Tuesday’s NBA slate features seven games. Four games have an over/under above 225 points: Orlando at Washington, Dallas at New Orleans, Houston at San Antonio, and Portland at LA Clippers. Only the Clippers are more than four-point favorites tonight (minus-9.5). The biggest pace mismatch occurs in Washington, the NBA’s fastest team, vs. Orlando, the slowest. The best matchups in terms of overall fantasy points allowed go to Orlando, Detroit, Dallas, and Houston. 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. DraftKings’ pricing is notably sharper than FanDuel’s tonight, so I tried to provide a couple extra options to consider where it was feasible. Tonight’s slate tips at 8:00 pm EST.
Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic at Washington ($5900 FD, $5500 DK)
Fultz has rounded into a consistent option for the price and should continue to meet value in this prime matchup. In his first game against the Wizards, Fultz produced 26.5 fantasy points in 26 minutes, and that has been his median over the last couple weeks, though he is now playing closer to 30 MPG and exceeding 30 fantasy points regularly. He’s a safe play, if not the cheapest bargain.
Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers vs. Portland ($5600 FD, $4500 DK)
You never know exactly what Beverley is going to do any given night, but he usually does enough to pay off his salary. Whether it’s steals, blocks, rebounds, or the rare (but very valuable) good shooting night, he’s getting 25-30 MPG in which to contribute. More of a risk/reward option, but an especially nice savings on DK, Beverley should take advantage of the eighth-best PG matchup with Portland.
Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic at Washington ($4700 FD, $5100 DK)
Ross is a pure shooter for the most part, so I pay attention to who he’s facing. In favorable matchups like this one (Washington ranks 30th in defensive efficiency and gives up the most fantasy points to opposing two-guards), Ross is crushing it with high volume of shots and smart three-point attempts.
Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas ($4700 FD, $5300 DK)
Hart is the rare shooting guard who isn’t totally dependent on his shot falling. In fact he has two double-doubles in his last eight games and averages 1.3 steals per game. He’s played over 30 MPG in three of his last four, and exceeded his season average of 27 fantasy points per game the last time he played the Mavs.
Justise Winslow, Miami Heat at Toronto ($5500 FD, $4900 DK)
Winslow hasn’t wasted any time in taking advantage of his opportunity since returning from a concussion. Remember that he started the season RED HOT and could get back to 20-plus points and double-digit rebounds any time. I expect his ownership to be high tonight, even on a big slate, given his upside and reasonable floor in one of the only good positional matchups Toronto offers.
Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston ($5300 FD, $5200 DK)
Gay, on the other hand, is kind of all over the place in terms of minutes and production. He might take five shots, he might take 12 shots. He might grab double-digit rebounds, and he might have no rebounds. Unlike earlier in his career, he’s not a sure thing. However, LaMarcus Aldridge is a game-time decision and his being ruled out would almost certainly lead to Gay getting 30-ish minutes tonight in a favorable game. The Rockets play at the second-fastest pace and are only 2.5-point favorites. Plus, their wing defense is negligible at best.
Christian Wood, Detroit Pistons at Cleveland ($4400 both)
Wood isn’t playing a ton of minutes, but he is making the most of them. He ranks eighth overall in player efficiency rating (PER) and the fact that he’s coming off an epic game vs. San Antonio will probably increase his ownership tonight. He gets another great matchup in the Cavaliers, who offer the sixth-most fantasy points to PFs. Blake Griffin is also a nice option, but for value that helps me pay up for the stud guards tonight, I’m going with Wood.
Khem Birch, Orlando Magic at Washington ($5600 FD, $4700 DK(C))
With Nikola Vucevic sidelined, Birch is steadily improving over the past week or so. He’s not taking a ton of shots, but has double-digit rebounds in the last two games, in addition to four steals and five blocks over the last three. He’s a nice fit at PF on FanDuel, and could be your utility option on DraftKings if you elect to pay up for a center like Andre Drummond tonight. As is the case with pretty much every position, Birch should easily reach value as the Wizards rank second in fantasy points allowed to opposing bigs.
Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas ($4500 FD, $4400 DK)
As long as Derrick Favors remains out, it appears that Hayes will have a decent role, even if it’s off the bench. Jahlil Okafor isn’t doing much to make his case for more playing time, while Hayes is fairly consistently getting about eight points and six rebounds with a couple extras here and there. He’s probably not going to make or break your lineups tonight, but provides a deep savings option in a fantasy-friendly game.
Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston ($5100 FD, $4800 DK)
Poetl’s value will ultimately depend on Aldridge’s status, but even if he plays, Poetl could be useful. Getting about 24 MPG, Poetl would doubtless see somewhat higher usage in Aldridge’s absence, increasing his chances for a modest double-double. I’ve already noted the pace bump and high scoring game environment that should benefit all the Spurs.