Tuesday’s NBA slate features eight games, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top plays, strategies and injuries to monitor heading into lineup lock.
Worth Paying Up For: Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($9,100)
The Hawks get one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Pelicans. They rank just 28th in defensive efficiency, and the Hawks’ resulting implied team total of 116.0 ranks third on the slate. Young is someone who should thrive in particular. The Pelicans have been dreadful against opposing point guards, allowing the fifth most DKFP per game to the position.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons @ Denver Nuggets ($3,000)
It’s officially Hayes season in Detroit. The talented rookie was selected with the No. 7 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and he’s coming off 34.25 DKFP over 25.1 minutes yesterday. There is some chance that he rests on the second leg of a back-to-back – he’s only played two games since returning from a lengthy injury absence – but he’s a steal at the absolute minimum if he’s active.
Worth Paying Up For: Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers ($8,100)
George stands out as one of the best pure values at the position at just $8,200, and he has the potential for a big performance vs. the Trail Blazers. They rank 29th in defensive efficiency this season, and the Clippers’ implied team total of 117.25 ranks second on the slate.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($5,600)
Evan Fournier will miss his second straight game due to health and safety protocols, which could result in a few additional minutes for Smart. He was limited to just 28.1 minutes in the Celtics’ last game, but that game turned into a blowout. He should be able to play around 34 minutes if tonight’s game is more competitive, and Smart has averaged 0.90 DKFP per minute this season.
Worth Paying Up For: Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers @ Toronto Raptors ($6,800)
Kuzma is coming off a dreadful performance in his last game, finishing with just 18.25 DKFP over 33.1 minutes vs. the Clippers. That’s caused his price tag to decrease by -$600 for tonight’s matchup vs. the Raptors, making him an excellent buy-low target. Kuzma has averaged 0.97 DKFP per minute in nine games without LeBron James and Anthony Davis this season, and he’s averaged 35 minutes per game in those contests.
Best Bang For Your Buck: DeAndre Bembry, Toronto Raptors vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($3,000)
Bembry is priced at the absolute minimum, which makes him basically a free square on tonight’s slate. The Raptors will be without Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, and Rodney Hood for the second straight game, which means Bembry should operate as their primary playmaker. Bembry thrived in that role last night, finishing with 35.25 DKFP points over 30.1 minutes. His current matchup vs. the Lakers is significantly tougher, but he still seems like a lock for 18+ DKFP with the upside for much more. It’s hard to pass up that kind of value.
Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors ($10,700)
There are plenty of values to choose from on today’s slate, but the pickings are a lot slimmer in the stud category. Might I be able to interest you in Antetokounmpo? He got the night off in the Bucks’ last game, but he finished with 72.5 DKFP the last time he suited up. He remains arguably the best producer in fantasy on a per-minute basis, averaging 1.69 DKFP per minute this season, and he takes the floor in an excellent spot vs. the Warriors. The Warriors have played at the second-fastest pace this season, and the Bucks’ implied team total of 122.0 is the top mark on the slate.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls ($4,000)
McDermott is another nice potential source of value on Tuesday. The Pacers are dealing with a bunch of injuries at the moment, with Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Jeremy Lamb all listed as questionable. Sabonis was unable to practice on Monday, which makes him the least likely of the trio to suit up vs. the Bulls.
McDermott would likely draw the start is Sabonis is unable to suit up, and he’s should be expected to play around 30 minutes in that scenario. McDermott has increased his production to 0.93 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with a few extra minutes.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Detroit Pistons ($10,500)
You can easily jam two studs into your lineups tonight, and pairing Giannis with a stud center seems like a nice approach. Jokic has cooled off a bit recently after a torrid first half of the year, and he’s finished with 48.5 DKFP or fewer in four of his past six games. That said, he did bounce back with 53.75 DKFP in his last outing, and he’s in an excellent spot tonight vs. the Pistons. They’ve allowed the 10th-most DKFP per game at the position. Overall, Jokic is simply too talented to continue to struggle forever, and this seems like as good a spot as any for a monster performance.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Goga Bitadze, Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls ($3,00)
Bitadze is yet another minimum-priced player you can consider on tonight’s slate. He’s only in play if Sabonis is ruled out, but he should see a handful of minutes in that situation. He’s averaged a stout 1.30 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s capable of racking up fantasy points quickly.
Overall Lineup Strategy
The first three players I’m locking into my lineup tonight are Bembry, Antetokounmpo, and Jokic. Bembry stands out as easily the top value option on the slate, while Antetokounmpo and Jokic have the highest ceilings. That leaves you an average of around $5,150 for your final five roster spots.
After that, the Pacers are going to dictate the rest of my lineup. If Sabonis is ruled out, McDermott and Bitadze are worth heavy consideration. They will allow you to jam another stud into your lineup and should provide excellent value. If Sabonis and Brogdon are out, I would consider adding T.J. McConnell ($5,300) to that list.
Ultimately, this is a clear stars-and-scrubs night. If more value pops up before lock, I could easily see myself having three $9,000+ players in my lineup.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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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