This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We begin the week with a nine-game NBA slate on FanDuel. If you're short on time at game lock, you may be missing out on a lot of potential value, as a lot of game-time calls will be happening that will unearth excellent value as the day continues. Most critical situations also occur in the early games, so your late-swap opportunities will be limited if you miss the earlier reports. As usual, we'll be on top of those situations all day.
PHI (-15.5) vs. ORL O/U: 208.5
MIA (-7) vs. DEN O/U: 207.5
CHI (-6.5) vs. CHA O/U: 225
HOU (-2) vs. OKC O/U: 214.5
MIN (-4) vs. IND O/U: 218
DAL (-5.5) vs. CLE O/U: 208
WAS (-3) @ SAS O/U: 214.5
UTA (-7.5) vs. POR O/U: 223
LAC (-8) vs. NOR O/U: 207.5
ORL Cole Anthony (ankle) - OUT
ORL Mo Bamba (bank) - QUESTIONABLE
Bamba was a scratch over the weekend but could return. If he can't play, pivoting to Wendell Carter ($6,500) is the sound play. Anthony should be out again, which will lead to solid minutes for Jalen Suggs ($5,800).
DEN Nikola Jokic (wrist) - QUESTIONABLE
Jokic could always play through the injury, but if he cannot take the court, Aaron Gordon ($6,200) seems to be the guy who enjoys the most extensive production boost in his absence.
MIA Jimmy Butler (tailbone) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Tyler Herro (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
We know that Herro's illness isn't COVID-19 related, so he could return tonight. I will turn to Gabe Vincent ($4,500) as the best value pivot if he's out. Not much is known about Butler's injury, but Caleb Martin ($3,600) is a sensible swap if Butler is sidelined.
HOU Jalen Green (hamstring) - OUT
MIN Patrick Beverley (groin) - OUT
This injury hasn't moved the needle much for any particular player, so play the starters as usual.
CLE Cedi Osman (back) - QUESTIONABLE
CLE Dean Wade (back) - DOUBTFUL
Lauri Markkanen ($6,300) is a great player to target in this injury scenario, and he could also be reasonable if either player were limited in any way.
DAL Jalen Brunson (foot) - QUESTIONABLE
Trey Burke ($3,800) saw an uptick in minutes in this spot over the weekend, so he remains the best value pivot if Brunson remains out.
SAS Devin Vassell (quad) - QUESTIONABLE
SAS Doug McDermott (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
POR Norman Powell (quad) - QUESTIONABLE
UTA Royce O'Neale (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
Rudy Gay ($4,500) is your best shot in this spot. Gay has also been producing above 5x value for a couple of games already, so I wouldn't rule him out independent of this injury.
We'll use the top 10 players as the range for the elites this evening. Right off the bat, Luka Doncic ($10,600) appears to have the most value against Cleveland. Doncic is on a run of five straight games with 50 or more FP, and one of those games was a massive 80-FP bonanza. Dejounte Murray ($10,000) has a salary at its zenith on Monday's slate, but he is priced appropriately, with three straight games approaching the 60-FP range. The final player I'll highlight is Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,800), who may carry the best value among the spend-up options against the Pacers. It will be an enjoyable battle between KAT and Domantas Sabonis.
Also consider: Bradley Beal, WAS ($8,700) @ SAS
EXPECTED CHALK AND CORE TARGETS
Damian Lillard, POR ($8,600) @ UTA
Lillard's salary is on its way back down after hitting a high point of $8,800 last week. He should be ready to shake off a poor night against the Warriors as the Blazers continue their road trip against the Jazz. Utah still has a strong defense, although it has shown some cracks. I expect a hotly contested duel between Lillard and Donovan Mitchell ($8,000), who usually complement each other well when they face each other.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($7,700) @ MIN
Brogdon's salary is simply too low, especially in this potential shootout against the Timberwolves. I actually like the guard play on both sides of this matchup, as D'Angelo Russell ($7,500) and Anthony Edwards ($8,100) are both in play as well. Still, it's Brogdon who is at the most appealing price. His recent struggles against the Bucks and Bulls have driven his salary down as you rarely see Brogdon below $8k, making 40FP his 5x value threshold. With strong potential to go north of that number, Indiana's marquee point guard is a sensible target.
Nikola Vucevic, CHI ($7,600) vs. CHA
Although P.J. Washington ($4,900) is back for Charlotte, Vucevic should have an easy time against the Hornets' front. His salary has sunk to a level where he can meet value more often than not. Although he hasn't popped off a massive score recently, his floor sits comfortably around 40 FP, making him a solid cash play. Washington is also good value in this spot with an exceptionally low salary as he returns from injury.
Will Barton, DEN ($6,400) @ MIA
With the loss of Michael Porter and the potential absence of Nikola Jokic tonight, Barton's value to his team is amplified. Miami ranks at the bottom of the league against his position, and Barton can eclipse 30 FP on a regular basis. The combination of tangible injury concerns from Miami also opens up an exploitable spot for him. He's someone to take in any contest format at this salary.
Several value options exist in the injury section at rock-bottom prices. Here are some additional values that lie in the $5k range and lower.
Jakob Poeltl, SAS ($5,800) vs. WAS
Although his salary is starting to rise again since returning from injury, he's in an exploitable spot against the Hornets, who don't have much to offer up front. Poeltl has put up two consecutive games of 30 FP or more and is averaging around 30 minutes on the floor. A double-double is a real possibility in this spot.
Eric Bledsoe, LAC ($5,100) @ NOR
Guards have popped at different times for the Clippers, but after a goose egg from Reggie Jackson the other night, Bledsoe's veteran presence has emerged as the more dependable option, and he comes at a pretty good discount. Bledsoe is not without risk as he has thrown up some clunkers over the last two weeks, but he's on a two-game run in which he has exceeded 5x value at this salary.
Luguentz Dort, OKC ($5,600) @ HOU
When two struggling teams play each other, swing guys like Dort can produce good results. He is the best two-way player on the Thunder and can produce decent secondary numbers against weak offenses, and his shooting stroke has been dialed in of late. His shot volume is also sky high right now, as he's attempting 14 or more shots regularly. Luckily for Dort, a lot of them are falling. The Thunder have already met the Rockets twice, and Dort is averaging 36 FP against them.