This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We've got a hefty 11-game slate tonight, and our list is chock full of elite talent and a load of value adds for our lineup builds. Let's get to it!
CLE (-1) vs. BKN O/U: 217.5
IND (-9) vs. MEM O/U: 217.5
DET (-4.5) vs. ORL O/U: 207.5
BOS (-7.5) vs. SAC O/U 212.5
PHI (-1) @ TOR O/U: 214
MIA (-11) vs, CHA O/U: 215
MIN (-3.5) @ ATL O/U: 234.5
MIL (-5.5) vs. UTA O/U:218.5
POR (-1) @ CHI O/U: 225.5
LAL (-5) @ SA O/U: 223
OKC (-5) @ GS O/U: 215.5
With such a big slate, the ability to eliminate games can be a valuable asset, so paying attention to our Vegas lines carries additional value. Obviously, we're going to drill down and give everything in the MIL/ATL game a closer look, but probably fade most of the elite and value adds in the ORL/DET matchup. I also like the narrow spread and favorable O/U in the POR/CHI matchup, and I already have some shrewd ideas there.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
We'll avoid the obvious ongoing injury spots, and assume you know the correct path for them.
Rudy Gobert (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
Interested players will need to wait on this one. I'm not especially high on Utah tonight, but you always need to pay attention to injury exploitation, and Tony Bradley ($4,000) will do better than anyone else at that price if Gobert sits Monday.
Kevin Love (back) QUESTIONABLE
Love will likely be a game-time decision as well, and although the O/U is just so-so, the Cavs are viewed as a favorite here, so this is one worth monitoring. You can go two ways if Love is out. Larry Nance ($5,700) should be in the frontcourt anyway but he'll get a boost, and Tristan Thompson ($6,800) will likely replace Love at center.
Bogdan Bogdanovic (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
He was OK to play last night, but since the Kings are on a back-to-back, there is a bit of doubt as to whether or not Bogdan will suit up. His absence would spell good news for Yogi Ferrell ($3,800) and rookie Justin James ($3,400).
Kemba Walker (concussion) DOUBTFUL
We haven't had a game to truly measure who would benefit in Walker's absence, but it was Brad Wanamaker ($4,300) who saw a huge uptick after Walker was carted off. No other player saw a significant spike, but I think there will be a mild boost for the Celtics' other starters as they attempt to compensate for Kemba's absence.
Aaron Gordon (ankle) OUT
Nikola Vucevic (ankle) OUT
I'm not a fan of this game, especially the Orlando side, but do we have value here? Mo Bamba ($4,400) is a low-cost guy I like, and there are reports that Khem Birch ($4,400) could see more time. Personally, I'm more likely to flip to Evan Fournier ($6,400) or Jonathan Isaac ($7,900) and expect mild boosts to their already consistent production.
With a slate this large, I'm hesitant to spend a lot of cash on someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) or LeBron James ($11,200) when I have a lot of guys in the $8-9k range that could give me solid floors of 40 points or more. With a $10k-plus purchase, I could be sacrificing my ability to get more guys with floors that I need to hit a high number. You can get to projections of 300 and higher without these elites.
Trae Young, ATL ($9,800) vs. MIN
I moved past Karl-Anthony Towns because I think center is a spot where I can save some cap space, and in my opinion, the drop-off at guard after Young is significant enough that I have to use him as part of my core Monday. Young is a lot like Luka Doncic in that he's a unique player who can single-handedly alter the course of the game, and the high O/U makes him an irresistible pick.
Anthony Davis, LAL ($9,700) @ SA
Davis' dual eligibility at forward ended up playing a huge part in my builds, as he was a much more versatile elite. As I said, I see some value at center so I didn't want to waste that spot, and I can put Davis at four different slots and experiment with various positional baselines. Davis is as consistent as you would expect, and he's had three straight games with 47 DKFP or more.
Also consider: Joel Embiid, PHI ($8,800)
EXPECTED CHALK AND MID-LEVEL TARGETS
Fred VanVleet, TOR ($8,000) vs. PHI
I get why some might think he's priced too high, but I think VanVleet is totally worth it when you look at his reliable floor. It's been a full eight games since we've seen a total that would induce regret at this price, although I really need 40 DKFP or more to be truly happy here and he can sometimes dip just below that boundary. A potential positive is that he's surrounded by bigger names and could get lost in the shuffle, resulting in some attractively low ownership.
Jimmy Butler, MIA ($7,700) vs. CHA
Butler is a good example of those bigger names, but you can't ignore him, either way. He had an off night two days ago, but I think he'll bounce back quickly against a weak Charlotte team that has defensive issues across the board.
Chris Paul, OKC ($6,900) @ GS
It's funny how Paul falls off the radar on a nightly basis, but Monday he's in a good spot against a Warriors squad that's lost its backcourt identity. If he can inch his total up to around 45 DKFP, his point-per-dollar and overall value fall right where I need them to be. He put up 40 DKFP against Golden State already, so a few more points is certainly a possibility.
Brogdon is finally coming back after a three-game absence, and it's unclear if he'll be on a minute restriction or not. Lamb returned to action a couple of days ago and played well. I'm grouping these two together because I think they both could pop against the Grizzlies. The only question is, who should you pick? I like Brogdon a lot in GPPs due to the relative uncertainty, and I think Lamb will see a minute increase and is a better cash candidate.
Danilo Gallinari, OKC ($5,900) @ GS
The Thunder and the Warriors have met twice already, and I liked Gallinari's 21-point performance in their last meeting. It's easy to forget about Danilo, as he's kind of lost on a team that we're not targeting much in DFS. We live in a new era now where we're looking at who the Warriors are playing and immediately run there, and this is one of those circumstances where we are looking for matchup-based value.
Lauri Markkanen, CHI ($5,500) vs. POR
Ok, I know what you're thinking. Markkanen has stunk it up so far, and if you drafted him you're currently regretting it in your seasonal leagues. I don't blame you. However, the slump's resulted in a reduced DFS price. We saw a glimmer of the old Markkanen two games ago and he went right back to a bad line the next game, but the numbers tell us he could bounce back against Portland. He has to get his shot right, but the Blazers are ripe for the picking when it comes to rebounds, and that's one area in which he hasn't regressed too much. He also can't shoot this badly forever.
Markelle Fultz, ORL ($5,100) at DET
Fultz continues to improve, and he notched a 30 DKFP score in his last game, which is his best total of the season. The losses of Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic are causing shifts into other positions for the Magic wing players, and that often leaves the point wide open for Fultz. His 29 minutes of court time Friday were also a season high, so this could be a sign of bigger things to come for the former No. 1 overall pick.
Cedi Osman, CLE ($4,900) vs. BKN
The Cavs are favorites against the Nets, and you have to admit that as a whole, the team is much improved. Osman can help you in many ways, but in order to deliver a viable number, he has to help you in all of those ways. In his last game, he grabbed 12 boards but couldn't shoot, and in the game before that, he gave you 18 points. If we could combine those two or at least balance them out, we'd be thrilled at this price.
Dwight Howard, LAL ($4,500) @ SA
I think Howard is a better fit over JaVale McGee as the Lakers' best option against the Spurs. Howard was in the league when a game against the Spurs was a contest you circled on the calendar. It's not so much the case anymore. We're aided by a previous game this season, in which Howard posted one of his best numbers of the season (38 DKFP).
Check back with RotoWire before game lock to get the latest information on the injury situations we discussed.