Tuesday’s eight-game NBA slate offers us plenty of flexibility. There’s cheap value, mid-priced plays and studs in smash spots, which means plenty of ways to construct your lineup. Here’s your cheat sheet for each position:
Target worth paying up for: Mike Conley ($6,200) vs. BKN (27th)
I think there are a lot of targets in the mid-price range on this slate to build around. After a rough start to his tenure in Utah, Conley’s picked up the slack, but his salary’s still low. Brooklyn’s a perfect game for him to continue playing well in, as the Nets are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. The Jazz just had their best offensive performance of the season against Golden State and should keep up the scoring in this spot at home.
Best value: Corey Joseph ($3,700) vs. POR (28th)
With De’Aaron Fox (ankle) sidelined for the first game of a 3-4 week absence, the Kings will open up a ton of minutes and usage in their backcourt. Joseph, who already has scored at least 24 DKFP in consecutive games with Fox on the floor, should be put in the best position. He likely will get plenty of run at the PG spot, while Yogi Ferrell ($3,000) should jump into the backup role.
The guard positions offer the best value on the slate. So with a lot of strong frontcourt options, make sure you take advantage. Joseph could wind up being the highest owned player on the slate, pending any monster news.
Target worth paying up for: Buddy Hield ($6,600) vs. POR (25th)
I’m not looking to pay up too high in the backcourt. If you need to cram value, you also can look to Hield in the frontcourt at SF or F. With Fox out, the pay-down spots are at PG, but some scoring duties should fall to Hield. He’s been a solid play on recent slates, going 5-6x on three straight slates. Take his extra scoring chances against a below-average Portland defense into account, and Hield’s in a great spot on this slate.
Best value: Spencer Dinwiddie ($5,500) at UTA (1st))
It’s a brutal matchup against Utah, but everything else is working in Dinwiddie’s favor on this slate. He’s coming off two of his strongest games of the season, averaging about 42 DKFP in those outings. Caris LeVert (thumb) has been ruled out for this one, which opens up an even larger role for Dinwiddie here. Utah’s pace could slow things down, but the Jazz sped up a little but in their matchup against the Warriors on Monday. Dinwiddie’s underpriced to his role to the point the matchup doesn’t matter.
Jimmy Butler ($7,800) would be the alternate option to pay up for if you have a little more room, but I’d prefer to use a SF/F slot on him. Other guard values to consider: Luke Kennard ($6,000), Gary Harris ($4,500), Coby White ($4,100), Rodney Hood ($3,400).
Target worth paying up for: LeBron James ($10,500) at PHO (3rd)
After an off-game from a fantasy perspective Friday, LeBron went for his fourth triple-double in five games Sunday. He’s a safe cash-game play on this slate, and we should have enough value pieces to find our way up to LBJ. He’s the stud with the least downside on this slate.
Best value: Markieff Morris ($4,100) at MIA (19th)
The Pistons got some bodies back for Monday’s game against the Timberwolves and will give some of them the night off on the second leg of a back-to-back. That re-opens a larger role for Morris, who’s scored 80 DKFP in his past three games combined.
You’re likely spending money at SF one way or another. If you’re not paying all the way up to LeBron, it’s tough to fade Butler, Hield or a play like Tobias Harris ($6,800), given the 76ers’ injury report.
Target worth paying up for: Domantas Sabonis ($8,400) vs. OKC (27th)
Sabonis is averaging just about 50 DKFP over his past five games and is significantly underpriced against his former team. OKC ranks just 27th in DKFP allowed to PFs, and Indy will continue to be without three key frontcourt pieces. I probably could land on a build where I’d be happy with Sabonis as my most expensive player on this slate, although you certainly don’t need to.
Best value: Harrison Barnes ($5,900) vs. POR (14th)
Barnes should see some trickle-down in usage with Fox out. Hield and the backup PGs can’t do it all, and Barnes has gone 5-7x for this price point in his past five games. Look for a slight uptick in usage to put him at the higher end of that return.
PF is the easiest position to navigate on this slate. Every play you’d want to consider has dual-position eligibility, opening plenty of ways to fit them. Value is a little dicey, but Kelly Olynyk ($3,900) could shape up as the deeper value play, depending how Miami’s injury report plays out.
Target worth paying up for: Rudy Gobert ($7,500) vs. BKN (24th)
Gobert’s salary has come down significantly since the season began, and he’s performed well in favorable matchups. Gobert went for 51.5 DKFP on Monday against the Warriors, which would have his salary significantly higher if this wasn’t a back-to-back. The Nets are terrible against bigs, setting up another smash spot.
Best value: Bobby Portis ($5,500) vs. CHI (28th)
It’s a revenge narrative for Portis here against the Bulls, which might actually mean something given his crazy history. But more importantly, Mitchell Robinson (concussion) remains out, which has meant a significant role for Portis the past two games. The Bulls also happen to be terrible defending bigs.
I’ll pay up for two centers if I can, which is the case on most slates. Gobert’s an affordable pay-up option, but Joel Embiid ($9,400) and Andre Drummond ($8,900) both stand out after reviewing Wednesday’s injury reports. They should see expanded roles.
Key news to monitor on DK Live:QUESTIONABLE
Ben Simmons (shoulder)
Tyler Herro (ankle)
Kelly Olynyk (knee)
Anthony Davis (shoulder)
Rajon Rondo (calf)
Hassan Whiteside (foot)
Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb)
Alex Len (ankle)
Dwayne Dedmon (knee)
Cam Reddish (shoulder)
Rodney Hood (back)
De’Aaron Fox (ankle)
Al Horford (rest)
Blake Griffin (rest)
Derrick Rose (rest)
Myles Turner (ankle)
Jeremy Lamb (ankle)
Caris LeVert (thumb)
Otto Porter Jr. (foot)
Justise Winslow (concussion)
Mitchell Robinson (concussion)
Goga Bitadze (concussion)
Vince Carter (personal)
Get all the news and analysis up to the minute on DK Live.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.