We get an interesting daily fantasy basketball slate to get the week going on Monday Night. James Harden, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis are some of the best studs available on a fun 9-game slate, which is big enough to unlock some solid value, but not so big that we can’t wrap our head around it.
Step one will undoubtedly deciding where our loyalties lie when it comes to the elite options. The Brow and/or Boogie head that list, but a case could be made for fading both and stockpiling other stellar options with a more balanced team.
We’re going to need a lot of points to win tonight, one way or another. Let’s see what our vision of the best possible team looks like at FanDuel:
PG: Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets ($4.7k)
Let’s start things off with a nice (and necessary) value pick in Murray. I’m also open to Jarrett Jack ($4.3k) here, but Murray went nuts last night and is the superior talent with way more upside.
He won’t get to face the Nets every night, but if the guy we saw on Sunday is the guy he can be more often, his price is only going up. We can try latching on and seeing if last night’s awesome performance parlays into another in a solid showdown with the Knicks.
PG: Kyrie Irving – Boston Celtics ($8.2k)
Irving hasn’t really exploded like some felt he would as the main man in Boston, but he’s quietly just been rock solid. The Celtics new star has scored at least 20 actual points in 5 of 6 outings this year and that’s translated to at least 32+ fantasy points every time out.
This is a very interesting NBA DFS slate, as there isn’t a Russell Westbrook or any stud point guard that demands we use them. Instead, on the year, Irving averages just five fewer fantasy points than the top guy (Stephen Curry).
He doesn’t have an easy matchup with a good Spurs defense at home, but the difference is razor thin here and Irving rends to get his. In fact, I think he’ll be needed in a big way in this one and it wouldn’t be shocking if he delivered his best scoring performance of the young season.
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks ($4.3k)
I said last week that if THJ couldn’t erupt against the Nets, he’d be dead to me. I actually tried him on Sunday night with Kemba Walker on a pivot squad from the team I liked the most and the two won me $300. Yeah, the NBA can be weird sometimes.
Hardaway was a huge reason for my team’s success last night, as he scored 34 actual points and ended the night with over 55 fantasy points. The run, role, upside and value are all pretty ridiculous for him right now. He’s also got a plus matchup against the Denver Nuggets, who are just 17th in defensive efficiency so far this year. At this price, we’re not demanding THJ do what he did last night. He just needs to not sink us.
SG: C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers ($7.7k)
I would prefer McCullum to be a bit cheaper, but I like the idea of his price tag (and the presence of James Harden) potentially lowering his ownership. He’s a fun guy to have at low ownership, as he’s in one of the two final games of the night and he’s at home, where he tends to play his best.
A date with a solid Raptors defense isn’t ideal, but McCollum is fairly matchup proof and he’s been ablaze (23+ actual points in every game this year) so far. Considering how Vegas is calling this game (-1.5 spread, 215 Total), this looks like a greats pot to pick a star or two to target. As one of the cheaper options (and one of the more reliable ones), McCollum makes sense.
SF: Wilson Chandler – Denver Nuggets ($4.7k)
We need to save in some spots on this slate and I’d much rather roll with talented players with good roles, rather than hope some cheap bench player goes nuts. Chandler seems like another logical value play, as he finally got going offensively last night (18 actual points) and tends to see good run with the Nuggets.
Chandler gets to face his former team tonight and he’s had solid success against the Knicks in the past. The beauty with Chandler is he’s not completely scoring dependent. He does a little bit of everything and will face a Knicks defense that is far from elite. This game has a nice spread (-4) and a solid Total (210), too, so it really isn’t a bad place to target value tonight.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($10.3k)
I am going to need to see more from Jimmy Butler to trust him on his new squad, so I’m pretty locked into KD tonight. He’s got the best combination of upside/floor of any small forward here and he continues to offer awesome value at this price.
More importantly, the Dubs have a really big game at the Staples Center against the Clippers and L.A. doesn’t have anyone that can slow him down. Patrick Beverley might limit Stephen Curry, though, so perhaps more offense flows toward Durant, who could have one of his biggest games of the year in this one.
PF: Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic ($7.6k)
Gordon’s price takes a dip heading into Monday, but it really shouldn’t. The kid has been on fire in every game he’s been active for, while the only reason he didn’t top 30 fantasy points against the Spurs was because that game was a total blowout (in Orlando’s favor).
Gordon faces the twin towers of The Brow and Boogie, but the Pelicans have actually been terrible defensively and specifically rank 26th at stopping power forwards. Maybe he gets stifled here, but Gordon is what makes Orlando go. I think with the ball in his hands and the amount of stats he can accrue, he’s a difficult fade at this price point.
PF: Dario Saric – Philadelpia 76ers ($3.7k)
J.J. Redick has been dealing with a back issue and sat out Philly’s last game, which paved the way for Saric to start and log 29 minutes. Should Redick be out again on Monday, Saric is slated for another big role, one way or another. He’s too gifted offensively to ignore at this price if he’s going to get near 30 minutes.
C: Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets ($8.7k)
Center is quite loaded tonight, but I can’t get over the value we can get with Joker, who is capable of producing 40-50 fantasy points in any given outing. He certainly can do that against the Knicks, who haven’t looked good defensively and specifically don’t stop anyone down low.
Jokic has looked great in three of his last four starts and that epic outing is seemingly just around the corner. We have to consider the likes of KAT and Boogie, but Jokic is cheaper and potentially can match their upside.