You don’t have to do much to understand how fun tonight’s seven-game NBA slate on DraftKings promises to be. Literally, all you have to do is open a contest and the first three names you’ll see are James Harden ($12,500), Luka Doncic ($11,300) and LeBron James ($10,200). At this point in the season, knowing what we now know, I’m not sure what more you could ask for as a basketball fan. It won’t be the easiest decision in the world to choose between that illustrious trio, but that’s why I’m here to provide a little help.
Let’s break down Tuesday’s action position-by-position.
StudLuka Doncic, DAL at NO, $11,300 – Since the beginning of November, Doncic has failed to reach 5x value just twice in Dallas’ 15 games. The two nights in question? Matchups with the Magic and the Clippers, squads that both sit in the Top-10 in defensive rating and have a reputation for long and talented individual defenders. The Pelicans are not quite held in the same regard. In fact, New Orleans has surrendered 113.4 opponent points per 100 possessions – the fourth-worst mark in all of basketball. The team has also conceded the most DKFP per contest to point guards. Considering Doncic is averaging 1.85 DKFP per minute with a 38.5% usage rate across that aforementioned 15-game span, I think he’ll be worth his hefty salary once again this evening.
Other Option: Lou Williams ($6,400)
ValueKendrick Nunn, MIA at TOR, $4,900 – Miami has such a deep roster that attempting to predict which secondary piece is going to go off on a given slate sometimes feels like fool’s gold. Still, there’s a lot of reasons to like Nunn this evening considering the status of Goran Dragic (groin). The rookie isn’t really ever reserved about his shot selection, however, his involvement in the offense goes up exponentially when Dragic isn’t on the floor. Nunn’s usage rate climbs from 20.6% to 25.8%, while the guard also goes from averaging 0.74 DKFP per minute played to a far more tantalizing 1.01. With Nunn already ranking as the Heat’s team-leader in field goal attempts per 36 (17.2), any added volume is just icing on the cake from a DFS perspective.
Other Option: Markelle Fultz ($5,500)
StudDeMar DeRozan, SA vs. HOU, $7,200 – I keep trying to figure out this salary and I keep drawing a blank. This is the cheapest DeRozan has been in eight games. Ironically enough, it was that same Nov. 18 night against Dallas that was the beginning of the former All-Star’s best stretch of 2019-20 to date. Within this recent span, DeRozan’s averaged 40.9 DKFP per contest and 1.23 DKFP per minute played, all while sporting a hyper-efficient .630 true shooting percentage. DeRozan’s still not exactly the highest ceiling option in the world, as he’s exceeded 50.0 DKFP just once so far this season; however, with the Rockets operating at the Western Conference’s quickest pace (105.7), this is the ideal setting for the USC product to thrive. DeRozan’s 32.7% usage rate when LaMarcus Aldridge (thigh) is off the court is notable, too.
Other Option: James Harden ($12,500)
ValueEvan Fournier, ORL at WAS, $6,200 – Fournier might be this slate’s free space. Nikola Vucevic (ankle) went down with an injury on Nov. 20 against the Raptors and, since that time, Fournier has been the clear No. 1 option in the Magic’s offensive hierarchy. Consider that the veteran guard has logged a team-high 207 minutes in this six-game span, a stretch that has also seen Fournier maintain an eye-popping 29.2% usage rate. The 27-year-old has exceeded 5x value in five of the six contests he’s played without Vucevic, even taking 20-plus field goal attempts on three different occasions. Then, there’s the Wizards. You can’t ask for a better matchup than the squad both leading the NBA in pace (106.0) and bringing up the rear in defensive rating (115.7). It’s quite the combo.
Other Option: Josh Hart ($5,300)
StudBrandon Ingram, NO vs. DAL, $8,100 – Ingram’s salary kicked up to a season-high $9.1K on Sunday, but now that’s it’s back down at where it’s been normally resting for the past few weeks, I’m ready to buy in again. Simply put, there’s just an unbelievable amount of floor and consistency being shown from the former second-overall pick on a nightly basis. In fact, in the 15 games where Ingram’s been able to log at least 15 minutes of action, he’s exceeded 40.0 DKFP 13 different times. He’s also yet to score fewer than 20 points in any of those 15 contests. In a matchup with an incredibly large implied total, Ingram is the perfect complimentary piece to Doncic for a game-stack. Other Option: Kawhi Leonard ($8,700)
ValueRudy Gay, SA vs. HOU, $5,200 – Gay has been significantly underwhelming in the two opportunities he’s had to start so far this season; but, with the aforementioned Aldridge is sidelined again, he’s viable at this price point. There’s just such an opportunity for volume with the style of basketball Houston plays. The Rockets actually rank in the top 10 in the league in opponent points per game (114.5), rebounds per game (46.2), assists per game (25.6) and steals per game (8.2). With Gay sitting third on the Spurs in average minutes across their past seven contests (25.5), I have a hard time believing the veteran can’t find his way to value this evening sheerly through osmosis.
Other Option: Justise Winslow ($4,900)
StudMontrezl Harrell, LAC vs. POR, $6,800 – Harrell hasn’t been the most consistent player in the league so far this season, almost seeming to go back-and-forth between good performances and bad performances on a nightly basis; yet the Blazers appear to be an ideal matchup for the big man. Portland is one of 11 teams allowing more than 30 field goal attempts per contest inside the restricted area, while it also sports the Western Conference’s lowest defensive rebounding rate (70.7%). Harrell, who is a gifted offensive rebounder, should be able to take advantage of this major flaw. The fact that he’s averaged 39.7 DKFP in home games in 2019-20 doesn’t hurt, either. Other Option: Jonathan Isaac ($6,900)
ValueSerge Ibaka, TOR vs. MIA, $4,900 – This play isn’t so much about a specific issue the Heat have with power forwards, but more so an opportunity to get Ibaka at a lowered price tag. The veteran wasted no time getting back into the flow of Toronto’s offense in his return from a 10-game absence on Sunday, hoisting up 14 shots in just under 21 minutes of action in a 130-110 win over Utah. This isn’t outside of Ibaka’s usual role, either. The 30-year-old ranks second on the Raptors with 17.3 field goal attempts per 36, primarily functioning as the No. 1 scoring option within an otherwise young bench unit. Considering Miami doesn’t have an obvious player for Marc Gasol ($5,000) to check, Ibaka could be looking at a workload in the high 20-minute range tonight while sporting his lowest salary of the season. It sounds like a nice buying window.
Other Option: Larry Nance Jr. ($5,700)
StudAndre Drummond, DET at CLE, $9,100 – This just seems like a Drummond night. Though the big man’s product has dipped slightly since the return of Blake Griffin ($6,700), it’s difficult to envision a better matchup for a center than Cleveland. The Cavaliers have surrendered the second-most DKFP per game to the position in 2019-20, with their lack of rim protection a huge reason why. In fact, no team has allowed opponents to shoot at a higher rate inside 5ft. than the Cavaliers (65.2%). Considering Drummond leads the league in paint touches per contest (11.6), I’d say he’ll be capable of exploiting that weakness.
Other Option: Pascal Siakam ($8,500)
ValueKhem Birch, ORL at WAS, $4,700 – Birch should be able to absolutely dominate the glass this evening. Among all the other things that the Wizards do poorly, rebounding is at the top of the list. Washington comes into Tuesday in possession of the Eastern Conference’s lowest overall rebounding rate (48.0%), which has directly led to the team conceding the fourth-most DKFP per game to centers. Birch isn’t exactly an offensive force, but he grabbed double-digit rebounds in back-to-back matchups. I’m confident he’ll make it three-in-a-row tonight.
Other Option: Jakob Poeltl ($4,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.