DraftKings NBA: Monday Cheat Sheet

Slate Overview

Here's a further look at the three games with the highest projected totals on Monday's slate:

Memphis Grizzlies at Brooklyn Nets (Projected total: 232.0 points) The Nets had an unexpected stumble Sunday with a loss to the Hornets, but they still shape up as the league's best defensive squad through the first week with an NBA-low 100.00 points per game allowed. Meanwhile, Brooklyn has averaged 117.3 points per contest, while the Grizzlies are right behind them with 115.5 PPG. Memphis has also given up the third-most points per game (126.5) thus far and is playing at the sixth-fastest pace (109.5 possessions per game), and with the likes of Ja Morant and Kyrie Irving running point for their respective squads, there could certainly be plenty of offense here. However, one development to monitor is Kevin Durant's possible rest day. Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers (Projected total: 225.5 points): Both teams have plenty of offensive firepower, although it remains to be seen what the status of both Anthony Davis and LeBron James will be for this contest. Damian Lillard has gotten off to a ragged start shooting-wise but is naturally capable of much better efficiency than his 37.5 percent shooting through two games, while CJ McCollum has been red hot and Jusuf Nurkic has yet to truly get going. Therefore, even with the Lakers' tough defense, the scoreboard should get a fairly brisk workout here, although how close the Lakers' starting five is to normal will also play a big part in that. Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks (Projected total: 223.0 points) The Pistons have unsurprisingly come out of the gates with a pair of losses, although they've been competitive in both contests. The biggest issue for Detroit on Monday is that their already thin depth will be tested further with two of their most accomplished players, Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, sitting out for rest purposes. That could also certainly compromise the overall offensive production in this game, but the Pistons do play at the league's second-fastest pace (114.6 possessions per game) while the Hawks are eighth fastest at 108.7. Moreover, Atlanta has averaged 123.0 points per contest, topping 120 against both the Bulls and Grizzlies. Detroit's roster is arguably of a lower caliber than even Chicago's, so the Hawks at minimum could do plenty to contribute to this total hitting or being exceeded. Positional Breakdown PG: The list of PG-eligible players Monday is a who's who, beginning with James Harden, Lillard and LeBron. Trae Young, McCollum and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are excellent alternatives for those who can't foot the bill on the elites, while Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray are top-shelf mid-salary options to be considered. SG: Harden, McCollum and Mitchell are SG-eligible as well, and they represent the cream of the crop at a position that drops off somewhat below them. The likes of Caris LeVert, Will Barton and Dennis Schroder are all salaried reasonably enough, but they all carry some volatility and are perhaps best left for GPPs as a result. SF: James is also SF-eligible and heads up this pool, while LeVert, Michael Porter, Barton and Kyle Kuzma all sport salaries well below LeBron's and are interesting considerations for tournaments. Kuzma particularly could develop into a strong value option at $6.1K if AD sits out again. PF: Davis and Durant head up the PF pool, but as already mentioned, there's a possibility both players are sitting out Monday's contests. John Collins, Montrezl Harrell, Porter, Kuzma and Al Horford are among the remaining reasonably reliable options, with depth at the position being dinged somewhat due to the absence of Griffin. C: The center-eligible Davis carries the highest salary of the group, while Nikola Jokic isn't too far below at $9.8K. Collins, Harrell, Rudy Gobert, Christian Wood and Nurkic are the best of the rest of a group that has some pretty strong depth for a modestly sized slate such as Monday's. The possibility that Clint Capela finally makes his Hawks debut and requires just a $5.9K investment also makes for an intriguing angle. Mason Plumlee, who'll operate without Griffin and Rose, could also be in for some heavy usage and carries a very reasonable $5.7K salary. 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, 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. Key Injuries: Anthony Davis, LAL (calf) Status: QUESTIONABLE Davis missed Sunday's game with a right calf bruise and further information on his status for Monday should be available closer to tip-off. LeBron James, LAL (ankle) Status: GAME-TIME DECISION James played through an ankle issue Sunday, but it remains to be seen if he'll be rested on the second game of the back-to-back set. Kevin Durant, BKN (rest) Status: GAME-TIME DECISION There is a possibility Durant is rested on the second game of a back-to-back set for the Nets. Further clarity on his status should arrive closer to tip-off. John Wall, HOU (COVID-19) Status: OUT Wall remains out while going through COVID-19 protocols. Eric Gordon, HOU (COVID-19) Status: OUT Gordon remains out while going through COVID-19 protocols. DeMarcus Cousins, HOU (COVID-19) Status: OUT Cousins remains out while going through COVID-19 protocols. Ben McLemore, HOU (COVID-19) Status: OUT McLemore remains out while going through COVID-19 protocols. Clint Capela, ATL (Achilles) Status: PROBABLE Capela appears set to make his long-awaited Hawks debut after practicing Sunday. Derrick Rose, DET (rest) STATUS: OUT Rose will be rested on the first night of a back-to-back set for the Pistons, making it likely rookie Killian Hayes sees plenty of extra run at point guard. Blake Griffin, DET (rest) STATUS: OUT Griffin will be rested on the first night of a back-to-back set for the Pistons, making it likely Sekou Doumbouya, who is listed as probable with a foot injury, draws a start at power forward. Danilo Gallinari, ATL (foot) Status: QUESTIONABLE Gallinari was able to practice Sunday after missing Saturday's win over the Grizzlies, so he appears to be trending toward returning to his key second-unit role at power forward for Monday's game. Spencer Dinwiddie, BKN (knee) Status: QUESTIONABLE Dinwiddie left Sunday's game against the Hornets with a right knee strain after planting his leg awkwardly and will likely be reevaluated Monday. Carmelo Anthony, POR (COVID-19) Status: OUT Anthony will miss Monday's game while going through COVID-19 protocols. De'Anthony Melton, MEM (COVID-19) Status: OUT Melton's second straight absence will likely afford Desmond Bane some extra minutes behind Grayson Allen. Other injuries of note Jeff Green, BKN (face) Status: QUESTIONABLE Sekou Doumbouya, DET (foot) Status: PROBABLE Jahlil Okafor, DET (ankle) Status: QUESTIONABLE Alex Caruso, LAL (hand) Status: QUESTIONABLE Tony Snell, ATL (foot) Status: OUT JaMychal Green, DEN (calf) Status: OUT Nassir Little, POR (undisclosed) Status: OUT Onyeka Okongwu, ATL (toe) Status: OUT Ty Jerome, OKC (ankle) Status: QUESTIONABLE Kenyon Martin, HOU (COVID-19) Status: OUT NOTABLE LONGER-TERM INJURIES: Kris Dunn, ATL (ankle); Justise Winslow, MEM (hip); Jaren Jackson, MEM (knee); Trevor Ariza, OKC (personal); Zach Collins, POR (ankle) Elite Players There are four players sporting five-figure salaries, with James Harden ($11,200), Damian Lillard($10,300), Anthony Davis ($10,100), and LeBron James ($10,000) all fitting the bill. However, half of the quartet sports an injury designation, with Davis' status the most iffy, as described in the previous section. Meanwhile, Harden should once again be primed for massive usage with multiple teammates, including backcourt mate John Wall, still out due to COVID-19 protocols, while Lillard carries a hefty price despite shooting just 37.5 percent over his first two games, and he's now faced with a tough defensive matchup. There is also plenty of potential for elite production from a number of four-figure-salaried players, beginning with Nikola Jokic ($9,800) and continuing with Trae Young ($9,500), Kyrie Irving($9,000), Kevin Durant ($8,600), Ja Morant ($8,300) and CJ McCollum ($8,100). Expected Chalk All of the names mentioned in Elite Players section are naturally going to be very popular Monday, and with only 10 teams in action, differentiating from the field in tournaments may be challenging to an extent. Additionally, with the possibility the likes of Davis, Durant and/or James sit out due to injury or load management, there could certainly be a good bit of chalk that develops stemming from those absences. Key Values Jerami Grant, DET at ATL ($5,900) Grant is coming off his first breakout performance in Detroit after a relatively quiet opener, as he posted 52.5 DK points over 43 minutes in a double-overtime loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday, shooting a blistering 64.3 percent from the floor in that contest. The surging wing now gets a shot at a fast-paced and defensively suspect team in the Hawks, and he does so while operating without Rose and Griffin, as both his teammates will be rested on the first night of a back-to-back set. That should send Grant's usage skyrocketing, and with his salary only having gone up $700 since Saturday, he makes for a very appealing option in cash or tournaments. Jordan Clarkson, UTA at OKC ($4,900) Clarkson has hit the ground running in his usual voluminous second-unit role, already scoring 28.25 and 27.75 DK points in his first two games on an average of 22.5 minutes per contest. Clarkson has been red-hot from the field and aggressive as well, already putting up 29 shots over 45 total minutes on the floor and draining them at a 48.3 percent clip, including 41.7 percent from three-point range. The veteran guard should thrive once again against an OKC team that is thin on talent and experience on the second unit. De'Andre Hunter, ATL vs. DET ($4,800) Hunter carries a very reasonable salary for a talented young player that just scored 39.3 DK points over 35 minutes Saturday on the strength of a 15-point,11-rebound double-double. Hunter's strong rookie season last year was partly overshadowed by the exploits of Trae Young and the shortened campaign, but the 2019 fourth overall pick can contribute across the stat sheet and should be primed for a big step forward this season. Monday, he'll be up against a Pistons team that will be without a pair of key veterans in Rose and Griffin and that's already allowing an average of 119.5 points over its first two contests. Other value plays to consider: Mason Plumlee, DET at ATL ($5,700); Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA at OKC ($5,600); Delon Wright, DET at ATL ($4,600); Monte Morris, DEN vs. HOU ($4,200)



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