Daily fantasy football players may be feeling the Monday night blues with the NFL regular season on the books, but NBA DFS players have plenty to look forward to. High score nights have become the norm and with a six-game schedule on Monday, this is the perfect time to start building a DraftKings lineup.
We’ve used many different DFS strategies throughout the season, but for this one we’re taking a more balanced approach. Our foundation will be laid by a superstar who’s been very hot these past few weeks, LeBron James, and the characters around him will be made up almost entirely of players we see as top values.
For those unfamiliar, DraftKings roster construction is simple: Draft eight players with assigned salaries — one for each position, plus a guard flex, a forward flex, and a utility — and keep the team under the salary cap of $50,000.
Best NBA DFS Pick 1/9: DraftKings lineup, sleepers for Monday night
PG: Dennis Schroder, Lakers at Nuggets ($5,700)
Schroder is the first of two LeBron teammates we’ll call up alongside the King, largely because the veteran guard has been red-hot offensively since Anthony Davis went down with his foot injury. He’s even led offense when LeBron is sitting, showing Darvin Ham clearly has faith in the German’s abilities despite a muddled start to the season. For the past week, Schroder has averaged 23.8 points per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 87.1 percent from the line. He’s flipping Treys, snagging rebounds, and making decent contributions in the assist and steal departments. The Nuggets have conceded the fifth most fantasy points to the Guards this season, making Schroder a great value at well under $6,000.
SG: Bruce Brown, Nuggets vs. Lakers ($5.000)
Brown has been praised by Denver coach Mike Malone all season, and it’s easy to see why. The veteran guard — who plays a lot bigger than 6-4, 200-pound frame — can do basically anything. He shoots well, crashes the board, passes accurately and always gets hectic points. He’s a sticky guy with a fantasy bottom in the high teens and a top in the 30s. At $5,000 we couldn’t ask for better, especially against a weak defensive team like LA
SF: Franz Wagner, Magic at Kings ($7.100)
Wagner is our second most expensive player, but we’re okay with that! The sophomore swingman has 32+ fantasy points in four straight games, including 48.5 against the Wizards in late December. Wise beyond his years, Wagner can fill it offensively at all three levels, and he offers plenty of peripheral stats to make $7,100 seem like a bargain. The Kings are last in terms of points allowed for forwards, so we’re all in this game.
PF: LeBron James, Lakers bei Nuggets (10.900 $)
James has been on an absolute crack dropping fantasy points of 58, 67 and 76 in the past week and hasn’t dropped below 45 fantasy points in the last month. Since AD went down with his foot injury, the King seems to have made it his personal mission to keep the Lakers offense going. He’s earned his status as the leading All-Star pick in the NBA, that’s for sure, and we expect a masterful performance against back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic. The last two times LA faced Denver, LeBron racked up 47 and 50 fantasy points, respectively. We project him closer to 60-70 without Davis.
C: Thomas Bryant, Lakers bei Nuggets ($6.300)
Bryant was the other Laker to make a big step forward since AD was injured. The veteran center has averaged 21.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game over the past 10 days, and he went off the field with 29 points and 14 rebounds against Sacramento on Saturday. The former wizard has continued to carve out a role following Davis’ return to the lineup, giving the Lakers a strong inner presence on both sides of the floor. Come for the points, boards and efficiency – stay for the steals and blocks!
G: Markelle Fultz, Magic at Kings ($6.100)
It seems there will always be a stigma around Fultz in fantasy land, largely because years ago he proved himself unworthy of being #1. But dive into his stats, and you’ll quickly see that the kid is delivering for this fledgling Magic team in more ways than one. A line of 16-7-7 has become routine for Fultz, and his ball-hawk defense only serves as icing on an already sweet cake. Against the Warriors on Saturday, he stole six steals to take his overall fantasy score to 43.8. Tonight it will be even easier against the Kings, who are in the bottom 12 in terms of fantasy points to which guards are entitled.
F: Patrick Williams, Bulls at Celtics ($4.400)
Williams has shown flashes of role-playing brilliance of late, notching at least 18 points and six boards in two of Chicago’s last three games. As Robert Williams tussles with Nikola Vucevic and the star tandem of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum deals with DeMar DeRozan and Zack LaVine, don’t be surprised if Williams quietly registers more than 29 fantasy points for the third time since Christmas.
Nutzen: Robert Williams III, Celtics vs. Bulls ($4.400)
Now two of the three Williams are in this game (sorry Grant, we can’t afford you). Time Lord has been slowly ramping up his PT since returning from a knee injury and he enjoyed a mini blast in San Antonio on Saturday. The defensive stud recorded four blocks and two steals (Chef’s kiss) while adding 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. All told, he racked up 41.8 fantasy points in just 22 minutes. He’s badly needed against a Bulls frontcourt that also includes Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond, two of the better rebounders of the 21st century. As Williams sneaks up to 25 minutes, don’t be surprised if his fantasy score jumps to 50 points.