is a great rebounding team, but the only NBA team that does an even better job on the glass is Utah. That’s largely thanks to Gobert, who literally has one game all year with fewer than 10 rebounds and none with fewer than nine.
He is smashing the glass, but he’s also averaging a career-high 15.4 points per game. He’s also a constant block and steal threat, making him a very underrated DFS asset. I love his price tag tonight and it’s certainly worth noting he absolutely crushed (23 and 14) the last time he faced Indy.
Joel Embiid, Andre Drummond and Nikola Jokic are great plays at center, but none offer more value than Gobert.
I am fading the top studs tonight, but I honestly think you can get by with a few guys on the next level. PG-13, Ridge, Schroder, Fox and Rudy can all be nasty in their own right and I love them tonight. That could make fading The Brow, The Greek Freak and Joel Embiid a non-issue.
That’s the plan and if you don’t love PG-13 and want to open things up for a true stud, consider dropping to Nikola Mirotic, T.J. Warren or even Danilo Gallinari at SF. I personally just love this core and it helps me avoid taking too many steep dives.
Kleber is my lone “punt” and if he’s my dropped score, so be it. The extra run could allow for him to push Bev or Evans, though, and that’d only make this team that much stronger.
Pivot as needed and be sure to note the secondary options I mention here. Whatever you do, I wish you luck tonight in your NBA DFS contests. Enjoy the games!