FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Monday brings an 11-game slate, with FanDuel Sportsbook displaying four games with projected totals of greater than 220 points as far as the contests that have a number assigned as of Monday morning. Moreover, of those that still don't have totals due to pending injury scenarios, the Warriors-Pelicans and Thunder-Rockets tilts also shape up as likely high-scoring scenarios. 

Before delving into the slate, a reminder that FanDuel is reverting to its previous format of NOT dropping the lowest scoring in lineups after a one-year experiment with that feature. Therefore, it will be important to be prudent with each selection, as each player's total will count toward your final score. 

Without further ado, let's take a more comprehensive look at Monday's slate!

Slate Overview 

Of games with projected totals as of Monday morning, here are three that could be particularly fertile environments for DFS production: 

Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks (Projected total: 224.0 points) 

The two teams are capable of pushing the pace and piling up points. The Sixers still pack plenty of firepower even if Joel Embiid (ankle) is held out for a second straight contest, while Trae Young and the Hawks look to be considerably improved over their first two contests. 

Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks (Projected total: 221.5 points) 

This could ultimately prove to be a higher-scoring game than initially projected, given both squads' defensive deficiencies. There are several potentially explosive pieces here for DFS purposes, including R.J. Barrett, Julius Randle, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen

Charlotte Hornets at Los Angeles Clippers (Projected total: 227.5 points) 

The Hornets are capable of giving up plenty of points (122.0 per game) and the Clippers are apt to pile them on (NBA-high 125.0 points per game), leading me to think a lot of the scoring could happen on the Los Angeles side here. Multiple Clippers pieces will be in play from a DFS perspective, especially with the Hornets on the second night of a back-to-back. 

Other Likely High-Scoring Games: Warriors-Pelicans; Thunder-Rockets 

Positional Breakdown 

The good news with such a large slate is that there is plenty to choose from all across the salary scale at each spot. That may not always be the case later in the season even when there's plenty of games on a given night, given that injuries can quickly pile up and take a toll on depth. However, there's relatively little walking wounded Monday in terms of key players, so the cupboard is full across the board. 

In terms of positions with the most riches, point guard may be the deepest, with even starters such as Tomas Satoransky and D.J. Augustin available at sub-$5K prices. Shooting guard is close in terms of options, as viable selections such as Wesley Matthews ($4,300) and J.J. Redick ($4,300) can be found at bargain prices. The same applies to the remaining three spots, with starters in the low $4K range available at small forward, power forward and center.

Injury Situations to Monitor 

Joel Embiid, PHI 

For the second straight game, Embiid is projected to be a game-time call due to a right ankle sprain. His absence in Saturday's win over the Pistons led to first-round pick Matisse Thybulle (scoreless over 24 minutes) entering the starting lineup and both Tobias Harris (29 points, seven rebounds) and Al Horford (23 points nine rebounds) to particularly benefit). 

Otto Porter, Jr., CHI 

Porter is considered probable for Monday's game against the Knicks due to a mouth injury, but he's also battling a hip issue.

Enes Kanter/Daniel Theis, BOS

Kanter and Theis are each potential game-time decisions due to knee and ankle injuries, respectively. In Saturday's win over the Knicks, Robert Williams entered the starting lineup in the absence of both players and posted four points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block across 22 minutes. 

Alex Len, ATL

Len is considered probable for Monday's game against the 76ers with a ribs injury. His rookie backup, Bruno Fernando, is questionable with an ankle injury, so Damion Jones would potentially be next in line should Len suffer a setback. 

Dennis Smith, Jr., NYK 

Smith is currently on a bereavement leave from the team, which is likely to thrust Elfrid Payton into the starting point guard role against Chicago on Monday night. 

Mitchell Robinson, NYK 

Robinson is probable for Monday's game against the Bulls with an ankle sprain. Bobby Portis waits in the wings should Robinson suffer a setback.   

Jeremy Lamb, IND 

Lamb continues to deal with a hip pointer and is officially questionable. Edmond Sumner filled in for Lamb on Saturday with 10 points over 17 minutes and would be line for another start should Lamb miss again. 

Reggie Jackson, DET 

Jackson is considered doubtful for Monday's matchup against the Pacers. Tim Frazier entered the starting lineup against the 76ers on Saturday in Jackson's stead and logged 21 minutes, but Derrick Rose (31 points in 27 minutes off the bench) would likely be the biggest beneficiary of a Jackson absence. 

Jrue Holiday, NOP 

Holiday continues to nurse a left knee sprain that kept him out against the Rockets on Saturday. Josh Hart filled in for Holiday in that contest and provided 23 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block across 34 minutes.

Ricky Rubio, PHO 

Rubio (knee) is considered on track to play Monday night against the Jazz. Jevon Carter got the start in Rubio's stead Saturday versus the Clippers and would presumably be back in the starting five should the veteran point guard suffer a setback. 

Kevon Looney, GSW 

Looney will not play Monday due to a hamstring injury. With Willie Cauley-Stein also out due to a foot injury, Marquese Chriss is in line for another start at center. 

Zach Collins, POR

Collins was slated for a Monday MRI on a dislocated left shoulder he suffered Sunday against the Mavericks. Mario Hezonja would likely slide into the starting lineup in his stead at power forward should Collins miss Monday night's contest against the Spurs. 

Notable Long-Term Injuries/Absences: Blake Griffin, DET; Paul George, OKC; Victor Oladipo, IND; Marvin Bagley, SAC; Deandre Ayton, PHO; Willie Cauley-Stein, GSW

Elite Players 

With 11 games on the docket, the star power isn't in short supply by any means. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,400), James Harden ($11,100) and Russell Westbrook ($10,900) head up a list of luminaries that also includes Nikola Jokic ($10,700), Joel Embiid ($10,500), Andre Drummond ($10,300) and Damian Lillard ($10,000) in the five-figure salary club. 

There's plenty of depth at each position Monday, so there isn't a particular elite play that's more worthwhile than another based solely on scarcity in any one spot. In terms of the two highest-priced options on the slate – Antetokoumpo and Harden – those who find their prices a bit too exorbitant for their blood have plenty of pivots. 

At small forward, Kawhi Leonard ($9,900), Pascal Siakam ($8,700), Brandon Ingram ($8,500) and Tobias Harris ($7,900) are other options available to pay up for besides Giannis without breaking the bank. 

At shooting guard, there's a nice $2K savings off Harden in the form of Devin Booker ($9,100) and other appealing options right below him in Donovan Mitchell ($8,400), Zach LaVine ($8,000) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,900) before even delving into mid-tier and value plays. 

Expected Chalk

It's the usual suspects in terms of elite chalk Monday – Antetokounmpo, Westbrook and Harden will lead the pack in that category. In terms of lower-priced popular plays, Derrick Rose ($6,500) has seen his price rise, but he'll undoubtedly be the subject of high interest, irrespective of Reggie Jackson's status. 

Over in Philadelphia, Ben Simmons ($9,700),Tobias Harris ($7,800) and Al Horford ($6,900) should all be even more popular selections than usual if Joel Embiid is declared out with his ankle injury. 

In New Orleans, Josh Hart ($5,800) is also in line for plenty of ownership should Jrue Holiday miss another contest, considering Hart's success as a starter Saturday night and the appealing matchup versus the Warriors on Monday. 

And in Phoenix, both Frank Kaminsky ($5,200), and perhaps to a lesser extent, teammate Aron Baynes ($4,800), should see plenty of clicks on their names following their early success filling in for Deandre Ayton (suspension). 

Key and Likely Underowned Values 

Elfrid Payton, NYK at CHI ($5,900): 

Payton is likely to draw the start at point guard Monday with Dennis Smith, Jr. (personal) temporarily away from the team. The veteran is an excellent facilitator that is highly capable of supplementing his production with a robust amount of assists, and he faces a Bulls team that's allowing a bottom-10 figure in assists (9.8) and made threes (3.9) per game to ones in the early going. 

Dennis Schroder, OKC at HOU ($4,600): 

Schroder has upped his fantasy-point tallies from 14.2 to 22.3 to a whopping 49.6 against the Warriors on Sunday. He's been highly efficient, accomplishing the latter two totals in just 25 minutes on the court on each occasion. The Rockets are allowing a bottom-10 offensive efficiency rating (46.5) to opposing benches along with 47.0 FanDuel points per game to point guards in the early going, furthering Schroder's case at a price well below his upside. 

Danuel House, HOU vs. OKC ($4,200): 

House is an interesting consideration on the other side of the Rockets-Thunder matchup. The fourth-year wing has 19.9 and 27.6 fantasy points his first two games, logging 26 and 30 minutes, respectively. House is an excellent three-point shooter that can pile up points in a hurry and has the ability to pay off his modest price handsomely if he gets hot. 

Rodney Hood, POR at SA ($4,000):  

Hood is underpriced for a player that's scored 18.5 to 34.2 fantasy points over his first three games of the season. The veteran wing has seen at least 30 minutes in each contest thus far and taken double-digit shot attempts in each. What's more, Hood has started off the season hot from distance, draining 58.3 percent of his three-point attempts thus far. The Spurs make for a good positional matchup as well, allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game (50.1) to small forward in the early going.

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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