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FanDuel NBA Bargains: Monday

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

It's a lean three-game night in the Association this Monday, so even the 7:30 Main slate is essentially an Express league. There are some very intriguing matchups, including a potential DFS volcano in Phoenix, but let's begin with a look at Vegas' expectations:

 

Matchups

Over/Under

Spread

Celtics at Hawks

204

Celtics -8.0

Nets at Suns

234

Suns -1.0

Heat at Warriors

225

Warriors -15.5

 

A few things stand out here. The Celtics vs. Hawks game has easily the lowest over/under tonight, and we saw again last night that coach Brad Stevens isn't afraid to spread minutes across a deep rotation -- he played a 10-man rotation (not including garbage time) and nobody logged more than 29 minutes. The Hawks are another matter. We'll talk about some of the injury-related opportunities there in a minute, but let's not forget that they're facing the team with the league's best defensive rating (94.7 points allowed per 100 possessions).

 

The Nets vs. Suns game is expected to be a defense-free, fast-paced affair, and the razor-thin spread indicates that...well, nobody is confident about what's going to happen, but we know a lot of points will be scored. These are, in fact, two of the top three teams to target in DFS on an overall basis. I'd say that we rarely get such a blatant 'target' game, but these two teams clashed just last week. The same isn't quite true for the Heat vs. Warriors game, which is also likely to generate a lot of scoring but could become a rout for the home team. With that in mind, let's look at some promising value plays tonight.

 

Luke Babbitt (PF, $3.8k) is cheap enough to be worth a look, despite the matchup vs. Boston's top-ranked defense. He logged a ridiculous 42 minutes vs. Cleveland on Sunday, and should get another hefty workload tonight with Ersan Ilyasova (knee...out) and Mike Muscala (ankle...doubtful) both expected to watch from the sidelines. Babbitt put up 29.6 DFS points last night, but given the downside (second half of a back-to-back vs. an elite defense) he's just a desperation play if you need a punt-PF option. Isaiah Taylor (PG, $3.3k) would also be worth a look if Malcolm Delaney (ankle) is ruled out, but coach Mike Budenholzer made it sound like Delaney could return for this game. I'd rather pay a bit more for Tyler Johnson (PG, $3.9k).

 

At shooting guard tonight, it's hard to avoid the temptation of pairing Devin Booker/D'Angelo Russell and looking for value elsewhere. Nevertheless, Marcus Smart (SG, $5.9k) dropped 42.6 DFS points last night and could feast against the Hawks' thin second unit. Atlanta has the 8th-worst defensive rating and the 7th-fastest pace, so that bodes well if you're rolling out some Celtics tonight...Terry Rozier (SG, $3.7k) needs only 18.5/22.2 DFS points to hit 5x/6x value.

 

The SF spot tonight encourages owners to go for mid-range options, especially in tournaments. Kevin Durant is the headliner, but at $10.5k he makes more sense in cash games -- a safe, steady stud who will give you 4x/5x value every night. If we dig deeper, we see that Josh Jackson (SF, $3.7k) is still extremely cheap, which bolsters his value, and of course the matchup helps. Justise Winslow (SF, $3.6k) has done nothing to encourage ownership, so other than Jackson I'm inclined to pay a bit more for Allen Crabbe ($4.6k) and/or Josh Richardson ($4.8k). If you can afford even more at SF tonight, go for DeMarre Carroll ($6.2k) and T.J. Warren ($6.2k). Carroll has been remarkably steady, and if you throw out his injury-shortened game on Oct. 27, he's notched at least 31.6 DFS points in six straight games. Warren was quiet on Sunday and owners might still be leery of his recent head injury, so his ownership should be down tonight -- but it shouldn't be. He gets a glorious matchup vs. Brooklyn, a team he dropped 36.2 DFS points against last Tuesday, and he's not even a week removed from a 40-point, 10-rebound eruption vs. the Wizards.

 

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (PF, $6.7k) is too expensive to qualify as a 'bargain bin' option, but he'll be very popular if Trevor Booker (back) is ruled out tonight...it sounds like a game-time decision. You could roll the dice on Marquese Chriss (PF, $4.3k) but in the sub-$6k range I'm more interested in John Collins (PF, $5.8k) and Jayson Tatum (PF, $5.8k). Collins has been a per-minute machine, and the Hawks' injury woes should ensure he plays enough, but once again I'm worried about the matchup. For the exact same price, I'd rather bet on Tatum's upside in this game. If you want to go cheap at center, you're basically choosing between Alex Len ($4.5k), Dewayne Dedmon ($4.8k) and Tyson Chandler ($4.9k). My money is on Len tonight. Good luck!

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.