This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The NBA kicks off this week with eight games on the schedule Monday. With players such as James Harden, LeBron James and Joel Embiid all in action, there are plenty of elite options to choose from for your FanDuel lineup. Let's take a look at some options across the price scale to hopefully make you a winner.
Damian Lillard, POR at NY ($9,000): Lillard is an excellent DFS option on most nights, as he's averaging 42.3 FanDuel points per game and is tied for the ninth-highest usage rate (30.3%) in the league. Monday brings a really enticing matchup against a Knicks team that allows the fourth-most FanDuel points per game (48.6) to opposing point guards. This has all the makings of a monster game for Lillard.
Darren Collison, IND vs. ORL ($6,400): Collison has been a model of consistency of late, having scored at least 31.2 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. One of those games was last week against these same Magic when he scored 32.2 FanDuel points. Not only are both the Pacers and the Magic in the top-nine in the league in terms of pace of play, but the Magic are allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game (50.7) to opposing point guards. Collison has the potential to provide excellent value at this mid-tier price.
Nick Young, GS vs. SAC ($3,000): Young doesn't get much playing time on a loaded Warriors squad, but he's been successful when he does as he averaged 22.7 FanDuel points in the six games where he played at least 19 minutes. Kevin Durant (ankle) is questionable and Andre Iguodala (knee) is doubtful for this game, which could open up extra minutes for Young. The Kings are also terrible, which could also lead to increased minutes if the game gets out of hand. Considering he will only cost you the minimum, he might be worth the risk in tournament play.
LeBron James, CLE at PHI ($12,000): James is rolling of late as he has scored at least 50.7 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. He's scored at least 60 FanDuel points in a game six times this season, and the Sixers play at the fourth-fastest pace (105.1) in the league, so James and the Cavaliers are in for an uptempo contest. He will cost a ton, but he's been worth it most nights.
DeMarre Carroll, BKN at HOU ($5,700): The Nets play at the fastest pace (105.7) in the league and use a lot of small lineups, which has led to Carroll posting a career-high 18.8% usage rate. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) injured himself Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies, so if he does manage to play Monday, he'll likely be limited at best. With so few talented healthy players left, Carroll is primed for a big night.
Julius Randle, LAL at LAC ($5,000): Randle is finally starting to see increased playing time as he has been on the floor for at least 28 minutes in four of his last five games. He's been able to cash that in for at least 29 FanDuel points in three straight games. His 24.2% usage rate ranks him 54th in the NBA, which is better than several more-hyped fantasy options like Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon. The increased playing time gives him a big boost in value, so similar minutes against a big Clippers frontcourt could make him a great play at this price. That said, if Larry Nance (hand) returns from injury, Randle could gradually sink back into a reduced role.
Joel Embiid, PHI vs. CLE ($9,700): This is a major mismatch for Embiid as the Cavaliers don't have anyone capable of guarding him. The Cavaliers play small with Kevin Love at center, who is going to give up a lot of size and strength to Embiid. Embiid is tied for the third-highest usage rate (33.6%) in the league and is averaging 44.1 FanDuel points per game this season. Start him with confidence Monday.
Nikola Vucevic, ORL at IND ($8,100): Vucevic is playing well as he has scored at least 32.8 FanDuel points in four straight games. He exploded for 45.6 FanDuel points when these same teams met last week, which is not a huge surprise considering the Pacers allow the third-most FanDuel points per game (60.6) to opposing centers. If you can't afford to play Embiid, Vucevic is another excellent option for your entry.
Salah Mejri, DAL at SA ($3,400): Mejri doesn't have value most nights as he's only averaging 12 minutes per game. He could be in line for extra playing time Monday against a big Spurs frontcourt as the Mavericks have few quality big men. Mejri has scored at least 26.7 FanDuel points in all four games where he has played at least 17 minutes this season, so he could be a sneaky tournament play with upside at this price.