Tuesday features an eight-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been playing some incredible basketball recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.18 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week. SGA has increased his fantasy production to 1.22 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, which is the top mark at the position on today’s slate.
He should be able to put together another solid performance vs. the Kings. They’ve been one of the best matchups in fantasy this season, ranking sixth in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency. The Thunder’s implied team total of 109.0 represents a significant increase from their season average of 100.1 points per game.
SGA is a particularly nice target on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 85%.
The Timberwolves continue to play without a host of their best players. Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Anthony Edwards are all out due to health and safety protocols, while Patrick Beverley is questionable for Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Knicks.
That leaves plenty of playing time for Jaylen Nowell. He’s been fantastic when given the chance to play this season, averaging 1.03 DraftKings points per minute. He racked up 34.7 minutes yesterday vs. the Celtics, and he responded with 45.5 DraftKings points. He’s one of the best values of the day at his current price tag across the industry.
The Pelicans are another team with minutes and usage available at the moment. Devonte’ Graham has been one of the primary beneficiaries, racking up at least 32.5 DraftKings points in four of his past five games. He faces a tough matchup vs. the Cavaliers, but he’s simply too cheap given the absence of Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Brandon Ingram, and possibly Josh Hart.
Bradley Beal is currently questionable for the Wizards, and his absence would result in another increased workload for Spencer Dinwiddie. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.7% with Beal off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.08 FanDuel points per minute. He’s also been outstanding in five full games without Beal this season, averaging 44.88 FanDuel points per game. Dinwiddie is a massive value at $6,000 on FanDuel if Beal is out once again.
Darius Garland has been forced to take on a larger role for the Cavaliers this season. Collin Sexton went down with an injury, and Garland has picked up the slack. He’s been particularly good recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in five of his past six games.
He should be able to do some damage Tuesday vs. the Pelicans. They’re just 24th in defensive efficiency this season, and Garland owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.29. He’s an elite pay-up option on FanDuel, where his $7,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
Editor’s note: Garland was placed in the COVID protocols after this piece was submitted.
R.J. Hampton returned to the Magic’s lineup in their last game, and they threw him right back into the fire. He racked up 31.7 minutes, and he responded with 14 points, one rebound, five assists, two steals, and a block. Hampton has averaged 0.84 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s a capable producer on a per-minute basis. He’s priced at a massive discount at just $3,200 on DraftKings with Cole Anthony out of the lineup.
Malik Beasley is another option to consider for the shorthanded Timberwolves. He’s coming off a slightly disappointing 28.5 DraftKings points in his last game, but he shot just 6-18 from the field. More importantly, he logged 39.5 minutes, and he’s increased his usage rate by +5.3% with Towns, Edwards, and Russell off the court this season. He’s another elite value on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 93%.
Gary Payton II has been priced up a bit more aggressively on Tuesday’s slate, but he should still be able to pay off his current salary. He’s logged at least 30.4 minutes in back-to-back games, and Payton has averaged 1.01 DraftKings points per minute this season.
LeBron James has shown no signs of decline in his age 37 season. He’s scored at least 31 points in four straight games, and he’s racked up at least 61.8 FanDuel points in three of them. He’s going to have to continue to carry a heavy workload for the Lakers moving forward. Not only has the team disappointed this season – they’re just ninth in the Western Conference at 16-18 – but Anthony Davis will miss at least three more weeks with an injury. LeBron has increased his production to 1.53 FanDuel points per minute in seven games without Davis this season.
Sticking with the Lakers, Talen Horton-Tucker is another player who will have to pick up the slack for Davis. He’s struggled to make shots recently – he’s just 11-37 from the field over his past three games – but he’s logged at least 30.2 minutes in three of them. He’s currently projected for 30 minutes in our NBA Models, and THT has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.95 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
I’ve always liked David Nwaba, and he’s getting a chance to play for the Rockets at the moment. He’s been productive recently, averaging 0.98 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s coming off 24.3 minutes in yesterday’s contest. That should be enough playing time for him to pay off his $3,400 salary.
Jimmy Butler has missed plenty of time this year due to injuries, but he’s been outstanding when he’s been in the lineup. He’s averaged 1.27 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he racked up nearly 35 minutes in his return to the lineup on Sunday. If he’s going to continue to play that much, he’s underpriced at $8,500 on FanDuel. He’s been priced as high as $10,300 this season, so his current price tag represents a nice discount.
Giannis Antetokounmpo returned to the Bucks’ lineup on Christmas, and he looked as good as ever. He was limited to just 29.8 minutes in his first game back, but he still finished with 61.9 FanDuel points. He posted an unreal 43.9% usage rate in that contest, and he racked up 36 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. His playing time should ramp up moving forward, and Giannis has averaged 1.68 FanDuel points per minute this season. His matchup vs. the Magic is also fantastic, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.01.
The only real question is can the Magic keep this game competitive? The Bucks’ implied team total of 114.75 ranks second on the slate, but they’re massive 14-point road favorites. If this game turns into a blowout, Giannis and company won’t be able to realize their full value.
Nathan Knight is a really tough fade at just $3,800 on FanDuel. The Timberwolves are extremely thin at center at the moment, leaving Knight as one of their lone available options. He racked up 29.2 minutes on Monday, and he responded with 43.2 FanDuel points. Knight has averaged 1.20 FanDuel points per minute this season, so there’s no reason to expect much of a decline on Tuesday.
Juan Toscano-Anderson stands out as one of the better values at the position on DraftKings, where his $3,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%. He’s averaged 0.83 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 25 minutes in our NBA Models.
Kevin Love moved into the starting lineup in the Cavaliers’ last game, and he has produced at an insane level recently. He’s averaged 1.41 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he has the potential to play a few additional minutes as a starter. That didn’t happen in his last game, but he still finished with 40.75 DraftKings points over just 18.3 minutes. That game turned into a blowout, so Love has the potential to play a bit more on Tuesday.
Nikola Jokic continues to get more expensive, but he has been the clear best player in fantasy this season. He’s coming off another monster performance in his last game, finishing with 73.5 DraftKings points thanks to 26 points, 22 rebounds, and eight assists. Overall, he’s scored at least 61.5 DraftKings points in eight of his past ten games, and the only exceptions were games where he played 26.1 minutes or less. That’s absurd.
However, Jokic does face an extremely tough test vs. the Warriors. They’ve been the top team in the league in terms of defensive efficiency, and Jokic owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.74. Jokic should still be expected to rack up fantasy points, but his ceiling might be a smidge lower than usual.
The Heat have tried a few different options at center since losing Bam Adebayo to an injury, but Omer Yurtseven has been the best. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in eight straight games on DraftKings, and he’s coming off a season-high 33.1 minutes in his last outing. Yurtseven has averaged an elite 1.11 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he can do some serious damage with that much playing time.
Jonas Valanciunas is expected to return to the lineup for the Pelicans, and he has some legit buy-low appeal in his first game back. He’s priced at just $7,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%, and Valanciunas is one of the best centers in the league on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 1.24 FanDuel Points per minute this season, which trails only Jokic and Embiid among traditional centers.
Montrezl Harrell is out for the Wizards on Tuesday, which means Daniel Gafford should see a few extra minutes. He’s averaged 1.09 FanDuel points per minute this season, so a few extra minutes makes him an appealing option.