With a full slate of nine games on the schedule Monday night, there are plenty of quality candidates to choose from.
Listed below are affordable options at each position to consider pairing alongside some studs as your round out your DFS roster this evening…
Point Guard: Raymond Felton (FanDuel salary - $4,900)
You could make a strong case for either Austin Rivers or Felton with Chris Paul (thumb) sidelined, but I’ll go with Felton, primarily because he is $500 cheaper. Felton has played at least 20 minutes in eight of the Clippers last nine games and has scored at least 22 fantasy points in seven of those contests. Felton didn’t start for the Clippers on Saturday night as the Clips went big and started Marreese Speights instead. However, that was coach Doc Rivers trying to matchup with Denver, a strategy that proved unsuccessful. Doc quickly realized this and started Felton in the second half. Thus, we can expect Raymond back in the starting lineup on Monday vs. Atlanta. He has started seven games this season and is averaging 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in those seven contests. He has a high floor for a guy that costs less than $5,000.
Shooting Guard: Dejounte Murray ($3,800)
Tony Parker (foot) is expected to miss Monday’s game, which will allow Murray to make another start at point guard for San Antonio. (No, I don’t know why FanDuel lists Murray only as an SG). Murray has played surprisingly well filling in for Parker, averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers in his last two games. In addition, the Spurs play in Brooklyn, which is a point guard's dream. The Nets give up more fantasy points to opposing PG’s than any team in the entire league.
Small Forward: Joe Ingles ($3,900)
Ingles is coming off a disappointing game on Saturday, in which he scored only two points on 1-of-6 shooting. However, he still played 33 minutes and chipped in six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Furthermore, Ingles has started all three games since Rodney Hood (knee) went down and is averaging 34.7 minutes per game in those three starts. Hood is expected to miss Monday as well, which means Ingles should see 30-plus minutes once again.
Power Forward: David Lee ($5,100)
Pau Gasol’s finger injury gave David Lee a chance to step into the starting lineup, and since then, Lee has stepped up. He’s averaging 12.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 block on 12-of-18 (66.7%) shooting in the two games since Gasol went down. And, as noted above, the Nets are a horrible defensive team that plays at a high pace. The only concern is that there is a decent chance the Spurs blowout Brooklyn, which leads to Coach Pop limiting the minutes of his starters.
Center: Cody Zeller ($5,000)
Zeller continues to be priced too low given his impressively consistent production. Over the Hornets last six games, Zeller is averaging 11.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 29.8 minutes. It’s not a sexy play, as the upside is limited, but Zeller is a solid plugin with a relatively high floor.
On to the Second Team All-Value for Thursday’s slate:
PG: Austin Rivers ($5,400)
As noted above, both Rivers and Ray Felton will continue to see a ton of minutes with CP3 sidelined. In addition, it was announced this morning that Blake Griffin will miss at least one more game and will not suit up on Monday night. Without Chris Paul and Griffin, L.A. will once again have to rely on their remaining guards to shoulder most of the offensive load. Rivers is averaging 16.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds in his 15 starts this season.
Honorable mention: Patty Mills ($3,600)
SG: Iman Shumpert ($4,000)
There was doom in gloom in Cleveland when it was announced that J.R. Smith would miss up 12-to-14 weeks. However, Shumpert has been far better than anyone was expecting. In his five games as a starter, Shump has averaged 12.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 2.8 3-pointers and just 1.0 turnovers. Can’t ask for much more than that…
Honorable mention: Jamal Crawford ($3,900)
SF: Caris LeVert ($4,300)
It appeared that Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was finally taking the reigns off and was going to let the LeVert Show shine in Brooklyn after Caris scored 14 points in 23 minutes last Tuesday, and then backed it up with 17 points (on 6-of-6 shooting), six assists and five rebounds on Friday. In fact, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first rookie to tally at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a game, while making all of his field goals, since Charles Barkley in 1985. Alas, LeVert came back down to earth a bit on Saturday, when he finished with nine points and four boards in 18 minutes. Nonetheless, he still has that intriguing upside that you look for in all DFS pivots.
Honorable mention: Paul George ($7,000)
PF: Jon Leuer ($4,500)
After missing two weeks due to a knee injury, Leuer looked good in his first game back on Saturday night vs. the Wizards. Tonight, he takes on the often defensively-indifferent Kings. Prior to the injury, Leuer was enjoying his best season as a pro, averaging career-highs in minutes (26.8), points (10.9) rebounds (6.1).
Honorable mention: Marreese Speights ($4,500)
C: Al Jefferson ($3,900)
Limited minutes are always going to be an issue for Jefferson, but Big Al posted back-to-back 20-point games last week, despite playing fewer than 18 minutes in each contest. In addition, the Pacers host the Knicks on Monday night and Jefferson has dominated New York this season. In two games vs. the Knicks, he is averaging 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in just 15.4 minutes.
Honorable mention: Clint Capela ($4,800)