This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Defense to Avoid:
Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago Bulls
It's always tough when a top defensive team (Cavaliers) takes on the best offensive team (Warriors), so while Cleveland has the most elite defense Monday, it's hard to trust them against Golden State. The Bulls are coming off a dreadful offensive performance against the Mavericks, scoring just 77 points on 36 percent shooting from the field. When Derrick Rose is healthy that usually affects Jimmy Butler negatively, which subsequently affects the Bulls' offense overall (because Butler is practically their entire offense). The Pistons have improved defensively and are allowing just 204.4 fantasy points per game this season, which is good for sixth in the NBA.
Offense to Use:
Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks
We all know how the Mavericks love to rest their veteran players when they've got a lot of games in a short period of time, so chances are their lineup will be unimposing Monday considering they played the Spurs in San Antonio on Sunday. Behind the Warriors, the Celtics offer the highest-scoring offense in terms of DraftKings' fantasy points at 220.3 per game. Boston is on a three-game winning streak and averaging 103 points per game over that span. It's also a plus that none of the Celtics' players will break your bank.
Teams on Back-to-Backs:
First game: Pelicans
Second game: Mavericks, Rockets
Daily Player Recommendations
Kyle Lowry, TOR vs. BKN ($8,700): In keeping with the mantra that it's always good to pay up for point guards, Lowry is the easy option against a Nets team that is getting torched by opposing floor generals this season. Matchup aside, Lowry has scored more than 40 fantasy points in seven straight games. With 10 games taking place Monday, Lowry comes in as the fifth-highest priced PG and is $1,800 less than Stephen Curry, who always has high ownership regardless of matchup. Lowry is probably a more appealing cash-game play, but when you're almost guaranteed to score over 40 fantasy points, why turn that down in tournaments?
Bradley Beal, WAS at POR ($6,700): Soon enough Beal's price will be extremely low considering how many minutes he's playing. But that minutes restriction didn't stop him from scoring 22 points and draining four 3-pointers against the Pacers on Saturday, finishing with 30.75 fantasy points. Beal was held out of Saturday's game, so he should be pretty fresh when the Wizards travel to Portland to take on a Trail Blazers squad that got blown out by the 76ers a few nights ago. He is a bit risky, but that's exactly what you want when it comes to putting together tournament lineups, so consider Beal a contrarian play that could pay dividends and won't cost much.
Jae Crowder, BOS at DAL ($6,600): Crowder has been the standard of consistency at the small forward position, yet his price tag never gets insanely expensive. As mentioned above, the Celtics are an appealing offense to use and Crowder should see a high usage rate as the Mavericks usually struggle on defense in the second game of a back-to-back.
Trey Lyles, UTA at CHA ($5,000): With the Jazz so banged up at the power forward spot, Lyles has really taken off as an extreme value play. He's a bit more costly on DraftKings but is still incredibly affordable considering he's scored in double figures in three straight games for an average of 27.5 fantasy points per game. The Hornets are allowing 48.8 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards this season, and as long as Derrick Favors (back) and Trevor Booker (concussion) remain out, Lyles should see the majority of that playing time.
Marc Gasol, MEM vs. NO ($7,600): Gasol put on an offensive showcase Saturday against the Knicks, scoring a season-high 37 while finishing with 57 fantasy points. The Pelicans have had a lot of trouble against opposing centers this season and Gasol provides elite production as the fifth-highest priced player at his position Monday. Point guard Mike Conley has been nursing an Achilles injury which may hold him out of a seventh consecutive game, which would be great for Gasol considering it makes him even more of a focal point in the offense.
Blake Griffin, LAC (quad)
Jarrett Jack, BKN (knee)
Victor Oladipo, ORL (knee)
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, BKN (ankle)
Joakim Noah, CHI (shoulder)
Kirk Hinrich, CHI (quad)
DeMarre Carroll, TOR (knee)
Mike Dunleavy, CHI (back)
Al Jefferson, CHA (knee)
Jameer Nelson, DEN (wrist)
Donatas Motiejunas, HOU (back)
DeAndre Jordan, LAC (illness)
Mike Conley, MEM (Achilles)
Derrick Favors, UTA (back)
Otto Porter, WAS (hip)
Jeremy Lamb, CHA (toe)
Mo Williams, CLE (personal)
Brandon Jennings, DET (ankle)
James McAdoo, GSW (toe)
Patrick Beverley, HOU (ankle)