Since we have split slates today, I’m going to break down my analysis on the DraftKings 1 PM EST slate, and the FanDuel 3 PM EST slate. Let’s get it!
We have five games on tap for this slate, with three carrying 220+ O/U’s in Vegas.
Giannis Antetokounmpo- There is nobody near the raw point value of Giannis on this five game slate, so it’s leading me to locking him into my first build. There are two other elite sub-$10,000 plays in Bradley Beal and Blake Griffin, but I don’t see you being able to comfortably fit in either of them alongside Giannis. I will cover them below, but I want to lock in the 50+ point floor of Antetokounmpo first and foremost on Monday afternoon.
Kris Dunn- Dunn appears pretty mis-priced to me in a matchup with a porous Cavaliers defense. He’s been up-and-down fantasy wise over the last few games, but that doesn’t take away from how good this matchup, and that he has been absolutely horrible from the field over the last four games. I’m not saying he is a great shooter, but his last four games are 4-11, 2-7, 3-8 and 3-14 from the field, so he should be due for a better shooting night, which would really help us in terms of beating his mere $6,100 price tag.
Zaza Pachulia- We have a situation where both of Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson are out again for the Cavs, and Andre Drummond is out for the Pistons, which thrusts both Ante Zizic and Zaza Pachulia into play again. The problem here is, Zizic comes in at $5,700 compared to Zaza at $4,100. Sure, the matchup with the Bulls is elite, but there’s just no way to justify playing Zizic over Zaza in an optimal build.
Jarrett Allen- The beauty of DraftKings is being able to play two centers, and that will certainly come in handy today with us locking in Zaza Pachulia, and Jarrett Allen sitting at $6,200 in a matchup with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings absolutely bleed fantasy points to opposing centers, and while the minutes are never “secure” for Allen, he has DK point totals of 30, 47, 60 and 31 over his last four, while reaching 30 minutes just once over that stretch. He is a guy that will thrive in the pace-up spot, and he might be my favorite overall play on this slate.
Otto Porter/Trevor Ariza- Both of these guys continue to crush value and see big minutes for the Wizards, Porter in particular has thrived in his new role off the bench. They are priced right next to each other, and I think both are cash game playable and you even could stack them together with no issue.
Spencer Dinwiddie- Dinwiddie finally had a big game last week against the Rockets where we dropped 52 DK points in 32 minutes, and he followed that up with a 20 real-point outing against the Orlando Magic. He could be finding his groove after some mid-season struggles, and I would like to take advantage of his price decrease in a fast-paced matchup with the Kings.
Evan Fournier- If Aaron Gordon ends up missing this game, I love playing Evan Fournier even though he is priced up to almost $6,000. He has seen 36+ minutes in five of the last 6 games, with the outlier being 31 minutes in a blowout. He will shoulder more of the offensive load with Gordon out and I think he can comfortably beat value at his price in an elite matchup with the Hawks.
Blake Griffin- I want to make him cash game playable with Drummond out, but if we do that we are going to be more of a stars and scrubs type build pairing him with Giannis. It’s no question that he will do everything for this team today, and he remains under $10,000 which is certainly still affordable. I think a really interesting GPP strategy today would be to pair him up in a lineup with Bradley Beal.
Brad Beal- Like I said, I think pairing him with Griffin is a fantastic GPP strategy, as Beal has topped 40+ DK points in 10 straight games without John Wall, and he has flashed a ceiling too with a trio of 50+ point games and a monster 93 DK point game against the Raptors. I love picking on the Pistons with guards, and at $9,400 he still has immense upside.
Nikola Vucevic- I think he will ultimately fall behind Griffin in ownership, but he should be able to reach 30 minutes if Aaron Gordon misses again today due to his back injury. This is an elite matchup against a fast-paced, terrible defensive Atlanta Hawks team and I see no reason why we wouldn’t want some Vuc exposure today, especially if he is over-looked.
Luka Doncic- The last spot comes down to Luka vs D’Angelo Russell, but given that Luka is cheaper I am going to side with him today especially with Dennis Smith Jr still out for the Mavericks. This is a tough matchup against a long Bucks defense, but the lights never seem too bright for Luka and he should be motivated to drop a big game in front of Giannis, like a Griffin/Beal stack, Luka/ABC makes a ton of sense to me in tournaments.
James Harden- We have some really quality value available on the FanDuel slate, which is going to make fitting in James Harden fairly easy once again. Yes, he’s $14,000, but I’ve discussed this at length over the last two weeks and he is pretty much fade-proof for me right now. He will be the first person into my lineup today.
Lakers Value- The value I was speaking of comes from LA, as the Lakers are set to be without LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball tonight. The names that immediately jump out are Lance Stephenson, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. I think that locking in two of the three makes a lot of sense with Harden, and I would personally rank them in the order they are listed above. Lance should be locked into 23+ minutes and he can take over some ball-handling duties, and I think that Hart has a higher overall upside than KCP for just a few hundred more.
Mike Conley- Conley might be a surprise to some falling in my building block category, but I just can’t seem to get away from his $7,800 price tag, and it correlates well given that we most likely will have 1-2 Pelicans as well with Anthony Davis out. Conley should benefit from the increased pace of this matchup, and we have attacked New Orleans with point guards all season.
Nikola Mirotic- The one player I will be locking in for sure in AD’s absence is Nikola Mirotic at only $6,100. Mirotic has hovered around 1.2 fantasy points per minute this season with AD out of the lineup, and the minutes will be more secure as well. This is simply too cheap, and even if I was playing 150 lineups on this slate I would have close to 100% Miro.
Center- Center is the big dilemma for me, as we have Nikola Vucevic and Julius Randle sticking out as elite plays. Vuc draws a fast-paced matchup with the Hawks, and Aaron Gordon has been ruled out, while Randle gets a matchup with the Grizzlies without AD. Normally I would be concerned with the matchup against MEM, but Randle has actually already had success in the matchup this season and I think I will end up on him with the savings, leaving Vuc for GPPs.
Philadephia 76ers- Both of Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid are game-time decisions, but given the lack of late swap on FanDuel it’s pretty much impossible to roster either of them if we don’t know for sure if they are playing. If we got a situation where one is active and one is out, the one that is active would get bumped up to to the building block range, as well as Ben Simmons.
Boogie Cousins- While I think that I would want one of Vuc or Randle for cash games, Boogie sets up in a great spot against the Lakers in GPPs. The Lakers are a horrible rebounding team, and even if he only plays 20 minutes he can easily beat his price tag of $5,100. I don’t know how high is upside is in that amount of minutes though, which is why I would leave him for tourneys only.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)