Welcome back, Degens! It is Monday once again, and we have a 5-game NBA DFS slate on the docket for today and tonight. You guys know the drill, going three player options at each position for the slate, one from the top, one from middle, and one value option. Let’s go!
TOP: Kyle Lowry ($8,600) – I like the contrarian pay-up here for Lowry in this match against the Bucks. Most are afraid to play guards against the Bucks, and mainly PGs because Bledsoe is pretty good on defense, yet Lowry has some decent history against the Bucks so far this season. In the two earlier games this season against the Bucks, Lowry averaged almost 40 minutes a game, in route to an average of 23 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.0 apg, and 1.0 bpg. He averaged 25.4% usage rate in those two as well and has averaged almost 23% so far in the bubble over the Raptors five games played. He is fresh off a 40 DK fantasy point effort in yesterday’s game against the Grizzlies, where he played 37 minutes as well. I think Lowry still provides a really nice floor, and I know his price is pretty high today, but this will be a nice pace-up spot as well for the Raptors with MIL running with a top-three PACE this season. Not to mention this could be a nice little bounce-back game for Lowry, as the last time he faced MIL, he shot a putrid 2-of-12 from the field, and 1-of-7 from the three-point line. I expect Lowry to be hungry today.
MIDDLE: Jamal Murray ($7,100) – Everyone was wondering if Murray would be on any kind of pitch count with his return to the floor in the Nuggets game against the Jazz two days ago, and he did not receive one as he played a whopping 39 minutes in that return game. Today, he faces a Lakers team that has been pretty generous to the PG spot, even with Caruso starting, and Murray’s price actually went DOWN $200 after the 39-minute outing against the Jazz. Murray carried a team-leading 30.5% usage rate in that game (next closest was Jokic at 27.7%), while notching out 53.5 DK fantasy points with 23 actual, 12 boards, eight assists, and a block. He also attempted 25 FGAs in this one to boot. Have to like the price on Murray today, especially with Harris and Barton still on the side-line, and if we even think he gets close to 39-minutes once again.
VALUE: Eric Bledsoe ($5,400) – The counter-part of Lowry is just way too cheap today. Bledsoe is basically off his minute restriction, as he played 31 minutes in Buck’s last game against DAL, where he scored 15 actual, with five boards, and four dimes. Bledsoe has also had some nice success against the Raptors this season, in two earlier games, he averaged 29.3 mpg, 15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.0 spg, and 0.5 bpg, while garnering an average of 24.4% usage as well. As mentioned above, this match will be a fast-pace affair and we can look to stack this game up in my opinion.
TOP: Devin Booker ($8,700) – Welp, OKC, just ruled out half their team for today’s match with the Suns, and this is excellent news for one Mr. Booker. I know his price is high today, but he could have a field day against all the back-ups for OKC. Booker is leading the team by a very hefty margin in terms of usage for the bubble so far at 33.5% usage, with the next option closest to him being Rubio at 22.5%. Booker will continue to do what Booker does, and he will literally take 20 ore more FGAs as he has in four of the five games so far. He has been a lovely source of assists as well, dishing out at least six or more in his last three, while also recording three steals in the five games as well. Booker’s floor is just much safer on a slate like today’s where the top-priced SGs are not in great spots with FVV against MIL (a team he has struggled mightily against) and SGA being ruled out already. IF DON MITCHELL PLAYS, I will be splitting between Booker and he likely.
MIDDLE: Jordan Clarkson ($5,600) – As mentioned above, there is a slight chance that Don Mitchell could potentially sit-out for today’s clash against DAL. If he does, Clarkson could be in line for a big usage bump. Clarkson sees a pretty hefty 4.2% addition of usage without Mitchell on the floor, pushing his overall usage to an astounding 30.5% in this event. With Dallas already resting their two stars, it is really up to Quin Snyder if he wants to hold Mitchell out and get him some more rest. This will be a status worth monitoring, as it will have some influence on lineup builds today.
VALUE: Seth Curry ($4,100) – There are two players for the Mavs that see quite significant bumps in usage when both Luka and KP are off the floor, and those two players are Tim Hardaway Jr. and Seth Curry. Curry sees a nice 3.5% additional usage boost with them off the floor over a 271.5-minute sample, pushing his overall usage rate to 22.7%. Curry is listed as probable to play today and I fully expect him to be highly active on the offensive side of the ball today.
TOP: Michael Porter Jr. ($7,700) – I will let everyone chase LBJ and his 54 DK points in his last matchup at over a $10K price tag and take the much-lesser priced MPJ in a right spot against the Lakers today. MPJ continues to smash, even with Murray returning in the Nugget’s last game, MPJ still finished with 47.3 DK fantasy points, and that was his lowest total out of his last four games, where he topped 50 in the three before. This kid cannot be stopped, and this price is too easy given the fact that Malone is letting him run, as he played 45 minutes in double-OT two days ago against the Jazz. He has played 34 or more minutes in his last four, while carrying a modest 23.2% usage rate. He has scored at least 23 or more actual, while securing 10+ boards, five total steals, and four total blocks as well over that four-game span. I expect him to continue his hot run today against the Lakers.
MIDDLE: Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,600) – We get a treat of a price on THJ here with both Luka and Kristaps sitting today for DAL. In a 158-minute sample for this season already with no Luka or KP on the floor, it is THJ that gets the most significant bump. He sees a massive 7.1% addition of usage, good for an overall usage of 28.1% for this sample, and this is the highest by quite a bit on the team. I believe the Hardaway Jr. just dreams about these situations, because he knows that this is his time to shine, and the he will be the main focal point on the offensive side of the ball. We can expect two things from THJ today: Take lots of shots and play heavy minutes. Both are excellent for fantasy purposes.
VALUE: Hamidou Diallo ($3,400) – One familiar face that we should see quite a bit of today for the Thunder is Diallo. Diallo has already seen a slight uptick in minutes over the last few games, as he has seen his minute totals go from 17 to 23 to 26 in the Thunder’s previous game, and they just ruled out half their team as mentioned above. Diallo has been quite productive as well, securing back-to-back 24+ DK fantasy point efforts, and should get close to 30-minutes of floor time today in my opinion. With SGA, Galo, Adams, and Schroder off the court, Diallo sees an overall usage rate of 19.5%, a bump of 3.7% from his usual total. I like the spot, and I like the price on Diallo today against the Suns.
TOP: Anthony Davis ($9,900) – How many times do we see AD under $10K in a game where he can dominate? I know most will play Giannis here, but I am on AD today. He played 35 minutes last game for the Lakers, and I think as long as this game stays close, which I believe DEN will play to win, he will see close to that once again. AD has been quiet over the last three games, not topping 40 DK fantasy points in any. He had two sub-par games like this to start the bubble, and then erupted for 74 DK fantasy points in the game after. I am hoping for an eruption of those measures once again today after a few lack-luster performances. AD should have his way down-low against this DEN team, who typically rebounds well, but going against guys like AD/Javelle/Dwight (if he plays) could be a bit of struggle for them. In three games earlier this season against the Nuggets, AD averaged 32.1 mpg, 30.0 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.1 bpg, and 0.6 spg. I expect a nice game from AD today.
MIDDLE: Pascal Siakam ($7,400) – Remember last season when it was rare to see SIakam under $8.5K? That was cool, wasn’t it? Well, I must say, I liked what I saw from Pascal yesterday in the Raptors win over the Grizz. He has been pretty quiet to start the bubble for the Raptors, but yesterday he came alive a little with a 36-fantasy point effort, in which he recorded 26 actual, one rebound, three assists, a block, and a steal. This effort was very encouraging, as he was second on the team in usage for this one sitting at 27.1%, just a smidge behind Kyle Lowry at 27.3%. In two games against the Bucks earlier this season, Pascal averaged 24.9% usage, 35.4 mpg, 19.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.5 spg, and 0.5 bpg. I expect him to look to continue his groove today in a fast-paced environment with MIL.
VALUE: Maxi Kleber ($4,200) – Kleber is already an integral part of this Mav’s rotation, but today we can expect a hefty dose of minutes with the only other plausible Center on the roster being Boban, who we haven’t seen get over 15-minutes all season long. Kleber should get very nice run, his price is very cheap for this result, and he sees an additional 2.1% usage bump, for an overall usage of 16.4%. One of those free squares basically here with Kleber today.
TOP: Nikola Jokic ($9,100) – Jokic and company get the Lakers today, and this is a team that he has had mild success against. As mentioned above, we know Jokic is one of the usage leaders on this team, and with both Harris and Barton still out, he will always be an essential factor, as they even basically flow their offense through him, but with Murray back it’s not as much, however Jokic was still able to amass 60 DK fantasy points against the Jazz in the Nuggets last game with Murray back. I get it was double-OT, however, Jokic has now topped 49 fantasy points in three of his of his last four contests. In three prior games against the Lakers earlier this season, he averaged 24.7% usage, 33 mpg, 17.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.3 apg, 2.6 spg, and 0.8 bpg.
MIDDLE: Rudy Gobert ($7,600) – This price is pretty silly for Rudy, who should have a pretty nice matchup today against the Mavs with them missing KP. Rudy has been pretty damn good since entering the bubble, the bubble he helped create at that. Rudy has put up 38, 53, and 44 in his last three games, while playing 34, 37, and 41 minutes as well. He is seeing a modest 21.0% usage rate over his last three and feel the Jazz will utilize him quite a bit today in a bit of a smaller frontcourt for the Mavs. In the event that Don Mitchell sits, he would likely see a small usage bump as well, so keep your eyes on that news also.
VALUE: Mike Muscala ($3,200) – I was hoping I didn’t have to write up Mike Muscala today, but here we are. Nonetheless, no Adams and no Noel mean we get more substantial minutes for Muscala, and since OKC has also ruled out Gallinari and SGA, this means fewer bodies on the floor for OKC also. Muscala is near min price, and he is a free square today against the Suns. He can shoot the three, can also be a nice source of boards, and can contribute in defensive stats as well, so he is a decent punt today in a nice game script.