The Thursday Monster is back with a massive $5,000 prize pool and there is no better way to start building your team than by reading Takkyonn’s Tips.

NBA Thursday Monster

Point Guard

Mario Chalmers – $5,000

Mario Chalmers is locked and loaded as the starting point guard for the Grizzlies today. He’s been outstanding when Mike Conley is missing from the team with injury troubles, and that’s the case against the Celtics for today’s games.

The Celtics are usually an incredibly tough matchup for opposing point guards, but Chalmers’ salary is just too cheap to ignore in this spot.

Shelvin Mack – $3,500

How’s this guy still priced at $3,500? Mack could be one of the reasons behind the ever-increasing cash lines in double-up and tournament contests lately. By spending just $3,500 on a point guard that has been performing like a $4,700+ player, you can use save some cash and spend up on elite players elsewhere.

The Jazz are playing the Golden State Warriors today, and although that immediately seems like a horrible matchup, the Warriors allow plenty of fantasy points to the point guard position.

Others to consider: Chris Paul, Ish Smith

Shooting Guard

Devin Booker – $5,000

Devin Booker has been tearing it up lately! He’s only 19-years-old, but he looks as though he has been playing for years. He is a talented passer and is getting plenty of opportunities to impress in this Phoenix Suns team that are looking toward the future.

Booker has the thumbs up from coaches and teammates to continue shooting 14+ times a game and that’s precisely the type of shooting numbers we want to see from someone in our lineup. Booker has scored 39.6, 27.8 and 43.9 fantasy points in his last three games and he should perform on the higher-end of that scale today against the New York Knicks, who are a favorable matchup for point guards.

Lance Stephenson – $3,500

I don’t think anyone can accurately predict what Lance Stephenson can or will do, but he’s been so impressive that we must start considering him on a daily basis – especially at this price.

20+ points are what I aim for when selecting a minimum price player, and Lance has achieved that in six of his last seven games, with a top score of 30.9.

He’s in play again today because of the depleted Grizzlies roster and is definitely more suited to your tournament entries.

Others to consider: J.R Smith, Dwyane Wade

Small Forward

Kevin Durant – $11,600

If there is any particular position I will be paying up for today, it’s for a small forward or two. We’ve got elite options like Durant and LeBron in play, and also good high-end selections as well.

Durant, in particular, has been outstanding. He’s averaging 56.1 fantasy points over his last five games and is matched up against the Los Angeles Clippers today. In his last game against them, just last week, he smoked them for 54.7 points on the back of a 30 point, 11 rebound game.

The rebounds have been key to Durant’s consistency lately, and he has grabbed 10 or more in his last six games. If that continues, he is a sure play all the way up to $12,000.

LeBron James – $10,200

I’m expecting LeBron to have a lower ownership level than usual today as people shy away from the troubles in Cleveland. We’ve all heard, or seen, the social media rant from LeBron and the apparent chemistry issues with Kyrie Irving lately. LeBron is once again in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

From my experience of playing daily fantasy for a few years now, I’ve learned that when stars like LeBron are copping it from the media, they shut them up by giving 110% on the court.

I know it sounds crazy, but the media are targeting LeBron, and the only way he can respond is by showing up against the Sacramento Kings today with a vintage LeBron performance. If you’re a believer in the narrative – lock him in.

Nicolas Batum – $6,900

Batum makes for a decent play today at the small forward position today. Although he hasn’t been particularly impressive for his salary range, averaging just 30.2 fantasy points over his last five, he has a reasonably good matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Power Forward

JaMychal Green – $3,500

There’s every chance in the world that JaMychal Green might be one of the highest owned players today on Moneyball.

He’s coming off a game in which he managed 16 points, ten rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks in a win against the Cavaliers (!!!). The Grizzlies ran plays for him all game, even down the stretch, and he was sinking everything.

Zach Randolph is doubtful (keep an eye on this) for the game against Boston today, and that means JaMychal should get all the minutes he can handle again. You shouldn’t expect another 48 fantasy point performance, but 25+ points from a $3,500 player is very reasonable.

Derrick Williams – $3,500

Before you jump right in and put Derrick Williams in your team, take a look at the status of Carmelo Anthony and other Knicks players. Although not announced, Carmelo Anthony could sit this game against the Phoenix Suns. There’s not much evidence here outside of the fact that the odds moved from favoring the Knicks by 1 point to the Suns by 2 points in a matter of hours. Such a line movement usually reflects some inside information, and there are not many others in this game that could move a line by 3 points.

Derrick Williams averages 22.5 fantasy points without Carmelo Anthony in the team compared to the dismal 13.4 points when he is playing. So it will pay to keep an eye on the Carmelo news today.

Others to consider: Jerami Grant, David Lee, Derrick Favors


Andre Drummond – $8,800

While I totally recommend playing Alex Len (below) at the center position today, I always like Drummond in tournaments because he is one of the few centers with ridiculous upside. He has scored 70 fantasy points in two games this season and has been reasonably consistent lately with four games over 40 points in his last five.

Drummond has a great matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, and the game is expected to stay close throughout, meaning that Andre Drummond will get plenty of minutes.

Alex Len – $5,900

Alex Len has simply been unstoppable. He has scored 46.7 fantasy points or more in three of his last five games! Oh, and his other two games were 28.1 and 29.9, returning 5.2x value or more, a result of five straight double-doubles now.

It seems crazy to think that you are getting not only incredible consistency but the type of upside that can win you a tournament. There had been days lately when if you didn’t have Alex Len in your lineup, you would lose. Don’t make that mistake today.