What Tuesday’s fantasy basketball slate lacks in size, it makes up for in intrigue. Sandwiched between massive 11-game slates Monday and Wednesday, there are only three games on tap for Tuesday. The action starts at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks host the suddenly surging Magic, who are making a legitimate push for the playoffs. Two teams at the front of the playoff race in the East, the Raptors and Celtics, clash in the second game of the night, and the slate wraps up with another fun matchup between playoff teams as the Thunder visit the Nuggets in Denver.
As you dig through those six teams to put together your lineup, check out my top studs and values at each position listed below. There aren’t many major injuries to watch at this point, but it still always is best to check out the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com for any late-breaking news before tip-off.
StudRussell Westbrook, OKC at DEN, $11,000 — Westbrook hasn’t had a triple-double in either of his two games since the All-Star break after running off 11 straight prior to his week off. However, his fantasy value has held strong since he scored 43 and 41 points and still added enough non-scoring numbers to post 81.75 and 64 DKFP against the Jazz and Kings, respectively. Westbrook has more than 60 DKFP in four straight and seven of his past eight contests. The Thunder are 0-2 against the Nuggets this season, but Westbrook had 51.5 and 52.5 DKFP in those contests, making the matchup tough but not one you have to avoid. He has been on such a scoring binge lately it makes sense to consider him even with his salary up to $11K. Other Options — Kyrie Irving ($8,800), Dennis Smith Jr. ($6,700)
ValueD.J. Augustin, ORL at NY, $4,100 — Augustin is the cheapest starting PG on the slate, but he has been playing well lately and gets a good matchup against the Knicks. He played 27 minutes in each of the Magic’s two games since the break since Isaiah Briscoe (concussion) has been sidelined. Augustin had 14 points, five assists, five rebounds and 28.75 DKFP against the Bulls on Friday and followed that with 12 points, eight assists, five rebound and 31.75 DKFP against the Raptors. He has more than 22 DKFP in three straight and four of his past five. His main increase in production has been due to a bump in assists and solid rebounds while he takes advantage of a few extra minutes with Briscoe out.
Other Options — Jamal Murray ($6,000), Jeremy Lin ($4,400)
StudTerrence Ross, ORL at NY, $5,300 — SG is the thinnest spot on the limited slate with only one option at $6K and the rest under that salary. Ross is a solid play to take a look at, though, given his recent surge in production. Over his past 10 games, Ross has helped Orlando go an impressive 8-2 by averaging 19.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals and 29.8 DKFP. He had at least 25 DKFP in eight of those 10 contests including four with 40-plus DKFP. One of those came in his most recent game against his former team, the Raptors, on Sunday, when he had 28 points, nine rebounds and 41.25 DKFP in 30 minutes off the bench.
ValueDamyean Dotson, NY vs. ORL, $4,400 — Dotson came out of the break with the hot hand, which has resulted in him getting heavy playing time in the Knicks’ past two games. He had 20 points and 31.75 DKFP in 34 minutes against Minnesota and followed that with 27 points and 42.25 DKFP in 37 minutes against the Spurs. New York’s backcourt is starting to get crowded even though Frank Ntilikina (groin) remains out. Dotson will need to stay hot to keep getting big minutes long-term, but he makes a very nice play in the short term since coach David Fizdale has shown a lot of confidence in the second-year second-round pick.
StudKawhi Leonard, TOR vs BOS, $9,200 — The Raptors’ big offseason acquisition has stepped up when Toronto has needed him against the Celtics with 51, 62.25 and 49.5 DKFP in three previous matchups between the Eastern Conference powers. Leonard sat out Sunday against the Magic, so he should be fresh and ready to go against the Celtics. He has been solid when active with more than 40 DKFP in three of his past four games, but the Raptors have been extremely cautious with his load management, allowing him to play just five games this month. They’ve been saving him for big games like this one, though, so he should be a solid option if he continues to excel against the C’s. Other Options — Aaron Gordon ($6,400), Jayson Tatum ($5,900)
ValueGordon Hayward, BOS at TOR, $4,300 — Hayward is available at a great salary and could end up one of the best plays of the night. However, he has been wildly inconsistent all season and still comes with risk as well. He missed Boston’s first game following the break after rolling his ankle and played just 24 minutes against the Bulls on Saturday. He only had 16 DKFP after posting three strong showings of more than 30 DKFP in his last three games before the break. After a couple of days to recover from his ankle injury, he should be in a good bounce-back spot against the Raptors, who he has produced 27.75, 36.25 and 34.5 DKFP against this season.
Other Options — Jonathan Isaac ($5,800), Kevin Knox ($5,200)
StudPaul Millsap, DEN vs. OKC, $6,200 — It hasn’t been a great year overall for Millsap, but he seems to have found his stride in time to help the Nuggets in their playoff push. He has more than 45 DKFP in three straight games, averaging 51.8 DKFP on 21 points and 14 rebounds while continuing to chip in his usual defensive numbers as well. Millsap is playing extremely well alongside Nikola Jokic ($10,000), and the two big men will be a tough task for the Thunder to handle Tuesday. Other Options — Paul George ($10,400), Al Horford ($6,300)
ValueJerami Grant, OKC at DEN, $4,600 — While guarding Millsap will be a difficult task for Grant, he should be able to continue to provide enough multi-faceted production to be worth considering at this price. He missed a few games with an ankle issue before the break but played 41 minutes Friday against the Jazz, finishing with 36 DKFP on 18 points, four rebounds and three blocks. He struggled a bit along with the rest of the Thunder’s starters the following night but should be good to go for this matchup with the Nuggets.
Other Options — Marcus Morris ($4,700), Noah Vonleh ($4,000)
StudNikola Vucevic, ORL at NY, $9,600 — Both Nikola’s at the top of the center pool are good options, and you could run a double-big lineup out there if you find good cheap plays elsewhere. If forced to choose just one, I’d go with Vucevic based on his tasty matchup agains the Knicks. He had 21 points, 14 rebounds and 45 DKFP in just 26 minutes the first time he faced New York this season, and later had 28 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and 59 DKFP against them in just 32 minutes. Vucevic has been impressively consistent with seven straight double-doubles and at least nine rebounds and double-digit scoring in 15 straight. In those 15 games, he is averaging 21.4 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 steals and 48.6 DKFP. He has more than 50 DKFP in three of his past four contests and is a good pick to break that threshold again in this matchup with the Knicks. Other Options — Nikola Jokic ($10,000), Serge Ibaka ($6,100)
ValueMitchell Robinson, NY vs ORL, $5,400 — Robinson got extra run Sunday without DeAndre Jordan ($6,000; ankle, questionable). The rookie finished with 15 points, 14 boards, five blocks and 45 DKFP. He has been an elite shot-blocker all season and has more than 24 DKFP in seven of his past eight games. If Jordan is out again tonight, Robinson will be a great play against the Magic since he likely will approach 30 minutes once again.
Other Options — Marc Gasol ($5,700), Nerlens Noel ($3,900)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.