NBA First Look: Monday, February 23rd

There are eight games on the schedule for Monday night.

HOME AWAY VEGAS LINE VEGAS TOTAL TIME
Miami (23-31) Philadelphia (12-43) MIA -10.5 190.0 7:30 pm EST
New Orleans (28-27) Toronto (37-18) TBD TBD 8:00 pm EST
Chicago (35-21) Milwaukee (31-24) CHI -7.5 194.0 8:00 pm EST
Houston (37-18) Minnesota (12-42) HOU -9 211.5 8:00 pm EST
Denver (20-35) Brooklyn (22-31) BKN -2 202.0 9:00 pm EST
Phoenix (29-27) Boston (20-33) PHO -7.5 211.5 9:00 pm EST
Utah (20-34) San Antonio (34-21) SAS -5 187.5 9:00 pm EST
L.A. Clippers (37-19) Memphis (40-14) LAC -4 203.0 10:30 pm EST


Philadelphia

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Matchup Preview vs. Miami:
Pace of Play: 92.2 (Rank: 30)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.6 (Rank: 2)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 19
Rebounding Differential Rank: 23

Targets:

Nerlens Noel (FD: $6100, DK: $5600 / DvP: 4 / Usage Rate: 16) – With Michael Carter-Williams and K.J. McDaniels out of the picture, this is now Noel’s team for the rest of the season. He draws a decent matchup against the short-handed frontcourt of the Heat and he has played well recently, averaging 33.8 fantasy points over his last four games.

Isaiah Canaan (FD: $3500, DK: $3000 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 19.9) – Canaan played well in his first start with the Sixers. He played 29 minutes against the Magic, putting up a respectable stat line of 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He should see close to 30 minutes against the Heat and he’s still priced at the bare minimum.


Miami

Matchup Preview vs. Philadelphia:
Pace of Play: 98.1 (Rank: 6)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.7 (Rank: 21)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 12
Rebounding Differential Rank: 29

Targets:

Hassan Whiteside (FD: $7800, DK: $7800 / DvP: 30 / Usage Rate: 21.3) – When Whiteside gets minutes, two things are certain. He’s going to get rebounds and he’s going to get dunks. He draws what may be the most favorable matchup on Monday night’s schedule. The Sixers are ranked 30th against centers and 29th in rebounding differential.

Dwyane Wade (FD: $7600, DK: $7200 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 34) – Wade has struggled in his first two games back from injury. He also has a ball-dominant guard in Goran Dragic to share the backcourt with. Even with those concerns, he makes a strong play against the Sixers. His price is depressed and the Sixers are ranked 29th against shooting guards.


Toronto

Matchup Preview vs. New Orleans:
Pace of Play: 94 (Rank: 27)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.5 (Rank: 15)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 25
Rebounding Differential Rank: 6

Targets:

DeMar DeRozan (FD: $6700, DK: $7300 / DvP: 13 / Usage Rate: 28) – DeRozan is the one reliable Raptors’ player that you can count on to see major playing time and a high usage rate each and every night. His price is affordable across the industry and the matchup against the Pelicans isn’t one that we need to avoid.

James Johnson (FD: $4500, DK: $4800 / DvP: 11 / Usage Rate: 16.5) – Basically Saturday night came down to whether or not you rostered Johnson. We expected a small boost with Lou Williams out, but no one expected him to put up 47 fantasy points against the Rockets. Give him a small boost once again if Williams is forced out of Monday’s game.


New Orleans

Matchup Preview vs. Toronto:
Pace of Play: 96 (Rank: 16)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.3 (Rank: 19)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 16
Rebounding Differential Rank: 17

Targets:

Tyreke Evans (FD: $8000, DK: $8000 / DvP: 18 / Usage Rate: 25.7) – Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson are both out. Evans’ already-high usage rate will only go up while those two players are on the shelf. He can fill up the stat sheet, he should be the number one option offensively, and he draws a decent matchup against Kyle Lowry.

Alexis Ajinca (FD: $4200, DK: $4000 / DvP: 9 / Usage Rate: 19.5) – Ajinca will likely draw the start at PF with both Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson out. He has been very productive in limited minutes this season (1.06 fantasy points per minute) and should see a sizable uptick in that category against the Raptors.

Eric Gordon and Omer Asik are also in play with both Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson out.


Milwaukee

Matchup Preview vs. Chicago:
Pace of Play: 95.7 (Rank: 19)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.2 (Rank: 13)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 13
Rebounding Differential Rank: 7

Targets:

Jerryd Bayless (FD: $4100, DK: $4400 / DvP: 9 / Usage Rate: 19.1) – Antetokounmpo is also in play here, but he has cooled off in his last couple of games. If Michael Carter-Williams is unable to make his Bucks debut, Bayless would immediately become one of the top values on the board. Bayless has averaged 29 fantasy points per game in his last two starts.


Chicago

Matchup Preview vs. Milwaukee:
Pace of Play: 96.3 (Rank: 14)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.9 (Rank: 4)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 2
Rebounding Differential Rank: 22

Targets:

Joakim Noah (FD: $6800, DK: $6900 / DvP: 10 / Usage Rate: 14) – Pau Gasol is also in play here, but it’s hard to justify his price tag against a defensive-minded Bucks’ team. Noah on the other hand is much cheaper. He has also been playing well recently, scoring at least 31 fantasy points in seven of his last ten games.


Minnesota

Matchup Preview vs. Houston:
Pace of Play: 99 (Rank: 3)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.6 (Rank: 16)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 4
Rebounding Differential Rank: 11

Targets:

Kevin Martin (FD: $6800, DK: $6600 / DvP: 25 / Usage Rate: 26.2) – Martin has been on fire over his last ten games, averaging 30 fantasy points per contest. There is no reason to think that he will slow down against a Rockets’ team that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to shooting guards this season.

Andrew Wiggins (FD: $6500, DK: $6200 / DvP: 19 / Usage Rate: 21.4) – Wiggins’ usage rate isn’t quite as high as it once was, but he is still playing close to 40 minutes per game. He’s going to be a star in this league and Monday night offers us a great chance to buy low on the future Rookie of the Year.


Houston

Matchup Preview vs. Minnesota:
Pace of Play: 97.4 (Rank: 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 106.2 (Rank: 29)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 30
Rebounding Differential Rank: 21

Targets:

James Harden (FD: $10600, DK: $10500 / DvP: 23 / Usage Rate: 31.2) – Harden has only topped 40 fantasy points one time in his last four games. Is the world coming to an end? Of course not. Opponents still fear the beard and this is the prefect matchup for Harden to get back on track.

Josh Smith (FD: $6300, DK: $6800 / DvP: 30 / Usage Rate: 24.7) – Smith has been extremely productive off the bench with Dwight Howard out. He has scored at least 34 fantasy points in six of his last ten games. He also draws a favorable matchup against a Wolves’ team that struggles to defend power forwards.


Brooklyn

Matchup Preview vs. Denver:
Pace of Play: 98.3 (Rank: 5)
Points Allowed Per Game: 104.1 (Rank: 26)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 23
Rebounding Differential Rank: 14

Targets:

Deron Williams (FD: $5300, DK: $5800 / DvP: 15 / Usage Rate: 22.4) – Jarrett Jack is doubtful for this game, which means Williams will likely draw another start at point guard. He’s coming off of his best game in months and he should be able to back it up against a Nuggets’ team that has all but given up on the season.

Joe Johnson (FD: $6100, DK: $5800 / DvP: 28 / Usage Rate: 21.9) – Johnson continues to fly under the radar, despite scoring at least 28 fantasy points in five of his last nine games. With Arron Afflalo in Portland, Johnson will match up against the much slower Danilo Gallinari. He offers great value at his price point.


Denver

Matchup Preview vs. Brooklyn:
Pace of Play: 94.2 (Rank: 25)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.6 (Rank: 16)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 21
Rebounding Differential Rank: 24

Targets:

Danilo Gallinari (FD: $3600, DK: $4400 / DvP: 6 / Usage Rate: 20.2) – Gallinari is the only Nuggets’ player that is on my radar on Monday night. With Arron Afflalo in Portland, Gallinari is now the starting shooting guard in Denver. His price is still very affordable and this may be the last time to target him at this price point.


Boston

Matchup Preview vs. Phoenix:
Pace of Play: 99.2 (Rank: 2)
Points Allowed Per Game: 105 (Rank: 28)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 19
Rebounding Differential Rank: 26

Targets:

Brandon Bass (FD: $4600, DK: $5200 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 21) – Jared Sullinger is out and it doesn’t sound like Kelly Olynyk will be playing in this game either. Bass has averaged 38 minutes and 28 fantasy points in his last two games. He should continue to see all of the minutes that he can handle against the Suns.

Tyler Zeller (FD: $4500, DK: $5000 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 19.3) – The same goes for Zeller. With Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk out, he will continue to see extended action for the Celtics.


Phoenix

Matchup Preview vs. Boston:
Pace of Play: 98.6 (Rank: 4)
Points Allowed Per Game: 102.7 (Rank: 25)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 15
Rebounding Differential Rank: 17

Targets:

Markieff Morris (FD: $6100, DK: $6400 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 23.4) – It’s only a matter of time before Brandon Knight enters the starting lineup. I’m interested to see how that affects Eric Bledsoe’s play. For that reason, I will be avoiding the Suns’ backcourt. The Suns’ bigs draws a very favorable matchup against an under-manned, under-sized frontcourt of the Celtics.

Alex Len (FD: $4500, DK: $4000 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 13.3) – Len’s price has come up a bit, but he is still priced at a discount. He has scored 33 and 25 fantasy points in his last two games and should show up in a big way against the Celtics.


San Antonio

Matchup Preview vs. Utah:
Pace of Play: 92.7 (Rank: 29)
Points Allowed Per Game: 97.7 (Rank: 9)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 25
Rebounding Differential Rank: 3

Targets:

Tony Parker (FD: $5400, DK: $5000 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 24.8) – This game offers little fantasy appeal, but Parker remains an interesting contrarian play at point guard. He has 30+ fantasy point type of upside and he’s still listed in the $5,000 range on both FanDuel and DraftKings.


Utah

Matchup Preview vs. San Antonio:
Pace of Play: 95.5 (Rank: 21)
Points Allowed Per Game: 97.4 (Rank: 8)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 5
Rebounding Differential Rank: 10

Targets:

Rudy Gobert (FD: $5700, DK: $5200 / DvP: 24 / Usage Rate: 13.4) – The unstoppable force of nature that is Rudy Gobert picked up two fouls in the first four minutes the other night. He still managed to score 24 fantasy points in 24 minutes though. Assuming he can stay out of foul trouble, he should see 30+ minutes against the Spurs.


Memphis

Matchup Preview vs. L.A. Clippers:
Pace of Play: 96.7 (Rank: 11)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.9 (Rank: 23)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 18
Rebounding Differential Rank: 19

Targets:

Zach Randolph (FD: $8500, DK: $8100 / DvP: 13 / Usage Rate: 24.5) – Mike Conley draws a tough matchup against Chris Paul. Marc Gasol draws a relatively tough matchup against DeAndre Jordan. And finally, the Grizzlies’ wings are far too inconsistent. That leaves us with Mr. Z-Bo, who should dominate the paint against Spencer Hawes.


L.A. Clippers

Matchup Preview vs. Memphis:
Pace of Play: 94.2 (Rank: 25)
Points Allowed Per Game: 95.7 (Rank: 1)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 5
Rebounding Differential Rank: 12

Targets:

Chris Paul (FD: $10000, DK: $10000 / DvP: 4 / Usage Rate: 22.6) – This is an interesting situation. We rarely like to overpay for players in tough matchups, but Paul’s uptick in usage and production with Griffin out complicates things. I expect another quality outing from Paul, I’m just not completely sold on him being able to reach value at his price point.

DeAndre Jordan (FD: $8900, DK: $8800 / DvP: 5 / Usage Rate: 12.8) – The same goes for Jordan. We have to pay a premium for him in a tough matchup. He’s been dominant with Griffin out, but can we really expect a 45 fantasy point outing against Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies?

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

Comments

  • keithrich1226

    JJ Redick finds himself in a good matchup and on DK for 4700, or do you prefer Crawford with the same matchup for 6100?

    Edit
    I looked at the DvP 3Weeks tool and the Grizzles are playing #1 D against SG so never mind haha

  • mrplow01

    No mention of Isaiah Thomas in a bitter revenge game?

  • Jeff7kv

    .

    Johnson continues to fly under the radar, despite scoring at least 28 fantasy points in five of his last nine game

    Noto no offense bro, but that’s not very impressive for a $6100 FD player.

  • JJdaily

    Any thoughts on PJ Tucker for a value play?

  • bustedmustard

    Didn’t Pau put 80 fp’s on the Bucks a month ago? Plus Millsap put 54 on them yesterday….I think you could roll out both and easily hit value…especially since the bucks are on a b2b…

  • Dfsrotogrinders

    I thought Rubio would be a good play in the Rockets game. The game should be higher scoring and fast paced

  • Troybianchi

    no brook lopez tonight also not sure how many min thad young will get but they both have great match ups

  • VinnyTheBeard

    I’m not a huge fan of the clippers tonight either… Just too tough on the matchups and prices are way too inflated.

  • elbirdos

    I know I’m not Noto but…. Tucker has a very good chance to hit 5x-6x value needing only 25-30 FP. Looking at his game log and match up, add in the fact Phoenix has less wing players since trade deadline. Give me all the Tucker tonight.

  • jessedio

    One of these dudes are going to score like 7 fantasy points. Happens every night..lol Hope I don’t pick that one LU killer.

  • Troybianchi

    also dannny green has a great match up

  • Mmirza23

    I’ve been down the james johnson follow up to a monster game before, he ends up playing like 18 minutes and gets 14 pts, don’t want any part of him tonight.

  • ATLBravesFan10

    I wouldn’t let the matchup against MEM completely scare you off: MEM is on the backside of a b2b and LAC is still projected to score over 100.

    Over the last seven games MEM has given up the 7th most FPts to PG’s and 12th most to SF’s, so CP3 and Barnes both have good matchups and should log plenty of minutes in what Vegas thinks will be a close, high scoring game.

    I think the bigs of MEM, ZBo and Gasol, both draw good matchups as well.

  • Kickass27

    i always expose myself for a classic revenge game, it’s worth it

  • Joe1Coal

    @jessedio said...

    One of these dudes are going to score like 7 fantasy points. Happens every night..lol Hope I don’t pick that one LU killer.

    I’ve been picking the guys who get injured in game like it’s my job. You couldn’t do it if you were trying.

  • Catdaddy

    I started Redick and Crawford, oops!

  • rkjesgagavi23

    You could stack the rockets and wolves game. No Beverly tonight. Harden could go nutso. Fast pace and high scoring.

  • jdurgin1084

    What about Avery Bradley? Great matchup according to DvP last 3 weeks and has been great since rondo trade

  • beauvanlaanen

    @mrplow01 said...

    No mention of Isaiah Thomas in a bitter revenge game?

    I like IT in GPPs. He is still an unsafe play in cash games IMO.

  • beauvanlaanen

    @jdurgin1084 said...

    What about Avery Bradley? Great matchup according to DvP last 3 weeks and has been great since rondo trade

    All the Celtics guards are in play, IT, Bradley, Smart, Turner. But it is tough to find which one is the best play, they all share minutes…

  • beauvanlaanen

    @rkjesgagavi23 said...

    You could stack the rockets and wolves game. No Beverly tonight. Harden could go nutso. Fast pace and high scoring.

    I like a Houston stack in GPPs.

  • luvallmygirlz

    I love Pau as well. The Bucks have a much better perimeter defense than interior defense. Well, had, that is gone with Brandon Knight. Their interior defense is a joke. No wonder Larry Sanders went mad, he had no help in the low post! Help me out, Noto! Give Pau some love.

  • Skullduggery

    @ATLBravesFan10 said...

    I wouldn’t let the matchup against MEM completely scare you off: MEM is on the backside of a b2b and LAC is still projected to score over 100.

    Over the last seven games MEM has given up the 7th most FPts to PG’s and 12th most to SF’s, so CP3 and Barnes both have good matchups and should log plenty of minutes in what Vegas thinks will be a close, high scoring game.

    I think the bigs of MEM, ZBo and Gasol, both draw good matchups as well.

    Its not the match-up so much as it is the pace of the game. A slow team isn’t going to play faster on a b2b. Not to mention, hack-a-jordon kills CPs numbers. I see no reason why I can consider the grizzles above such chicanery, especially if Paul is on point.

  • Skullduggery

    @luvallmygirlz said...

    I love Pau as well. The Bucks have a much better perimeter defense than interior defense. Well, had, that is gone with Brandon Knight. Their interior defense is a joke. No wonder Larry Sanders went mad, he had no help in the low post! Help me out, Noto! Give Pau some love.

    As it sits right now its Pau vs Dudley? or 6-7 vs 7 feet.

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