We’re back to a six-game slate Monday, one that includes a couple of notable injuries and only two players priced over $20K. There appears to be a particular abundance of appealing options at forward/center, which you can easily take advantage of given FantasyDraft’s unique roster requirements. The lack of ultra high-priced options also makes balanced lineup construction a very feasible endeavor, leaving us poised for what should be a fun night of DFS action. With plenty to break down, let’s dive in without further ado.
Ben Simmons, PHI vs. NY ($16,100): Stephen Curry sits alone at the top of the guard tier, but his recent returns don’t quite warrant his price tag. Meanwhile, Simmons’ Sixers have the third-highest projected team total at 110.75 as of this writing and he comes in having scored between 32.00 and 65.25 fantasy points over his last 10 games, a stretch during which he’s shooting 58.1 percent and averaging an impressive 1.19 fantasy points per minute. As usual, the second-year pro is getting it done across the stat sheet, and he’ll walk into a highly favorable matchup regardless of who the Knicks opt to deploy at point guard. New York has allowed 39.2 fantasy points per contest to ones on the season with Jarrett Jack primarily manning the position, and based on the Knicks’ playing time distribution in Sunday’s loss to the Pacers, Simmons could end up seeing a lot of Emmanuel Mudiay or Frank Ntilikina, which could actually give him an even bigger advantage.
Spencer Dinwiddie, BKN vs. LAC ($12,600): For those that have the extra couple hundred, Zach LaVine ($12,800) is also an excellent value option given his recent production. Meanwhile, Dinwiddie’s price is also a bargain for a player that’s scored 30.00 to 50.50 fantasy points in each of the last six games, and who still seems to have a firm hold on the starting point guard job despite D'Angelo Russell apparently being at full health. Dinwiddie has seen over 30 minutes thrice and over 40 once during the aforementioned span, during which he’s sporting a 24.9 percent usage rate while averaging 1.18 points per possession and 1.19 fantasy points per minute. Meanwhile, while the Clippers’ numbers against point guards on the season look relatively solid overall, they’ve been much more vulnerable of late, allowing 48.0 fantasy points per contest to the position over the last 10 (compared to a 35.5 seasonal figure). Moreover, with Austin Rivers having a 50/50 chance of drawing another start Monday in place of Milos Teodosic (foot), Dinwiddie could potentially encounter even less resistance.
Kyle Anderson, SA at UTA ($9,900): If Kris Dunn is held out once again Monday, then the Bulls’ Jerian Grant ($9,800) is also a very appealing option at $100 less. Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge has already been ruled out for Monday’s contest with knee soreness, and with both Dejounte Murray (ankle) and Tony Parker (back) carrying questionable designations as well, there’s a chance that Anderson will be one of the few first-unit Spurs regulars to take the court against the Jazz. Naturally, a matchup against Utah on their home court isn’t normally very conducive to fantasy success, but given the load Anderson could potentially shoulder and his sub-$10K price, he’s worthy a GPP flyer at minimum. Additionally, one weak spot for the Jazz has been the small forward position, as they’ve allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game (36.4) to threes on the season, along with the most steals (2.2) and sixth-highest shooting percentage (43.0). Murray’s production has admittedly fluctuated significantly, but he’s tallied 36.00 and 41.50 fantasy points in two games over the last five, providing a glimpse at his upside.
Andre Drummond, DET vs. NO ($18,900): Drummond now has ten consecutive double-doubles, a span during which he’s scored 39.25 to 83.00 fantasy points, generated a 26.3 percent usage rate and averaged 1.53 fantasy points per minute. His prowess should help lead him to another explosive outing Monday against a Pelicans squad that’s allowed 40.3 fantasy points per game to centers over the last five, along with the highest shooting percentage (66.0). New Orleans has also allowed the seventh-most points in the paint (46.4) on the season, an area of the court where 79.5 percent of Drummond’s scoring has originated. The fact that the Pistons also currently have the second-highest projected point total (111.25) on the night furthers Drummond’s already strong case.
DeAndre Jordan, LAC at BKN ($13,600): Similar to Drummond, Jordan has been dominating on the glass in recent contests, as he’s hauled in double-digit rebounds in seven of the last eight, including six straight. He topped out at 21 boards in his last contest Saturday against the Sixers, and his Monday matchup could leave him poised for even more spectacular production. The Nets have been the most vulnerable team to centers on the season, allowing the most fantasy points per game to the position (38.9), including the most over the last five (52.3). They’ve surrendered the most rebounds (16.5) over the last five as well, a particularly relevant stat in Jordan’s case. Moreover, Brooklyn has allowed the most points in the paint over the last three contests (60.0), while Jordan has logged 82.2 percent of his scoring in that area of the floor this season.
Dragan Bender, PHO at GS ($8,800): The Spurs’ Davis Bertans ($8,200) also makes for a very viable option at this level with a projected start in place of Aldridge. Meanwhile, Bender has been outproducing his current price by a significant margin recently while drawing some starts at power forward, as he’s scored 26.75 to 45.50 fantasy points in three of his past five contests and 21.50 in another during that span. He’s nearly doubled his shot attempts during that stretch as well, averaging 10.4 as compared to a 5.6 season figure. While a potential return by Devin Booker (hip) could eat into Bender’s usage, his price and matchup both make him attractive as a cost-savings tournament option. The Warriors come in allowing 48.2 fantasy points per contest to power forwards over the last five – a notable bump over the 35.6 they’ve yielded to the position on the season – and Golden State is also playing at the third-fastest pace in the NBA (103.6 possessions per contest). Additionally, with Draymond Green doubtful for Monday with a sprained finger, the path to fantasy success could certainly be easier for Bender.
Enes Kanter, NY at PHI ($13,400): Kanter decimated the Sixers for a 31-point, 22-rebound double-double on Christmas Day, and he’s scored over 30 fantasy points thrice, over 40 on two other occasions and more than 50 in one instance during the last seven games. The big man is sporting a 25.7 percent usage rate and averaging 1.24 fantasy points per minute during that stretch, and the Sixers come in allowing 36.8 fantasy points per game to centers over the last five contests. Notably, Kanter is also taking two more shot attempts per contest over the last two games -- one in which Kristaps Porzingis exited after 11 minutes with what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury and the second completely without his frontcourt mate – which could be indicative of a trend going forward.
Tobias Harris, LAC at BKN ($11,300): As with Jordan, Harris should be in a position to exploit a highly porous Nets frontcourt Monday, one that he’s already averaged 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists across 31.0 minutes against in two games this season while he was with the Pistons. Harris has proven to be a seamless fit with the Clippers thus far, scoring 28.50 to 35.00 fantasy points in his four games with his new club while upping his shot attempts to 17.3 per game (as compared to a 15.0 figure on the season). Meanwhile, Brooklyn has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game (42.1) to power forwards on the season, including the most over the last 10 (53.8) and 56.8 during the last five. They’re also yielding the second-highest shooting percentage (49.0) to the position on the campaign, a particularly relevant stat in the case of a floor-spacing big man like Harris.