- Picks for every position and price point for NBA DFS contests on January 8.
There's a great deal to like about this Monday slate of NBA action. We have a full run of superstars hitting the hardwood, and also some injury situations that will open up value on a few teams. Start with some of these plays, and use Lineuplab's PlayerLab to start building winning lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings.
Team Stack Alert: Clippers
Lou Williams, vs. Hawks (FD: $8,300, DK: $7,900)
Projected Points: FD: 42.09, DK: 44.02
DeAndre Jordan, vs. Hawks (FD: $8,300, DK: $7,800)
Projected Points: FD: 44.11, DK: 45.36
Montrezl Harrell, vs. Hawks (FD: $4,900, DK: $4,300)
Projected Points: FD: 32.82, DK: 32.07
The Clippers have been decimated by injury this season. Right now they are playing with exactly 20% of their preseason projected starting lineup (Jordan). Patrick Beverley, Austin Rivers, Danilo Gallinari and now Blake Griffin range anywhere from out for the season to rehabbing. Griffin is the big short-term loss that opens up minutes and opportunity. Typically, I’d worry about the blowout because of the Clippers current personnel, but the Hawks aren’t exactly a threat, sitting last in the Eastern Conference, ranked 26th in defensive efficiency, and coming in on the second half of a back-to-back after a blowout loss to the Lakers.
Williams is, far and away, the usage leader when Griffin is off the court. His usage rate for the season is 29.2%, but that jumps to 31.7% with Griffin out. Though he comes off the bench, Williams’s minutes are relatively safe considering his rotations. He only misses the first five or so minutes of the game, and is then around for the majority of the rest of the night as the Clippers just try to keep some semblance of balance. Even at these upper-middle-tier prices, he has huge scoring upside.
Meanwhile, Jordan sees a similar bump across the board without Griffin. His usage goes to 17% from 14.5%, and he also sees a 12% bump in rebounding. He has a chance to completely dominate the glass against the Hawks, who are already undersized with Miles Plumlee at center. Atlanta gets demolished on the boards by opposing centers, allowing 5% more rebounds than league average. Jordan could see minutes in the high 30s, and a 20-rebound game isn’t out of the question if the pace of play stays high.
Harrell saw the biggest boost in minutes after Griffin’s injury in the Clippers last game, and could move into the starting lineup on Monday. It’s a little tough playing Jordan and Harrell together because neither can realistically spread the floor, but the latter is coming cheap enough and produces about a fantasy point per minute. If he’s in the starting lineup, he makes for a solid cheap play.
The Clippers have other possible upside plays in Milos Teodosic, C.J. Williams, Sam Dekker and even Tyrone Wallace, depending on how the lineup shakes out. Keep an eye on this situation with the only real downside being the game starting at 10:30 PM Eastern time, three and a half hours after lineup lock. We might be speculating some earlier in the night.
Get further analysis of Monday's NBA DFS slate, lineup optimizers and more at Lineup Lab, your home for all your NBA, NFL and MLB DFS lineup needs.
Stephen Curry, vs. Nuggets (FD: $9,800, DK: $10,500)
Projected Points: FD: 52.9, DK: 54.98
Curry’s been a revelation (even for him) with Durant off the court over the last week. After returning from an 11-game injury absence, he's seen increased usage with the Warriors leading scorer banged up. Durant could be back for Monday’s contest which would cut into Curry’s opportunity, and yet I still see the latter as a strong play. Denver is bad defending point guards, allowing more than league-average points, assists and rebounds to the position. The Jamal Murray/Will Barton combination just doesn’t get the job done defensively, and Curry should see plenty of quality looks. He’s coming off a three-game stretch averaging 35 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. That’s likely a bit bullish if Durant is back in the fold, but Curry is still a high-floor point guard play. And if Durant does sit, then we are looking at another Team Stack alert with Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.
Chris Paul, vs. Bulls (FD: $10,200, DK: $10,000)
Projected Points: FD: 53.91, DK: 55.99
There’s a lot to like about point guard tonight in the upper tier, even on a Monday full of superstar, big-money talent available at all positions. Paul’s taken over significant on-ball duties since James Harden went down, though the results have been up and down. He struggled to find his shot in games against the Magic and Pistons, but did put it all together against the Warriors with 28 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. Chicago ranks 24th in defensive efficiency and allows point guards above-average points, assists and rebounds. Without Harden, the Rockets ability to turn games into comical blowouts is drastically decreased, meaning Paul is much more likely to see a full run of minutes.
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Kyle Anderson, vs. Kings (FD: $5,700, DK: $5,000)
Projected Points: FD: 30.26, DK: 29.07
In terrible news for the Spurs, Kawhi Leonard will miss significant time with a partially torn labrum in his shoulder. With Leonard out of the mix, Anderson’s versatility becomes a major piece in how the Spurs fill in their rotations. He can play the one through three, and though he’s a low-usage guy, he chips in everywhere else along the stat line. Anderson is a solid DraftKings cash-game play, and on the back-to-back should see minutes in the low-30s at the minimum. The stats aren't flashy, but his per-minute numbers add up across the board when given the opportunity.
Justin Holiday, vs. Rockets (FD: $5,800, DK: $5,000)
Projected Points: FD: 30.24, DK: 30.31
When the Bulls keep games close, Holiday has as much minutes upside as any shooting guard in the game. He has played 38 or more minutes in two of the last three games, and Vegas doesn’t see this game getting out of hand with the Bulls only five-point to the Rockets. That’s saying something considering the matchup, as well as a 221 over/under that is the second highest of the entire slate. Holiday rebounds the position fairly well at four per game and has big upside if his three ball is falling. He has shot better from beyond the arc in the short term and has increased his attempts as well. Those are encouraging signs and help make him a fantastic DraftKings value with the extra half point for three-pointers.
LaMarcus Aldridge, vs. Kings (FD: $8,700, DK: $7,700)
Projected Points: FD: 44.38, DK: 44.17
Aldridge is on the second half of a back-to-back after playing 35 minutes Sunday night in a brutal loss to Portland. But as with Kyle Anderson, there’s reason to like Aldridge for Monday’s slate. He sat out on Friday night, so rest shouldn’t be too big an issue here. And the Spurs haven’t seen fit to manage his minutes on back-to-backs much this season. Aldridge is clearly the Spurs alpha with Kawhi Leonard off the court, leading the team with 22 points and eight rebounds per game. Sacramento has the worst defensive efficiency in the league by a wide margin, and Aldridge should have his way in the post with their front court bigs. Keep an ear out for Spurs news around possible rest for players, but I don’t think Aldridge is at risk of being one of the guys who sits.
Nikola Jokic, vs. Warriors (FD: $8,800, DK: $8,100)
Projected Points: FD: 45.7, DK: 47.81
Sometimes it’s tough to get a handle on Jokic from a fantasy perspective. There’s no doubt he’s an excellent player, ranking third in the league in real plus/minus behind only James Harden and Stephen Curry. He’s among the best passing centers in the game and averages close to double-digit rebounds per game. But he also goes entire games struggling to score and can get lost in the offensive scheme. That inconsistency has led to drastically reduced pricing on both sites, and he’s a fantastic bargain on DraftKings where he’s coming at near his lowest cost of the season. Golden State has struggled some with opposing centers, especially when they go ultra small with Draymond Green at center. If the Nuggets can stay in this game, then Jokic has triple-double upside.