Top Tier: Steph Curry- Point Guard seems like a spend down spot for me on FanDuel tonight, and I can’t get past someone like Kemba or Doncic on DraftKings at their prices, but if you are spending up I think it has to be for Curry. The Suns have continued their terrible defense this season and we know that Curry has slate-breaking upside every time he touches the floor. He has a 29% true usage rate this season and is a great tournament play on Monday night.
Mid Tier: Kemba Walker (DraftKings)- Matchup is always a hot-topic when it comes to NBA DFS, and I, personally, am not someone who factors it in as much for my own research except for certain circumstances. If I know an elite defender will be guarding someone, then the matchup certainly takes a hit, but I wouldn;t put Kyle Lowry in the elite defender range. Lowry is a good defender, but not good enough that I would consider fading Kemba and his insane 37% usage rate this season at a discounted price on DraftKings. Given the pricing differential, I probably wouldn’t play him on FanDuel at the price, but I do like him on DK for what he has been doing this season.
Low Tier: Fred VanVleet- I’ve already written up Fred VanVleet a few times this season, and I will continue to go back to the well while he is cheap and while Delon Wright is out. FVV has played 25+ minutes in every single game this season, and hasn’t scored under 22 fantasy points. Outside of the Lakers situation, there’s not a ton of value on this slate so we may end up needing FVV in all formats for salary relief.
Top Tier: Demar Derozan- Woooo boy, another DraftKings pricing special! Dero is priced at just $7,400 tonight despite attempting over 20 shots per game so far for the Spurs. With Dejounte Murray injured, this offense is pretty much Derozan and LMA and we are getting an elite ceiling ar under $7,500. I weirdly don’t think he will be highly-owned, but I’m not scared of the Lakers defense and I 100% want to take advantage of this price while I can.
Mid Tier: Luka Doncic (FanDuel)- Doncic is another player I’ve played in both of his games so far this year, and I noted FanDuel here because is is SG only there, and PG only on DraftKings. I think he is playable on all sites tonight though in a fantastic matchup with the Chicago Bulls, who rank bottom-five in defensive efficiency again this season. The best thing about Doncic is the massive minutes he sees, last game the Mavericks started out flat which resulted in the starters being pulled…except Doncic. He’s played 31 and 36 minutes through two games and can contribute across the board.
Low Tier: Wesley Matthews- It’s weird that I’m writing up two Mavericks players tonight, but I do think this is going to be an extremely juicy fantasy game given how terrible both of these defense are. Matthews has surprisingly seen a usage rate north of 20% this season with the Mavs missing Barnes, and he is locked into hige minutes like Doncic. Matthews and FVV are pretty much what we are working with for value outside the Lakers guys.
Top Tier: Giannis Antetokounmpo- Not much needs to be said about Giannis, who is up to his usual ways posting two huge fantasy lines to start the season. I don’t see the Knicks being able to slow him down whatsoever, and it’s basically him vs LeBron for the top spend up of the slate. LeBron has yet to flash his ceiling on the Lakers, and while that could come tonight with Rondo/Ingram out of the lineup I think Giannis sets up perfect for this matchup and would be my personal choice.
Mid Tier: Jimmy Butler (DraftKings)- You can definitely include Kawhi Leonard right here, who I also like a lot, but I can’t get by Jimmy Butler’s price again on DraftKings. Butler is doing it all for this Wolves team in his attempt to prove a point to the younger players, and this game sets up with big-time shootout potential with a 226.5 O/U in Vegas. He’s under-priced on DraftKings and is playable in all formats, while I prefer Leonard on FanDuel.
Low Tier: Lance Stephenson- I don’t “love” this play, but he along with Kuzma, Hart and Ball are going to have to pick up the slack for Rondo and Ingram while they are sidelined. On FanDuel, I’m probably going to want to spend up for both Small Forward but you can throw Lance into the DK value pool for GPPs.
Top Tier: LaMarcus Aldridge- DraftKings must really hate the Spurs, because LMA comes in at sub-$8,000 along with Derozan despite playing 40 minutes a game to start the season. The Spurs are hurting with some of their injuries and without a true point guard right now the offense runs through those two. He has had some big games against the Lakers in the past and I’m expecting this to be a close game with Dero/LMA both contributing big-time stat lines.
Mid Tier: Kyle Kuzma- This is going to be one of the highest owned players on the slate tonight at his price with Ingram/Rondo out. He should benefit minutes wise, and he should get a ton of open looks playing next to LeBron James. He’s under-priced and I’ve noted a few times this season why I’m not scared of the Spurs defense.
Low Tier: Ersan Ilyasova- I don’t have a ton of conviction here, but Ilya sticks out as someone who is cheap, in an attractive DFS game, and will be able to get shots up. He shot only three times in the Bucks last game, and I just don’t think there’s any way that trend continues tonight. I probably prefer some of the Lakers value like Kuzma, Hart or even Wesley Matthews from Dallas, but he remains a punt option nonetheless.
Top Tier: Enes Kanter- I’ve been all over Kanter since the preseason, and that will continue tonight in a great matchup with the Bucks and Brook Lopez. Lopez is not known as a rebounder, and that’s part of why ABC has been able to put up some monster rebound numbers to start the season. This offense flows through Kanter a lot with some of the Knicks injuries resulting in over 22% usage so far this season. He’s seeing tons of rebound opportunities and I’m predicting another big double-double from him tonight.
Mid Tier: DeAndre Ayton- Ayton had a rough game against the Nuggets on Saturday night, but it’s important to remember he’s a rookie and these types of things are going to happen. I will say the matchup is somewhat concerning, as it always is with a big-man against the Warriors, but Ayton has shown the offensive potential he has and I think he will benefit from the pace of this game. Even if the Suns get blown out, he should see late run against the backups.
Low Tier: Myles Turner- Turner smashed the Nets at a reduced salary on Saturday night, and is in another good spot tonight against the Timberwolves who are a bottom-ten rebounding team through the first week of the season. Turner should be locked into minutes with TJ Leaf out again, though Domantas Sabonis will return and I do think that caps his ceiling slightly. He will benefit from the pace of this game and I think he is still under-priced compared to his ability.
NOTE: On DraftKings, the best cheap Center option by far is Wendell Carter. Carter has shown FPPM ability during the first few games of his career and he is just $3,900 because he hasn’t been seeing heavy minutes. That could change tonight, but even if it doesn’t 20-25 points is not out fo the question at under $4,000.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)