It's a short NBA schedule on Monday, and Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden isn't playing. Oh, my God, what is the DraftKings universe to do? Never fear, as I've got a list of the top players at each position, my optimal lineup and a little insight into two stars who should have great games and two others who I've tabbed as potential value picks.
Let's get it started.
Top Players by Position
|Top Players by Position|
|Chris Paul||$9,900||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Tyreke Evans||$7,700||Dallas Mavericks|
|Eric Bledsoe||$8,600||Miami Heat|
|Kevin Martin||$6,400||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Luol Deng||$6,000||Phoenix Suns|
|Andrew Wiggins||$6,400||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Draymond Green||$6,800||Brooklyn Nets|
|Thaddeus Young||$5,200||Golden State Warriors|
|DeAndre Jordan||$8,900||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Hassan Whiteside||$8,200||Phoenix Suns|
|Salaries per DraftKings|
DeAndre Jordan ($8,900) at Minnesota Timberwolves
Right now, the most automatic daily fantasy contributor among all NBA big men is the Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan, who has played like a man possessed with the spirit of Bill Russell of late. He’s had back-to-back 20-rebound games and averaged 16 points and 17.2 rebounds a game in February while shooting 69 percent from the field.
Jordan has started strong in March as well, with nine points and 26 rebounds on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls.
Jordan hasn’t had fewer than 37.5 fantasy points in any of his last eight games. We could talk about matchups, but DJ is playing like a guy whose production isn’t affected by the opponent. Case in point, Jordan had 15 points, 22 rebounds and three blocked shots against the fearsome and physical Memphis Grizzlies frontcourt last week.
Against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jordan should continue to feast on the glass and produce in a major way.
Hassan Whiteside ($8,200) vs. Phoenix Suns
Were it not for Jordan’s torrid rebounding and efficient scoring, the Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside would be the premier daily fantasy center. Whiteside has been a handful for all opposing teams for the past two months.
He has put up at least 31 fantasy points in each of his last five games. That includes a 14-point, 24-rebound, two-block performance on Feb. 28 against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Phoenix Suns don’t have the size or low-post presence to keep Whiteside off the glass. This should be a really big game for the Miami big man.
Tyreke Evans ($7,700) at Dallas Mavericks
With Jrue Holiday still out, the New Orleans Pelicans' Tyreke Evans has emerged as a major DraftKings performer at point guard. He has recorded three double-doubles in his last four games and hasn’t scored fewer than 30.75 fantasy points in any of his last five games.
Evans has turned into a nightly triple-double threat, accomplishing the feat on Feb. 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Monday, Evans and the Pelicans face the diminutive Dallas Mavericks backcourt. Evans' ability to attack off the dribble and post up should push him to solid numbers across the board. In three games against the Mavs this season, Evans is averaging 39 fantasy points. Bet on another big performance on Monday.
Here's my optimal lineup for the evening.
|Optimal Lineup for March 2|
|PG||Tyreke Evans||Dallas Mavericks||$7,700|
|SG||Kevin Martin||L.A. Clippers||$6,400|
|SF||P.J. Tucker||Miami Heat||$5,500|
|PF||Thaddeus Young||Golden State Warriors||$5,200|
|C||Hassan Whiteside||Phoenix Suns||$8,200|
|G||Jamal Crawford||Minnesota Timberwolves||$5,500|
|F||Robert Covington||Toronto Raptors||$5,600|
|Utility||Jonas Valanciunas||Philadelphia 76ers||$5,200|
|Salaries per DraftKings|
Top Two Value Picks
Thaddeus Young ($5,200) vs. Golden State Warriors
The trade-deadline deal that sent Thaddeus Young from the Timberwolves to the Brooklyn Nets hasn’t appeared to have a negative impact on his fantasy value. Whether he’s started or come off the bench, Young has been productive. He’s had only two games with fewer than 20 fantasy points.
Young should see some opportunities against the Golden State Warriors’ uptempo style. In three games against the Dubs this season, Young is averaging 27.3 fantasy points. For $5,200, he has solid draft value.
P.J. Tucker ($5,500) at Miami Heat
Tucker didn’t produce on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs, but that doesn’t diminish his fantasy value on Monday against the Miami Heat.
Despite shooting just 1-for-7 from the field, Tucker did have 11 rebounds. It was his second double-figure rebound game in his last four outings. He’s been in a bit of a shooting slump from long range, and that has diminished his fantasy production. He’s made just one of his last 13 three-point attempts.
Because of that, he might not be the type of player you can depend on for 40-plus fantasy points. However, throughout his shooting woes, Tucker has averaged 26.6 fantasy points per game. If he can knock down some shots from the outside, he could be primed for a big performance.
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