The Slate Starter is a daily first look at the day’s NBA slate to get your daily fantasy basketball lineup-building process started before lock tonight. Each day we will go through some of the best NBA DFS picks, values and sleepers for DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page, as it will be updated throughout the day as the NBA injury reports are released and breaking news surfaces. Let’s dive into some players who stand out as key options on Monday’s nine-game NBA slate.
Want to see how your lineup stacked up against yesterday’s winning NBA DFS lineups for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo fantasy basketball? Check out Awesemo’s Optimal Lineup Review, which uses Fantasy Cruncher Rewind to analyze the winning plays from the night before.
Be sure to check out the Eric Lindquist and Rayen Patnaik every morning with the NBA Slate Starter Podcast, where they give you the best first-look NBA DFS analysis and daily fantasy advice to start your process.
DraftKings & FanDuel NBA DFS Lineup Advice Today
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Gilgeous-Alexander is up to a season-high $10,400 on DraftKings, but that still stands out as a bargain for the talented young guard. He struggled two games ago, finishing with just 23.75 DraftKings points in a blowout loss to the Timberwolves, but he’s scored at least 59.0 DraftKings points in three of his past four games.
He should continue to thrive for the Thunder with Lu Dort and Josh Giddey out of the lineup. They’ve been the team’s top secondary playmakers this season, so it’s not surprising that SGA has seen a massive boost in their absence. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.0% and his assist rate by +9.2% in games without both players, resulting in an average of 1.53 DraftKings points per minute.
Gilgeous-Alexander is also in a potential smash spot vs. the Hornets. They’ve played at the third-fastest pace this season and 23rd in defensive efficiency. SGA will have to contend with a number of superstars on Monday – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and LeBron James just to name a few – but he will arguably be the best pure value of the group in our NBA Projections.
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Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers are going to be a crucial team to monitor heading into lineup lock. They have some big names on the injury report, with Caris LeVert, Lauri Markkanen, and Dean Wade all listed as questionable. LeVert and Markkanen also missed their last contest, while Wade started and played 20.5 minutes.
If all three players are out, Love will likely draw his second consecutive start. Love has provided fantasy value in limited minutes this season thanks to an average of 1.28 DraftKings points per minute. He didn’t take full advantage of his starting role on Saturday, finishing with 32.25 DraftKings points over 33.8 minutes, but the playing time upside is tantalizing. If he sees that much playing time again on Monday, he has the potential for a massive performance.
It will be interesting to see how fantasy players prioritize Love in that situation. If his projected ownership is too low, he’ll stand out as an excellent leverage option in the Boom/Bust Probability tool.
Chris Boucher, PF, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are another team with an important name on the injury report. Fred VanVleet is questionable after missing their last contest, and he’s been in and out of the lineup recently. He did play in the two games prior to Saturday’s win over the Nuggets, but he missed the five games before that.
With VanVleet out of the lineup of late, it has opened up some additional playing time for Boucher. He didn’t start in their last game – something he did the last time VanVleet was out – but he still saw 29.6 minutes off the bench. Boucher has averaged 1.00 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he has historically been even better than that with consistent playing time. He’s erupted for at least 40.25 DraftKings points each of his past two games without VanVleet, so he would definitely be worth considering if he’s out again.
Boucher could also provide some value in the player prop market. Make sure to take advantage of the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which highlights the most exploitable player props each day.
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