Identify the players on tonight’s NBA DFS slate who have the safest floors for your DraftKings & FanDuel cash game lineups!
We have a solid eight-game slate of NBA DFS action for Tuesday. The end of the NBA season starts to get very dicey in terms of players resting. Bad teams rest guys because they have nothing to play for, and good teams rest them because they want to be fresh heading into the grueling playoff run. Today is definitely one of those days, as I could put together an all-star team of players who are listed as out, doubtful or questionable. Devonte Graham, Marcus Smart and Fred Van Vleet could be my guards. Jayson Tatum, Draymond Green, LaMarcus Aldridge and Serge Ibaka would hold down the forward spots, and I could have Anthony Davis with Keevon Looney backing him up at center.
As you can guess, we will have a ton of value to play around with today if some of these guys sit this one out. Normally when a ton of that cheap value shows up, it’s a stars and scrubs kind of lineup build. I’m not sure that is the route I am looking to go today, as we also have a ton of solid mid-range type plays, and for cash, I like the overall look of those builds much better.
We do have four $10,000 players here today, and one of them may be out if Anthony Davis does sit. I like LeBron, Jokic and Beal for 55-65 fantasy points each, but I think we have some mid-range guys who can go over 6X too and you can get a pair of them instead of a stud and a $4Kish scrub that offer a higher floor and more safety. Devonte Graham being out opens up some cheap value on the wings for the Hornets, but the biggest boosts are likely to go to the mid-range priced guys like Rozier and Bridges. No LaMarcus Aldridge will help DeMar DeRozan and Trey Lyles a lot, and both of those guys are more mid-range priced around $6-$7K as well.
Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum are both listed as questionable, but the major beneficiaries are mid-priced guys like Hayward and Brown. Even the Raptors, who may be playing without VanVleet and Ibaka, are likely to see the biggest beneficiaries be mid-ranged guys like OG Anunoby and Norman Powell. Outside of Kyle Kuzma and the Martin brothers for Charlotte, the rest of the guys who stand to benefit from injuries today are more mid-range in price than dirt cheap.
I will admit, I am playing more on DraftKings today, so that may skew my view of this stars v. scrubs or balanced lineup question, as it’s tougher to really love the safety of a stars and scrubs lineup on DK. On FanDuel, some of these mid-ranged plays I am mentioning here are so cheap, you can still squeeze in a LeBron, Beal and/or Jokic with them and do not need to go full punt to do it. I have no problem with any of them in cash, but I do think we have quite a few guys who could beat them on points per dollar. The possible exception to this is Jokic, as center seems to be pretty weak overall today and he does grade out as one of the better projected points per dollar options as well as the highest raw point scorer at that spot.
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Top Projected Totals
- Pelicans – 129.5 *that’s an insanely high number
- Kings – 119
- Timberwolves – 117.75
- Lakers – 117.5
- Nuggets – 115.75
Biggest Pace Bump
- Kings: +5
- Thunder: +3.5
- Hornets: +3.4
- Nuggets: +3.2
Highest Projection over Average
- Pelicans: +13.5
- Kings: +10.75
- Timberwolves: +5
- Nuggets: +4.75
- Hornets: +4.5
NBA DFS Position By Position
- De’Aaron Fox – Everyone is talking about the Pelicans massive total, but the Kings are projected for 119 today, a full 10.75 points above their average as well. The Wizards have been an amazing matchup for everyone with the high paced games and big final scores. The Kings not only have a huge projection over average, but they also have the biggest pace bump on the day. We do not have any real super expensive point guard options on this slate. Fox is the highest priced and not surprisingly also the highest projected raw point scorer at the position. That is not unusual, but what is unusual is Fox also projects for the most points per dollar. It’s rare when the highest priced guy is also the highest projected, AND the highest point per dollar play. Tough to fade him in that situation.
- Terry Rozier – Devonte Graham is out, and Malik Monk was suspended for the substance abuse policy of the league. That leaves Rozier as the guy many thought he was going to be coming into the season. He projects for a massive minutes load and a boost to his usage rate. If you look back to early January in his game logs, you see games of 38+ minutes with usage rates of 25+. He has played 34 minutes a night with a usage rate in the low 20s for the year, so the bump in minutes and usage at a pretty reasonable price should be enough to get him over value with potential upside.
- Shake Milton – No Ben Simmons and no Joel Embiid has forced other guys to step up. Milton has been on fire from deep lately and is one of the guys taking the challenge. This is not a great spot for the 76ers, but he should draw one of the softer matchups on the floor. I think the 51 fantasy points last time out against the Clippers was more of the outlier, but the two games before that he went for 33 and 36, which are both good numbers for a guy priced under $6K and more in line with expectations. I still prefer Rozier in the same price range, but both deserve to be on your radar.
- D’Angelo Russell – I know they are the road dog here by a wide margin, but the total on both sides of that game is high. These are two of the five fastest-paced teams in the NBA, and both are trending upward recently. The Timberwolves project for five points above their seasonal average as well. I’m not forcing myself to pay up for Russell today, but he’s the best option on the Timberwolves to get exposure to that side of a game with a near 250 total.
- DeMar DeRozan – I know he was not good last night, but the analysis remains the same. He is one of the guys who benefit the most when LaMarcus Aldridge is out, and LMA is not looking likely to play tonight. DeRozan has seen his price come down a bit as well, so you don’t need him to smash to make value. I know the game logs are a bit ugly, but they have had a brutal run of opponents here. Utah, OKC, Dallas, Orlando and Indiana are all on the slower side for pace and known as solid defensive teams. Charlotte is not as solid, but they are also a tad on the slower side. I still think DeRozan has the juice to get it done with a big game here today though. I do not like him for upside, but the floor should be high.
- Norman Powell – This one hinges on the health of Fred VanVleet. If FVV is out, you have to think Powell is in line for another game with big minutes and the chance to put up some good numbers. Powell is under $5K, played 36 and 40 minutes in the last two games without FVV and averaged over 30 fantasy points. That’s a 6X return for him and a good salary saving option.
- Cody Martin – The Hornets backcourt went from crowded to thin very fast. Monk was suspended, and now Graham is hurt. Those two accounted for over 50 minutes a night. Martin has already been flirting with 6X his low $4K price over the last few games in under 30 minutes. He could see over that number of minutes today, which would make his floor safer and even offer us some upside.
- LeBron James – I am not playing LeBron if Anthony Davis is in, but the Lakers project over average and face a very weakened 76ers team without Simmons and Embiid. LeBron is coming off one of his best games of the season last time out against the Pelicans. Davis sat that one too, and LeBron carried the team with a 34/12/13 triple-double. He’s the top end guy I am most interested in, assuming Davis does sit. I will say the question of him over Jokic is interesting. I prefer LeBron in a vacuum, but center is not exactly a stacked position today. It’s tough to get both but doable if you really want to on DK. On FanDuel, I have less of an issue, as fitting both in was much easier to pull off.
- OG Anunoby – I debated Tobias Harris hard here too, but ultimately, I like OG Anunoby a ton if Ibaka remains out. Even if Ibaka plays, I still like OG. He was a big part of the rotation to start the season, but injuries played a part in his taking a back seat. He’s healthy now, and with FVV and Ibaka out, he’s been smashing for the Raptors. He played 39 and 40 minutes the last two games and absolutely crushed value. Sure, his price is up and those six and seven steals are probably unsustainable, but even if you take them away, he still had 35 and 50 fantasy points the last two games without them. He’s not a one-trick pony.
- Miles Bridges – The Charlotte Hornets are well represented here and rightly so, given the perimeter guys with usage dropping like flies. He had a run of games at the beginning of last month where he was routinely seeing 35+ minutes. He was averaging over 20 points a night and grabbing 5-10 boards in those games as well. He’s priced under $6K too, which means the 35-45 he was getting routinely with those minutes is right in line with where we need him today.
- Zion Williamson – I am not going out of my way to play Zion with the cheaper options available here, but I do still like him. I doubt he repeats the last game, but he’s routinely scoring points and contributing in all the other stats too. The Pelicans have a massive 129.5 team total today, and it’s one of the fastest projected paces with both teams in the top 5. Minnesota is also small on the frontline, so he should be able to dominate inside or out. He’s priced above a lot of the mid-range guys but not exactly with the superstars yet, although, the minutes and his productivity say that he should be.
- Al Horford – No Embiid and no Simmons has led to more minutes and higher production for Horford. More rebounds, more shots, and a better efficiency actually. This is by no means a soft matchup, although a bit softer if Anthony Davis is out. It’s not like they are rolling him out there for 40 minutes a night, but his minutes are up over 30 and he’s produced around 40 fantasy points in each of the last two with stats stuffed across the board.
- Trey Lyles – Lyles has been lights out from deep and rebounding well as the de facto center with LMA out. If Aldridge misses again, I’m still going back to him despite the price increase. His last two games without LMA have been spectacular, so if Aldridge misses again, I’m willing to keep riding this horse.
- Kyle Kuzma (If No AD) – Kuzma is pretty cheap and would see a big minutes boost if Davis is out. If AD plays, you basically can’t use him, as his minutes drop to the 20s and so does his usage. Without AD, we see a bunch of games with 30+ minutes though and more shot attempts both because of the increased minutes and his increased role.
- Nikola Jokic – Jokic and Ayton are the two high-end centers today, and with the Warriors frontline so beat up, Jokic should dominate them. It’s a rough day for centers, as we have a lot of guys I am not too fond of here. Jokic is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but other than Ayton – who I project 10 points lower – no one else projects within 20 points of Jokic today. When a guy is just that clearly head and shoulders above the field, it makes sense to not try to get too cute. He’s easier to fit on FD where I’m more likely to play him, but that doesn’t mean he won’t see a DraftKings roster if I can fit the pieces I want today around him.
- Bismack Biyombo – Biyombo has taken over the main center duties for the Hornets. He’s not a major upside guy, but since the minutes have jumped up around an average of 30 a night, we have seen him flirting with double-doubles and racking up blocks. It’s a bit under the radar, but the fantasy production has been really solid with an average of 32 fantasy points over the last three games. That’s over a 6X return at his price.
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