Games To Target
IND (-6.5) @ WAS, O/U: 229
NO (-3) vs. MEM, O/U: 239
Games To Fade
LAL (-6) @ UTA, O/U: 219
[Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change]
It's also hard to ignore how the Thunder took apart the Jazz so quickly, and although the prices for these OKC guys have jumped up quite a bit, they have to be considered a roster staple going forward. My big fear with this slate is that all five games could be blowouts, and as teams without seeding concerns move forward, we are going to see less and less of their marquee players. I think the Lakers' loss to Toronto was a blip on the radar, but I'm going to be more inclined to fade their first-string talent as the week continues. Surprisingly, the IND/WAS contest became my primary target Monday, despite the potentially slower pace of this matchup.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Jamal Murray (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
They're calling Murray VERY questionable, which I suppose accentuates the severity of this injury. While Monte Morris and Torrey Craig took over for Murray last time out it was Jerami Grant($4,700) who saw the nicest boost in production, and I think he's the best value in light of this situation. There are too many mouths to feed in the Denver backcourt, and although you could take a flier on one of them, I'd avoid doing that in a cash lineup. If you do, I would go with Craig over Morris, however.
Despite Utah's horrific game, I just don't have a good feeling about the Lakers from a DFS perspective. Anthony Davis ($9,800) has slipped below 10k, which makes him look like a bargain, but can we trust Davis to beat value in what could be a blowout? If I were Frank Vogel, I'd be giving some serious thought to saving their best games for the playoffs. My exposure to Davis and LeBron James is going to be very low. I almost cringe as I type it, but life is about making those tough decisions.
Joel Embiid, PHI ($10,300) vs. SA
Do we really think Jakob Poeltl is going to give Embiid problems? I'm sure we all watched the general discord between him and Shake Milton in their last game. Although I don't think Embiid handled it well, I think Milton was holding the team back. Embiid wants to win, and anyone that gets in the way of that is a problem. His splits versus the Spurs are deceiving due to LaMarcus Aldridge's presence in prior matchups. Without him, the Spurs' frontcourt is barely holding it together, and I think Embiid's potential for going over 50 DKFP is a fairly safe bet. If you're looking for a cash anchor, he's exactly what you're looking for.
Tobias Harris, PHI ($8,600) vs. SA
I have no problem with stacking Philly in this game, and I will probably pile on Ben Simmons($8,100) in a couple of lineups as well. Harris heaved up 29 shots against the Pacers and grabbed eight rebounds, so his potential volume in bubble play is rock-solid, and his history against the Spurs, while scant, is equally sound. In their only meeting, Harris poured in 26 points, six rebounds and four assists.
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
Chris Paul, OKC ($7,700) vs. DEN
He might be a little too expensive for me, and for $1,700 less, I'm more inclined to give love to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($6,000), but if you watched Saturday's game as I did, you know how dialed in the Thunder looked. My Steven Adams pick came in, but I should have loaded the backcourt in as well. I was a bit too confident in Utah's prospects. I like Paul because he could pop and beat value in any given game, while SGA is more of a cash play due to his reliable floor. Both of these guys are going to be chalk. While we are on the topic of the Thunder, I also have no problem sending Adams back into the fray again. Against the Nuggets in two games this season, he's averaged a whopping 48.6 DKFP per game. At $5,400, he's a massive deal.
Ja Morant, MEM ($7,300) @ NO
Jaren Jackson, MEM ($6,200) @ NO
Both of them played well in a heartbreaking loss to the Spurs, and the Grizzlies desperately need this game to stay in the playoff hunt. I think both of them set up well against the Pelicans, but if I'm honest, I am using this duo in cash every time they take the floor. I think a big variable for Jackson is what Zion Williamson's status will be, because extended run for Zion could give Jackson some problems. Otherwise, I think this will be a shootout for Morant against the Pelicans backcourt, and the pace promises to be high.
T.J. Warren, IND ($7,400) @ WAS
I usually shy away from players after they've had a huge night, but the post-game interview I saw with Warren made me change my thinking. It's obvious that Warren dedicated himself to improving his craft during the break, and it showed in his 70 DKFP performance Saturday. He has always had a decent mid-range jumper, but now he's a bona fide deep threat. By no means do I expect a repeat, but I'm confident that the Pacers will continue to give him the ball. Based on his current price, I'd be elated with 40 DKFP, or something in that range.
Thomas Bryant, WAS ($6,300) vs. IND
Bryant exploded for almost 11x his salary against Brooklyn on Sunday. Even though Indiana is a tough opponent, Bryant is going to be very popular as an attractively priced mid-range center on this slate. Without Domantas Sabonis (foot), Indiana's interior is severely compromised, and Myles Turner didn't look all that great in what was otherwise an excellent game for the Pacers. One look at Bryant's splits is encouraging, as he had one of his best games of the season against Indiana with a 20/12 double-double.
Also consider: Jonas Valanciunas, MEM ($7,700) @ NO
VALUE PICKS Aaron Holiday, IND ($5,000) @ WAS With or without Malcolm Brogdon (neck), Holiday is going to play and receive 30-plus minutes. The Pacers' offensive focus has shifted to the frontcourt, and I think he's going to be the more prolific Holiday brother during the seeding period. His multi-category contribution Saturday is manna from heaven for DFS players, and at this budget price, his rostering percentage could skyrocket. Kyle Kuzma, LAL ($4,400) @ UTA As I said, I expect the Lakers to utilize more of their role players as they get closer to the playoffs, and Kuzma is probably the most likely candidate to emerge as a placeholder for AD and LeBron when they take a seat. He still has an ankle problem to deal with, but he's shot reasonably well and is averaging about 30 minutes per game in the bubble. Currently, his DKFP average is running at 6.5x value over two games played. Alex Caruso, LAL ($3,400) @ UTA How is Caruso still this low? No guard that averages 26 minutes for the league's best team should go at this price, but lo and behold, here he is. I think he's a lock for 6x value, and if the rest of the backcourt struggles, he could even bump his numbers to 7x territory. Keldon Johnson, SA ($4,100) @ PHI This is one of those slates where you're going to have to make some GPP dart throws for the sake of uniqueness, and you can always count on Gregg Popovich to frustrate you somehow. It's rare for Pop to help DFS players, but he's been very clear about using the truncated season to develop his younger talent. The former Kentucky product has averaged 27 minutes over his first three games, so it's evident that the Spurs are giving him enough time to be productive. If he gets enough scoring opportunities, his rebounding will help pad his totals. Like I said, a huge dart throw, and something I'd try in a GPP-only lineup build. Also consider: Troy Brown, WAS ($5,200) vs. IND