Tonight’s five-game featured slate is one defined by injury news that actually matters in Los Angeles. LeBron James ($10,900; ankle), he of the perpetual questionable tag, is listed as doubtful to play after suffering an ailment in Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans, while Paul George ($9,000; elbow) has a chance to appear in his first contest since before Christmas.
Keeping those two big storylines in mind, let’s dive in and go position-by-position.
Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks, $8,800 - With a price tag below $9K and the aforementioned James unlikely to be available, expect Westbrook to be a popular asset on Tuesday. The matchup is terrible, but for the season as a whole, the former All-Star possesses a 34.9% usage rate with James and Anthony Davis (foot) off the court. That’s translated to 1.33 DKFP per minute. Westbrook’s also just been playing better since hitting a game-tying three-pointer in. Toronto last week, as he’s exceeded 45.0 DKFP in four of his last five starts.
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets, $3,900 - Putting aside a complete dud against the Magic, Hayes has been playing well across the past couple of weeks, exceeding 25.0 DKFP in five of his last seven games. The sophomore is obviously more valuable when Cory Joseph ($4,200) is unavailable; however, on a small slate like this and in a matchup with a Nets squad that’s struggled to defend all season, Hayes is worth a look.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets vs. Detroit Pistons, $10,800 - Irving’s first game back in Brooklyn didn’t go as well as he probably would’ve hoped, but the fact that the guard logged 40.5 minutes and attempted 22 field goals is enough to showcase his potential upside. I guess averaging 31.6 points per contest in March is also a good signifier of that ceiling. With the Nets in possession of far and away this slate’s highest projected team total, Irving deserves your attention.
Malik Monk, Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks, $5,200 - Chalk up another viable Lakers asset made possible by an injury to LeBron. Monk has been a vital part of Los Angeles’ rotation for a while now, as the wing has averaged a season-best 30.4 minutes per game so far in March. That’s included 15.5 points per contest and a respectable .595 true shooting rate. Monk’s also scored 46 points and hoisted up 37 shots in the Lakers’ past two games, so you know he’s not shy.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers, $11,700 - By this point, we all know the deal with Giannis. The former MVP is averaging a prolific 1.73 DKFP per minute this season, but it’s all about finding a spot where the big man will actually be forced into a heavy workload. In fact, the last seven times Antetokounmpo has logged at least 35 minutes in a contest, he’s averaged 70.5 DKFP. Well, with the Bucks actually slight underdogs on the road in Philadelphia, this would appear to be one of those spots.
Corey Kispert, Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls, $3,900 - In general, I think this game has the potential to be a DFS goldmine. Neither Washington nor Chicago has had much interest in defending as of late, which means we could have a barnburner on our hands. That’s great news for particularly someone like Kispert, who derives almost 100% of his value from scoring the basketball. Well, scoring and sheer minutes volume. Kispert, on the heels of a career-high 25 point performance, is averaging 32.0 minutes across his past nine appearances — good for second-best on the Wizards.
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards, $8,300 - First and foremost, it’s worth noting that this is cheapest DeRozan’s price tag has been since late January. That by itself is enough reason to give the All-Star some attention on Tuesday. Beyond that, Monday’s performance against the Knicks was really encouraging. DeRozan dropped 37 points in 41.2 minutes of action, but he also dished out seven assists. That’s crucial when talking about ceiling with the veteran, as DeRozan’s playmaking has been hurt by the return of Alex Caruso ($5,300).
Juan Hernangomez, Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers, $4,000 - There’s still a lot that needs to be settled with the Jazz before we have a clear picture of their rotation for Tuesday. Namely, the statuses of Rudy Gobert ($7,300; leg) and Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,600; calf), both of whom are questionable against the Clippers. If neither are available, Hernangomez is the obvious beneficiary, as the veteran has notched 23.5 DKFP in each of his past two games, all while averaging 28.6 minutes per game. Rudy Gay ($3,400) could also be an asset to keep on eye on with Utah.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $11,300 - While Embiid’s production has taken a little dip with James Harden ($10,200) playing by his side, the big man is still averaging an insane 1.59 DKFP per minute in the month of March. Like the aforementioned Antetokounmpo, a ceiling performance is on the table for Embiid tonight given the possibility of a tight game script. It also doesn’t hurt that this should be an uptempo contest, as Milwaukee leads the Eastern Conference in pace (100.5).
Isaiah Hartenstein, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz, $4,700 - Hartenstein and Ivica Zubac ($5,400) are essentially splitting the Clippers’ center minutes 50/50 as of late, and the former has tended to be more productive with a cheaper price tag. To wit, Hartenstein has exceeded 30.0 DKFP in each of his past three games, including 38.25 DKFP against this same Jazz squad back on Mar. 18. I’m willing to go back to the well.
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