This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Monday offers up a nine-game slate for us, and questionable designations for a couple of our elites is the biggest headline. Let's first take a look at how Vegas views our contests.
NY (-2.5) vs. CLE O/U: 209
TOR (-9) vs. CHA O/U: 216
BKN (-4.5) vs. IND O/U: 221.5
HOU (-6.5) vs. POR O/U: 231
MIL (-7.5) @ CHI O/U: 229.5
DAL (-4.5) vs. SA O/U: 224.5
PHO (-2.5) vs. BOS O/U: 227
UTA (-10) vs. MIN O/U: 219
LAC (-8.5) vs. OKC O/U: 220.5
As you'll see below, I really favor the MIL/CHI, especially on the Chicago end. I think a lot of people are overestimating the Bucks' defense and overlooking a Chicago team that has a lot of value. I'm also betraying the O/U line for CLE/NY and making some cheap plays there. I don't think I even touched the BKN/IND game, save a late pivot for Kyrie Irving (see below), but otherwise, I've exposed myself to almost every game in some way. No complete fades or targets, just picking my spots.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO CONSIDER
Aside from ongoing or thoroughly reported injury spots, here are the most relevant injury situations for us to exploit.
Kyrie Irving (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
We won't know more until their Monday morning shootaround, but if Kyrie ends up sitting, Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,000) is your most logical pivot.
Kawhi Leonard (knee) QUESTIONABLE
I think it's likely that he'll play because Paul George and Leonard are chomping at the bit to share the court for the first time. There's no better place to kick off their journey than at the Staples Center.
Andrew Wiggins (illness) DOUBTFUL
Domantas Sabonis (hip) QUESTIONABLE
I think there's a good chance that he'll shed this designation sometime today, as his hip injury doesn't appear to be serious.
Luka Doncic, DAL ($9,800) vs. SA
Doncic headlines the elites for me as he faces a Spurs team that is suffering through a five-game losing streak. The way they look, there's no telling where the bottom might be. On the other side of the ball, the Mavericks look great, and Doncic finds a way to meet value almost every time he hits the floor. His numbers are approaching Russell Westbrook 2016 status, as he's getting really, really close to a triple-double average. The price tag is high, but so is his floor. It's one of the highest and most reliable floors on the slate, and I have no problem building around him.
What about James Harden ($12,000), you ask?
For $2,200 less, I'm not losing a lot with Doncic, and I would even be more inclined to spend a tad less on Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,900). Giannis takes on a Bulls team that ranks last against his position. Both Harden and GIannis' floors are equally impressive and If you can bunch up enough value in the 4-5k range, go for it.
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
Paul George, LAC ($8,100) vs. OKC
Get him while he's still cheap. At this price, George is easily on track to hit 5-6x value. What's even more exciting about this pick? This could be the night Kawhi and George finally share the court, and while they may need to work out the kinks, these two are only going to help each other's stat lines.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7,900) vs, MIN
It's hard to stay off Mitchell due to a floor that's virtually matchup-proof, and I like him even more against Minnesota. The Timberwolves rank 25th against opposing off-guards, and guys like Austin Rivers and Luke Kennard have run all over them, not to mention Bradley Beal. Once Mitchell gets a little more consistent with his three-point shot, he'll be even deadlier.
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($7,500) vs. SA
I'm a fan of the Doncic/KP stack tonight against the Spurs for the reasons I listed above. True, Porzingis has the capability to burn you on any given night, but I suspect LaMarcus Aldridge will have a hard time containing him. The Spurs have already given up big points to Karl-Anthony Towns, Hassan Whiteside and Jonas Valanciunas recently. I expect Porzingis to be next.
Zach LaVine, CHI ($6,900) vs. MIL
I like it when a probable guy gets that big "Q" because people shy away from the player in droves. They'll also stay away from playing Milwaukee, but is that such a bad thing? The Bucks are currently near the top of the league in pace, and these two teams have already met, which gives us some reliable history. He got 46.8 points against them the first time around, which puts LaVine below $150 per point if he can replicate that total. Yes, please!
Coby White, CHI ($5,300) vs. MIL
White may seem to be a bit of an off-the-wall selection, but his usage is currently sky high for a rookie, and I think he'll ride well alongside LaVine for a rare, reasonable Chicago stack in some GPP lineups. He didn't have a particularly strong shooting night against Brooklyn two days ago, but nights like that have been the exception, not the rule. I predict he'll come off a day of rest with a warmed-up shot that should make his numbers pop.
Darius Garland, CLE ($4,100) @ NY
Garland is due for a big night, and it could come against the Knicks. He's unseated the other challengers on the roster for the starting point guard gig for the time being, so the opportunity is certainly there for him. If he can get his court time up to 30 minutes, I think he'll be able to beat value easily at this price.
Enes Kanter, BOS ($4,000) @ PHO
Kanter's shot is finally warming up as he returns to full health and I have a good feeling about him at this price point. He's only seeing about 20 minutes per game currently, but over the past four games he's averaged over seven rebounds, and converted his shot at a 54 percent rate over that span.
Danuel House, Jr. HOU ($3,700) vs. POR
House is another one of those "Q" guys that should yield very little ownership. He's missed the last six games, so it's easy to forget his influence on the Rockets' second unit. A 24 DLFP average at this price is unheard of, but that's where his floor is currently.
A few endorsements at varying price levels that fell through the cracks:
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($9,000) vs. CHA
Ricky Rubio, PHO ($7,000) vs. BOS
Hassan Whiteside, POR ($6,700) @ HOU
RJ Barrett, NY ($5,600) vs. CLE
You've got to do an elite build, and as you can see, there's enough value out there where you can pair a stud with someone in the 7-8k range and still get away with decent value at the bottom. To get up-to-date on situations like Irving and Leonard, head back to RotoWire before game lock to re-check your lineups.