FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Monday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

The NBA's restart has been a rousing success, with plenty of close games and outstanding offensive performances. That's naturally great news for DFS purposes, and with what can be considered a big slate by seeding game standards – six games – Monday shapes up as a particularly interesting day. As usual, there are some important injuries to monitor, with the Pacers and Nuggets potentially set to be especially short-handed.

Before delving into the slate, a reminder that FanDuel has reverted 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 three games with the highest projected totals on Monday's slate: 

Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans (Projected total: 238.5 points) 

These division rivals are fighting for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, play at a fast pace, and have defensive deficiencies, making this an unsurprising candidate for the highest-scoring game on the slate. The totals in the first two meetings between these clubs – 242 and 250 points – certainly lend credence to the notion there could be plenty of offense in this spot. Both clubs are also in good health, although Zion Williamson is expected to remain on some type of minutes limit. 

San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers (Projected total: 228.5 points

This is a somewhat elevated total for a game involving a Spurs team without LaMarcus Aldridge, and for a matchup which resulted in a combined 219 points the first time the two teams met with Aldridge available. However, the 76ers' new starting five did help put up 121 points against a tough Indiana team in Philly's first seeding game, and the Spurs come in allowing an elevated 115.0 points per contest. 

Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards (Projected total: 227.5 points) 

The Wizards are always a facilitator for plenty of offense, so this projected total isn't surprising. Washington is also missing Bradley Beal in Orlando and is already allowing 119.7 points per game, tied for highest in the league. The Pacers could be missing Malcolm Brogdon (neck) again Monday and appear very likely to be without Victor Oladipo (knee), but they managed to score 127 points versus a tough 76ers defense Saturday and put up 121 in their only previous meeting versus the Wizards this season. 

Positional Breakdown

PG: The good news at point guard is that you won't have to spend an inordinate amount to gain access to the top players at the position. Kyle Lowry ($8.3K) and Ben Simmons ($8.1K) could both outpace their salaries and could certainly be rostered together, while Chris Paul and Ja Morant could also be excellent values at $7.6K and $7.5K, respectively. There are also strong options in the mid-tier with the likes of Lonzo Ball, Derrick White, Mike Conley and Dejounte Murray, making the pool deep enough even if both Malcolm Brogdon (neck) and Jamal Murray (hamstring) are out again. 

SG: Shooting guard once again has just Victor Oladipo (knee) as an injury concern, as Jimmy Butler will be available for the Heat after being excused from practice Sunday for personal reasons. DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Donovan Mitchell and Fred VanVleet are all very affordably priced at between $6.6K and $8K, and there are plenty of viable value options below $6K. 

SF: LeBron James heads up the positional pool and in fact all players at a salary of $10K, and there's then a $2K dropoff to Pascal Siakam. A case could be made for Brandon Ingram ($7.4K), Tobias Harris ($6.8K) and T.J. Warren ($6.7K) all being underpriced, and besides Will Barton's and Glenn Robinson's knee and hip injuries, the position enjoys a clean bill of health. 

PF:  Anthony Davis heads up the pool with a fair salary of $9.6K, and then there's a nice drop in salary to Bam Adebayo ($8.3K). After that point, there's no other player priced higher than $6.5K, and some very interesting names reside in the value range that include Jaren Jackson ($6.4K), Zion Williamson ($6.3K), Al Horford ($5.5K), Serge Ibaka ($5.2K) and Paul Millsap ($4.8K). 

C: Joel Embiid starts things off with a $9.7K salary that could be considered somewhat of a bargain after the big man accumulated 80.2 FD points in his first scrimmage game versus the Pacers on Saturday. Nikola Jokic ($8.9K) is also arguably underpriced considering he'll likely be playing without three of his fellow starters, but he does have a tough matchup versus the Thunder's Steven Adams. Below Jokic, Rudy Gobert ($7.4K) is the most expensive option, and those looking to save some cap space will have options such as Myles Turner ($6.5K), Adams ($6.4K) and Thomas Bryant ($6.3K). 

Injury Situations to Monitor

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate. 

Anthony Davis, LAL (eye) 

Davis is probable for Monday's game against the Jazz with the eye injury he's played through during the Lakers' first two seeding games. 

LeBron James, LAL (groin) 

James is probable for Monday's game against the Jazz with the groin soreness he's played through during the Lakers' first two seeding games. 

Kyle Kuzma, LAL (ankle) 

Kuzma is probable for Monday's game against the Jazz with the ankle injury he's played through during the Lakers' first two seeding games. 

Gary Harris, DEN (hip) 

Harris will not play Monday against the Thunder. Torrey Craig and Troy Daniels should benefit from the defensively minded shooting guard's absence. 

Will Barton, DEN (knee) 

Barton will not play Monday against the Thunder due to right knee soreness. Michael Porter, who played 24 minutes in Barton's absence Saturday, should once again see a significant uptick in opportunity. 

Jamal Murray, DEN (hamstring) 

Murray is considered "very questionable" for Monday's game against the Thunder with hamstring tightness that caused him to miss Saturday's game against the Heat. Monte Morris and PJ Dozier should once again be the beneficiaries of Murray's absence. 

Malcolm Brogdon, IND (neck) 

Brogdon is considered questionable with a neck strain/soreness. His absence would once again have a significant impact, especially with Domantas Sabonis (foot) and Victor Oladipo (knee) also expected out. Aaron Holiday could draw another start at point guard, although T.J. McConnell could get the call if Holiday shifts over to Oladipo's shooting guard spot. 

Victor Oladipo, IND (knee) 

Oladipo is considered doubtful for Monday's game, which could directly benefit both Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner

Royce O'Neale, UTA 

O'Neale is considered probable for Monday's game versus the Lakers due to foot soreness. 

Goran Dragic, MIA (back) 

Dragic is considered probable for Monday's game with back spasms. 

Bam Adebayo, MIA (quadriceps) 

Adebayo is considered probable for Monday's game with a quadriceps bruise. 

Patrick McCaw, TOR (knee) 

McCaw will not play Monday against the Heat. In his absence, Norman Powell and Terence Davis should both see extra minutes behind Fred VanVleet at shooting guard. 

Glenn Robinson, PHI (hip) 

Robinson is doubtful for Monday's game against the Spurs. In the event of his likely absence, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and Alec Burks could be among the beneficiaries.

Mike Scott, PHI (knee) 

Scott will not play in Monday's game against the Spurs. 

Bryn Forbes, SA (quadriceps) 

Forbes is considered a game-time decision for Monday's contest against the 76ers after missing Sunday's game against the Grizzlies. 

Marco Belinelli (foot)

Belinelli is considered a game-time decision for Monday's contest against the 76ers after missing Sunday's game against the Grizzlies. 

Tyus Jones, MEM (knee) 

Jones will remain out for Monday's game against the Pelicans. 

Notable Longer-Term Injuries/Absences: Bradley Beal, WAS; Davis Bertans, WAS; LaMarcus Aldridge, SAN; Rajon Rondo, LAL; Avery Bradley, LAL; Darius Miller, NOP; Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA; Domantas Sabonis, IND; Gary Payton, WAS; Garrison Mathews, WAS; Vlatko Cancar, DEN 

Elite Players

Even with 12 teams in action, there is only one five-figure player on the slate in LeBron James ($10K), who's seen a $900 price drop after somewhat of an underwhelming start (by his standards) to the seeding games. The tough matchup against the Jazz also inserts a bit of doubt into the equation as to whether James is able to provide an acceptable return on his current salary. 

By comparison, the likes of Joel Embiid ($9.7K), Anthony Davis ($9.7K) and Nikola Jokic ($8.9K) may all be underpriced relative to their early performances in restart games, while Ben Simmons ($8.1K) could ultimately prove to be one of the better point-per-dollar values of the night in a matchup against a Spurs team without LaMarcus Aldridge down low. 

Expected Chalk

The six-game slate should certainly help spread out the more popular plays, a welcome benefit for those building tournament lineups, but the elite players will be rostered at their usual levels. In Nikola Jokic's case, he's likely to be even more coveted with Jamal Murray looking very likely to join Gary Harris and Will Barton on the sidelines. 

Additionally, T.J. Warren, who's only seen a $600 price increase after putting up a career-high 53 points against the 76ers on Saturday, could get plenty of clicks on his name as well, especially with a high likelihood that Victor Oladipo (knee) and Malcolm Brogdon (neck) sit out the contest.

Key Values 

Kyle Anderson, MEM at NO ($3,900) 

Anderson has returned at least 5x his current salary in 23 games this season, including a season-high in FanDuel points against this same Pelicans squad Jan. 31. He also bounced back from a quiet start to the seeding games against Portland last Friday by racking up 24.4 FD points versus his former Spurs teammates Sunday. The Pels also rank in the bottom 10 in assists (4.3), steals (1.9), shooting percentage (46.0), three-point percentage (37.3) and offensive efficiency rating (23.0) allowed to small forwards, helping buttress Anderson's case.

Justin Holiday, IND at WAS ($3,800) 

Holiday drew the start against the 76ers on Saturday at small forward and logged a robust 38 minutes. He wasn't overly efficient, posting a modest 22.4 FD points. However, that still represents nearly 6x his current salary, and the domino effect of another Malcolm Brogdon absence could return Holiday to the starting five. The veteran's shot can go in the tank sometimes, but even if he comes off the bench, he was regularly logging over 20 minutes on the second unit earlier in the season and has scored over 20 FD points in 25 games. The matchup against the short-handed Wizards – which were highly suspect on defense even when they had both Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans available – only enhances Holiday's case, as Washington checks in allowing the third-highest offensive efficiency rating (24.4) to small forwards, including the second-highest shooting percentage (47.4) and a top-10 figure in three-point percentage (37.3). 

Grayson Allen, MEM at NO ($3,500) 

Allen has logged 21 and 27 minutes off the bench in the Grizzlies' first two restart games, providing respective tallies of 11.4 and 22.6 FD points in those contests. That amount of playing time is particularly eye-catching for a player at minimum salary with his shooting chops (45.0 percent success rate from the floor, including 37.0 percent from behind the arc), and Allen could be in good position to deliver a nice return. The Pelicans have allowed a bottom-10 offensive efficiency rating (44.2) to opposing second units, including a bottom-10 figure in shooting percentage (46.2) and three-point percentage (36.2).

Other likely low-rostered value plays to consider: Jerome Robinson, WAS ($4,200); Nickeil Alexander-Walker, NOP ($3,700); Tyler Herro, MIA ($3,600); PJ Dozier, DEN ($3,500)

Other likely higher-rostered value plays to consider: Derrick White, SAN ($5,900); Mike Conley, UTA ($5,900); Danilo Gallinari, OKC ($5,900): Dejounte Murray, SAN ($5,700): Al Horford, PHI ($5,500); Dillon Brooks, MEM ($5,100); Brandon Clarke, MEM ($5,000): Lonnie Walker, SAN ($4,800); Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($4,700): Rudy Gay, SAN ($4,700); OG Anunoby,TOR ($4,600); Monte Morris, DEN ($4,000)

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