Hello, it’s Tuesday! And if you had a little too much exposure to blowouts yesterday, then get out and vote, grab a tasty doughnut, wash it down with a tasty beverage, and let’s get cracking on this solid, six-game slate. Let’s get to it!

As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @Jason_Walker_72.

Stats from StatMuse, NBAWowy, NBA Stats, Nylon Calculus


Injury Watch

StatusPlayer
OutJae Crowder (BOS), Danilo Gallinari (DEN), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Jahlil Okafor (PHI), Michael Carter-Williams (MIL)
DoubtfulJerami Grant (PHI), Robert Covington (PHI), Richaun Holmes (PHI), Jonas Valanciunas (TOR), Paul Pierce (LAC)
QuestionableKelly Olynyk (BOS), Ty Lawson (IND), George Hill (IND), Elfrid Payton (ORL), John Henson (MIL), Kobe Bryant (LAL)
ProbableRodney Stuckey (IND), Brandon Jennings (ORL), Ersan Ilyasova (ORL), Isaiah Canaan (PHI)


Boston Celtics @ Indiana Pacers

Over/Under: 207
Line: Pacers by 2

This is a surprising total for a game featuring two of the better defenses in the league. The total and spread suggest to target this game, but the individual matchups don’t correlate with that analysis. The Celtics have been giving up points from the small forward and center positions, so Paul George and his clear edge in raw usage on the team (31%) fits the bill here. George has averaged 42 DraftKings points per game (DKPPG) over his last 15 games and is reasonably salaried at 8.2K. George Hill has been averaging 33 minutes per game and 25 DKPPG, but his salary has shrunk to 4.4K. It’s not a stupendous matchup for him against Isaiah Thomas, but he’s worth a flyer at that cost given his production.

Anytime I get an excuse to roster Jared Sullinger, I do it. Sullinger is a top ten peripherals points player per 36 minutes, but Brad Stevens has been stuck in the coaching mud and only played him 20-22 minutes per game this season. But lately, over the last five games, and with Kelly Olynyk out, Stevens has stretched that to 27 minutes per game, and the results are 36 DKPPG for Sullinger. His salary is 6K, so that average puts him in value territory in a solid matchup against Ian Mahinmi. Thomas’ salary has dropped to 7.1K, but his raw usage is solid at 29% over his last five games, and his True Usage is a whopping 47%, so he’s a solid target even in a negative matchup with George Hill, especially considering his 41 DKPPG over those five games as well.

Targets

  • Paul George ($8,200)
  • George Hill ($4,400)
  • Jared Sullinger ($6,000)
  • Isaiah Thomas ($7,100)


Denver Nuggets @ Orlando Magic

Over/Under: 211
Line: Magic by 5

The Nuggets are playing on a back to back and third game in four nights after losing in Miami on Monday. There are some positive individual matchups here for Denver and since Michael Malone doesn’t really play anyone other than Gary Harris long minutes regularly, maybe the three in four won’t be as applicable here. Emmanuel Mudiay leads the team in raw and true usage and has 33 DKPPG over his last five games and he is one of the top drive players in the league with eight per game. He is one of those with a positive matchup and is in play here given his dominance of the ball. Nikola Jokic can’t stop being in foul trouble, or so it seems, but the Magic may be without Nikola Vucevic tonight, and Jason Smith and Dewayne Dedmon won’t be the type to get Jokic in a mess with minutes. When he plays, he’s outstanding, getting 33 DKPPG over his average of 25 minutes per game over the last five games.

“If Vuc is out, and Smith plays 22-24 minutes, he’s likely going to mash value here”

The Nuggets can be exploited on defense, with positive matchups all over the floor for Orlando. However, the salaries of the starters have ballooned to the point of non-value. Victor Oladipo is at 7.4K and Evan Fournier at 5.9K with 37 and 27 DKPPG averages over their last five games. Aaron Gordon, who has maybe the best matchup of the starters, is 6.8K but has only averaged close to 30 DKPPG over his last four games. That leaves looking at injury replacements for value and Jason Smith at 3.9K with mid 20s raw usage and point per minute scoring rate, stands out first. Smith has been up and down in minutes with Scott Skiles trying to mix and match to replace Vucevic, but if Vuc is out, and Smith plays 22-24 minutes, he’s likely going to mash value here. If Payton misses, then either C.J. Watson or Brandon Jennings looks solid as both are under 4K. Jennings is clearly the more aggressive scorer, landing in the mid 20s in scoring usage, while Watson is in the teens, but it’s been Watson seeing 25-28 minutes per game with Payton out.

Targets

  • Emmanuel Mudiay ($6,600)
  • Nikola Jokic ($6,300)
  • Jason Smith ($3,900)
  • C.J. Watson ($3,500)

Dig Deeper into Tuesday Night’s NBA Slate

Player TargetsCheat SheetGame Breakdowns
Small Slate Stars (Video)Tournament Plays


Philadelphia 76ers @ Brooklyn Nets

Over/Under: 208.5
Line: Nets by 7

There are tremendous targets in this game between two of the five worst defenses over the last 15 games. Even with Nerlens Noel active, both Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez are excellent plays in the frontcourt tonight. Young has averaged 39 DKPPG against his old team this season and Lopez put up 40 four days ago when these teams played in Philly. Brooklyn also provides an opportunity for punt plays, too, with Donald Sloan and Bojan Bogdanovic available at 4.6K each.

march 15 thaddeus

For Philadelphia, Robert Covington and Jerami Grant are still out, and Jahlil Okafor is gone for the season, so there are solid targets here as well. Carl Landry has immediately stepped in and provided a solid, 25 minutes, 30 DK point effort in a similarly plus matchup against the Pistons. His scoring usage was 26% for the game, so he’s going to hoist when played, which is good, since his fantasy value comes mainly from scoring. Both teams are in the bottom six in turnovers per game as well, so Noel should be in a good spot here, as he was when he scored 39 DK points the last time out. For other punt plays for this banged up squad, Hollis Thompson matches up well here, went for 28 DK points four days ago against the Nets and is 4.3K. Also, depending on who starts at SG, Nik Stauskas could be interesting at 3.3K.

Targets

  • Thaddeus Young ($7,000)
  • Donald Sloan ($4,600)
  • Nerlens Noel ($6,500)
  • Carl Landry ($3,700)


Toronto Raptors @ Milwaukee Bucks

Over/Under: 206.5
Line: Raptors by 2

Toronto playing on a back end of a back-to-back here against the Bucks, which is partly why the spread is close. The other part is that the Raptors, despite being the top offensively rated team over the last 15 games, is eighth worst defensively over the same span. It usually comes down to whether you think it’s a Kyle Lowry night or a DeMar DeRozan night, and the Bucks have been consistently good at defending the PG position. DeRozan has a plus matchup against Khris Middleton, so looks like a DeRo night tonight. We might see a start from Bismack Biyombo, with Jonas Valanciunas listed as questionable with his hand injury. If Bismack starts, he’s has a plus matchup and can easily pass value at his 3.7K salary.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has stepped into another level in terms of his production. Over the last 15 games, he’s averaged 49 DKPPG, and his salary has risen along with the consistently high production, all the way to 9.2K. Jerryd Bayless is the player most helped, minutes-wise, by the injuries to Michael Carter-Williams and O.J. Mayo, getting 37-40 minutes per game, averaging 39 minutes per game over his last three games. Problem is, because of his extremely low scoring usage, he’s only produced 24 DKPPG in that amount of time. At 4.6K, that’s alright, but there’s little upside there. Greg Monroe would have a positive matchup, if Jason Kidd felt compelled to give him more than 25 minutes per game. For tourneys though, he’s a solid midline play at 6.1K.

Targets

  • DeMar DeRozan ($7,600)
  • Bismack Biyombo (if Jonas is out) ($3,700)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,200)
  • Greg Monroe ($6,100)


Los Angeles Clippers @ San Antonio Spurs

Over/Under: 200
Line: Spurs by 9

These are the second and third best defensive teams, so there are few individually positive matchups to go with here. When this is the case, I like to stick to the top guys, like Chris Paul, who can produce against anybody. Paul is 9.4K and would be tournament only, but cranked out a pair of 50-burgers against the Spurs already this season. Also, DeAndre Jordan has averaged over 40 DKPPG against the Spurs this year as well and gets the advantage of being the target of Popovich’s Hack DeAndre game plan at times.

“[He] has averaged over 40 DKPPG against the Spurs this year”

Same for the Spurs, focus on the main guys Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge dominate the ball for the Spurs. They are the only two guys on the team with more than 20% raw usage, both over 27%. If you want to take a punt play, both Danny Green (4.2K) and Tim Duncan (4.5K) are solid targets based on individual matchups.

Targets

  • Chris Paul ($9,400)
  • DeAndre Jordan {$7,300)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,400)
  • Tim Duncan ($4,500)


Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers

Over/Under: 217.5
Line: Kings by 2.5

Here we have another game that features two of the six worst defenses in the league. This will be a heavily targeted game for players tonight, starved for a high total play. Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay, and DeMarcus Cousins are all in great spots tonight against L.A., with Cousins rocking a ridiculous 38% raw usage over the last 10 games. Cousins at 10.5 will be a very popular play tonight, and he has averaged 55 DKPPG against the Lakers already this season. The sneaky play is Rudy Gay, who has averaged 36 DKPPG against the Lakers and seen his salary dip to 6.1K lately.

march 15 cousins

On the Lakers side, the guards are in play, with D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Kobe Bryant all potential targets. The best individual matchup goes to Julius Randle, who hadn’t yet been starting when they played the Kings the last two times out. The pace and Randle’s defensive rebounding prowess begs a strong play here, however, so pairing Randle with one of the guards isn’t a bad play.

Targets

  • DeMarcus Cousins ($10,500)
  • Rudy Gay ($6,100)
  • Julius Randle ($6,400)
  • D’Angelo Russell ($6,900)