Since the schedule is so stretched out this week, we’ve only got two games on the NBA slate for Tuesday night. This of course coming a day after Joel Embiid scored zero points against the Raptors and I recommended him to all of you, so if you choose to go elsewhere I understand (although most of my other picks were fine).
So the big thing on this slate is whether or not Kawhi Leonard or Paul George will take a seat for load management with the Los Angeles Clippers on the first of a back-to-back set. If one or both opts to rest, that’d essentially give us all the value plays we need to open this slate up. Let’s take a look at some core plays though to help you start with your lineup construction.
Lou Williams, LAC at DAL, $6,300 — At this point it’d be too easy for me to just recommend Luka Doncic ($11,400) over and over. He’s the obvious core play and should probably make it into most of your lineups. But in trying to capitalize on the absence of Kawhi or PG, Lou Will is a good place to start. He’s still producing off the bench with both superstars healthy, scoring at least 26 points in two of the past three games. His price is super low for a very good game environment vs. the Mavericks.
Others to consider: Luka Doncic, DAL vs. LAC, $11,400; Jamal Murray, DEN vs. WAS, $7,400; Isaiah Thomas, WAS at DEN, $4,600
Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL at LAC, $5,000 — THJ is back on the DFS radar having gone back into the starting lineup for the Mavericks. He played 38 minutes for Dallas in its previous game, scoring a season-high 31 points thanks to some hot shooting. As I mentioned before, the Clippers could rest guys, which would open things up a bit for the Mavericks. I think THJ is a decent all-around play. His ceiling is good for tournaments and his floor is safer if he’s in the starting lineup.
Others to consider: Bradley Beal, WAS at DEN, $9,300; Gary Harris, DEN vs. WAS, $4,200
Paul George, LAC at DAL, $8,200 — My general feeling is Kawhi will rest tonight and maybe PG will take a seat Wednesday, so if that’s the case, I love PG in this spot. He’d be the focal point with no Kawhi and we’ve seen the type of production he’s capable of this season. His price remains affordable for now and his minutes and usage have stabilized. I think for GPPs, George is the play if Kawhi rests.
Others to consider: Will Barton, DEN vs. WAS, $6,100; Davis Bertans, WAS at DEN, $5,200
Paul Millsap, DEN vs. WAS, $5,400 — If this isn’t the perfect spot for the Nuggets’ offense to actually score, I don’t know which is. The Wizards have the worst defense in the NBA and are playing in ridiculous up-and-down contests. Denver slows the pace down, but should get easier buckets against Washington. Millsap is a cheap starter who has been on a tear lately but his price is down for some reason. He has at least 29.5 DKFP in each of his past eight games.
Others to consider: Kristaps Porzingis, DAL vs. LAC, $6,900; Rui Hachimura, WAS at DEN, $4,500
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. WAS, $9,800 — I feel like getting Jokic at under $10K vs. the worst defense in the NBA is a gift. An early Holiday gift. The Wizards should quicken the pace, which could wear Jokic out early, but I still think he’ll manage to get easy buckets and dish out assists. Plus, the higher volume of shots means more boards. Washington has no answer for Jokic defensively, so this could be a ceiling spot if the game doesn’t get out of hand early.
Others to consider: Thomas Bryant, WAS at DEN, $5,800; Dwight Powell, DAL vs. LAC, $4,000