Tonight’s five-game NBA slate on DraftKings is going to hit you in waves. Well, two waves, if we’re being specific. That’s because this evening’s action is divided across two distinct time zones. We’ve got two contests tipping at 7:30 p.m. ET on the east coast, then we’ve got three matchups scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. ET in the pacific. Just keep that in mind, as late swap could play a huge role in Tuesday’s action.
For everything else, let’s go position-by-position and break it all down.
James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks, $11,300 - Say what you will about how it actually looks on the court, but Harden’s been producing from a fantasy perspective in big ways as of late. Going back to Nov. 17, the All-Star is averaging 56.3 DKFP per game and an even more impressive 1.41 DKFP per minute. Essentially, for all he’s lost in the scoring department, he’s made up for with assists and rebounds. Heck, in the 39.8 minutes he logged in Sunday’s loss to the Suns, Harden registered more helpers (14) and boards (13) than points (12). In what projects to be a close contests against the Knicks, I’d expect Harden to once again see over 35 minutes at heavy usage.
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets, $4,800 - This is a situation you’ll have to keep your eyes on throughout the day. As it stands this morning, the Knicks have listed both Derrick Rose ($4,300; ankle) and R.J. Barrett ($5,800; illness) as questionable, while it was announced on Monday that the struggling Kemba Walker ($4,700) would be out of the rotation. Alec Burks ($5,600) is going to be the main beneficiary of all this, but if one of Rose or Barrett sits, you’d have to imagine Quickley’s in line for 25-30 minutes against the Nets. That’s enticing at a price tag below $5K.
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $8,700 - Volume. This is a play that’s all about volume. No one on the Raptors is an efficiency or usage savant, but that doesn’t matter much with an asset like VanVleet, as the diminutive point guard never leaves the floor. Across Toronto’s past four games — a span where VanVleet is averaging 42.9 DKFP — the former UDFA has logged 38.4 minutes per contest, all while producing a 62.0% true shooting rate. Memphis has the league’s worst defensive rating (114.8) and its allowed the second-most DKFP per game to opposing point guards. Seems like a perfect spot to me.
Svi Mykhailiuk, Toronto Raptors vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $3,800 - Nick Nurse tends to have a tight rotation, even with a couple of his starters on the shelf. That’s exactly what we saw play out in the Raptors’ recent loss to the Celtics, where Mykhailiuk drew the spot start and logged 37.8 minutes. The wing shot just 5-for-14 in that contest, yet managed to finish with a respectable 32.0 DKFP. If Gary Trent ($5,400; calf) is sidelined for a second-straight game, I’d anticipate Mykhailiuk having a similar role. Considering the Grizzlies’ aforementioned defensive woes, that’s a lot of volume for an asset priced below $4K.
Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies at Toronto Raptors, $7,000 - Dillon Brooks’ favorite player is definitely Dillon Brooks. The man has no conscience when it comes to taking shots and we’ve seen just that in the small sample he’s played without Ja Morant (knee) so far this season. In 159 possession with the former second-overall pick off the court, Brooks is averaging 1.32 DKFP per minute with a 35.7% usage rate. To add more fuel to the fire this evening, the Mississauga-born Brooks will be playing in front of his hometown fans. Lock in 20-plus field goal attempts.
Editor’s Note: Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard (abdominal), SF Norman Powell (quad) and SF/PF Nassir Little (ankle) have been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Pistons.
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons , $3,500 - This play hinges on the status of Norman Powell ($5,200; quad) , but if the former second-round pick missing tonight’s contest, it opens up a lot of minutes for Little and, to a lesser extent, Tony Snell ($3,100). Little doesn’t possess a huge ceiling playing alongside usage monsters in Damian Lillard ($9,700) , C.J. McCollum ($7,900) and Anfernee Simons ($4,000) , yet he’s logged at least 20 minutes in 10 consecutive games and he’s registered 20-plus DKFP in four of his last nine appearances. There’s value here.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies at Toronto Raptors, $6,700 - Jackson just seems a little underpriced on this slate. The big man is in possession of a 31.7% usage rate in the 181 minutes he’s logged without Morant this season, and the Raptors are a tempting matchup for an interior player with Jackson’s skill. To wit, in the month of November, Toronto owns the Eastern Conference’s worst defensive rating (115.1) and its lowest defensive rebounding rate (68.4%). I’d be taking a serious look at Jackson’s rebounding prop — O6.5 (+100) — on the DraftKings Sportsbook, too.
Chimezie Metu, Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $4,100 - It would appear that Richaun Holmes ($6,200) is set to return to the Kings’ lineup this evening, but Harrison Barnes ($5,900; foot) is once again listed as doubtful. That should open things up for Metu to make his eighth start of the season. Metu’s shot has not been falling the past five games — he’s 3-for-23 from three-point range within that span — however, the big man has been active on the glass and he’s managed to block at least one shot in every start he’s made. If he’s able to find his stroke on Tuesday, we could we looking at 7x or 8x value.
Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Detroit Pistons, $6,400 - It’s always a little nerve-wracking investing in Nurkic, as his role has fluctuated from game-to-game so far in 2021-22, but he has a massive amount of upside in tonight’s matchup with the Pistons. Not only is Detroit the worst rebounding team in the NBA according to total rebounding rate (47.8%), but Nurkic is averaging an eye-popping 1.44 DKFP per minute dating back to Nov. 17. If he can log at least 25 minutes on Tuesday, he could break the slate wide-open.
Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $4,400 - Sneakily, I think this could be the highest-scoring game on the slate. Both defenses are awful, and while the over is 7-2 in Toronto’s past nine contests, its also hit in each of Memphis’ past seven. Meanwhile, Achiuwa has re-joined the Raptors’ starting five with Khem Birch (knee) unavailable, and the sophomore as averaged 32.5 minutes in his past three starts. He’s not been efficient, but that’s a tantalizing role for a price tag this small.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.