The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a seven-game slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The guards are really fascinating tonight and offer a lot of opportunity for you to make your mark, with no true studs on the slate and a lot of evenly-priced options. At point guard, the highly-priced options tonight are Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry. Neither necessarily look like outstanding plays. Our model slightly prefers CP3 on Projected Plus/Minus, though I’d give the edge to Lowry in a huge home game against Milwaukee, which offers a +3.27 Opponent Plus/Minus and a big pace boost.
One other similarly-priced option I prefer to both of those guys is De’Aaron Fox. Fox is a bit of a forgotten man but he’s quietly been very good since the turn of the calendar, exceeding expectations in 64% of his games over the last month. He is over a +5.3 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites and looks like your best high-end option tonight.
Derrick Rose has been a great play at FanDuel all season, exceeding expectations in 72% of his appearances with a +3.59 Plus/Minus average. His per-minute production has dipped of late, but he is taking on a bigger load without Reggie Jackson around and could boost even further if Bruce Brown is out. He’s a good play at both sites and a +7.2 Projected Plus/Minus at FanDuel.
Terry Rozier has not lived up to his fat new contract this season, but he has 10 Pro Trends tonight in a plus matchup against the Pacers that could get even better if Victor Oladipo sits. At over a +3.6 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites, he looks like a quality mid-range option on a light slate.
Like point guard, there are a handful of shooting guard options in play here, with Zach LaVine, C.J. McCollum and Jrue Holiday all similarly priced at the top. Given those options, I’m riding the hot hand and playing McCollum while Damian Lillard remains sidelined with that groin injury. McCollum had a monster game Sunday night with 41 points and a rebound short of a triple-double, and he’s really stepped up his production with Dame out.
McCollum is averaging better than a +20 Plus/Minus over the last three games and has a much higher ceiling than usual as the lead dog. A tough matchup in Boston tempers expectations a bit, especially with Marcus Smart playing big minutes in Kemba Walker’s absence, but he’s still our top stud tonight.
One stud you won’t have to pay stud pricing for is Fred VanVleet, who has quietly been almost as good as Kyle Lowry this year. Like Lowry, I like this Milwaukee matchup for him, and he’s over a +4.8 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites.
Marcus Smart gets the start with Kemba Walker out, and we’re projecting him at 35.5 minutes tonight. Smart is averaging a +6.46 Plus/Minus over the past 10 games and is a strong play at both sites, but especially at FanDuel where his 97% Bargain Rating helps him to a whopping +10.14 Projected Plus/Minus.
Regardless of which site you’re playing, Dennis Schroder should continue to be a hot play. He’s over a +5.9 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites and gets an easy one tonight in Chicago, especially with Kris Dunn out for the season.
The league’s two best players are both in play tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo has another opportunity to add to his repeat MVP case in a tough game in Toronto, but when has that ever stopped him? The Raptors are missing their best defender in Marc Gasol, and a close, tough game should also mean a minutes boost for Giannis, and every minute he’s out there is huge. Even at his monster salary, Antetokounmpo has exceeded expectations in nine of his last 10 games, averaging a +7.36 Plus/Minus over that stretch. He’s my first lineup pick tonight with that expected minutes boost.
LeBron James looks like a strong play as well, though I prefer Giannis if I’m picking only one, and our models prefer Antetokounmpo as well. LeBron has the much easier matchup against the Pelicans, who offer a +2.49 Opponent Plus/Minus along with a nice pace boost. Unlike Giannis, though, LeBron has mostly met his implied production on the season rather than exceeding it, and he could always come up short if the Lakers cruise or if Anthony Davis has a big game against his old team. I’m fading LeBron tonight, especially with Giannis available instead.
Gordon Hayward looks healthy again, and he’s one of the best options on the slate tonight. He’s averaging over a +10 Plus/Minus over his last 10 games, and his assists in particular have taken a jump with Kemba Walker sidelined. Hayward is a good play at both sites, but he’s a monster +11.25 Projected Plus/Minus at FanDuel to lead all players.
You can pretty much pick any Celtics mainstay tonight against Portland, so Jaylen Brown is another quality option. His production has tailed off a bit over the past month, but he’s still over a +3.3 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites.
Danilo Gallinari has exceeded expectations in 76% of his games over the past month and has a great shot to do that again in a plus matchup against the Bulls. He’s been a reliable mid-range option all season and is over a +5.7 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites tonight.
Anthony Davis gets another crack at his old team tonight, and if this season has taught us anything, it’s that you might want to get him in your lineup for this. Davis had 41 points and 9 boards in his first matchup against the Pelicans, then topped that with 46 and 13 in January. It’s clear he’s out to prove something and that the Lakers are feeding him in these matchups, and it helps that New Orleans doesn’t exactly offer much defense anyway.
Our model rates Davis as a relatively neutral play at DraftKings and a good one at FanDuel with 12 Pro Trends and a +5.69 Projected Plus/Minus. But computers don’t factor in revenge and motivation. I’m riding the Brow if I can get him in my lineup, and I’m definitely playing him over LeBron.
Ready for a couple more Celtics? Jayson Tatum appears to be making the leap right now, with two 39-point games in the last couple weeks. He’s now exceeded fantasy expectations in 13 straight games, averaging over a +10 Plus/Minus each night out in that stretch, and we’ve got him at over a +6 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites tonight. He’s going to be tough to keep out of your lineup.
Daniel Theis isn’t as sexy as the other Celtics names, but if you need a cheap option and can squeeze one more Boston name into your lineup, he’s over a +7 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites. He has a higher ceiling than you’d expect and gets a monster +6.05 Opponent Plus/Minus.
And of course, I will continue to recommend Zion Williamson every game until his price skyrockets. He’s exceeded fantasy expectations in 10 of 12 games at FanDuel and is somehow averaging 22.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game right out of the gates. A matchup against the Lakers is not exactly in his favor, but it’s also his first opportunity to show up under the bright Staples lights. Zion remains a better bargain at FanDuel.
Nikola Jokic is your stud center option, but he’s a fade tonight even in a nice matchup against Detroit. Our models have Jokic as a neutral or even negative play, in part because he just hasn’t been worth his top salary throughout the season. It’s hard to invest in Jokic with the other key studs available on tonight’s slate.
Steven Adams is averaging a +8.43 Plus/Minus over his last 10 and continues to be a positive play all season, and this is a smash spot against Chicago’s +4.16 Opponent Plus/Minus. Adams won’t have a huge ceiling but should provide positive value with over a +5.5 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites.
Myles Turner is another solid option if you can’t quite afford Adams. He has a nice matchup against Charlotte and has exceeded expectations in 67% of his games over the past month. He’s over a +5.8 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites.
If you’ve spent all your money elsewhere tonight, Alex Len looks like the right bargain option at center. Len is scoring 1.19 fantasy points per minute, so he can produce even in limited minutes. This is a great spot against the Warriors, who offer a +5.53 Opponent Plus/Minus along with a pace boost, and Len is available for barely more than the minimum. I’m spending elsewhere tonight and riding Len’s cheap salary with over a +6.1 Projected Plus/Minus at both sites.
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Pictured: Celtics F Jayson Tatum (0)