FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

 We have a solid, six-game main slate Monday night, and each one has a projected total over that desired 220-point threshold, even with several notable names set to sit out with suspensions or injury. That means we should be in for no shortage of offensive fireworks if oddsmakers are on target, which naturally also means there's plenty of DFS-related benefits to reap.

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

Here's a closer look at the games with the three most elevated projected totals on Monday's slate:

New Orleans Pelicans at Brooklyn Nets (Projected total: 237.5 points)

These two teams play at top-10 paces and give up the third- and fourth-most points per game. Those two statistical nuggets essentially tell you all you need to know about why this comfortably checks in as the highest-projected total on the slate. If Derrick Favors is able to return for New Orleans on Monday, the defense down low should get a little better, but Favors could also bring even more offensive firepower to the table.

Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies (Projected total: 231.5 points)

The Grizzlies and high projected totals haven't exactly had a cozy relationship in recent seasons, but this is a new day in Memphis. The Grizz are playing at the third-fastest pace in the league (112.8 possessions per game) in the early going, while the Rockets check in right below them. Interestingly, Russell Westbrook is set to sit this second game of a back-to-back out for Houston, but after playing just 26 minutes against the Heat in a blowout loss Sunday night, it remains to be seen if that holds.

Milwaukee Bucks at Minnesota Timberwolves (Projected total: 229.5 points)

Karl-Anthony Towns will be sitting out the second and final game of his suspension in this one, but no matter. The number is still up there with some of the top totals of the night, as Minnesota put up 131 points without KAT on Saturday night, while the Bucks continue to both score (119.2 PPG) and give up (111.0 PPG) plenty of points themselves.

Positional Breakdown

With Blake Griffin (knee/hamstring) and Draymond Green (finger) still out and a modest six-game slate, power forward continues to be the position of most scarcity overall.

Al Horford ($7,500) sits at the top of the list, and Jaren Jackson's (knee) likely absence right below him makes things even thinner. There are some sub-$6K values available due to injury (detailed further in article) that do help salvage things a bit at the position, but it's an area that's not as flush with choices overall as we'd prefer.

Point guard is also interesting with Russell Westbrook set to take a seat Monday. Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons are a fine trio up top, followed by some solid mid-tier values. But, things start to get uncertain after Isaiah Thomas at $5,300. Shooting guard remains typically well-stocked Monday, while small forward and center will also have a solid amount of options due to some of the cheaper plays set to see extended time.  

Injury Situations to Monitor

Joel Embiid, PHI

Embiid will serve the second and final game of his suspension Monday. Kyle O'Quinn and Mike Scott should see extra minutes as a result of Embiid's absence.

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN

Towns will also serve the second game of his suspension Monday. Saturday against the Wizards, Gorgui Dieng drew the start for Towns and logged 18 points and eight rebound over 24 minutes while Noah Vonleh put in 13 minutes as his backup.  

Russell Westbrook, HOU

As mentioned earlier, Westbrook is slated to sit out Monday's game for rest, although there's at least a possibility coach Mike D'Antoni reverses course based on Westbrook's modest usage Sunday against the Heat. Assuming Westbrook does sit, Austin Rivers figures to be a highly popular value play as the likely starter at point guard, while James Harden would be even more appealing than usual. Chris Clemons should also be a popular lost-cost play after an impressive showing in Sunday's embarrassingly lopsided loss to Miami.

D'Angelo Russell, GSW

Russell is considered questionable for Monday's game against the Trail Blazers. Rookie Ky Bowman, who was impressive over 39 minutes against the Hornets on Saturday in Russell's absence, would likely draw another start at point guard should Russell miss again.

Draymond Green, GSW

Green will miss another game with his index finger sprain. Eric Paschall, who wowed in Green's absence Saturday against the Hornets with 25 points, is slated for another start at power forward versus Portland.

Rodney Hood, POR

Hood had to exit Saturday's loss to the 76ers with a knee injury and is considered a game-time decision for Monday's game versus the Warriors. Mario Hezonja could draw the start at small forward in Hood's place should the latter miss.

Hassan Whiteside, POR

Whiteside is expected to play in Monday's game against the Warriors after sitting out with knee soreness on Saturday.  

Zach Collins, POR

Collins will remain out of action due to his shoulder injury Monday. Anthony Tolliver should draw another start at power forward, with Skal Labissiere likely helping to back him up, particularly if Mario Hezonja is forced to slide into the first unit at small forward for Rodney Hood (knee).

Derrick Favors, NOP

Favors is considered questionable for Monday night's battle against the Nets. The veteran has missed the last three games with soreness, and Jahlil Okafor, who's been particularly effective filling in for Favors the last two games, will likely draw another start if necessary.

Jaren Jackson, MEM

Jackson is considered doubtful for Monday's game against the Rockets with a knee injury. First-round pick Brandon Clarke is slated to be a likely popular value play as the projected starter at power forward.

Reggie Jackson, DET

Jackson will remain out for Monday's game versus the Wizards due to his back injury. With Derrick Rose (hamstring) also set to miss and Tim Frazier (shoulder) doubtful, Bruce Brown, who racked up 40.9 FanDuel points against the Nets on Saturday while filling in at point guard, should draw another start.  

Derrick Rose, DET

Rose will miss Monday's game against the Wizards with his hamstring injury, leaving Bruce Brown poised for heavy minutes at PG again and Langston Galloway likely absorbing some of Rose's minutes off the bench.

Tim Frazier, DET

Frazier is doubtful to play in Monday's game against the Wizards, leaving Bruce Brown poised for heavy minutes at PG again and Langston Galloway as his backup off the bench.

C.J. Miles, WAS

Miles was able to practice Sunday and is considered a game-time call for Monday's game versus Detroit. If he's unable to go, Isaac Bonga and Troy Brown will continue to hold down the fort at small forward.

Notable Long-Term Injuries/Absences: Stephen Curry, GSW; Jusuf Nurkic, POR; Deandre Ayton, PHO; Blake Griffin, DET; Zion Williamson, NOP

Elite Players

James Harden ($11,000) is priced reasonably for his upside, the likelihood that Russell Westbrook (rest) sits, and the fact he'll be in the game with the second-highest projected total on the slate. Andre Drummond ($10,600) is another five-figure option worth investing in, considering the Pistons will continue to be without Blake Griffin (knee/hamstring) and will also be missing their top three point-guard options against the Wizards.

Drummond also holds special value as the only true elite center option on the slate with both Embiid and Towns unavailable. Over at point guard, Damian Lillard ($10,300) and Kyrie Irving ($9,700) also are especially appealing, considering they, along with Ben Simmons ($9,500), are the only truly top-shelf PG options if Westbrook sits.

Expected Chalk

A combination of a long injury report and the suspensions of Embiid and Towns should lead to plenty of chalk Monday, and there are a multitude of sub-$6K plays that will be poised for extended minutes. So many, in fact, that I've listed them at the very bottom of the article under our four likely more underowned value suggestions.

On the pricey end of things, James Harden should be one of the most popular clicks under any circumstance, but especially if Russell Westbrook misses as expected for rest purposes. With its sky-high projected total, the Pelicans-Nets tilt should also result in the likes of Kyrie Irving, Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday drawing plenty of attention as well.

And, lest we forget about Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000) and Andre Drummond ($10,600), who should continue seeing robust ownership as well. Both players have delivered handsomely this season, and Drummond's usage is particularly through the roof with so many injuries on the Pistons.

Key and Likely Underowned Values

Taurean Prince, BKN vs. NO ($4,800):

Prince's somewhat fluctuating production continues to keep his price under control and will also likely temper his ownership, given that there's a multitude of potentially popular value options Monday (listed below this section). However, the talented wing has already flashed a 40-fantasy-point ceiling on two occasions this season and offers some very cost-effective exposure to the game with the highest projected total. The Pelicans are also allowing 51.5 FanDuel points per game to PFs, along with 50.0 percent shooting.

Mario Hezonja, POR at GS ($4,400):

Hezonja has a couple of different paths to meaningful minutes Monday, as he could possibly even draw the start at small forward if Rodney Hood is forced to miss the contest or continue to help filling at power forward in the ongoing absence of Zach Collins (shoulder). The decimated Warriors are allowing the fourth-most points per game (120.8) and yielding 49.1 FanDuel points per game to threes, while Hezonja racked up 35.4 FanDuel points on the strength of an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double against the 76ers on Saturday across 36 minutes.

Markieff Morris, DET at WAS ($4,300):

Morris will draw at least one more start in place of Blake Griffin (hamstring/knee) on Monday night, and he'll draw a solid matchup versus one of his old squads. The Wizards are allowing a robust 42.3 FanDuel points per game to power forwards, along with 47.0 percent shooting. Morris has eclipsed 20 FanDuel points in two of his last three games, and he's actually seen a $100 price drop after posting 22.8 FanDuel points Saturday night versus the Nets.

Skal Labissiere, POR at GS ($3,900):

Labissiere has seen over 20 minutes in each of his last two games with Zach Collins (shoulder) on the shelf, and he's made good use of the opportunity. The young big scored 19.3 and 24.8 fantasy points, respectively, which are rock-solid returns on his current salaries. Labissiere isn't going to draw heavy ownership with so many other sub-$6K names (detailed below) standing out Monday, but he could certainly pay off his modest price again in a matchup against a Warriors team allowing the fourth-highest offensive efficiency rating in the paint (65.3) and to opposing frontcourts (85.7).

Other likely much higher-owned value plays to consider: Josh Hart ($5,900); Brandon Clarke, ($5,600): Eric Paschall ($5,800); Isaiah Thomas ($5,300); Jahlil Okafor ($5,000); Luke Kennard ($5,000); Ky Bowman (if Russell sits) ($4,400); Gorgui Dieng ($4,000); Bruce Brown ($3,900); Austin Rivers ($3,500)

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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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, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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