This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
It's a big night for injury pivots and standout centers on Monday's slate. The action kicks off at 7:00 p.m. EDT with the Pistons and the Cavaliers. Let's dive right in!
CLE @ DET (+3.5) O/U: 213.5
CHI @ BOS (-5.5) O/U: 222.5
GSW @ PHI (-8) O/U: 225.5
OKC @ WAS (-10.5) O/U: 230
HOU @ MIA (-9.5) O/U: 217
SAS @ IND (+1) O/U: 232
DEN @ MEM (-5.5) O/U: 227
PHO @ MIL (-3) O/U: 234.5
UTA @ LAL (+5.5) O/U: 214.5
(Lines and odds are best available US numbers and are subject to change)
Games To Target in BOLD
Games to Fade in ITALIC
We tag these numbers on at the end to make sure they are as current as possible, and on second look, I think I faded too many Suns and Bucks in my endorsements. Definitely keep this game in mind as you build lineups today. Unexpectedly, it has the highest O/U total on the slate.
It's important to pay close attention to our injury pivots tonight. A majority of your lineup builds will involve the recommendations made in these spots.
CLE Larry Nance (personal) - OUT
One less body in the frontcourt is good news for Kevin Love ($5,900), who is one of the better values on the slate below 6k. He's a significantly better play than Jarrett Allen due to FanDuel's single-center structure. There are too many smash centers in the pool Monday, but with Love's PF designation, he becomes inherently more valuable.
DET Jerami Grant (quad) - OUT
DET Cory Joseph (illness) - OUT
DET Mason Plumlee (rest) - OUT
Isaiah Stewart ($4,800) has averaged almost 40 FP off the bench over the past week, and he'll now have a chance to start under center tonight against the Cavs. While this will be an extremely popular play, he'll also be the best value option out there on this slate. It's tough to beat his PF designation tonight. With Grant out, Josh Jackson ($5,500) is another guy that is difficult to avoid, and Saddiq Bey ($5,200) could also excel, although he should be more of a tournament target. Another good tournament play is Killian Hayes ($3,900), who will play in Joseph's place. He ended up resting Saturday, which is a good indication that they intend to use a lot of him against the Cavs.
CHI Zach LaVine (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
Although Tomas Satoransky is back at full strength, the pendulum seems to have swung back in favor of Coby White ($4,700), especially with LaVine out. He struggled two nights ago against Cleveland but notched 27 points and seven assists against the Grizzlies last Friday. If he can bounce back, he'll have tremendous value. The Bulls will load up usage with their young players, so I also feel Patrick Williams ($4,000) could hold significant value against a Boston team that will be without a few of its top playmakers.
BOS Jayson Tatum (ankle) - PROBABLE
BOS Jaylen Brown (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
BOS Kemba Walker (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
BOS Robert Williams (knee) - OUT
Boston is a spot to keep a close eye on. To begin, we know Tristan Thompson ($4,400) will start, but as we said about Allen, it's difficult to go this low on a loaded center slate. We'll talk about Tatum in a moment, but Marcus Smart ($6,900) would have to be a key component if any of these absences were to occur. Payton Pritchard ($3,600) would also have value if Brown and Walker both sit but would be more of a tournament flier if Walker suits up.
GSW Stephen Curry (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
GSW Kelly Oubre (wrist) - QUESTIONABLE
GSW Juan Toscano-Anderson (concussion) - OUT
Curry would be a notable absence from tonight's action, but he'd turn into an excellent contrarian elite if he suits up against his brother. I'm a fan of the Seth Curry ($3,800) narrative here if he plays. If Steph were to sit, Jordan Poole ($4,000) would likely step in and start for the Warriors. Kent Bazemore ($4,600) will continue to step in if Oubre is out, and Andrew Wiggins ($7,000) should get some consideration if both Curry and Oubre sit tonight.
PHI Tobias Harris (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
PHI Seth Curry (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
PHI Dwight Howard (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
Furkan Korkmaz ($4,700) is the man to target if Harris fails to return. Although Danny Green will get a lot of love after his 42 FP game against the Clippers, any regular DFS player is well aware of his ability to burn you. He's more of a tournament option than Korkmaz, who will submit a steadier line if Harris doesn't suit up. It could also be a decent night for Shake Milton ($4,100) if Seth Curry doesn't play.
WAS Rui Hachimura (knee) - OUT
It's tough to pin down a pivot here, but Daniel Gafford ($4,100) holds some value thanks to a PF designation. Nothing else stands out for this team other than the obvious elites, which we will touch on in a moment.
MIA Jimmy Butler (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
If Butler is out, Bam Adebayo ($7,700) emerges from a crowded field at center as one of the better options. He's less of a factor if Butler takes the floor. Both Kendrick Nunn ($4,800) and Trevor Ariza ($4,300) thrived in Butler's absence, so they are in play as well if Butler sits.
IND Doug McDermott (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
MIL Donte DiVincenzo (toe) - QUESTIONABLE
MEM Jonas Valanciunas (concussion) - OUT
MEM Dillon Brooks (thigh) - QUESTIONABLE
MEM De'Anthony Melton (leg) - QUESTIONABLE
MEM Brandon Clarke (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
JoVal's absence spells trouble for the Grizzlies, as he's their offensive engine at the moment. The center role will likely fall to Xavier Tillman ($3,500), and thanks to a PF designation, he has some value. Desmond Bane ($3,900) would also be in play if Brooks were to sit.
DEN Monte Morris (hamstring) - OUT
Morris' absence means that Facundo Campazzo ($4,300) will start as the Nuggets continue to deal with the loss of Jamal Murray. There's a lot of additional value for Denver tonight, and we'll approach them later in the article.
UTA Donovan Mitchell (ankle) - OUT
UTA Rudy Gobert (knee) - PROBABLE
UTA Mike Conley (knee) - PROBABLE
Despite the probable tags, a mass absence for Utah would not be surprising. Jordan Clarkson ($6,100) will still be a great call in either instance, and Joe Ingles ($6,300) should continue to be a critical component in Mitchell's absence.
We've already hinted at the loaded center spot, and that's where we'll begin in this section. Nikola Jokic ($11,100), Joel Embiid ($10,400) and Nikola Vucevic ($9,100) are our top big men at 9k or higher. With Jamal Murray out for the season, Jokic needs to take on more responsibility, and there's no question that he plays on another level than the rest of the league. It would be a travesty if he isn't the league MVP at this point. You also have to like Embiid in a very exploitable spot against Kevon Looney and the Warriors. Vucevic could emerge as the best option if Boston's key absences come through, and he should have no problem opposite Tristan Thompson. Although Jokic is simply in a tier of his own, Embiid should be ranked first, followed by Jokic and Vucevic. The $700 savings with Embiid is significant.
It's getting to the point where fading Russell Westbrook ($11,500) means that you're immediately behind the field. He's making history with his frequent triple-doubles, and he's obviously very hard to avoid. It's encouraging to see Bradley Beal ($8,500) increase his shot volume, but it doesn't hurt Westbrook one bit. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) won't have his usual popularity against a tough Phoenix team, but there's also merit to go to him due to his propensity for upside in close matchups. One of Giannis' problems is a big fade down the stretch in non-competitive contests. That's not the case tonight.
As we move into the 9k range, the viability of Jayson Tatum ($9,700) is tied to the potential absences on his squad. Although he's almost a lock for a higher number in either circumstance, his probability of meeting 5x value is far higher if Jaylen Brown ends up sidelined. Since he is so close to the 9k range, it makes sense to talk about Domantas Sabonis ($8,700). The major knock on Sabonis is his disappearing act in the second half. This is a pattern that hasn't broken, even in competitive games. Despite his double-double potential, we have a plethora of value at power forward tonight, and he'll also play the Spurs, who are now at full speed and injury-free.
Caris LeVert, IND ($8,300) vs. SA
This game shapes up to be one of the most competitive matchups on the slate, and LeVert has continued to lead the team with impressive scoring totals. His past five games have been outstanding, with an average of almost 43 FP over that span. He's also popped to as high as 55 FP during that period, so the upside is there if his three-point shot delivers.
John Wall, HOU ($7,800) @ MIA
Some might view Wall as a risky proposition, but they're probably linking him to Houston's overall fortunes without looking at the numbers. When healthy, Wall is as good as any guard on the slate. He received a rest day Sunday and was hit with a salary decrease due to a poor game against Denver. If Jimmy Butler is out, a huge bounce-back could be in store for Wall. If he can get it inside to Christian Wood, high shot volume and a big assist total will get Wall back in the good graces of DFS grinders.
Michael Porter, DEN ($7,600) vs. MEM
Porter is one of my favorite plays on the slate. No one stands to benefit more from Jamal Murray's absence, and Porter is also the key to Denver's future success. After an up-and-down rookie campaign, the team has come to depend on his steady output in his second year. We should see Porter take things to another level down the stretch, and we already see upticks in all categories as he takes on more responsibility.
Ben Simmons, PHI ($7,100) vs. GSW
This number is just ridiculous for Simmons. Sure, he can sometimes be chock-full of variance, but given the potential absences of Stephen Curry and Tobias Harris, how can you ignore his potential? Joel Embiid will run the show in this spot, but Simmons will be the guy delivering him the ball frequently, and an uptick in rebounds is also possible due to the potential hole left by Harris. He's a virtual lock if Harris stays out and is a viable play in either instance.
The injury section is stuffed with value plays, but we'll outline a few additional options in our final segment.
Derrick White, SA ($5,500) @ IND
White has suffered through some rough shooting nights, but he's too talented to let that last for long. The upside is definitely there now that the team is playing at full speed. If he can just make a few more shots and keep contributing in the secondary categories, White should beat 5x value with ease.
Will Barton, DEN ($5,300) vs. MEM
This game may get out of hand, which could signal an extended run from Barton. He's had his share of frustrating games lately, but he seems to enjoy playing the Grizzlies. He posted 21 points and three steals in their last matchup, and Memphis is riddled with injuries at almost every position. Since we're on the subject of Denver value, another interesting play is Aaron Gordon ($5,100). The Nuggets have yet to determine his role, but he seems like an obvious beneficiary in the wake of Jamal Murray's season-ending injury. Both players carry risk but could work as tournament options.
Saben Lee, DET ($3,700) vs. CLE
Although there's a lot to like about Killian Hayes, we could just as easily see Lee start and run the table as the Pistons' top option at point guard. Both players are equally capable, but they're both risky as well. However, Cleveland's backcourt is hurting, and standout play from the guards will be the key to a Detroit victory.
Also consider: Aleksej Pokusevski, OKC ($4,800) @ WAS