Top Tier: Damian Lillard- We have no point guard priced above $10,000 tonight, meaning it comes down to Damian Lillard vs Kyrie Irving for the top spend up at the position. I’m going to side with Dame, given how bad the Knicks have been defensively over the last month and half. They also are missing Frank Ntilikina in this game, who doesn’t often see monster minutes but is their best defender by a wide margin…I don’t see anyone slowing down Lillard in this game.
Mid Tier: DJ Augustin- Augustin is not someone that typically gains a lot of traction in NBA DFS barring injuries, but this ORL/SAC game sticks out as one of the top overall on the slate (221.5 O/U) and he has a tad bit more upside that you would expect. He’s topped 21+ fantasy points in each of the last six games, with two of those contests being 44+ point outbursts against the Suns and Pistons. He will benefit from the pace the Kings play at, and I think a 40 bomb is definitely in his range of outcomes at only $5,000 on FD.
Low Tier: Shabazz Napier- With the news that DeMarre Carroll, Joe Harris, RHJ and Allen Crabbe are all confirmed out tonight, we are instantly nearly forced into rostering a few Brooklyn Nets tonight. Napier’s usage without these four this season looks solid, though I will note it is a sub-20 minute sample size. That being said, the shot attempts and minutes should be there at under $4,000 making Bazz a great cash game play for me on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Top Tier: James Harden- With Chris Paul still out, James Harden checks in playing like the clear NBA MVP and as the top overall spend up on the slate. His lowest FanDuel point total has been 53 (twice) over the last 12 (yes, 12) games, and that type of floor is exactly what we want to lock in for cash games nightly.
Mid Tier: Donovan Mitchell- D’Angelo Russell definitely sticks out as a top shooting guard play, but if searching in the mid tier I’m drawn Mitchell tonight. Mitchell finally had a big game in his last time out, putting up 49 FanDuel points against the Detroit Pistons, and going as far as talking smack to Pistons fans saying it was their fault that he had such a good game…maybe he got his swagger back? Donny is someone that loves to show up in big games in my opinion, and the lights couldn’t be brighter in a showdown with the Bucks.
Low Tier: Austin Rivers- There’s not a ton to like for value at shooting guard tonight, which brings us right back to Austin Rivers again on FanDuel. His price is up over $4,000, but he has played 40+ minutes in three straight games and you aren’t getting that type of run from anyone else in this pricing tier.
Top Tier: Brandon Ingram- Small forward is a wasteland on Monday night, we have Giannis a matchup with Utah, and then no LeBron/KD/PG etc leaving us with Brandon Ingram as the top overall play. The Lakers are on a back-to-back, but Ingram played just 25 minutes yesterday due to them getting blown out by Minnesota so the minutes should not be a concern in this one. This game features one of the best O/U’s on the slate at 222, and Ingram would be another substantial boost if Kyle Kuzma gets ruled out before lock.
Mid Tier: Harrison Barnes- On the other side of this game, Harrison Barnes is set for the chalk treatment tonight priced at only $5,600 on FanDuel. I personally hate playing him, but this price is simply too cheap and should easily reach 30+ minutes of action in this game even with the Mavs listed as 8 point favorites.
Low Tier: Moe Harkless- Woof, I told you small forward is rough tonight! Harkless is slated as probable to play tonight against the Knicks, and I just keep coming back to this matchup. The Knicks have been one of three or four worst defensive teams in the NBA for the majority of the season, and Harkless is particularly someone that can beat them with his ability to pick up hustle stats and peripherals. He’s only $5,100 on FanDuel, and fits perfectly with their scoring system where you receive +3 for a block or steal. Harkless as four block/steals in each of his last four starts.
Top Tier: Anthony Davis- Davis falls behind Harden for me today in a matchup with Memphis, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a fantastic play in his own right. His own low score has been 47 (once) in the last 11 games, and the only thing that can really stop him from getting you 50+ is a trip the his good ole friend the locker room.
Mid Tier: Aaron Gordon- Gordon is one of my favorite overall plays on this slate, and I’m really hopping that the game-log watchers will stay away from him tonight thus keeping his ownership in check. He hasn’t flashed his ceiling in quite some time, but we really aren’t paying for it either at only $7,200. I think he sets up perfectly in this pace-up game vs the Kings, he is hyper-athletic and his style of play fits well with the increased pace. Nikola Vucevic also has a great matchup, but I would prefer to trust the young legs with the Magic on a back-to-back and I think we could catch a 40+ fantasy point performance from AG tonight.
Low Tier: Noah Vonleh- I hate writing up Knicks because we never know what the heck Fizdale is going to do, but I cannot ignore Noah Vonleh in this #REVENGE spot against the Portland Trailblazers. He put up 40+ FanDuel points against the Blazers in their last meeting, though he also played 36 minutes in that game and I can’t accurately project him for that tonight. Regardless, at $6,100 on FanDuel he is in play for all formats and Kanter should have his hands full getting roasted by Nurkic.
Top Tier: Nikola Vucevic- Center is pretty loaded for me tonight, with two smash options at the top in Nikola Vucevic and Jusuf Nurkic. Vucevic gets a dream matchup with the Sacramento Kings, in a pace-up spot, coming off a monster 16-24-8 game yesterday against the Clippers. The Kings have been one of the worst defensive teams against centers this season, and Vuc just so happens to be playing the best basketball of his career. I am mildly concerned with it being a pace-up game on a back-to-back, but the matchup is so good it won’t keep me away from Vuc tonight.
Mid Tier: Jusuf Nurkic- Nurk is probably priced out for me on FanDuel, but at $8,000 on DraftKings he is one of my favorite plays on the slate. Enes Kanter’s minutes have been all over the map recently with him basically getting benched and fighting with the Knicks, but he played 26 minutes in their last game and they will need his size tonight. That being said, his size won’t do much as Kanter is one of, if not the top overall worst defensive center in the NBA. Nurk has been on fire as of late, topping 40+ in three straight including an 88 bomb against the Kings (hmm). I also don’t think the matchup gets any worse is they decide to keep Kanter away from Nurk, because if you isolate the numbers from when Luke Kornet has started for the Knicks the go from bad…to dead-last in defensive efficiency against centers. Let’s go!
Low Tier: DeAndre Jordan- DJ falls into the “way too cheap” category tonight as he comes in at just $6,800 on FanDuel and $6,100 on DraftKings. He basically needs a big rebounding performance to hit a big score, but we aren’t paying for a massive game at this price and the Lakers are collectively one of the worst rebounding units in the NBA.
Monkey Knife Fight
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Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)