Blake Griffin's absence after elbow surgery is bad, bad news for most fantasy leagues. It is an opportunity in daily fantasy. Welcome to the bargain bin, Spencer Hawes ($3,000).
Hawes has always been in that bargain bin, but with Griffin out up to six weeks, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, which will give Hawes 30-plus minutes a game. Hawes proved capable of being a productive big man with the Cleveland Cavaliers a year ago when he got minutes. At the basement price of $3,000, he is too good to pass up in DraftKings games.
Bleacher Report presents its ideal lineup picks for Monday night's nine-game slate, which is highlighted by the national televised Los Angeles Clippers-at-Dallas Mavericks game. We should find points in that one and the other nightcap of Oklahoma City at the Denver Nuggets. Both games have Las Vegas totals of 210, per Odds Shark.
We usually start with the backcourt, but we figure this is as good of a day as any to switch it up to the frontcourt guys first.
C Spencer Hawes, Los Angeles Clippers ($3,000)
While Hawes is a supreme bargain for his minutes, he won't necessarily help you cash in with his play. It is his price that everyone will jump on; therefore, you have to have the right other picks in your lineup.
That doesn't mean you should go against the grain, though. Hawes is still going to register big minutes and tally some points and rebounds. Even Glen Davis (back spasms) is expected to be unavailable, per Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Hawes knows his time is now, particularly with regard to filling Griffin's shoes, he told Woike.
It's a huge void when he steps out. When anybody goes down, you don’t want to come in and do too much. On both ends of the floor, you try to pick it up. That's a big blow scoring, and where Blake doesn't get as much credit is with his playmaking. I think, obviously, we're going to have to step up there too. ...
Everybody has to step up. It's on all of us. It seems like guys are dropping like flies now, but we all have to do our jobs better. Everybody, whether we're coming in now starting or coming off the bench, we all have to do a better job and the results will follow.
If you are looking for others to chip in behind Hawes, expect DeAndre Jordan ($7,500) and small forward Matt Barnes ($3,900) to be pretty good bets, too. Barnes told Woike:
We just have to do it together. More weight is on my shoulders, more weight is on Jamal (Crawford's) shoulders, Chris (Paul's) and D.J. (Dahntay Jones), whoever else. Spencer played well (Sunday night), and he needs to continue to play that way.
- Justin Hamilton, Miami Heat ($3,000)
- DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers ($7,500)
PF Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks ($6,200)
No, we are not thinking it's 2008 again after Nowitzki scored 25 points Saturday. You have to expect the Mavs to take advantage of the matchups with their power forward in the absence of Griffin, who had helped Clippers rate as No. 2 against the position.
The Clippers are woefully thin with big men, so expect the Mavs to pound Nowitzki at their opponent Monday night, especially at home, where Nowitzki scores 20 points per game (versus 16.8 on the road), per DraftKings. Also, Nowitzki scored 25 points against the Clippers last time out (Jan. 10).
With Rajon Rondo (face surgery) still out, Nowitzki will have to shoulder more of the offensive load, too. He is a solid value at his modest price.
- Mitch McGary, Oklahoma City Thunder ($3,000)
- Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets ($5,800)
SF Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks ($6,000)
The Clippers are 28th at DraftKings against small forwards, so you have to expect they are going to be particularly weakened with less bench depth, especially working with the tired legs from a back-to-back. Parsons is coming off a 40-minute, 44.25-fantasy-point effort Saturday night, so we are advising you stick with the hot hand here.
Like Nowitzki above, Parsons is going to help attack the Clippers without Griffin and help offensively amid the absence of Rondo. Parson's price has been adjusted up here, but he should still outproduce it under these circumstances.
- Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers ($3,900)
- Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors ($4,400)
SG Kevin Martin, Minnesota Timberwolves ($5,800)
Martin let us down Friday, but he has otherwise been crushing his price since returning from injury. We will stick with him here until his number goes over $6,000 where it belongs. The worry here is Martin is coming off a lot of minutes Sunday, and facing the Atlanta Hawks, but the Hawks are just 20th against shooting guards at DraftKings. We like Martin if you don't trust the streaky Monta Ellis ($7,700) and already have too many Mavs in your lineup—especially since they have to attack more inside with Griffin out.
- Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers ($5,200)
- Dion Waiters, Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,200)
PG Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers ($9,100)
Paul's price is at a 10-game low and the absence of Griffin will absolutely put more offensive load on Paul's shoulders. Take a look at what the Thunder's Russell Westbrook has done with Kevin Durant out of late. Paul can do that kind of damage, especially as he creates opportunities for others.
The Mavs are just 27th against point guards at DraftKings and they are managing the rotations with Rondo out. Paul is one of the best premium picks of the night.
- John Wall, Washington Wizards ($8,900)
- Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans ($7,900)
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game.