We’ve now made it through the first week of the 2018-19 NBA season. And right out of the gate, daily fantasy basketball players were given a few huge performances, players breaking out and a literal fist fight. I can’t imagine a better way to start the year.
As we head into the second week, it’s time to take the early look at the DraftKings NBA slate for Monday, October 22. The idea behind this breakdown is to highlight a few top targets and value plays early on, and this post will be updated throughout the day. The world of daily fantasy basketball can change quickly, so keeping a close eye on the news is big.
With that said, let’s dive in and take an early look first at a few names which jump out as the top targets on the slate, followed by value options as things stand currently. This is a nine-game slate which features a later tip time (7:30 p.m. EST) than usual.
Top DraftKings NBA Targets – Monday, October 22
*Note: Check back for any updates on players or additional names added.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) vs. New York Knicks
You can label him a small forward, power forward, point guard, or whatever else, it’s irrelevant at this point. He’s matchup proof and is a clear-cut favorite to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award. Antetokounmp is expensive, but on a nine-game slate, we should have no problem finding enough value to fit him into lineups.
Technically, Giannis is a power forward if we’re locked in narrowing down the matchup. Through the early stages of the season, the Knicks have allowed 41.67 fantasy points per game to power forwards (neutral matchup) and 19.95 points per game. The key here is that the Knicks don’t have a legitimate rim protector capable of slowing the Bucks star down.
John Wall ($8,900) vs. Portland Trail Blazers
LeBron James ($10,500) is always a strong play, especially after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Houston Rockets on Saturday. I’m fine using him in all formats, and he should see an even larger workload with Brandon Ingram suspended. But with that said, I want to highlight the Washington Wizards star point guard.
John Wall has been exceptional through two games, scoring 50.25 and 47 DraftKings points and did so against two solid defenders in Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry. Now, he draws the Portland Trail Blazers, who have struggled mightily against opposing point guards. On the season, they’ve allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game (51.6) to the position and second-most actual points (27.41).
This is an elite spot for an elite player at under $9,000, I love Wall on Monday.
Kawhi Leonard ($8,800) vs. Charlotte Hornets
While DraftKings has adjusted Kawhi Leonard’s price from $8,100 to $8,500 and finally $8,800, it’s still not high enough. He scored 43.75 and 51 fantasy points over his first two games with the Toronto Raptors before sitting out the third game to rest. Leonard is seeing huge minutes (36.5 per game) and no one on the Hornets will be able to guard him.
To this point, the Hornets have allowed the sixth-most DraftKings points per game (45.63) to small forwards and 23.91 regular points. The craziest part about Leonard’s start to the year is that he’s still knocking off the rust, as he shot less than 41 percent from the field in each of the team’s first two games.
Other current top targets: LeBron James (vs. Spurs), Stephen Curry (vs. Suns), Damian Lillard (vs. Wizards – love pairing him with Wall)
Top DraftKings Value Plays
*Note: Check back for any updates on players or new values being added.
Lonzo Ball ($5,500) vs. San Antonio Spurs
When talking “value” plays, I’m going to do my best to keep it below $6,000 in almost all cases. Realistically, I think a value play is probably $5,500 or below on DraftKiings, and fortunately the bulk of the options today fall into that category. As far as Lonzo Ball goes, this is a great spot for the young Lakers point guard.
With Rajon Rondo suspended, it means Ball will step into the starting lineup. He’s fresh off a game in which he totaled 14 points, six rebounds and four assists over 26 minutes, so he’s healthy and good to go. The matchup with the Spurs doesn’t blow me away, but I love the fact that he’ll be playing alongside LeBron and playing in front of the home crowd.
Josh Hart ($5100) vs. San Antonio Spurs
Yes, I’m doubling down on the Lakers (I almost tripled up). The Spurs have actually been somewhat poor against shooting guards, where Hart spends plenty of time. They’ve allowed 46.97 DraftKings points per game and 25.37 real points. With the Lakers shorthanded due to the Rondo and Brandon Ingram suspensions, this should set Hart up to see even more minutes.
Based on the fact he played 27 and 30 minutes in the first two games (37 and 25.75 fantasy points), Hart has a high floor and high ceiling in this spot. I’ll happily pair him and Ball up as well, and I expect to see the second-year shooting guard handle a large amount of the scoring duties for the second unit.
Wesley Matthews ($5,000) vs. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls play incredibly fast and have allowed 122.5 points per game this season, good for the seventh-most in the NBA. They rank in the middle of the pack when it comes to defending both shooting guards and small forwards and Wes Matthews has looked good through the first two games.
Matthews is a player who can just disappear at points, but he sees consistent minutes (34.5 average over two games) and has averaged 27.5 DraftKings points this season. It’s a fine matchup, he’s inexpensive and he also seems more than willing to shoot his shot, as he’s attempted 29 over the two-game stretch.
Other current value plays: Jaren Jackson ($5,200 vs. Jazz), Malcolm Brogdon ($5,200 vs. Knicks), Kyle Kuzma ($5,500 vs. Spurs)