Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-day $275,000 Fantasy Basketball contest for Monday's games. It's $25 to enter and first prize is $20,000. Starts Monday at tipoff. Enter now!
Monday isn't a great night for matchups, as only half of the eight games on the schedule allow more than 390 combined FanDuel points per game. Ten of the 16 teams playing Monday are below the league median for FanDuel points allowed, and none of the games feature a combined average over 400.
Ultimately, that might not mean much for FanDuel purposes, since everyone is picking from the same crop of mediocre matchups. But still, it does make it harder to pick obvious winners. Complicating things further, you have the Clippers and Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back, making their advantages seem a little less obvious. Throw in a Hawks team that has been generous with rest and this has all of the makings of a very strange night.
Strange isn't bad, of course. There could be a ton of value to be found. If Jeff Teague gets a night off Dennis Schroder might be a must-play option. At $5,000, he's not a bad choice either way, given the matchup and how he is playing lately. The Nuggets have finally sorted out their rotation following Brian Shaw's firing, and they could dominate an undermanned Knicks team. I may be going overboard with four Nuggets on my team, but that's where I felt the values were.
A week ago, I would have felt crazy throwing four Nuggets in my lineup, but it feels like the right move tonight. Things can change quickly in the world of daily Fantasy and you have to be willing to adapt. Let's see if my adaptation works out for me.
Washington at Charlotte
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 378.3
Neither of these teams is a particularly good matchup, so I might avoid this one entirely.
Sacramento at Atlanta
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 397.6
With how Mike Budenholzer has been resting players lately, I would try to wait until the last minute before I decide on starting any Hawks.
Boston at Miami
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 386.8
You won't mistake the Heat for the George Karl-era Nuggets, but they have been playing at a noticeably faster pace since acquiring Goran Dragic, so we could see some scoring in this one.
Memphis at Chicago
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 382.5
The Bulls' offense has been ugly for long stretches without Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose, and things aren't likely to get better Monday.
New Orleans at Milwaukee
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 383.2
Michael Carter-Williams has settled into a nice role with the Bucks, but I still don't like him at his price. You probably need 30-plus FanDuel points from him and it's hard to bet on that from someone who has done that just twice in six games.
New York at Denver
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 399.9
The Nuggets are playing much better of late and have begun pushing the pace even more. They should dictate the tempo here and I don't think the Knicks have anyone who can slow Ty Lawson or Kenneth Faried down.
Golden State at Phoenix
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 390.6
This should be the marquee matchup for Fantasy purposes, with the two fastest teams in the league locking horns.
Minnesota at L.A. Clippers
Combined FanDuel points allowed per game: 397.0
This one has all the makings of a blowout, but the Timberwolves didn't play along the last time. That might mean Chris Paul won't get much rest on the second night of a back-to-back -- he played 37 minutes and had 56.8 FanDuel points in their matchup last week, also on a back-to-back.
My roster for March 9 at FanDuel.com:
PG Stephen Curry, Warrios at Phoenix ($10,000)
PG Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves at L.A. Clippers ($8,400)
SG Dwyane Wade, Heat vs. Boston ($7,700)
SG Will Barton, Nuggets vs. New York ($4,500)
SF Wilson Chandler, Nuggets vs. New York ($6,000)
SF Jae Crowder, Celtics at Miami ($5,100)
PF Kenneth Faried, Nuggets vs. New York ($6,200)
PF J.J. Hickson, Nuggets vs. New York ($3,800)
C Hassan Whiteside, Heat vs. Boston ($8,300)
Stephen Curry, PG, Warriors vs. Phoenix ($10,000)
Eric Bledsoe is a tough individual matchup for anyone, but he hasn't been able to slow down Curry yet. Curry has 45-plus FanDuel points in each game against the Suns this season, and the style of play both teams utilize is extremely conducive to big Fantasy performances. The pace of each matchup has topped 99 possessions, fitting consdering it features each of the two fastest teams in the league. Curry is playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but that actually hasn't been a hindrance for him this season, as he is averaging 44.5 FanDuel points per game with zero days of rest. Curry comes in a bit below Chris Paul in price, but he just might be the best option at the position tonight.
Hassan Whiteside, C, Miami vs. Boston($8,300)
This one will depend entirely on whether Whiteside's ailing ankle keeps him out yet again. If not, he should absolutely feast agaisnt a Celtics frontcourt that is so undersized, they have resorted to using Jonas Jerebko as a center. That works offensively, where Jerebko can draw defenders away from the rim, but it will be a liability against a big man like Whiteside. The Celtics have no answers for Whiteside, who dropped 36.8 FanDuel points against them in 30 minutes in their last matchup. If he plays, it will be hard to justify keeping him out of your starting lineup tonight.
Kenneth Faried, PF, Nuggets vs. New York($6,200)
For much of the season, Faried has been toxic for daily Fantasy purposes. You want upside in daily Fantasy, yes, but you also want to avoid players with big downside, and that is where Faried has largely failed. He and Brian Shaw were rarely on the same page, so his playing time fluctuated constantly on a night-to-night basis as a result. Since Shaw's firing, however, he has played at least 32 minutes in each of the first four games, while contributing at least 33.8 FanDuel points in three of four. Faried had 30.3 FanDuel points in 32 minutes the last time he saw the Knicks, and they don't really have anyone in the frontcourt who can compete with him athletically, so expected his resurgence to continue.
Overpay of the night
Pau Gasol, PF, Bulls vs. Memphis ($9,200)
Even though I had Gasol here Friday as well, I'm really not picking on him. He's been tremendous all season, which totally justifies the high cost he has carried. However, the production just hasn't been there to match it lately, as Gasol is averaging 35.9 FanDuel points per game since the All-Star break, and has just three games with 40-plus points. That's about what you need from him at this cost, and it seems unlikely he will get there against a Memphis team that held him to just 23.2 points in their last matchup. Gasol has struggled at times against teams with length inside, and the Grizzlies have a ton of that.
CT: At first glance, Ginobili seems like more of a sure thing, but that really hasn't been the case lately. He is averaging just 9.0 points and 3.1 assists per game over the last 10, and rarely plays more than 25 minutes in any given night. On the other hand, Shroder is averaging 23.7 minutes over the last 10, while chipping in 11.9 points and 5.6 assists. So, Schroder is the more reliable option and has considerably more upside, especially with the Hawks close to locking up the No. 1 seed. If Jeff Teague rests late in the season, Schroder could be a difference maker. He is averaging 12.3 points and 7.0 assists per game in six starts on the season..
CT: Oh boy... I take it your season isn't going so well, then? If the answer to any question is "Alexey Shved," that's a sure sign that things are going poorly. Neither of these players is likely to make much of an impact down the stretch, but I guess I have to go with Shved over Johnson just because he will probably have a more sure role. Despite their ongoing struggles, the Heat are unlikely to throw in the towel on the season, so Johnson probably needs injuries to two of Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic and Mario Chalmers before he sees a consistent role. He has scored in double figures in three of the last four games, but it is important to note the Heat were missing Dragic in one and Wade in another; he played just six minutes with both healthy Wednesday against the Lakers.