Here is something mathematical models cannot necessarily project for you: playing time. Last week's NBA trade deadline has let some players become bargains, and Monday's daily fantasy basketball action at DraftKings is a great time to capitalize on that market inefficiency.
Those premium guys traded at the deadline, like the Phoenix Suns' Brandon Knight, are ready to pay dividends on their brief reduced prices.
We have already seen what Isaiah Canaan can do (pun intended), Michael Carter-Williams' replacement point guard for the lowly Philadelphia 76ers. It hasn't increased his price over the basement cost of $3,000 yet. He is easily a must-play a lot of grinders will have in their lineups.
We give you our ideal picks by position, highlighting a headliner and sprinkling in the other guys below them to fill out your lineup.
PG Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves ($6,600)
Rubio's price has fluctuated drastically because of injury, but he is trending in the right direction after his 14-assist performance against the Phoenix Suns last time out. Rubio, who is finally getting full-time minutes after returning from his ankle issue, draws the Houston Rockets on Monday night, a team that is merely middle of the pack against point guards.
Odds Shark also has this as the highest total on the Las Vegas board at 211. We like Rubio to help keep this game entertaining throughout, posting a 40-plus-fantasy-point night.
- Isaiah Canaan, Philadelphia 76ers ($3,000) ... blue-chip bargain alert
- Michael Carter-Williams, Milwaukee Bucks ($7,500) ... if he plays
- Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns ($6,500)
SG Corey Brewer, Houston Rockets ($3,900)
You should be trying to squeeze James Harden ($10,500) in your budget Monday night versus the Timberwolves, who are 29th against shooting guards at DraftKings, but Brewer is your affordable stopgap option if you go against the grain. Brewer is coming off a season-high 26 points and 10 rebounds Saturday, racking up 35 minutes.
Brewer is a spark plug off the bench who helps get the scoring running high, which Vegas' number suggests will happen against the Timberwolves. We will ride the hot hand here, again, assuming you cannot afford the big-ticket Harden.
- J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers ($4,700)
- Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics ($5,700)
SF P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns ($4,900)
This is not normally a player who draws attention, but we need to stop to take notice of what Tucker has done of late, providing some scoring punch for the Suns. Tucker is coming off a season-high 20 points Saturday and has hit double digits in four of the past five games. He also contributes with rebounds, racking up at least six in each of those games. His price is still right.
- James Johnson, Toronto Raptors ($4,800)
- Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves ($6,200)
PF Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns ($6,400)
This breakout candidate is coming off a horrific Saturday where he shot just 3-of-15 from the field, but the addition of Knight as the point guard—as the newcomer builds up his minutes and rapport—should help Morris find higher-percentage shots near the bucket. Morris faces a dream matchup Monday night, too, against the banged-up and undersized Celtics, who are reeling on their West Coast trip. Morris should have a 40-plus-fantasy-point night ahead of him at a reasonable price.
- Jae Crowder, Boston Celtics ($3,700)
- Marcus Morris, Phoenix Suns ($3,700)
C Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat ($7,800)
We have given up fighting the power of this phenomenon, especially with Chris Bosh (lung) out. Rebounds are huge in DraftKings' scoring system, and Whiteside has been a rebounding machine, with or without frontcourt support from Bosh and the Heat. Whiteside faces the 30th-ranked team against centers in the 76ers on Monday night and might be good for a 15-15 double-double here.
- Omer Asik, New Orleans Pelicans ($4,600)
- Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets ($6,800)
- Alex Len, Phoenix Suns ($4,000)
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.