DraftKings NBA: Monday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Monday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

We start off the week with a nine-game slate that features the potential return of a valuable Celtic at a cheap price, and a host of guys just below the elite level who can make or break your lineups.  Let's get to it!

SLATE OVERVIEW

LAC (-2.5) @ IND O/U: 216.5

BOS (-13.5) vs. CLE O/U: 216.5

NO (-2)  vs. DET O/U: 226

HOU (-12.5) vs. SAC O//U: 227.5

MIL (-12) vs. ORL O/U: 219

TOR (-5) @ CHI O/U: 214.5

UTA (-8.5) vs. OKC O/U: 212.5

PHO (-4) vs. MIN O/U: 233.5

GS (-3) vs. MEM O/U: 218

PHO/MIN tops the list as one of my favorite games to target, and my picks will reflect that. Detroit is registering higher than usual on my list due to the pace-up against New Orleans. The MEM/GS matchup ended up getting very little exposure for me. It could be considered a target for low ownership tonight, but that's the only recommendation I can give.

INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR

Kawhi Leonard (rest) QUESTIONABLE

It's customary for Kawhi to take a seat on the tail end of a back-to-back, so we'll give him a tag on the assumption that it's business as usual. When Leonard takes these breaks, a reliable pivot hasn't surfaced, but with Rodney McGruder (hamstring) potentially out as well, Maurice Harkless ($3,500) is someone I'm confident in playing in this game script.  It should also be noted that there were conflicting reports regarding Paul George's status tonight, but George himself said that he planned on playing so we'll assume that until we hear otherwise.

Malcolm Brogdon (hand) QUESTIONABLE

It's possible Brogdon could make a return Monday, but if he sits, his pivot appears to be T.J. McConnell ($4,100). Aaron Holiday ($4,100) would be another player to benefit in this scenario.

Fred VanVleet (knee) QUESTIONABLE

VanVleet's injury isn't considered to be serious, but the Raptors are on a back-to-back, so they may elect to play it safe with their starting two-guard.  If he sits, Kyle Lowry ($6,800) would immediately shoulder a heavier load, and we would likely see more of rookie Terence Davis ($3,300), who distinguished himself during Lowry's absence earlier in the season.

Mike Conley (hamstring) OUT

This injury will represent a shift in the lineup for the Jazz, as Donovan Mitchell ($7,400) will likely take over the point guard duties. Any number of Jazz guys could see an uptick, but I think Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,300) is the best value in relation to his recent production.

Derrick Favors (personal) QUESTIONABLE

We may see Favors return, but there's no guarantee of that currently. If he remains out, the timeshare of Jaxson Hayes ($4,200) and Jahlil Okafor ($3,400) will remain in place, and I give a slight nod to Hayes due to his usual status as a starter in Favors' absence.

ELITE PLAYERS

When you have high-priced guys like James Harden ($12,000) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) on the slate, the question you have to ask yourself is simple.  Can I get this kind of elite production for less money?

With Harden, I think the answer is apparent. Russell Westbrook ($9,600) has met, and sometimes exceeded, Harden's output and he comes at a whopping $2,400 less. Deducing who will have the better game between the two of them is a crapshoot, but the salary discrepancy is enough to assuage any fears about who might give you the best value.

As for Giannis the Unfadeable, his biggest problem is his team. The Bucks are just really, really good, and they haven't played a close game where they've needed to put the hammer down in almost a month. The result is great numbers for Giannis, but not $11,300 numbers. Even if you expected 60 from him, you're barely getting 5x value, and you're also spending $188 per point.  That metric isn't terrible, but I think we can manage our money a bit better.

Andre Drummond, DET ($10,100) @ NO

The Pistons aren't often involved in a high O/U game, but that's not the case tonight, as the Pelicans will force a quicker tempo than Detroit is used to. The advantage here for Drummond is simply put - even if Derrick Favors returns, Drummond possesses a huge size and height advantage against the Pelicans interior, and his opponents rank 23rd in total rebounding percentage.

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($9,300) @ PHO

Towns' situation is very similar to Drummond's. Injuries and Deandre Ayton's suspension have put a lot of stress on the Suns' interior game. Phoenix could have been a lot better than a 10-12 team if they hadn't lost Ayton.  Towns has already taken advantage of this situation once already in the form of a 62.5 DKFP beatdown the last time they played a couple of weeks ago. While the Suns may get Aron Baynes back tonight, I don't think it'll matter much.

Devin Booker, PHO ($8,500) vs MIN

This game has the highest O/U of the night, so I think it's safe to put Booker in your lineups. Lately, I haven't been as high on Booker due to some variance in his stat lines, but he's strung together two great games against Houston and New Orleans. The Timberwolves have yielded an average of 117.11 point to their opponents this season, and that's one of the worst averages in the league.  Look for Booker to help the Suns meet and possibly exceed that number.

EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS

Paul George, LAC ($7,800) @ IND

Assuming our news about George and Leonard is correct, you have to like George on a Kawhi rest night.  When you're on a team with dual elites, one player's absence leaves a void that often frees up the offense to utilize the remaining stud in slightly different ways.  For George, I think his underrated perimeter game will come into play a bit more tonight. The last time the team played in a back-to-back without Leonard. George drilled four threes on the way to a 22-point evening.

Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7,400) vs. OKC

A migration to Mitchell makes perfect sense tonight, as he had one of his best games of the year against the Thunder, who yielded 55 DKFP to the elite guard.  Without Mike Conley, Mitchell will be a bit more of a ball distributor than a scorer, but his assist and rebound totals will likely mask any scoring deficiencies he might have. He should be a very chalky play in all contest formats.

Ricky Rubio, PHO ($7,000) vs. MIN

The notorious dime-dropper is back to his old ways, with 26 assists over his past two games.  While I don't think a Booker-Rubio stack is wise, Rubio is an excellent play on his own, as any effects from his previous injury appear to be in the rear-view mirror. The Timberwolves are currently allowing an average of 24 assists per game, so Rubio should be primed to exploit them.

Montrezl Harrell, LAC ($6,800) @ IND

You don't have to look very closely to discover Harrell's value at this price level, as his DKFP totals over the past few weeks are exceptional. Although his last couple of games came well short of value, he can pop well into the 40 DKFP range in the right game script. The team wisely restricted Harrell's load to only 25 minutes in Sunday's game, so he should be ready to go against the Pacers, who rank 20th in offensive rebound percentage.

Also consider: Buddy Hield, SAC ($7,100), Kyle Lowry, TOR ($6,800)

VALUE PLAYS

Gordon Hayward, BOS ($6,000) vs. CLE

Sorry, too late, DraftKings!  I put Hayward in as the headliner because all signs point toward him taking the floor in the Garden tonight. Sure, there could be a minute restriction, but if he plays, how can you resist him at what looks like blown coverage in the DraftKings salary department? Definitely keep an ear to the ground about his status.

Joe Ingles, UTA ($5,300) vs. OKC

Ingles' production has ticked up a bit in Mike Conley's absence, a trend that I think will continue on Monday against a weak Thunder defense. The key to Ingles is a proper minute count, and if he can get 27-30 minutes on the court he should have an excellent chance of meeting value.

Ben McLemore, HOU ($5,300) vs. SAC

Even with Danuel House back in the fold, it appears McLemore has done enough to earn a significant boost in playing time off the bench. He's at near sixth-man status for Houston at this point, averaging 27.4 minutes of playing time over the last seven games. He came off the bench in three of those games and started four of them.

Mo Bamba, ORL ($4,300) @ MIL

While Khem Birch is getting more playing time at center with Nikola Vucevic sidelined, Bamba would appear to be a far better choice to line up opposite fellow seven-footer Brook Lopez. The 6-9 Birch would be in a definite size mismatch here, and I'm of the opinion that Bamba should be the guy anyway. This is more of a speculative pick than anything else, but we only need around 22 DKFP for him to get 5x value at this price.

Kevin Porter Jr., CLE ($3,800) @ BOS

The first-round pick out of USC seems to be coming out of the woodwork recently. His minutes have increased from 19 to 27 in just a few short games, and I like the value here despite a matchup against one of the league's best defenses.

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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