With today being the first day of March, I think it’s fair to say we’ve entered the home stretch of the NBA regular season. Most teams only have about 20 contests remaining, and with the recently expanded playoff format, there’s more squads jockeying for positioning than ever before.
On this particular Tuesday, we find ourselves with a six-game slate. Let’s dive in and go position-by-position.
Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets, $8,200 - Jackson’s price point has risen steadily across the past couple of weeks, and there’s a few reasons for that. First and foremost, with the Clippers dealing with so many injuries to key offensive pieces, Jackson’s had to take on some serious volume. To wit, in the team’s past six games, the veteran leads Los Angeles in minutes (210), field goal attempts (110) and usage rate (28.0%). Jackson’s also managed to be relatively efficient within this span, posting 1.11 DKFP per minute logged. The other reason Jackson’s salary keeps going up? The Clippers keep facing the Rockets. Tuesday will mark the third time in four contests these two squads clash, with the guard clearing 40.0 DKFP on the prior two occasions.
Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets, $3,100 - This is a situation that I would deem “necessary chalk.” Flynn is going to be a popular asset if Fred VanVleet ($8,500; knee) is forced to miss another game, especially considering his price tag is up just $100 since Monday evening. Flynn started that contest, logging 33.4 minutes and registering 36.0 DKFP in a blowout victory. It’s doubtful 12x value is on the table for a second straight night, but with the Raptors’ lack of guard depth — and the fact the Nets own the league’s worst defensive rating over their past five contests (121.8) — Flynn should have little issue finding success.
D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors, $7,600 - Russell hasn’t been the most consistent DFS asset in 2021-22, yet much of any recent struggles can primarily been chalked up to script. With an uptempo pace and a sometimes shaky defense, Timberwolves games can get a little lopsided; however the last eight occasions where Russell’s needed to log in excess of 33.0 minutes, he’s averaging 43.9 DKFP per contest. Considering tonight’s matchup with the Warriors has the lowest spread and the highest total of any game on the DraftKings Sportsbook, it’s a nice environment to utilize Russell.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons, $4,400 - This number is a little inflated by last week’s double-OT loss to San Antonio, but Caldwell-Pope is averaging a very enticing 34.3 minutes per contest over his last five starts. With the Pistons currently surrendering the most DKFP per game to opposing shooting guards — and conceding 117.1 points per 100 possessions across their past 10 games — KCP should be on the court long enough to do some damage and have a real impact.
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LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks, $11,200 - While James is currently listed as questionable for Tuesday, history tells us the All-Star will be on the court against the Mavericks. Probably for quite a long time, too. James is averaging 37.2 minutes across his past nine starts, which is a considerable number in a vacuum, but even more tantalizing when you understand the workload the former MVP has shouldered in that same span. Since Jan. 23, James owns a 33.3% usage rate and he’s producing 1.43 DKFP per minute. With James unable to coast till the playoffs like previous regular seasons, he’s been a dynamic DFS asset as of late.
Moses Moody, Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves, $3,000 - Moody had an underwhelming performance his last time out against the Mavericks. Despite getting the spot start ahead of the absent Klay Thompson (illness) and logging 25.2 minutes, Moody registered just 11.75 DKFP with a microscopic 10.3% usage rate. Still, at the bare minimum price, Moody was a single made three-pointer away from bringing back 5x value. That’s the beauty of finding an asset with a salary this low. In what should be a more uptempo and high-scoring environment, I’d expect Moody to be better the second time around.
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets, $8,900 - In three games since the All-Star break, Siakam is shooting a putrid 25.6% (11-for-43) from the field. On Monday, in a contest where the Raptors scored 133 points, Siakam somehow finished with just eight. Needless to say, the former All-Star has been disappointing as he’s battled an illness, yet I think this is a nice spot to jump on Siakam while most will be scared away. From Jan. 29 to Feb. 12, Siakam averaged 52.9 DKFP per contest. His ceiling is massive, especially if the aforementioned VanVleet is unavailable. At some point, his shot will start falling again.
Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks, $4,800 - In the two games since returning from a hamstring issue, Anthony’s picked up right where he left off. The veteran has been a key piece of Frank Vogel’s rotation, as Anthony’s 58 minutes within that span trail only James and Russell Westbrook ($8,300) for the team lead. Also, in a scenario where LeBron does sit due to knee soreness, Anthony’s value would skyrocket. Keep an eye.
Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets, $6,100 - It’s a little insane that Zubac’s price tag is up $1,000 since Sunday’s 50.75 DKFP performance against this same Rockets team, but it’s not like that was an isolated incident for the big man. With Serge Ibaka now in Milwaukee, Zubac has thrived in an expanded role, exceeding 29.0 DKFP in five of his last six games. He’s also managed at least 38.0 DKFP three times within that same span. With Houston surrendering the most DKFP per contest to opposing centers, it’s hard not to like Zubac in the rematch on Tuesday.
Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,000 - Figuring out Nick Nurse’s rotation remains a difficult task even with someone like OG Anunoby (finger) sidelined. Still, it appears that Achiuwa has been the main beneficiary of Anunoby’s absence, even if it’s Khem Birch ($3,200) who continues to draw the start. Achiuwa is averaging 25.8 minutes in the three games Anunoby has missed since the All-Star break, with the Memphis product scoring at least 20 points in each of his past two appearances off the bench. Small sample, but it also doesn’t hurt that Achiuwa shot 50.0% (11-for-22) from three-point range in February.
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