A messy slate for a Tuesday night, but there are still six games on the schedule to choose from. The Lakers are coming off of their shocking upset of the Warriors to host the Magic, and the Wizards head to Portland to take on Damian Lillard and the Trailblazers. Those are two of the more uptempo games on the menu tonight, but there are plenty of other options across the NBA – let’s get into it.
Note: Keep an eye on late scratches and news that comes out later in the day. As we saw yesterday for the Grizzlies, a lot of value opened up late in the afternoon as they announced several players out for that game.
Kyle Lowry – TOR vs. BKN – $8,800 – The blowout possibility is the one thing that is concerning here, but this is a great spot for Lowry. He faces the Nets, who surrender the third most fantasy points per game and have allowed 3.59 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. Lowry has topped 45 fantasy points in four of his last six games, including a 70+ fantasy point game and two 50+ fantasy point games. In two games against the Nets this season, he is averaging 37.8 minutes and 49.8 fantasy points per game. I like all three of the top point guards today, but I’ll take the discount on Lowry. He offers a steady floor and just about the same amount of upside as Wall and Lillard.
Other Options – Damian Lillard ($9,600), John Wall ($9,400)
Emmanuel Mudiay – DEN vs. NYK – $6,300 – I’ve been using Mudiay in my lineups as of late, and it’s paid off. His price has increased $1,000 since the beginning of the month, but there’s still some value here. He’s taken at least 16 shots in each of the last three games, and I expect that usage to continue moving forward. In his last three games, he’s averaging 35.7 minutes, 21 points, 7.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.3 steals, and 43 fantasy points per game. Also, in that span he has not scored fewer than 39.5 fantasy points. The Knicks have allowed +1.87 points above expectation to opposing point guards, per Fantasy Labs. In their last 10 games, they have surrendered the eighth most fantasy points per game to point guards. Chances are his price will continue to increase so give him a go at this reasonable price while you can.
Other Options – Jordan Clarkson ($5,900), Elfrid Payton ($5,900), D.J. Augustin ($4,000), Shane Larkin ($3,700 – better play if he starts)
DeMar DeRozan – TOR vs. BKN – $7,700 – It’s very likely that I will be taking the cheaper route at shooting guard this evening. However, if you are considering paying up here, DeRozan makes sense. He offers the steadiest floor amongst the top-end shooting guards and the highest ceiling. Once again, the blowout factor is a concern, but he has fared well against the Nets this season. In two games against them, he’s averaging 35.1 minutes and 38.3 fantasy points per game. The Nets surrender the third most fantasy points per game and have allowed 1.26 points above expectation to opposing shooting guards, per Fantasy Labs.
“In two games against [the Nets], he’s averaging 35.1 minutes and 38.3 fantasy points per game”
DeRozan has scored fewer than 30 fantasy points just twice in his last 10 games, and in one of those games, he scored 29.75 fantasy points. He won’t be asked to guard a player like James Harden tonight, so he should not get gassed, allowing him to be efficient offensively. He makes a fine tournament play, offering 45+ fantasy point upside.
Other Options – C.J. McCollum ($7,200), Victor Oladipo ($7,100)
Arron Afflalo – NYK vs. DEN – $4,500 – Let’s take a stroll down narrative street and call this a “revenge game,” as Afflalo once played for the Nuggets. When looking for the cheaper options, minutes are important, as that equates to potential opportunity. The good news is that Afflalo plays plenty of minutes. In fact, he’s averaging 36.2 minutes per game in his last 10. In that span, he’s averaging 12.9 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 23.85 fantasy points per game. In his last four games, he has topped 30 fantasy points two times. The downside is that he relies on his actual points for fantasy points, but if there’s a game he can score points, it’s this one. The Nuggets surrender the ninth most fantasy points per game to shooting guards. Afflalo comes in at an 86 percent bargain rating on Fantasy Labs, in a plus matchup. The last time he faced the Nuggets, he scored 29.5 fantasy points and was priced $600 more expensive at that time.
Editor’s Note (3:30 PM ET) – Kobe Bryant is ’50/50′ to play tonight against the Magic. If Bryant were to miss the game we’d likely see additional opportunities for both Russell and Clarkson (mentioned above). Bryant has been playing less of late but his absence paired with the Lou Williams injury could also open up minutes for Marcelo Huertas ($3,200). Huertas, a 32 year old rookie, has played 31, 32 and 27 minutes over his last three games and has at least 18 DK points in each of those games.
Editor’s Note (7:15 PM ET) – Kobe Bryant has been ruled out for tonight. See the note above for the DraftKings implications of Bryant’s absence.
Other Options – Will Barton ($5,900), Zach LaVine ($5,800)
Carmelo Anthony – NYK vs. DEN – $8,400 – The small forward position is thin tonight as there aren’t many options to choose from, so paying up might be your best option. Melo is averaging 38.2 minutes, 9.4 rebounds, 24.3 points, 4.4 assists, 1 steal, and 45.8 fantasy points per game in his last 10. In that span, he has scored fewer than 40 fantasy points just once and has topped 50 fantasy points three times. Not only has he been efficient, but also consistent. He has six double-doubles in the last 10 games and has not grabbed fewer than seven rebounds in any of those games. Despite his high level of play since the All-Star break, his price remains under $9,000. On Fantasy Labs, he has a bargain rating of 93 percent. I have to agree, as I think he’s underpriced for a player of his caliber. He offers a high, safe floor, along with plenty of upside. On a night with not many elite options overall, he is someone I’d consider building around.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($8,200)
“In his last five games, he’s averaging 30.8 minutes, 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 28.7 fantasy points per game.”
Kent Bazemore – ATL vs. UTA – $5,200 – If you’re looking for a cheaper and contrarian play at small forward, Bazemore is the way to go. He’s playing a good amount of minutes and has been productive in recent games. In his last five games, he’s averaging 30.8 minutes, 14.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 28.7 fantasy points per game. He has not scored fewer than 25 fantasy points in any of those games. This isn’t an ideal matchup, as the Jazz are good defensively and play at a very slow pace, but if you’re trying to go against the grain, Bazemore makes sense.
Other Options – Lance Thomas ($3,000)
LaMarcus Aldridge – SA vs. MIN – $6,800 – After sitting out a game due to migraines, Aldridge returned to the court last night and had a big game. He scored 23 points, grabbed 12 boards, and blocked two shots. His performance was good for 45.5 fantasy points. That was Aldridge’s third double-double in his last four games. In that span, he’s averaging 43.8 fantasy points, 11.5 rebounds, 24.5 points, 1 block, and 35.25 minutes per game. He faces off against the Timberwolves who have allowed +1.65 points above expectation to opposing power forwards, per Fantasy Labs. In the last five games, the Timberwolves have surrendered the fifth most fantasy points per game to power forwards. For those concerned about the back-to-back, Aldridge averages +1.86 points on the second half of back-to-backs. He remains underpriced and continues to post big numbers making him a very solid play this evening.
Other Options – Derrick Favors ($7,500), Thaddeus Young ($6,800)
Aaron Gordon – ORL vs. LAL – $6,700 – Much like last week, Gordon is not really great value, but there is some value here. Last night he displayed he’s capable of erupting for 40+ fantasy points on any given night. Granted, Vucevic sat out which could have played a role on the big night, but there’s a chance Vucevic sits out again. Even if he doesn’t, this is a great spot for Gordon. The Lakers are allowing the fourth most fantasy points per game to power forwards in their last 10 games. They surrender the second most rebounds per game and have a -3.7 differential. Gordon has topped 30 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games. He has had double-digit rebounds in five of those games and has topped 40 fantasy points twice. Gordon has averaged +3.59 points on the second half of back-to-backs. If Vucevic sits again, Gordon is very strong play.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($6,200), Markieff Morris ($5,500 – risky play)
Brook Lopez – BKN vs. TOR – $7,300 – Lopez faces the Raptors tonight, who he has played well against this season. In two games against them, he’s averaging 26.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 51.4 fantasy points per game. He has three double-doubles in his last eight games and is averaging 42.7 fantasy points per game in that span. He continues to play 34+ minutes per game and has a usage rate above 20. The Raptors have allowed +2.6 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. Everything is pointing towards a solid evening out of the big man in Brooklyn.
Other Options – Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,900), Nikola Vucevic ($7,800 – if he plays)
Rudy Gobert – UTA vs. ATL – $6,600 – What Gobert has been unable to do offensively, he’s made up for in rebounds and blocks. In his last five games, he has grabbed 75 rebounds and has blocked 13 shots. He has topped 30 fantasy points in four of those games. In his last 10 games, Gobert is averaging 32.8 minutes, 9.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 32 fantasy points per game. He has topped 39 fantasy points four times in that timeframe. Tonight’s matchup is one that bodes well for Gobert. The Hawks give up the seventh most rebounds per game and have a -4.1 differential. They surrender the third most fantasy points per game and have allowed +4.3 points above expectation to opposing centers, per Fantasy Labs. Centers average 21.3 points and 16.1 rebounds per game against the Hawks. In his last meeting against them, Gobert scored 11 points, grabbed 11 boards, and blocked three shots. That performance was good for 38.8 fantasy points. On a night with not many cheap options to choose from, Gobert is one of the more affordable and appealing plays at center.
Other Options – Marcin Gortat ($6,800), Jonas Valanciunas ($5,300)
|Out||Danilo Gallinari (DEN), Lou Williams (LAL), Gary Neal (WAS), DeMarre Carroll (TOR), Tim Duncan (SAS), Manu Ginobili (SAS), Tony Parker (SAS)|
|Questionable||Kobe Bryant (LAL), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Bradley Beal (WAS), Alan Anderson (WAS)|
|Probable||Gary Harris (DEN), Jameer Nelson (DEN), Kenneth Faried (DEN), Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)|