Tuesday’s NBA slate features four 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: Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Hornets ($10,900)
Westbrook has been a phenomenal source of fantasy value recently, and he’s coming off one of the best fantasy performances we’ve seen all season. He racked up 35 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists, resulting in 94.5 DKFP.
That game came with Bradley Beal ($8,900; hip) out of the lineup, and it’s possible that Beal will not suit up again on Tuesday. He’s currently dealing with a right hip contusion after taking a hard fall during Saturday’s contest, and he’s officially questionable vs. the Hornets. Westbrook has unsurprisingly been one of the biggest beneficiaries with Beal off the court this season, increasing his usage rate by 7.5% and averaging 1.53 DKFP per minute.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic ($4,900)
Paul George’s ($8,600; foot) status for tonight is also unknown, and Jackson would be a big beneficiary if he’s ultimately ruled out. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high 8.4% with George, Serge Ibaka (back), Patrick Beverley (knee) and Lou Williams off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.95 DKFP per minute.
Worth Paying Up For: Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards ($7,700)
The top implied team total on today’s slate belongs to the Hornets. They’re not a team you think of as an offensive juggernaut, but they benefit from one of the best possible matchups vs. the Wizards. They rank first in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency, so they have significantly more upside than usual.
Rozier should feast in this spot. He’s played a ton of minutes recently, and he’s increased his production to 1.16 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards ($4,900) Monk sat out the Hornets’ last game, but he’s currently listed as probable for Tuesday’s matchup. He scored at least 32.75 DKFP the last two times he’s suited up, so he’s simply too cheap at $4.9K in an elite matchup.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Malik Monk (foot) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Wizards.
Worth Paying Up For: Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Orlando Magic ($8,800)
Leonard stands out as one of the safest options on the slate. Ibaka and Beverley remain out of the lineup with various injuries, and those absences have given Leonard a boost from a fantasy perspective. He’s scored at least 45.0 DKFP in four-straight games, and he’s averaged 1.34 DKFP per minute with both players off the court this season.
He would see an even larger bump in value if George is unable to suit up for the second-straight game. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.7% with Ibaka, Beverley, George and Williams off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.42 DKFP per minute.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers at Denver Nuggets ($4,800)
Green has played some of his best basketball of the season recently. His stock is on the rise with Joel Embiid (knee) out of the lineup, and he’s scored at least 32.5 DKFP in four of his past six games. He’s increased his production to 0.86 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he should see around 30 minutes vs. the Nuggets.
Worth Paying Up For: Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers at Denver Nuggets ($8,500)
Power forward is probably the weakest position on today’s slate, which makes locking in the safe production from Harris an appealing option. Harris has been doing some serious work for the 76ers with Embiid out of the lineup. He’s scored at least 41.75 DKFP in six of his past eight starts and he’s increased his usage rate by 3.7% in 14 games without Embiid this season. Overall, he’s averaged a team-high 1.26 DKFP per minute in that situation.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Chandler Hutchison, Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Hornets ($3,000)
Hutchison stands out as arguably the best punt play on today’s slate. He logged 25.1 minutes in his first game with the Wizards, and he responded with 23.75 DKFP. Hutchison is the kind of player who can average close to 1.00 DKFP per minute, which makes him an appealing target at the absolute minimum.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($10,500)
This could be the rare slate to target Jokic at reduced ownership. Most people will likely gravitate to Westbrook and Leonard, particularly if their stud teammates are ultimately ruled out. Jokic has also finished with 48.5 DKFP or less in two of his past three games.
That makes Jokic a very appealing pivot. He’s been as good as ever recently, scoring at least 64.0 DKFP in four of his past six games while averaging 1.72 DKFP per minute over the past month. That makes him an elite tournament option, even in a subpar matchup vs. the 76ers.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks ($6,400)
Ayton isn’t seeing a ton of playing time at the moment, but he’s made the most of his minutes. He’s scored at least 33.0 DKFP in five-straight games, and his salary remains very reasonable at $6.4K. There aren’t a ton of cheap centers that stand out on today’s slate, so Ayton is going to give you arguably the best production on a per-dollar basis.
Overall Lineup Strategy
Small slates like this are always interesting, particularly when there isn’t a ton of obvious value. That could change if Beal and/or George gets ruled out, but there are only so many guys priced below $5K that are viable targets at the moment. That’s going to make the ownership very condensed around certain groups of players.
I like targeting Jokic in tournaments, but Leonard seems like the best building block for cash games. I’m also locking in Hutchison at the absolute minimum. He should be able to get me somewhere between 15-25 DKFP, and that’s plenty at his current salary.
After that, I want as many pieces of the Hornets/Wizards game as possible. The Hornets side offers a bit more upside — particularly guys like Rozier and Monk — but the Wizards should have some appeal, as well. Ayton is someone else I’d love to fit in my roster if possible.
The big downside of this balanced approach is not having Westbrook, which could obviously blow up in my face. Westbrook becomes a lock if Beal is inactive, but there’s a chance he fails to return value at $10.9K if Beal suits up.
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