The NBA is officially back and bringing us slates like never before. Tuesday’s seven-gamer tips off at 1:00 p.m. ET and continues with games tipping off all the way through 9:00 p.m. ET. This makes following along with all the news on DK Live even more important — especially with this being the last week of the regular season. After the insane flow of news we got on Monday, you’ll need to lock in if you plan on playing a slate this week. Things will be constantly shifting.
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Worth Paying Up For: Damian Lillard, POR vs. DAL ($9,800)
This slate is going to be a wild one, so one of the important things to focus on it locking in players with something to play for, at least when it comes to paying up. Lillard and the Trail Blazers are still battling to make the playoffs and will be going all out against the Mavs. Dame’s coming off outings of 68 and 80 DKFP in his last three games and averaged 56 DKFP in three matchups with the Mavs this season. Dallas is locked into the 7-seed in the west.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Corey Joseph, SAC vs. NO ($3,700)
This matchup is going to be an interesting one, as the Pelicans and Kings were both eliminated from the postseason. With all the stars sitting, value is everywhere. Joseph should get a ton of run at PG for the Kings, and the Pelicans have played arguably the worst perimeter defense of any team in the bubble.
Strategy kind of goes out the window at this point. It’s difficult to even spend all your salary, so whatever approach you want to take, you’ll be able to build a lineup. Russell Westbrook ($9,300) should be a very popular play, but we need to factor in what Houston’s motivation may be. Meanwhile, the Rockets face a Spurs squad trying to keep its postseason hope alive. Other teams with value at PG include the Magic, Pelicans, Nets and Sixers.
Worth Paying Up For: Devin Booker, PHO vs. PHI ($8,800)
Again, playing it safe here with someone we know is going to come to compete today. The 6-0 Suns are looking to run the table in the bubble and fight their way into the postseason. Look for Book to keep going hard against an extremely shorthanded Philly squad. Predicting minutes is impossible at this point, so targeting studs we know will play significant minutes has more value than ever.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Markelle Fultz, ORL vs. BKN ($4,600)
The Magic will be without a handful of key contributors, opening up a large role for Fultz. He stepped up in this spot Sunday against Boston, scoring 44.5 DKFP in 33 minutes. He has a terrific matchup against the Nets’ third-stringers, although that lineup found a way to take down the Bucks.
Stick to spots we can try and predict most, and then take risks with your values. Fultz feels like one of the safer values on the slate, but all the same teams that offer PG value here offer SG value as well. Add the Kings to the mix here again as well.
Worth Paying Up For: DeMar DeRozan, SA vs. HOU ($8,000)
Same strategy again, guys. SF is arguably the weakest position on the slate, but the Spurs are still alive to reach the postseason, even if it’s extremely unlikely. DDR has a very good matchup against the Rockets, whose motivation we can still question to a degree. Houston’s seeding is still up in the air, but if it cared, James Harden wouldn’t be resting.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, BKN vs. ORL ($3,600)
The Nets will be sitting their top players against the Magic, and last time around, that meant a big game for TLC. He played 31 minutes against the Bucks in an identical spot, finishing with 33.75 DKFP. He bring that 10X potential again on this slate.
Luka Doncic ($10,800) is an interesting name. He had a huge game against the Bucks on Saturday, but rested on Monday. While he’s a tempting play given the matchup and how weak SF is, I think we have to fade him here. Dallas is playing for nothing at this point. Stick to DDR or value.
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Worth Paying Up For: Deandre Ayton, PHX vs. PHI ($7,900)
It was an interesting Monday for Ayton, who missed his coronavirus test on Sunday, and had to be cleared on Monday before he could face the Thunder. Ultimately, he was cleared, but was late to the game, and played awful. However, Ayton played just 17 minutes, so he’s rested for a 76ers squad that seems to be accepting its faith as the 6-seed. This sets up as a strong bounce-back spot.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Rodions Kurucs, BKN vs. ORL ($4,100)
Kurucs has been another common value when the Nets rest players. He’s played 31 minutes in consecutive games with some of Brooklyn’s top players playing, so look for him to take over a featured role against Orlando.
Brooklyn is loaded with value at PF. Orlando and New Orleans are other places to look for cheap targets. If you want to pay up for two PF plays with something to play for (and either can also slot at C), Jusuf Nurkic ($9,000) is in a must-win spot against the Mavericks. He’s another one of the safe plays we can trust paying up for.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. BKN ($8,600)
I’m a little concerned the Magic may just pack it in and get ready for the Bucks in the first-round, but so shorthanded, Vuce should be extremely productive in his minutes. He scored 37.75 DKFP in 27 minutes in his first game in the bubble against the Nets, so if he does wind up playing 30-plus minutes, he’s in a great spot to exceed value. Without many spots to trust paying for, Vuce is a consideration.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Jaxson Hayes, NO vs. SAC ($3,400)
The Pelicans are packing it in and playing their bench from here out in the bubble, as are the Kings. This should be one of the sloppiest NBA games you’ll see, but that can be a good place to dig up some fantasy value. Hayes has the potential to see 30-plus minutes in this one, and the pace of play should be very favorable.
It’s all about figuring out who we can trust on this slate. Vucevic, along with Kristaps Porzingis ($8,200), are supposed to play in their games, but don’t have much to play for. If you trust them, play them. If not, Ayton and Nurk are the pay up spots for bigs, since we know they’re motivated.
OUT (Opt-out players not included)
James Harden (rest)
Joel Embiid (ankle)
Ben Simmons (knee)
Jrue Holiday (elbow)
Brandon Ingram (knee)
Zion Williamson (knee)
De’Aaron Fox (shoulder)
Caris LeVert (thigh)
Jarrett Allen (ankle)
Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee)
Terrance Ross (personal)
Josh Richardson (rest)
Jonathan Isaac (knee)
Joe Harris (groin)
Kelly Oubre Jr. (knee)
Garrett Temple (rest)
Jamal Crawford (hamstring)
Aron Baynes (knee)
Richaun Holmes (hip)
Eric Gordon (ankle)
Tyus Jones (knee)
Bryn Forbes (quad)
Luka Doncic (ankle)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (tooth)
Tobias Harris (ankle)
Kristaps Porzingis (knee)
Al Horford (knee)
Derrick White (knee)
Dorian Finney-Smith (hip)
Danuel House (toe)
Shabazz Napier (ankle)
Kent Bazemore (calf)
Aaron Gordon (hamstring)
Evan Fournier (illness)
Michael Carter-Williams (foot)
Daniel Theis (foot)
Hassan Whiteside (hip)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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