I’ve got a real bone to pick with whoever is making the NBA schedule. Look, it’s been hard enough to remember what day it is the past two years, but now we’ve got huge 10-game slates on a Tuesday? What is that? I’m discombobulated. I’m flummoxed. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Yet, we can only persevere. Let’s go position-by-position and try to make some sense of this affront to basketball tradition.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers, $9,800 - Young is a little cold from distance coming into Tuesday. In fact, the All-Star has missed his last 10 attempts from three-point range. However, despite the struggles, Young is still averaging a robust 1.35 DKFP per minute over his last four starts, and I don’t think Indiana has the defensive capacity to slow the lightning quick guard down. Across their past 12 contests, the Pacers not only possess the league’s second-worst defensive rating (118.5), but they’re also playing at the NBA’s sixth-fastest pace (99.8). That combination is a DFS goldmine.
Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics, $4,800 - Regardless of whether or not James Harden ($11,200; hamstring) ends up playing through a questionable tag, Thomas will be a popular option on Tuesday’s slate. With the Nets functioning as a “single-star” team over their past two games, Thomas has ranked second on Brooklyn in minutes logged (63.4) and first in both usage (30.0%) and DKFP earned per minute (1.22). With Kyrie Irving (personal) out, Thomas is guaranteed to be a high-volume asset. Also keep an eye on Jevon Carter ($3,000) if Harden is eventually ruled inactive.
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets, $9,200 - Ingram is the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, and it’s not difficult to figure out why when looking at his recent box scores. Not only is the forward on the heels of a 63.75 DKFP performance against these very same Rockets on Sunday, but Ingram’s one of three players who is averaging at least 20.0 potential assists over his last two contests, joining the aforementioned Young and Luka Doncic ($12,200). Pairing that assist upside with Ingram’s scoring ability is lethal; especially when squaring off with an opponent as poor as Houston.
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons, $5,600 - The Mavericks are currently desperate to find a running mate for Doncic, particularly with both Kristaps Porzingis (knee) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot) unavailable. That’s meant a massive uptick in volume for Bullock, who has logged 37.6 minutes per game over Dallas’ past three contests. Not surprisingly, that role has translated into Bullock scoring at least 20 points and attempting at least 10 three-pointers in all three of those opportunities. That’s quite a few shots.
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RJ Barrett, New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets, $7,000 - I’m a little concerned that Barrett is on the second night of a back-to-back, but when has that every effected Tom Thibodeau’s rotations before? In three games so far in February, Barrett is averaging 43.7 minutes and 27.3 points per game. Heck, if you want to take it all the way back to the beginning of December, the former lottery pick has a team-high 28.9% usage rate and he’s averaging exactly 1.00 DKFP per minute logged. Not too get too simple, but $7K just isn’t a big enough price tag.
Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks, $5,500 - In Indiana’s most recent contest against Cleveland, it was Duarte who led the team in points (22) and minutes played (35.7). Obviously, there were a couple special circumstances that allowed this to happen. Caris LeVert ($9,100) was traded and unavailable, Malcolm Brogdon ($7,200; Achilles) remained sidelined due to injury and Domantas Sabonis ($9,400) had his playing time capped coming out of the league’s health and safety protocols. Still, as long as Brogdon doesn’t suit up through a questionable designation on Tuesday, Duarte should see a similar role once again.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers, $11,800 - The Bucks are one of four teams with an implied total above 118 points on Tuesday night. So, not that he always needs it to thrive, but Giannis is in a really good spot. Antetokounmpo has been on fire as of late, producing a whopping 1.70 DKFP per minute going back across his last 13 games. With LeBron James ($10,500) back in the mix for the Lakers, I’d expect them to keep this one close, which is generally all the Greek Freak needs to hit his ceiling.
Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons, $5,000 - Smith is basically in the exact same situation as the aforementioned Bullock, yet he’s somehow playing even more minutes. In fact, across his past four starts, Finney-Smith leads the entire NBA in average minutes per game (40.7). That’s yet to translate into a huge DFS performance, but that’s quite the starting point in a matchup against the Pistons. Detroit’s surrendered an insane 117.1 opponent points per 100 possessions over its last 15 contests. If there were ever a time for Finney-Smith to show off some upside, it would be Tuesday.
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $10,400 - This slate is stacked with elite options at center, but Davis is the lone man above $10K where you could make the case he’s underpriced. There’s no question that the big man is back up to full-speed, as Davis has averaged an eye-popping 38.6 minutes over his last three starts. That hasn’t been empty volume, either. Davis has turned those minutes into 29.3 points, 16.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 63.1 DKFP. In a pace-up spot against the Bucks, I can’t see Davis cooling off.
Editor’s Note: Knicks C Mitchell Robinson (back) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Nuggets.
Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets, $5,400 - I wouldn’t expect Robinson to recreate his 21-point, 19-rebound performance from Monday; however, the center’s recent uptick in minutes is notable, especially in a matchup where his size will be needed against Nikola Jokic ($12,600) . Mitchell’s averaging a robust 42.2 DKFP the last five times he’s logged at least 30 minutes for the Knicks. If he can manage to stay out of foul trouble this evening, he should have little issue bringing back value.
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