With just four games on tap Monday night, you'll need to make every DFS pick count. Fortunately, our experts are here to recommend their favorite players to build around and fade.
Players to build around
Renee Miller -- DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors: DeRozan currently owns the league's second-highest usage rate (behind Russell Westbrook) and tonight gets to face the Denver Nuggets, one of the most generous backcourt defenses for fantasy. All four of tonight's games offer some interesting matchups, but this is the one I'm taking in all my lineups.
Kyle Soppe -- Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors: I wouldn’t have an issue if you loaded up on Raptors this evening as they are in a great spot to hang a big number on the Nuggets. From a scheduling standpoint, they’ve yet to travel and haven’t played since Friday, while the Nuggets were in New Orleans, traveled back home for a game with the Blazers on Saturday and now head up North to take on the Raptors in Game 1 of a five-game road swing. I’ll take those positive indicators with a Toronto offense that was the fifth-most efficient in basketball last year facing a team that currently (though only through two games) leads the league in pace of play. Lowry has played 77 minutes in two games and should combine volume with efficiency at an elite level tonight.
Joe Kaiser -- T.J. Warren, Phoenix Suns: Warren is the Suns' leading scorer in the early going (23.3 PPG) and will be called upon to keep the Suns in the game against a Clippers team that looks like a lock to be one of the Western Conference's best teams this season. The Clips had a hard time slowing down opposing small forwards last season, and for the price I see Warren -- who is averaging a hefty 37.7 MPG thus far -- as one of the best values of the night.
Players to fade
Renee Miller -- Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks: Howard has had one great game and one terrible game so far, which is not an unfamiliar pattern for him. His minutes evaporated when Atlanta crushed the 76ers, a fate he could face again tonight. There is also the fact that this is a very short slate. I want safety and consistency with my upside at every position tonight, and I think you get there at center through DeMarcus Cousins or the likes of Jonas Valanciunas, who can be had for less salary than Howard.
Kyle Soppe -- All Phoenix Suns: This team is going to score plenty and will be represented in my “building blocks” far more often than they are my “fades,” but this isn’t a good spot. They are on the second night of a back-to-back and have to deal with a Clippers team that owned one of the five most efficient defenses last year and already rank as such this year. Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker are phenomenal players who I love for annual leagues, but I’m avoiding them and the red-hot T.J. Warren in favor of stacking Raptors.
Joe Kaiser -- Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings: The Atlanta Hawks lead the NBA in defensive efficiency in the early going this season, allowing opponents only 80 points per 100 possessions, and that should limit the upside of just about every player on the Kings tonight. Given the way Kent Bazemore locked down opposing small forwards a season ago, limiting them to an 11.4 PER, Gay is a player to avoid on Monday's short slate.