***CORE FOUR UPDATED AT 6:25PM ET***
Malik Monk has been ruled out. Remove him from your player pool.
Bradley Beal and Raul Neto have been ruled out. Bump up Hachimura, while Avdija and Jerome Robinson are both viable value options as they are in the starting lineup once again this evening. Hutchison (listed below) is a solid value play as well at min price on both sites.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Tuesday! Today I’ll be breaking down tonight’s four-game slate.
It’s a small slate this evening and having a team favored by 11 points does not help the matter. Truth be told, it’s a slate I would not invest much of your bankroll in. This is also looking like it will be a low scoring evening considering some of the matchups at hand and the teams in play. Being that it is a small slate, I will take a different approach to the layout of this article.
Remember, the NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Players are listed in order of preference by position.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Hornets 116
- Clippers 113
- Suns 113
- Nuggets 112.75
- Clippers -11
- Suns -6
- Nuggets -5
- Hornets -3.5
Position By Position
- Russell Westbrook
- Ben Simmons
- Terry Rozier
- Chris Paul
- Reggie Jackson
- Devonte’ Graham
Bradley Beal (check status)Ruled out Malik Monk (check status)Ruled out
- Terrance Mann
- Seth Curry
- Will Barton
- Gordon Hayward
- Rui Hachimura (moved up after Beal news came out)
- Kawhi Leonard (if George sits)
- Chandler Hutchison
- Deni Avdija
- Nicolas Batum
- Michael Porter Jr. (volatile)
- Tobias Harris
- Miles Bridges
- Jae Crowder
- P.J. Washington (volatile)
- Mike Scott
- Nikola Jokic
- Dwight Howard
- Deandre Ayton
- Clint Capela
- Bismack Biyombo (if starting)
Key News To Watch:
- Bradley Beal – questionable – ruled out
- Raul Neto – questionable – ruled out
- Terrence Ross – questionable
- Paul George – questionable
- De’Andre Hunter – questionable
- Lou Williams – questionable
Charlotte Hornets at Washington Wizards – This is the game many will gravitate towards and understandably so. It has the highest over/under on the slate at 228.5 points and the smallest spread at 3.5 points. Neither of these teams play all that great of defense, as Washington ranks 28th in defense efficiency, while Charlotte ranks 23rd in defense efficiency. The Wizards play at the fastest pace and the Hornets play at the 14th fastest pace as well, so we should see a paced-up game here. This is the contest to invest in tonight.
Russell Westbrook had an incredible performance last night, scoring 35 real points with 21 dimes, 14 rebounds, two steals, and a block. It was his sixth triple-double in his last nine games. Bradley Beal did not play last night, which certainly gave Westbrook a bump and Beal remains questionable for this matchup. Whether Beal plays or not however, Westbrook can be considered a terrific play this evening. He came up one assist short of a triple-double the last time these two teams faced off despite playing just 29 minutes. Outside of Westbrook, if Beal plays, he is firmly in play. Then if Beal sits, Rui Hachimura is firmly in play, though he can be volatile, making him a riskier cash game option than we are used to. However, this is a four-game slate, so you need to embrace some risk. Deni Avdija would get a boost as well if Beal were to sit.
From the Hornets side, Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham, and Gordon Hayward would be the primary targets. I would rank them Graham, Hayward, and Rozier. Then I would consider Malik Monk as a secondary piece if you’re looking for some salary relief. The Wizards are abysmal against opposing bigs, making Bismack Biyombo, who has started in the last five games, interesting at near min price. Although he has not played more than 28 minutes in any of those five games and is averaging 22.4 minutes per game during that stretch. Therefore, he does come with some risk.
Philadelphia 76ers at Denver Nuggets –This contest has the second highest over/under on the slate at 220.5 points with a spread of five points. Philly will once again be without Joel Embiid, while the Nuggets continue to be without Monte Morris. Both of these teams are relatively solid defensive units for the season, as the Nuggets rank 10th in defense efficiency and the 76ers rank third in defense efficiency. The 76ers continue to play good defense as of late, sitting at first overall in efficiency in the last 10 games, though the same cannot be said about Denver who sits at 20th in their last 10 games.
From the Philly side, it’s the usual suspects in Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris as the top targets. Seth Curry, Danny Green, Dwight Howard, Shake Milton, and even Mike Scott can be considered tonight as well. Scott has started the last two games for Philly and has played no less than 28 minutes in any of those starts. He has now started six games this season and has averaged 27.8 minutes, 7.3 points, three rebounds, 1.2 steals, one assist, and 0.5 blocks per game in those starts. His results have varied in a big way, scoring 23+ DK points in three of those six starts and 11 or fewer DK points in the other three starts. With Embiid off the court, the biggest winners from a usage standpoint are Milton, who sees a four percent usage bump, followed by Harris with a 3.8 percent usage increase, then Simmons (2.5% bump) and Curry (2.3% bump). Simmons and Milton both see a three percent increase in assist rate in this instance as well.
From the Nuggets side, it’s really Nikola Jokic who I would want in my lineups tonight. Will Barton is normally someone I gravitate towards, but with Aaron Gordon on the team now, we could see Barton’s production take a hit. Don’t get me wrong, he is not out of play as Barton remains affordable on both sites and this is a small slate, though I am not as optimistic as I usually am about him. Speaking of Gordon, he played 21 minutes in his Nuggets debut and scored 13 points with two boards, one dime, and one steal, while sporting a 19.2 percent usage bump. Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., and Jamaal Murray are guys I would prefer in GPP most nights but given that it’s just a four-game slate with one contest having serious blowout potential, they are viable in cash as well.
Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers – This game is not expected to be close according to Vegas and I totally agree with them. The Clippers are favored by 11 points tonight in a game with the lowest implied total on the slate at just 215 points. For the season, the Magic rank 25th in defense efficiency and the Clippers rank sixth. Things have somewhat changed in recent games as Orlando enters this contest ranked 18th in overall defense efficiency, while the Clippers enter this game ranked third over their last 10 games.
Paul George sat out yesterday’s game due to right foot soreness, which was surprising considering that there was no report of the injury prior to him being ruled out. Perhaps being that the Clippers were on the first night of a back-to-back this was the team’s way of resting him, although that is just my speculation here. Being that they face the Magic we could see Kawhi Leonard sit out tonight too and George play. Again, just speculation here, but this is a game that I would not be stunned to see one of the big two or possibly both of the L.A. studs sit out. It is certainly something worth keeping a close eye on. Assuming Leonard plays, this is obviously a great matchup for him, but the blowout risk is a serious concern here, so he would be a tad more volatile than most nights because of that. George is interesting too because of how good the matchup is for him. If one of the two sat, the other player would become a strong option. From the Magic side, nothing truly stands out as an incredibly strong play for me. This is a game where things can certainly change with news throughout the day, so make sure to keep an eye on afternoon notes on the article.
Atlanta Hawks at Phoenix Suns – In the past these were two teams who played incredibly fast and lacked defense. That is not the case this season, as the Hawks enter this contest ranked 11th in overall defense efficiency for the season and they are bottom eight in pace. Phoenix ranks first in overall defense efficiency for the season and play at the third slowest pace. This contest has a 220-point over/under and the Suns are favored by six points. This game should be competitive and there are certainly some pieces you can include in your build from this contest (see rankings above), but this is not a game I plan on stacking by any means.
DraftKings: Russell Westbrook, Devonte’ Graham, Deandre Ayton, Terry Rozier
FanDuel: Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Devonte’ Graham, Gordon Hayward
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**