It’s Tuesday and tonight’s NBA slate features six games, with a few of the league’s top teams taking the court. We get the pleasure of seven of the Top 10 fastest teams playing tonight, and Utah, New York, Cleveland, Dallas and Phoenix all get decent bumps in pace. Injuries to look out for include Kristaps Porzingis, Ricky Rubio, Jae Crowder, Brandon Clarke, and Alex Len. In this column, I generally set $6000 FD/$5000 DK as the bargain threshold, and I try to indicate when I think a position is particularly well-suited--or not--to using the cheap plays given the landscape of the particular slate. Tonight’s slate tips at 7:35 pm EST.
Emmanuel Mudiay, Utah Jazz at Brooklyn ($4800 FD, $4700 DK)
Mudiay has strung together three quality games in a row. Brooklyn is a Top 3 PG matchup for fantasy, so one of Mudiay or Donovan Mitchell, who should be back tonight, should be on your radar tonight. Mudiay’s solid contributions in the three main categories along with his price, make him my pick tonight.
Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers vs. Cleveland ($5100 FD, $5300 DK)
It’s a good night for a Beverley lineup. He’s always kind of there, on my radar, but tonight I’ll pull the trigger thanks to just how bad the Cavaliers are defensively. Allowing the third-most fantasy points overall, and coming in fourth to PG specifically, it doesn’t get much better. Beverley nearly triple-doubled last Friday, which just shows the kind of upside he offers on top of his rock solid floor.
Also consider: Elie Okobo, assuming Rubio misses tonight's game (he's SG on FanDuel)
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston ($5300 FD, $5400 DK)
Brooks is one of my favorite plays on the cheaper side of this slate. Not only is Houston one of the best matchups for opposing wings, allowing the second-most fantasy points to shooting guards, but we know that Russell Westbrook will be out tonight. Now, Brooks is coming off a terrible game vs. the Warriors, but he put up 33 fantasy points the first time the Grizzlies played Houston, and in general has been great lately. I think he bounces back nicely in this one, which has a 238-point total!
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks vs. Phoenix ($4800 FD, $6200 DK)
There is no shortage of cheap Hawks to play tonight, on FanDuel at least. Huerter had a nice little run to start the new year where he was averaging about 40 fantasy points per game, but his more recent 25-28 range is more likely. That makes his DK salary too rich for me tonight, especially given that Trae Young and De’Andre Hunter will both be available tonight, but he’s still very playable in a fast and loose game on FanDuel.
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets at Memphis ($4100 FD, $4800 DK)
Gordon becomes relevant whenever one of Westbrook or James Harden rests or is out, as is the case tonight. As noted, this game has the highest total of the night given that both teams play extremely fast, and rank in the bottom half of the league in defensive efficiency. In fact, Gordon already has one good game against Memphis under his belt, a 26 fantasy point night, and has been hitting multiple threes every night he plays. Expect him to be a popular, but worthy play.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks at Golden State ($4700 FD, $4900 DK)
If you’ve followed this article for any length of time, you know I write about Hardaway (and several others) with a reluctant grimace. He’s burned me a bunch, out of nowhere, in great matchups, but here we are. His price is great, the Warriors offer a nice pace bump and loose defense – they give up the fifth-most fantasy points overall, and are second against the small forward position. Hardaway is averaging well above his season average against the Warriors in two games this season (28 fpts).
Maxi Kleber, Dallas Mavericks at Golden State ($4800 FD, $5400 DK)
If Porzingis is out again tonight, Kleber remains in play. He’s got three blocks in each of the last two games. Kleber hasn’t been perfect, and his worst game came recently against the Lakers, where he couldn’t get anything going offensively, but in fantasy-friendly matchups, he’s been solid. Continue to roll with him as the Mavs look to put up another W.
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas ($5900 FD, $6000 DK)
Green might go down as one of the biggest mysteries of the season for me. He should be triple-doubling every night given the surrounding cast he’s been playing with, right? I know he attracts a lot of defensive attention, but it still feels like he’s drastically underperforming. On the plus side, his salary is down and he’s nearly a lock for 26-30 fantasy points any given night. I still believe in the upside, but if you’re looking to save more and want to chase Eric Paschall’s points – he’s coming off a 10-5-5-5 game – that’s up to you.
Also consider: Brandon Clarke, if he plays.
Damian Jones, Atlanta Hawks vs. Phoenix ($3500 FD, $3000 DK)
Alex Len has come up questionable for tonight’s game and did not participate in today’s shootaround. At minimum salary, you’re extending very little risk on Jones if his role were to increase. The last time he played the Suns, he put up 29 fantasy points in 18 minutes…this is a great spot for the opposing center.