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Best lineup strategy for Hornets vs. Wizards NBA Showdown

We go over the best DFS strategy for contests centered around Tuesday’s Wizards-Hornets game.

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook during the first half against the Detroit Pistons at Capital One Arena. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets will face off against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday to kick off a small, four-game slate. An injury to one star could affect the best DFS strategy for this game significantly, so it’s important to weigh all your options ahead of tip-off. Let’s go over some quality DraftKings Showdown DFS plays centered around the matchup.

Update: Bradley Beal (hip) has been ruled out.

Captain’s Picks

It’s hard for me to argue that any player will be a better captain than Russell Westbrook ($19,800) in this matchup. He racked up 94.5 DKFP in his last game when Bradley Beal ($16,200/$10,800) was ruled out with a hip injury. The league’s leading scorer is questionable to play on Tuesday. Westbrook is basically a lock to record a triple-double if beal doesn't play. The Hornets’ scoring and playmaking are too evenly distributed to make any of their players a desirable pivot.

If Beal does play, a number of Hornets could be worthwhile targets. If you’re looking to take down a GPP, Gordon Hayward ($14,100) is worth considering. While Hayward is in a bit of a rut, he has an optimal matchup against Garrison Mathews. He’ll likely be off the radar of most DFS players because of the guard-centric approach Charlotte has taken since LaMelo Ball (wrist) got hurt. A bounce-back game from Hayward could be optimal for GPPs, but there’s a to of risk associated when two of the NBA’s most productive fantasy players are better options.

FLEX Plays

Devonte’ Graham ($7,800) has improved his fantasy output in every game, but one since Ball suffered a wrist injury. Graham notched season highs in shots (21) and points (30) on Sunday against the Phoenix Suns and could be just as lethal against a much worse defense. Malik Monk ($4,900) missed Sunday’s game with a foot injury and is a wild card that must be considered for a flex spot, though.

Rui Hachimura ($7,600) could prove to be Washington’s second-most productive player if Beal sits and scored 26 points in his last game. The offensive-minded forward will face a Hornets defense that ranks 30th against power forwards this season. He took 24 shots against the Indiana Pacers, and a similar shot volume could lead to a big-time return on Tuesday.

Fades

While Washington is understaffed at both forward positions, Deni Avidja ($4,000) and Isaac Bonga ($1,000) seem like risky plays. Bonga has nearly fallen out of the rotation, despite Davis Bertans missing time with a calf injury. Avdija plays heavy minutes off the bench at times but hardly gets opportunities to contribute on offense. Taking a flier on Chandler Hutchinson ($1,000), who scored 18 points in 25 minutes in his Wizards debut, might be a good idea, though.

The Outcome

The Hornets are 3-point favorites and will be significantly better at shooting guard, small forward, and center if Beal doesn't play. If the Wizards choose to be cautious and sit the scoring leader, I like Charlotte’s odds to come away with a narrow win.

Final Score: Hornets win 118-110