NBA Monday Night DFS Picks 1/23: DraftKings lineup, sleepers for tonight’s daily fantasy basketball tournaments

Happy Monday everyone! This has been a great stretch of sports, with the NFL Playoffs roaring into the conference championships, the Australian Open loaded with highlights, and college hoops in full midseason swing. But for diehard NBA fans, nothing compares to the Association. We are witnessing one of the best regular-season stretches in the history of the league — and now, over halfway through the season — every game has started to take on more meaning. We’re loving it, and also loving the spread scheduling we’re seeing lately. With seven games slated for this evening, naturally we put together a DraftKings lineup.

We have enjoyed a ton of daily fantasy success since the calendar turned to 2023. Each tournament we enter, we go in with a set strategy and a core group of players we want to build around. And our most essential principles remain: do the research, analyze the matchups, and find the most bang for our buck at every position.

As always, we would never tell you to carbon-copy our lineup and roll with the exact eight players we drafted. Our goal is to:

  • teach you the different lineup-building strategies you can employ,
  • show you how we arrive at our DFS-drafting decisions,
  • highlight the players who are hot and/or have a solid opportunity to exceed their average, and
  • get you the most bang for your buck.

Lately, we have cashed in with the ‘stars-and-sleepers’ strategy, and we are running that strategy back this evening. We have three perimeter studs in Jrue Holiday, Jaylen Brownand DeMar DeRozan — all former All-Stars and current All-Star candidates — who will anchor our lineup. Five other sleepers and under-the-radar value plays make up the remaining 62.5 percent of our roster (and 45.6 percent of our overall budget).

Vote now for your favorite NBA All-Star starters!

Let’s dive into our lineup, and discuss which players made the cut. Here’s our Monday night DraftKings NBA roster, and a brief explanation on why each player could help win you some start-of-the-week DFS cash.

Note: DraftKings lineup construction is simple: draft eight players with assigned salaries — one for each position, as well as one guard flex, one forward flex, and one utility — and keep the team under the $50,000 salary cap.

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Best NBA DFS Lineup 1/22: DraftKings strategy, sleepers for Monday night

PG: Jrue Holiday, Bucks at Pistons ($9,000)

A while back, I suggested that Brook Lopez had been playing good enough basketball — and keeping Milwaukee afloat enough while Giannis and Khris Middleton were both out — that BroLo deserved some All-Star consideration. I’ll go ahead and retract that statement now, because now it’s Holiday who should be traveling to Salt Lake City with Antetokounmpo next month. Holiday has been on a rampage since the calendar turned to 2023. Over the past two weeks, he’s the 16th-best 9-cat player in fantasy hoops. In the past week, he’s tenth. His averages over the past seven days: 33.3 points, 9.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game, while shooting 56.9 percent from the floor, 47.8 percent from deep, and 100 percent from the line. We usually don’t chase points, but drafting this dude right now is like catching lightning in a bottle. He scored 62-plus fantasy points in two of his past three games, for crying out loud! The Pistons are terrible — on defense and in general — and cede the third-most fantasy points to opposing guards. Make it a three-day weekend and have yourself a Holiday today.

SG: Jaylen Brown, Celtics at Magic ($9,200)

Not long ago, I was debating dudes about the fact that Brown deserved to be an All-Star. Before we know it, I’ll be arguing with the same guys about how he deserves to be All-NBA. Brown just keeps growing as a scorer, playmaker, and defender, and he’s a legit fantasy superstar at this point. A 40-point fantasy night has become a disappointment, while we don’t bat an eye when he logs a 50-burger or a 60-piece. Lord have mercy on the Magic’s souls, because they have surrendered the third-most fantasy points to wings this season and now run into the buzzsaw in green we call JB.

DeMar DeRozan

SF: DeMar DeRozan, Bulls vs. Hawks ($8,900)

What kind of outlandish statement can I make about DeRozan now? Hmm…top five midrange shooter in the 21st century? Hall-of-Fame career track? How about ‘better and more impactful for the Bulls than Zack LaVine?’ Your boy’s on fire over here. But all jokes aside, we simply cannot dismiss how awesome DeRozan has been since Gregg Popovich turned him into a cheat code. He plays intelligent basketball, reads defenses perfectly, and knows exactly how to get to his spots with ball control, timing, and immaculate shot mechanics. And as soon as defenses start smothering him, he explodes to the hole with a youthful giddy-up that reminds us how well he conditions himself for his age. DeMar has dropped 47-plus in two of Chicago’s past three games, and he’s got a 64 and a 72 since Christmas. Nobody on the Hawks can guard him, plain and simple.

PF: Kyle Anderson, Timberwolves at Rockets ($6,300)

Look at us showing love to the veterans on a Monday. SloMo has demonstrated with an exclamation mark over the past couple weeks that he still has plenty in the tank, stepping up for the Wolves in a major way while they battle multiple key injuries. In a four-day stretch last week, Anderson put up 49-plus three different times. That’s a lot of SloMo replay material right there. Now he gets to go off against his former squad, a young Rockets team that will be downright baffled by the rhythm and intelligence of his calm, cool, and collected style of play.

Zach CollinsSan Antonio Spurs

C: Zach Collins, Spurs at Blazers ($3,800)

Collins looks a bit like he should be an extra in the movie ‘Zoolander,’ but he plays damn well when given the opportunity. He has eclipsed 38 fantasy points twice since Jan. 7, and he dropped 26 fantasy points on the Clippers on Friday. Now he gets a ‘revenge game’ against his former squad, a Blazers team that just made the Lakers’ Thomas Bryant look like Wilt Chamberlain on Sunday evening.

G: Dennis Smith Jr., Hornets at Jazz ($4,600)

Sure, Smith is 0 for his past 16 three-point attempts dating back to Jan. 2 — and he sometimes makes turnovers that make his 9-cat owners run — not walk — to the waiver wire to drop him back off. But in points leagues and DraftKings tournaments, he’s solid while LaMelo Ball is sidelined with his ankle sprain. DSJ’s last two games are about all you can ask for at these prices: 21.3 and 23.5. Solid but unspectacular, just like Utah’s perimeter defense.

F: KJ Martin, Rockets vs. Timberwolves ($5,000)

Another easy call, Martin has been one of the main benefactors of Kevin Porter Jr.’s foot injury and rookie Jabari Smith Jr.’s recent sprained ankle. Martin now averages close to 26 fantasy points per game, but he dropped a 45.5 ten days ago that left the fantasy land shook (27 points, eight boards, three swats). Against an undermanned, KAT-less, and likely Gobert-less Wolves squad, unleash the beast that is KJ Martin.

use: Mark Williams, Hornets at Jazz ($3,100)

We only had $3,200 bones left, so we went with one of my favorite preseason rookie sleepers. Williams was a lob monster and board-beast for Duke last season, but he’s come up slow under Steve Clifford in Charlotte. But he has recently been granted backup center minutes over Nick Richards, so let’s all rejoice and thank the lord for answering our Williams-related fantasy prayers. M-Dubs doesn’t need much time to make an impact — he attracts rebounds and high-efficient interior shot attempts, and his defensive approach may be raw but the shot-blocking upside is obvious. He’s a great $3,100 asset to complete an already-sterling DFS lineup. Just look at this snazzy blue suit — how could we pass on him!? Go out and give Walker Kessler some trouble, young man.

Mark Williams

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