We have a three-game NBA slate on Tuesday, and it should be a good one. The action gets underway with the Nets vs. the Celtics at 7:30 p.m. ET, and the Nets will be looking to close out the series with a win. Then, we have two crucial Game 5’s between teams tied at two games apiece: Lakers vs. Suns and Blazers vs. Nuggets. Overall, it should be an entertaining night of basketball.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics ($8,800) – Irving is coming off an eventful Game 4 vs. the Celtics. The majority of attention got placed on what happened after the game, but don’t forget how dominant this guy was on the court. He finished with 63.75 DKFP thanks to 39 points and 11 rebounds. The Nets lead the slate with an implied team total of 123.0 points, and his $8.8K salary is very reasonable considering his ceiling.
Other Options – Damian Lillard ($9,600), Chris Paul ($6,600)
Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets ($3,200) – The Celtics are not in a very good place at the moment. They’re facing elimination in Brooklyn this evening, and they’re expected to be without Kemba Walker ($6,900; knee) and Robert Williams ($4,900; ankle) for the second straight game. That’s not good for their chances of winning this contest, but it is a positive for Pritchard’s fantasy stock. He played 23.7 minutes with both players out of the lineup in Game 4 and responded with 22.75 DKFP. He’s too cheap at $3.2K.
Other Options – Dennis Schroder ($5,800), Austin Rivers ($4,400)
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James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics ($10,600) – Harden got off to a slow start in this series, but he’s racked up at least 65.75 DKFP in his past two games. Overall, he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.60 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is the second-highest mark among today’s players. He has the potential to play more than 40 minutes vs. the Celtics, and that’s obviously an appealing combination.
Other Options – Devin Booker ($8,100), C.J. McCollum ($7,500)
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets ($6,500) – Smart is another member of the Celtics who should be asked to pick up the slack with Walker and Williams likely out of the lineup. He’s finished with at least 37.75 DKFP in three-straight games, and his 21.5% usage rate in Game 4 was his highest of the series. He’s seen a 3.8% usage bump with Walker and Jaylen Brown off the court this season, which is the third-highest mark on the team.
Other Options – Evan Fournier ($6,200), Romeo Langford ($3,300)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns ($9,800) – LeBron has not been asked to carry a large workload for the Lakers since returning from an ankle injury. His fantasy production has dipped to just 1.36 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s scored less than 50.0 DKFP in five of his past seven games. That’s not what we’ve come to expect from LeBron, particularly during the playoffs.
Of course, the injury to Anthony Davis ($9,400; groin) changes everything. He’s not expected to suit up tonight in a crucial Game 5 vs. the Suns. History suggests that whichever team wins this game will win the series, and the Lakers enter this contest as underdogs. With that in mind, LeBron is going to have to carry a heavy burden. There’s zero chance I’m fading him at his current price tag in a must-win contest for the Lakers.
Other Options – Michael Porter Jr. ($7,000)
Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics ($3,500) – Brown is one of the better punt plays on the slate at just $3.5K. He’s averaged 1.00 DKFP per minute over the past month, which is an absolutely elite mark considering his price tag. He’s played at least 21.6 minutes in two of his past three games, and that should be enough playing time for him to return value.
Other Options – Norman Powell ($5,600), Jae Crowder ($4,700)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets ($10,000) – The only way that the Celtics survive elimination tonight is if Tatum is the best player on the court. That’s unlikely when he’s sharing the court with Harden, Irving and Kevin Durant ($10,200), but it’s not impossible. He’s already had two 50-point games during the postseason, and he has blossomed into a bonafide superstar over the past two seasons. Tatum has increased his usage rate by a team-high 5.9% with Brown and Walker off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.37 DKFP per minute. He should play at least 40 minutes in Game 5, making him an excellent target at $10K.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($10,200)
Markieff Morris, Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns ($3,000) – There are more value options than usual for a postseason slate, and Morris deserves to be added to the list. He could potentially move into the starting lineup if Davis is ruled out, and he should see a boost in minutes even if he comes off the bench. He’s averaged 0.78 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to pay off his current salary.
Other Options – Aaron Gordon ($5,300), Kyle Kuzma ($4,600)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers ($10,400) – The Nuggets and Blazers will also enter a crucial Game 5 tied at two games apiece. Jokic is coming off a subpar performance in Game 4, finishing with just 28.25 DKFP over 26.7 minutes, but he had scored at least 56.5 DKFP in each of his previous three games. His average of 1.67 DKFP per minute over the past month is the top mark among today’s players, and he’s one of the strongest options to pay up for on the slate.
Other Options – Deandre Ayton ($7,400), Jusuf Nurkic ($7,100)
Marc Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns ($3,600) – The Lakers have dusted off Gasol during this series, and he’s given them some quality minutes. He’s coming off a series-high 23.3 minutes in Game 4, and he responded with 35.5 DKFP. He should see a similar workload on Tuesday if Davis is ruled out, making him very interesting at just $3.6K.
Other Options – Tristan Thompson ($5,500), Robert Covington ($4,800)
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