This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We kick off the week with a nine-game offering on FanDuel. Let's get to it.
CHA (-4) vs. CLE O/U: 224.5
IND (-3.5) vs. SAS O/U: 218.5
PHI (-6) vs. POR O/U: 220.5
BOS (2) vs. CHI O/U: 217.5
ATL (-5.5) vs. WAS O/U: 223.5
NYK (-6.5) vs. TOR O/U: 211
MEM (-1.5) vs. DEN O/U: 216
MIN (-9) vs. ORL O/U: 217
LAC (-11.5) vs. OKC O/U: 213
Look at all the road favorites. It's doesn't factor into our endorsements, but it's a nice little wrinkle. While I'll have a piece of most games on the slate, I'm steering clear of the Knicks and Raptors in what should be a painfully slow game. Conversely, I like the competitive nature of the Grizzlies-Nuggets game and have high exposure to players from both teams.
IND Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE
IND Caris LeVert (back) - QUESTIONABLE
The Pacers are a team I'll stay away from if one or both of these players end up suiting up. LeVert's minutes will be limited, and Brogdon's hamstring injury could be a hindrance. Another reason I would stay away is a lack of provable pivots. T.J. McConnell has not performed well enough to merit a swap for him in the spot.
WAS Daniel Gafford (quad) - QUESTIONABLE
Obviously, Montrezl Harrell ($7,700) is a smash spot despite the increased salary if Gafford is out, but if he can go, Harrell was fun while it lasted!
Ten players are $8.9k or higher for Monday's slate. There's a pretty solid value core, but the elites are essentially interchangeable. Any one of our top guys could grab 60 FP. In a single lineup, I like the prospect of centering around Nikola Jokic ($11,000). For a guy like Jokic, a 50 FP-day is a disappointment, and despite the presence of cheaper options, his matchup opposite Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson is pretty favorable. Joel Embiid ($9,700) no longer has an injury tag next to his name, and he has a great game history against the Trail Blazers. Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,400) is also set up well to have a big night against the Magic. Additionally, if LeVert and Brogdon are out, Domantas Sabonis ($9,200) could have a big night against the Spurs. I have a high degree of confidence that the right way to go with elites is to go big. Only Dejounte Murray ($8,900) and Trae Young ($8,700) stand out as viable guard plays in this range. I would use all of the centers mentioned above in an MME build, but for one lineup, it could be a close call between Jokic and Embiid. Julius Randle's game will be played at a syrupy-slow pace, so I don't see his salary being worth the risk.
Also consider: Paul George, LAC ($10,100) vs. OKC
EXPECTED CHALK AND CORE TARGETS
LaMelo Ball, CHA ($7,700) vs. CLE
LeMelo has been a frustrating add because his totals have been all over the place, but his current salary screams value. He put up 27 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a masterful performance against Portland, and Ball has already shown that back-to-backs games don't affect him adversely.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($7,200) at LAC
I still don't see how SGA is still at this price. He regressed against the Warriors, but otherwise, his numbers have crushed value at this salary. The Clippers' defense ranks in the middle of the pack, but Reggie Jackson shouldn't pose much of a problem.
Tobias Harris, PHI ($7,400) vs. POR
Harris is now a solid fade on other sites due to his elevated salary, but FanDuel still has him at an enormous value. To avoid negative correlation, I wouldn't stack Harris and Embiid, but the eternally chalky forward is a great way to get a piece of Philly without breaking the bank. He's coming off a solid 22/11/4 double-double against Atlanta.
Cole Anthony, ORL ($6,800) at MIN
The Timberwolves have been excellent defensively, but it's hard to look away from Anthony when he checks several boxes for DFS success. For one, his rostership percentage will be low. Second, he's a regular threat for 35 FDFP or more, which clocks him in with almost 6x upside. He's also the only option they've got when it comes to directing the offense.
Mo Bamba, ORL ($6,600) at MIN
Bamba is another who is simply too cheap. He'll be an even stronger contrarian play because the public thinks he'll be quashed by Karl-Anthony Towns, but let's not forget just how bad of a defender KAT can be. He also got embarrassed by Joel Embiid over the weekend. I'm not comparing Bamba and Embiid by any stretch, but Towns is not as much of a smash spot as the public thinks, and Bamba could end up with the better stat line.
Also consider: Gordon Hayward, CHA ($7,000) vs. CLE
Lonzo Ball, CHI ($6,600) at BOS
The fab four in Chicago are getting pretty expensive, but Ball is still around the FanDuel median price. Ball's last two games weren't great, but his ability to collect assists and threes makes him a great upside play at this salary. The Celtics also rank 23rd in defending the three, so Ball should have a bit more opportunity to heave it up from downtown.
Josh Giddey, OKC ($6,000) at LAC
I saw some scratching heads on Zoom when I grabbed Giddey in my seasonal league, but the guy I consider to be the sharpest owner yelled, "I thought he would go lower! Nice pick." Giddey is being given every opportunity to succeed in the Thunder rebuild. He's a bit inconsistent, but he's popped for huge numbers, and we have a good idea of where his ceiling might be. He posted 47 FP against the Sixers at the beginning of the season, but if he can eclipse 30FP, his salary will pay off.
Will Barton, DEN ($5,700) at MEM
There are several guys I could have targeted for the Nuggets, but Barton has the best correlation to his salary, and I think we've yet to see his ceiling. He flirts with and exceeds 30 FP on a nightly basis, but we've yet to see the night where he lets loose from downtown. Luckily, Memphis ranks second-lo-last in defending the long ball, so this could be the night where he goes off.
Ivica Zubac, LAC ($4,600) vs. OKC
The Thunder are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, so it's advantage Zubac in this matchup. Although he only sees 22 minutes per game on average, he can go as high as 30 FP in the right scenario. The inexperienced Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will probably spend more time on the floor in lieu of Isaiah Roby to match Zubac, which is good news for the Clippers. If you can nab one of the centers with dual eligibility, Zubac makes for a decent value play at the center spot.