DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Monday (2/15)
After a big nine-game nightcap on Sunday, we have seven games making up this Monday slate. That’s the perfect amount because the player pool isn’t too small or too big. As usual, we do have a ton of injury question marks coming into the day, though. That makes things a little more challenging at this juncture, but we’ll do our best to project who will play and who won’t. With that in mind, let’s get into it!
If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel.
Most Value Per Dollar
The NBA has been much higher scoring this season, and this slate shows you why. We have almost every bad defense on display, with the Golden State-Cleveland, Sacramento-Brooklyn, and Washington-Houston games looking to be massive shootouts. We actually have the five-fastest teams in terms of pace and the bottom four defense in terms of points allowed, as well. Obviously, that’s going to play to a massive fantasy night, with 300 points likely being the cash line in most tournaments. In terms of spreads, we have every game within a single-digit margin. The biggest favorites are the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, and Indiana Pacers.
If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros.
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.
Nerlens Noel (NYK) $4,400:
Noel has always been a fantastic per-minute producer throughout his career, and he might be looking at his most significant workload ever right now. We say that because he’s now starting for the injured Mitchell Robinson (hand), playing 32 minutes in his debut start on Saturday. This is a guy who’s averaging 1.1 DraftKings points per minute, and if he keeps playing 30-plus minutes, he should be a $7K player. Atlanta’s 18th-ranked defense doesn’t concern us either.
John Wall (HOU) $7,500:
Wall is the best per-dollar play on the board, and we’ll discuss why in the studs section!
Darius Garland (CLE) $5,500:
Strangely, Garland remains way too affordable. If you take out his first week back from injury, this guy has been a stud all season long. In fact, he’s averaging 28 DK points per game across his last nine outings after averaging 36 DK points per game across his first five fixtures. That equates to a 31-point average, which is all you can ask for from a sub $6K player. Not to mention, Golden State ranks second in pace and 20th in points allowed.
De’Aaron Fox (SAC) $8,800:
Fox does enter this matchup with a questionable tag, but he’s one of the best plays on the board if he plays. We say that because he’s been one of the best point guards in the NBA over the last month, averaging 47 DraftKings points per game across his last 11 outings. That makes Fox attractive against anyone, but Brooklyn happens to own the NBA’s worst defensive rating since acquiring James Harden.
Kelly Oubre Jr. (GSW) $6,500:
Oubre got off to a terrible start in his Golden State tenure, but he’s definitely turned things around. In fact, Kelly has at least 28 fantasy points in five of his last six games while averaging 35 DK points per game in that span. That’s the guy we remember from his Phoenix days, and he should be able to continue that success against a 22nd-ranked Cavaliers defense.
Jeff Green (BKN) $5,100:
If DeAndre Jordan misses another game here, Green should be looking at another start at center. That’s what he did on Saturday, playing 29 minutes and providing 27 fantasy points. This is a guy who’s averaging 23 fantasy points per game in the 17 outings he’s played at least 26 minutes this season, and that seems like a strong possibility here against the team that has the league’s worst defensive rating.
Rudy Gobert (UTH) $7,200:
Gobert has been too cheap on DraftKings for weeks now, and it’s hard to understand why. We’re talking about a guy who has at least 31 DK points in 23 of his 27 games this season. That’s a ridiculous floor from a player below $8K. What makes the price even more bizarre is the fact that he’s averaging 41 fantasy points per game over his last 16 outings. Philly is certainly a tough matchup, but Gobert should be looking at extra minutes to oppose Joel Embiid.
Royce O’Neale (UTH) $4,800:
O’Neale is quietly one of the most valuable players on this surprising Jazz team, and it’s hard to overlook his workload at this price. How often do you see a $4,800 player averaging 32.4 minutes a game? That’s what we have here with Royce, and it’s not like it’s empty minutes. He’s averaging 24.4 DK points per game across his last 11 outings, which is a fantastic total from someone so cheap.
DeMarcus Cousins (HOU) $6,200:
As long as Christian Wood remains out, Cousins is always an option. We say that because Cuz is averaging over 36 fantasy points per game in his nine starts this year. That’s really no surprise when you see his 1.3 DK point-per-minute average, and he’ll always provide good value as long as he plays 25-30 minutes. We love the matchup with Washington, too, surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Myles Turner (IND) $6,000:
Turner returned to his usual form on Saturday, dropping 42 DK points below $6K. A performance like that makes it hard to believe he got so cheap in the first place, especially when you see his 39-point average over his first 19 games. A small five-game stretch is what lowered that price, and you need to capitalize on it before it inevitably rises.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- James Harden (BKN) $10,700: Harden got off to a slow start with the Nets, but he’s clearly found his role now. It’s actually the primary ball-handler and playmaker, leading the NBA in assists. He’s also averaging 54.4 DK points per game across his last eight outings, and that’s going to be easy to accomplish against a horrific Kings defense. Kevin Durant being ruled out only adds to Harden’s value, too.
- Joel Embiid (PHI) $10,500: Embiid has at least 39 DraftKings points in all but one game this season and might be the most reliable player in fantasy right now. The matchup against Utah looks tough on the surface, but he averaged 49 fantasy points per game in two outings against them last year.
- Stephen Curry (GSW) $9,900: Curry has scored at least 27 raw points in nine-straight games, throwing his hat in the ring for MVP consideration. He’s also providing 49 fantasy points per game in that span, despite dealing with numerous blowouts. Facing a 22nd-ranked Cleveland defense should allow him to drop a 50-spot yet again!
- Julius Randle (NYK) $8,700: Randle is simply a usage monster. He’s averaging 37 minutes, 17 shots, and a 26 percent usage rate this year. That’s usually what you see from a five-figure player, and it’s allowed Randle to score at least 38 DraftKings points in all but two games this year. He also had one of his best outings against these Hawks, collecting 28 points, 17 rebounds, and nine assists en route to 63 DK points earlier in the year.
- John Wall (HOU) $7,500: Wall has quietly had a resurgent season for the Rockets, and he’s surely going to be motivated here. We say that because he faces the team he spent his first decade with, who happen to rank first in pace and 29th in defensive efficiency. That’s bad news against a guy who’s scored at least 30 DK points in nine-straight games, averaging 36 fantasy points per game in that span. That stretch started with a blowout win over Washington, in which Wall scored 33.4 DK points in just 24 minutes. Imagine how good that could look in 35 minutes!
Notable Players to Fade
- John Collins (ATL) $7,000: With Danilo Gallinari back, Collins is starting to lose some minutes and shots. Over his last two games, JC is averaging fewer than 30 minutes a night while averaging 24 DK points per game. That’s scary from a guy who’s already having a down year, and it’s hard to see it getting any better against a Knicks defense that’s allowing the fewest points in the NBA.
- Jarrett Allen (CLE) $6,700: Allen has seen a minute bump in the last two games, but we need to look deeper. Those both happened to be blowouts, and Allen was actually relegated to the bench on Friday. That means he could get limited to 20 minutes behind Andre Drummond, and that workload could get even shorter against a team that runs tons of small-ball.
- Joe Ingles (UTH) $5,700: There’s some thought that Mike Conley might return here, and if that’s the case, Ingles should not be in your lineup. We say that because he averages 10 fewer fantasy points, with Conley and Donovan Mitchell both suiting up. We also hate that he faces a Top-5 Philly defense as well.
- Reggie Jackson (LAC) $4,900: You might see Jackson in the starting lineup, but that doesn’t mean he should be in your lineup. Not only is Patrick Beverley back and taking away minutes from R-Jax, but he’s also averaging just 18 DK points per game across his last five fixtures.
- Duncan Robinson (MIA) $4,400: Robinson is a sharpshooter, but his scope is off right now. He’s actually scored 24 or fewer fantasy points in 11-straight outings, shooting just 34 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range in that span. That’s even scarier against a Top-5 Clippers defense.
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball ToOurm our Lineup Optimhich allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s plans – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.