The Slate Starter is a daily first look at 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, top stacks and optimal lineup construction 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. There’s bound to be plenty of injuries on Monday’s 10-game slate, so let’s dive into some of the biggest potential beneficiaries.
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Josh Giddey, PG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Giddey has had an excellent start to his rookie season, averaging 1.03 DraftKings points per minute, and he could be forced into an even more significant workload on Monday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is questionable with a right ankle sprain, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get the night off. The Thunder have no interest in competing this season, and Gilgeous-Alexander’s injury could explain his recent slump.
Giddey hasn’t seen a usage bump with SGA off the court this season – his usage rate actually decreases in that situation – but he does get to operate more as the primary playmaker. His assist rate jumps from 30.7% to 37.1% with SGA off the floor, giving Giddey a bit more fantasy upside in that situation. He’s averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute with SGA off the court, and he would likely see a bump in playing time as well. Expect him to grade out favorably in our projections.
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Jalen Suggs, PG/SG, Orlando Magic
Suggs carried massive ownership in his last game, and he ultimately came through for his fantasy owners. It wasn’t pretty – he played just 25.5 minutes and shot just 26.7% – but he still managed 29.0 DraftKings points at just $3,800 on DraftKings.
Suggs has been priced up aggressively on Monday’s slate. He’s up to $5,000 on DraftKings and $6,000 on FanDuel, but he would still be worth some consideration if Cole Anthony is ruled out. Anthony is questionable after missing Saturday’s contest, and Suggs figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries if he misses another game. He’s increased his usage, assist, and rebound rate with Anthony off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.83 DraftKings points per minute. That number doesn’t jump off the page, but Suggs has struggled to an effective field goal percentage of just 33.2% in that situation. Suggs hasn’t shot the ball well all year, but he still seems poised for some positive regression in that department.
Suggs’ biggest bump sans Anthony is with his rebounding numbers, so I’ll be interested in checking out how his rebounding prop fares in the Awesemo Player Prop tool.
Jae’Sean Tate, SF/PF, Houston Rockets
Tate is very rarely a priority target for DFS players, but he has some appeal if Kevin Porter Jr. is ruled out. He’s missed their past two games due to a thigh injury, and he’s currently questionable for Monday’s contest vs. the Celtics.
Tate has been at his best this season with Porter off the court. He’s scored at least 30.6 FanDuel points in back-to-back games without Porter, and he’s increased his production to 1.03 FanDuel points per minute with Porter off the floor. He has the potential to play upwards of 34 minutes, so he has appeal at his current price tag across the industry.
Porter will likely check in with a minimal ownership projection, so I expect him to be positively leveraged in the Boom/Bust Probability tool.
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Our NBA projections DraftKings are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more DFS NBA advice and the best NBA DFS advice? We also have FanDuel ownership rankings, Yahoo! NBA rankings and DraftKings ownership rankings for today's slate. View our DraftKings ownership, our Yahoo! ownership projections and our FanDuel NBA ownership. Check out our DFS basketball rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections.
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