Hello, it’s Tuesday! And if your head hurts from all the players resting and high scores that correspond to nearing the end of the regular season, I say hang in there, turn that frown upside down and let’s get ready for this sweet spot six-game slate tonight. Let’s get to it!
As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @Jason_Walker_72.
Note: Injury list below is not a comprehensive list. Be sure to follow news and notes throughout the day for the latest injury updates.
|Probable||Victor Oladipo (ORL), Bradley Beal (WAS), Iman Shumpert (CLE), Markieff Morris (WAS)|
|Questionable||Alan Anderson (WAS), E'Twaun Moore (CHI), Jeremy Lin (CHA)|
|Out||LeBron James (CLE), Brandon Rush (GSW), Andre Iguodala (GSW), Richaun Holmes (PHI), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Ersan Ilyasova (ORL), Thaddeus Young (BKN), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (BKN), Jeremy Lin (CHA), Serge Ibaka (OKC), Kevin Durant (OKC), Nerlens Noel (PHI), Jerami Grant (PHI)|
Editor’s Note (6:10 PM ET): Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka are both OUT tonight for the Thunder. The Durant news is huge and while there is going to be a crowding out effect that should benefit the likes of Kyle Singler and Dion Waiters (both will start), Russell Westbrook may benefit most. Last season when Durant was injured, Westbrook had a 40.4 percent usage rate. This season with Durant healthy, it’s been just 31.5 percent.
Editor’s Note (6:10 PM ET): Jeremy Lin will not play tonight. This adds value to Nicolas Batum and Kemba Walker as they’ll carry the vast majority of the minutes in the Hornets backcourt tonight. Lin has been playing about 25 minutes per game in March and if you’re looking to take a flier on a tournament punt play, Jeremy Lamb has a pair of 20-25 fantasy point performances in his last four games (despite limited minutes played). He has also averaged over 22 DK FPPG with Lin sidelined this year.
Editor’s Note (6:20 PM ET): Thaddeus Young is OUT for Brooklyn on Tuesday night. Thomas Robinson is an intriguing play at just $3,000 as he had over 50 DraftKings points the last time Young was rested.
Brooklyn Nets @ Orlando Magic
Line: Magic by 6.5
Two hot mess teams staggering down the NBA home stretch. Victor Oladipo is back for the Magic and has a positive matchup here against the Nets backcourt. ‘Dipo’s presence likely ends the very productive value run of Elfrid Payton, since Oladipo is commonly the Magic’s leading usage player when on the court. The Magic also like to try and stretch centers such as Brook Lopez by deploying volume shooter Jason Smith, which makes Smith a nice play here since Lopez will not be heading out to cover Smith.
The Nets continue to lean on Lopez as their top play and if the Magic do unleash Smith out there, Lopez is going to be able to get his on his end, and he has had 30% raw usage over the last three games and 38 DK points per game (DKPPG) over that same span. Finding a second target here is tough, because though Shane Larkin has been good, the matchup against Payton is not, and the Nets continue to rotate Larking and Donald Sloan anyway, minutes wise. Thaddeus Young has the positive matchup here, but his raw usage over the last three games is 16%. But he bounced back with a huge game against the Miami Heat, so we’ll stay with him as our usual #2 option for the Nets.
- Victor Oladipo ($7,500)
- Jason Smith ($4,000)
- Brook Lopez ($7,300)
- Thaddeus Young ($6,700)
Chicago Bulls @ Indiana Pacers
Line: Pacers by 7.5
The Bulls are definitely struggling, 6-9 in the last 15 games and the eighth worst team defense over that period in the league. Teams are taking turns hammering the Bulls at all positions, but have been especially effective at the PG and SF positions, making George Hill and Paul George positive plays today. George has been good lately, averaging over 40 DKPPG over the last 10 games and getting the most usage of the Pacers, with a raw number of 30%. Hill is up and down, depending on the matchup, scoring 30 against the Nets, but 12 in a tougher spot against Patrick Beverley and the Rockets.
“the postseason is slipping away from the Bulls…”
The Bulls have lifted the minutes restriction on Pau Gasol, making his $7.2K a bargain even in a neutral matchup here. Remains to be seen if the Bulls go to Gasol long minutes on a back to back, but the postseason is slipping away from the Bulls, who are now 2.5 games in back of Detroit for the last playoff spot in the East and the Pistons are hosting the hot OKC Thunder, meaning the Bulls could gain ground. I think Gasol plays big minutes to get this win as it may be the last chance for the Bulls. Derrick Rose continues to lead the Bulls in raw usage and is sure to do it again tonight, given the parameters of the game stated with Gasol.
- Paul George ($8,500)
- George Hill ($4,700)
- Pau Gasol ($7,200)
- Derrick Rose ($5,800)
|Player Targets||Tuesday NBA Research||Cheat Sheet|
|Game Breakdowns||Click For More||Tournament Plays|
Charlotte Hornets @ Philadelphia 76ers
Line: Hornets by 11.5
Who left to play for the Sixers? Actually, their whole back court has been getting minutes with the massive injuries mounting up for Philly. Jerami Grant, Richaud Holmes and Nerlens Noel are all questionable and the Sixers have very little reason to chance with anyone coming back with injury. Ish Smith has been a huge true usage player, with over 42% usage as a Sixer and he’s picked up steam in overall production lately, averaging over 40 DKPPG in the last three games. Carl Landry has been the man to step into the front court, even logging minutes at center last time out for the Sixers. His salary is up to $4.5K, but produced 37.5 DK points against the Warriors and has a positive matchup again tonight.
The Hornets have been the league’s fourth best offense in the last 15 games, led by Kemba Walker and Nic Batum, who both have averaged over 39 DKPPG over those 15 games. The matchup is good for both of those gents tonight and, really, for every Hornet. If you are in fear of the game getting out of hand too fast and Walker/Batum not playing long enough to reach value at their salaries, then Jeremy Lin or Courtney Lee may be your punt plays in this game.
- Carl Landry ($4,500)
- Ish Smith ($5,900)
- Kemba Walker ($8,200)
- Nicolas Batum ($7,400)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Detroit Pistons
Line: Thunder -3
The Thunder may be the hottest team in the league right now and a lot of it has to do with defense. Well, of course, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant too. Westbrook is a human triple-double right now and is a mere $10.3K in a game with a 215.5 total and three point spread. Yummy. Durant has joined Westbrook in averaging over 50 DKPPG over the last 15 games and has a strong matchup here as well. If you want to have access to this game, but go a different route, Steven Adams at 3.7K has a positive matchup here against Andre Drummond and Serge Ibaka at $5.3K has quietly averaged 25 DKPPG over the last 15 games and 31 over the last four.
On the Pistons side it’s tough to target someone against the Thunder, but Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond have been the most active of all the Pistons and Jackson has the revenge narrative, for what value that has to you. Jackson’s salary is $5.8K, the lowest of the season for him, might be a nice time to buy low on a high volume player in a high volume game tonight.
- Russell Westbrook ($10,300)
- Kevin Durant ($10,000)
- Reggie Jackson ($5,800)
- Andre Drummond ($7,800)
Houston Rockets @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Line: Cavs by 2
The Cavs are resting LeBron James tonight, and that usually signals us to target Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love tonight. Both players raise usage and scoring with LBJ off the court, and Irving has had a ridiculous 42% raw usage since January 1st when he’s on the court and LeBron is not. However, this hasn’t translated to fantasy gold as he’s still averaging 36 DKPPG with that massive ballhoggery. With his matchup being a negative one against Patrick Beverley, it’s not the usual lock/load spot for Irving, but I wouldn’t argue with you if you did it. Love, however, does have the plus matchup and he’s also averaged 36 DKPPG in the same situation noted with Irving. He’s $100 cheaper than Irving as well, so I like him over Kyrie tonight. The last guy who perks up in this situation is J.R. Smith, who gets Harden defense tonight. His $4.4K price tag makes him a tasty punt in a defensively optional matchup.
“Over the last 10 games [Dwight] Howard has averaged 32 minutes per game, but only 6 field goal attempts…”
James Harden has taken over the Rockets again, after somewhat sharing the team with Dwight Howard for the first 60 or so games. Harden is trying to drag the Rockets into the playoffs and has averaged 54 DKPPG over the last 10 games, with over 31% raw usage. In case you were tempted by Dwight Howard’s incredible shrinking salary of $6.2K, consider this: Over the last 10 games Howard has averaged 32 minutes per game, but only 6 field goal attempts, 14% raw usage and 29 DKPPG. Harden taking over more has impacted Howard’s usage, but so has the arrival of volume shooter extraordinaire Michael Beasley. Beas has averaged 12.5 shots per game in his 21 minutes on the floor, a 30% raw usage rate and 25 DKPPG. That’s your other target tonight for the Rockets.
- James Harden ($10,400)
- Michael Beasley ($4,600)
- Kevin Love ($6,800)
- J.R. Smith ($4,400)
Washington Wizards @ Golden State Warriors
Line: Warriors by 13
The Wizards have been merely average over their last 15 games, and that hasn’t helped them in their chase for the playoffs. Going to Oracle won’t help, but you have to figure that, with the season winding down, that the team will finally do as the Rockets are doing and simply let John Wall take over games. Too often the Wizards PG starts off slow by gently getting his teammates involved. If that happens against the Warriors, you’re 30 points down by halftime. So I would expect Wall to exceed his average of 28% raw usage over the last 15 games and play as he did the last time against the Warriors, when he had 36% raw usage and 65.25 DK points. And while he didn’t do well the last time, Marcin Gortat will be asked to be big inside, as he has over the last four games where he’s averaged over 35 DKPPG.
Stephen Curry had a day as well when they played Washington, scoring 70.75 DK points — Wall has been giving up points from his position as well over the last three weeks, not that Curry needs a cushy matchup to get points. Since Markieff Morris has been installed as the Wizards PF, that’s been a position to target, making Draymond Green in play at $8.3K. Green has averaged nearly 50 DKPPG over his last four games.
- John Wall ($9,900)
- Marcin Gortat ($6,600)
- Stephen Curry ($10,500)
- Draymond Green ($8,300)
Stats from StatMuse, NBAWowy, NBA Stats