5 Stats to Know: NBA DFS March 27


It’s an interesting night in the NBA, with Luka Doncic suddenly available, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was recently ruled out. 


Let’s adjust our focus and examine five stats that will help us with Monday night’s slate.

1. Luka Doncic is not suspended for Monday night 

Normally, I’ve been slightly gun shy about targeting Luka Doncic when the Mavericks have been healthy since they acquired Kyrie Irving. It’s paid off multiple times, as Doncic has scored 1.46 points per minute when they share the court, which is a significant dip for him. Dallas is coming off two horrific losses to Charlotte and sits outside the playoff mix in the Western Conference, and Luka went bonkers on Sunday, scoring 40 real points and totaling 78 DK. He is expensive but has among the highest ceilings on the slate, and the Mavericks are running out of time. 


2. The Rockets allow the highest points per possession to the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll

We can add that to the litany of things the Rockets don’t do well on a basketball court, but tonight they have to deal with Jalen Brunson and the Knicks. While a blowout is always a very real concern, Jalen Brunson is back under $8,000 on DraftKings, and the FTN Advanced DvP Tool points us directly toward him – 

Brunson is scoring the seventh-most points per game as the ball-handler, and I’m not totally sure why he’s still this affordable. He has a 27.3% usage rate and 1.14 points per minute in the normal run of play, but adding in the matchup at this salary puts him over the top. It’s not likely to be too difficult to afford both Brunson and Kyrie together. 

3. T.J. Warren played at least 20 minutes for the third straight game 

This could be the last time we can target him for a while since Kevin Durant is due back from the Suns this week, but the trend for T.J. Warren’s minutes have mostly matched the minutes being less for Josh Okogie. He hasn’t cleared 25 minutes in the past four games, and Warren has scored 15 and 16 real points in the past two contests. Phoenix needs some type of depth after trading away Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, and if Warren continues to chip in points he’s going to see the floor. Some may point out he played the whole fourth quarter on Saturday night, so perhaps he played a little more than was planned on the second leg of a back-to-back. Still, the Suns played Devin Booker until about three minutes left, so Warren has my eye again tonight.

4. Anthony Edwards is 12th in points per game scored in isolation 

I believe that the Wolves might sit Karl-Anthony Towns on Monday night, as he’s making his way back from a torn calf. He played 32 minutes on Sunday night, so the turnaround for Monday night might be too much. If that’s the case, the offense shifts back to Anthony Edwards all the way, and he’s scoring 1.35 points per minute in this scenario. The pace should be excellent in this spot since both Minnesota and Sacramento are in the top 11 in the league. Additionally, the Kings are 28th against crafty finishers. Edwards is also shooting over 37% from beyond the arc, and the Kings allow the sixth-highest field goal rate. With the salary dipping down a little bit, Edwards stands out in this matchup.


5. Jonas Valanciunas has averaged over 32 minutes in the past five games 

He’s gone from “we can’t play him” to “we should want to play a TON of him” with breakneck speed, having a four-game stint of no more than 21 minutes directly in front of this latest streak. Jonas Valanciunas has been massively productive for fantasy because that’s what he does, scoring 1.23 points per minute with a 24.7% usage rate. The Portland front line is down to Drew Eubanks and could be without Trendon Watford, who left Sunday night with an ankle injury. Valanciunas might look like a giant on the court, and his salary isn’t high enough if he’s playing this amount of minutes. 

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