DraftKings NBA: Monday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Monday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Monday's six-game slate should be an interesting one, as key suspensions for two of the league's marquee players should open up some value at their positions  Let's look at the numbers for Monday night.

SLATE OVERVIEW

WAS (-1.5) vs. DET O/U: 224.5

BKN (-3.5) vs. NO O/U: 233.5

HOU (-6.5) @ MEM O/U: 234

MIL (-6) @ MIN O/U: 230

PHI (-1.5) @ PHO O/U: 223

POR (-9.5) @ GS O/U: 223.5

(Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change)

I would typically discuss these lines and then get to kay absences later in the article, but the slate is pretty dependent on these absences and what they mean for your lineup builds.

MONDAY'S KEY ABSENCES

Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid will both remain out as they serve the second game of their respective two-game suspensions. The advantage here is that we have an ability to look back at Game 1 of the suspension to see who gleaned the most value from their absences.

In Minnesota, it was Gorgui Dieng ($3,300) who saw the biggest boost, although spikes also occurred in less obvious places as well, with guys like Andrew Wiggins ($6,700) and Jarrett Culver ($3,300) getting a DKFP increase.

On the Philly side, we're more used to adjusting for an Embiid absence. Al Horford ($6,900) and Tobias Harris ($7,000) will benefit most on the high end, while the best budget call is Kyle O'Quinn, but I hesitate to endorse him because I like the Dieng play much better.

Also, Russell Westbrook will receive a rest day after a lackluster game on Sunday.  This thrusts James Harden ($10,800) right into the forefront of our elite builds. The elimination of Westbrook puts the onus of the offense entirely on Harden, and it's a situation one should take advantage of when it's given to us.  So, what to make from these two paragraphs? These endorsements:

James Harden, HOU ($10,800) at MEM

Gorgui Dieng, MIN ($3,300) vs. MIL

Al Horford, PHI ($6,700) @ PHO

Tobias Harris, PHI ($7,000) @ PHO

These absences skew the slate so much that the Vegas lines are telling me to do things that aren't usually the most sensible plays -- for example, I like targeting those Philly spots despite the lower O/U and the wide point spread. It would be disingenuous to endorse or fade any particular game, but I am a fan of targeting the speedy pace of the BKN/NO game. We'll analyze that in a bit.

POSITIONAL OVERVIEW

With the center position decimated, you're faced with going big with someone like Andre Drummond ($10.400) or taking advantage of the value spots I mentioned. I like the idea of going somewhat cheaper so I can get a high-priced forward and guard. Both of those lists are deep, but we don't want to fall behind the pace by fading all the elites.

INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR

D'Angelo Russell (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE

Draymond Green (finger) - OUT

Stephen Curry (hand) - OUT

This scenario just gives me a headache, to be honest. I know deep in my bones that there is value to be had here, but the variance is so high I almost want to fade the situation altogether. Right now your best values are Eric Paschall ($5,000), Glenn Robinson ($4,700) and Ky Bowman ($4,300). The problem is Steve Kerr will no doubt tinker around with his rotations until he finds a suitable solution. Also hanging over this game is the potential return of Russell, who could throw a wrench into Bowman and possibly Alec Burks' increased involvement. If you're building in the morning (which I never recommend, by the way), Robinson would likely be the safest of the budget plays.

Derrick Rose (hamstring) - OUT

Reggie Jackson (back) - OUT

Tim Frazier (shoulder) - DOUBTFUL

So, the big question here is: who's the point guard going to be, right? Well, sort of. We might actually see Blake Griffin's debut on Monday which could affect every player on the Pistons roster. His entry could compromise guys like Luke Kennard and Markieff Morris, but they are both good budget plays if Griffin remains out. As for point guard, my money is on Bruce Brown ($3,300) to take the mantle in this scenario. The Griffin situation is definitely worth monitoring.

Derrick Favors (toe) - QUESTIONABLE

If Favors continues to be out, pivoting to Jahlil Okafor ($3,100) should still be in play.

ELITE PLAYERS

We've already mentioned Harden, so file that away.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11,300) at MIN

With Towns out of the picture, you have to give Antetokounmpo some exposure despite the elevated price. The guy is averaging 62 DKFP per game in NORMAL situations, so I have a hard time believing that Monday will be a bad spot to go with him. We have opportunities to spend down all over the slate -- I don't think you could go wrong here.

Kyrie Irving, BKN ($9,500) vs. NO

I feel the same way about Kyrie in what should be a fast-paced matchup versus the Pelicans. He's coming off of a triple-double versus Detroit, and the Pelicans are among the worst defensive teams in the league, so I think Kyrie should have no problem putting up a good number. The Pelicans have been very generous to opposing point guards, as they've allowed Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Luka Doncic and Chris Paul to run all over them. Start Irving with confidence.

With Golden State hurting, there's definitely cause to consider Damian Lillard ($8,900) or C.J. McCollum ($6,100) against them, but to be honest, I fear a blowout where they'll ultimately be held out more than I'd like.  I might give Dame a bit of exposure, but I'm not especially high on the idea.

EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS

Let's face it: the aforementioned injury/rest/suspension spots aren't going to be a secret to anybody, so expect the low-priced guys mentioned above to be all over your contests in high ownership. What will ultimately make the difference is what you do with all that extra cash.  As I make a preliminary build, I notice that I've almost built an entire lineup without even getting to this section. Still, there are a few more guys worth grabbing all over this slate.

Devin Booker, PHO ($7,900) vs. PHI

I think Booker's at a great price against a team that ranks 28th in the league against the three-ball. Booker makes his salary by draining threes, and Monday versus Philly looks like an excellent opportunity for him to light it up. He's started off the season right by converting the long ball at an eye-popping 47.1 percent rate, and he's shooting almost 50 percent from the field.  

Ja Morant, MEM ($6,600) vs. HOU

I'm not giving a full-throated endorsement for Morant, but I feel like I need to mention him due his likely chalk status. He's an exciting kid to watch, but I still think the price is too high for a floor that hasn't been established yet. He's a GPP play only for me.

Taurean Prince, BKN ($5,400) vs, NO

I don't think Price will be highly-owned, but I have to give him a mention because he's currently filling a spot for Brooklyn where there just isn't any competition at the position. It's unlikely that you'll see the Nets putting Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan on the floor at the same time unless the opposing team is a height mismatch, so Prince is getting the most minutes that he's seen in his career.

VALUE PLAYS

I've given you a TON of value already in this article, but there are some other cheaper options that I've failed to mention.

Brandon Clarke, MEM ($4,800) vs. HOU

Although a back problem has hampered him a bit, Clarke continues to find ways to score for the Grizzlies. The Summer League MVP and first-round pick out of Gonzaga has impressed early. As long as they keep Jonas Valanciunas' minutes down, I think Clarke is a great play if he gets enough opportunity.  Like any rookie, it's entirely too soon to tell what his eventual floor could be, but he definitely warrants consideration.

Jarrett Culver, MIN ($3,300) vs MIL

Ah, you got me.  I already mentioned him. JUST for tonight, I think you can send Culver out there and hope for a favorable ceiling. The Timberwolves will have to employ a few different looks without Towns in this game, and I think one of those looks will involve a smaller lineup where they try to wear the Bucks down with a multiple guard set. If Culver finds his three-point stroke early, he could be a big asset to their offense - but again, that's a big if.

Chris Clemons, HOU ($3,000) vs MEM should also be a popular value play in the absence of Westbrook. Clemons played 22 minutes in his NBA debut Sunday against Miami, and he finished with 16 points, including five three-pointers. The diminutive guard was a scoring machine in college -- think Carsen Edwards at the mid-major level -- and the Rockets could turn him loose Monday night.

SUMMARY

I went two routes with my lineups tonight. I utilized the many bargains and either loaded up with every elite possible, or I picked one and rolled with a lineup that had a lot more balance.  On the balanced end, I included some guys that slipped through the cracks for us, like Khris Middleton ($6,800), Brandon Ingram ($7,200) and sneaky plays like Isaiah Thomas ($4,900). Whichever way you choose to go, be sure to check back in with RotoWire to get updates on key situations like the Griffin situation in Detroit.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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