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 three-game slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
New offer from FantasyLabs: Get our NFL models and tools free when you sign up for the NBA monthly plan!
John Wall returned to the lineup in the Rockets’ last game, but he finished with a disappointing 19.75 DraftKings points. That said, the Rockets won by 25 points, so they didn’t really need to push Wall in his first game back. He played just 20.7 minutes in that contest, and he should undoubtedly see a boost in that department vs. the Wizards.
This game also stands out as the clear top target of the day from a fantasy perspective. Both of these teams have played at a top-seven pace this season, and the total currently sits at 233.0 points. That’s the top mark on the slate by more than 11 points, and the 3.5-point spread suggests it should also be a competitive affair.
The Wizards are finally playing basketball again, but they’re still dealing with some absences due to health and safety protocols. Deni Avdija, Davis Bertans, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, Ish Smith, and Moe Wagner have already been ruled out, while Raul Neto is questionable with a groin injury. That means it’s all hands on deck for the rest of the roster.
Jerome Robinson should be forced into a larger workload than usual. He’s coming off 35.3 minutes in his last game, and he’s currently projected for 28.8 minutes in our NBA Models. That is a ton of playing time for someone with a $3,600 price tag, and players with comparable minute projections and salaries have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.98 (per the Trends tool).
The Clippers are another team that will be leaning on their role players on Wednesday. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverley have all been ruled out, which opens up minutes and usage for the rest of the roster.
Reggie Jackson stands out as one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s increased his usage rate by +2.5% with all three players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.98 FanDuel points per minute. He will likely move into the starting lineup, which gives him plenty of playing time upside as well.
Trae Young is currently listed as questionable, and he missed the Hawks’ loss on Sunday vs. the Bucks. However, he is undoubtedly worth some consideration if he suits up. There are very few studs to actually roster on today’s slate, and Young has scored at least 50.75 DraftKings points in four straight games.
Bradley Beal is undoubtedly the top stud on today’s slate. He leads all players and median, ceiling, and floor projections in our NBA Models thanks to his elite combination of volume and efficiency. He has the potential to play upwards of 40 minutes vs. the Rockets – he’s currently projected for 39.0 – and he’s averaged a stout 1.48 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
His usage rate could take a bit of a hit with Westbrook back in the lineup, but Beal still led the team with a ridiculous 45.2% usage rate in his last game. Expect him to garner massive ownership, but he’s a very tough fade.
Luke Kennard is another member of the Clippers who stands out as an excellent value option. He will likely move into the starting lineup vs. the Hawks, and he should operate as one of their primary offensive weapons. He’s seen a team-high usage bump of +11.2% with Leonard, George, and Beverley off the court this season, and he’s also increased his assist rate by +15.0%. Add it all up, and he’s averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute in that situation.
He’s too cheap on FanDuel, where his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 67%.
Victor Oladipo got the night off in the Rockets’ last game, but he should be back tonight. He’s been excellent in two of his first three games with his new team, scoring at least 44.75 DraftKings points in both contests. He did have a clunker in there – he finished with just 23.5 DraftKings points vs. the Pistons – but his 35.5 minutes in that contest were actually pretty encouraging. He has one of the higher ceilings on the slate, which makes him way too cheap at just $7,900 on DraftKings.
If the Hawks are without Young, Clint Capela, and Danilo Gallinari, the Hawks would become another appealing source of value. Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish stand out as two of the biggest potential beneficiaries. Reddish has more upside – he’s increased his usage rate by +7.8% with all three players off the court this season – but Huerter is the better bet for minutes.
Make sure to monitor all of today’s injury situations using the Labs Insiders tool.
Small forward looks like a position to pay down at today, with one big caveat. If Young, Capela, and Gallinari are all ruled out, De’Andre Hunter is definitely someone I’d want to pay up for.
Hunter has increased his usage rate by +7.4% with all three players off the court this season, and he’s led the team with an average of 1.22 DraftKings points per minute. That is an elite number considering his price tag.
Hunter has been priced up a bit on DraftKings, but he remains very affordable on FanDuel. His $5,600 salary comes with a very nice Bargain Rating of 69%. He also owns eight Pro Trends, which is currently tied for the most at the SF position.
Nicolas Batum has played just two total minutes without Kawhi, George, and Beverley this season, so it’s hard to get a feel for exactly what his role will be vs. the Hawks. For what it’s worth, he has crushed in those two minutes, increasing his production to 1.33 DraftKings points per minute. There is zero chance that number will hold up long term, but he could conceivably average over 1.0 fantasy points per minute in that situation.
Our projections are also bullish on Batum. His projected Plus/Minus of +5.3 ranks second at the position on FanDuel, and he also ranks second in ceiling projection. He might be a bit pricy at $6,300 on DraftKings, but his $5,500 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 71%. He’s also in a great spot vs. the Hawks, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.12.
Garrison Mathews is a SF on FanDuel and a SG on DraftKings, but he’s underpriced across the industry. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in three straight games, and he’s coming off 34.6 minutes in his last outing. Mathews has averaged 0.88 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s more productive than the typical player in this price range.
Tom Thibodeau is not afraid to give his players big minutes, so it’s not surprising that R.J. Barrett ranks eighth in the league in minutes per game. That number has actually come down a bit recently, but Barrett’s 36.5 projected minutes on today’s slate still ranks first at the SF position. He’s coming off a dreadful performance Sunday vs. the Blazers, but he posted a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in three straight games prior to that outing.
Julius Randle has been one of the most consistent producers in fantasy this season. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in all but two games on FanDuel this season, and he just barely missed the cut in one of them. He’s also scored fantasy points in a variety of different ways: he’s on pace to average new career-highs in points, rebounds, and assists per game.
Randle is in a brutal spot today vs. the Jazz, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.44, but he still leads the position with 14 Pro Trends on FanDuel. His ceiling projection is also considerably higher than the rest of the power forwards on today’s slate.
Marcus Morris might be my favorite value target for the Clippers, particularly at just $4,700 on DraftKings. He’s led the team in usage with Leonard, George, and Beverley off the court this season, and he’s someone who has previously served as an offensive focal point. He averaged 31.35 DraftKings points in 43 games with the Knicks last season, so he’s capable of taking on more offensive responsibilities when needed.
John Collins has increased his usage rate by +8.1% with Young, Capela, and Gallinari off the court this season, which is the top mark on the squad. He should also be expected to play more minutes if Capela can’t suit up, which would make him a very appealing target in that situation.
The Wizards are particularly thin in the frontcourt today, which opens up a couple of potential values. Isaac Bonga is the preferred target on FanDuel at $4,200 since he’s expected to handle the majority of the power forward minutes. Anthony Gill could be the preferred target on DraftKings given the price differential. Gill is priced at the minimum — making him -$1,100 cheaper than Bonga — and he’s projected for a solid 18.6 minutes in our NBA Models.
Center is one of the easiest positions on today’s slate. Christian Wood is doubtful to suit up, which means DeMarcus Cousins is basically a lock-button option. He scored 36.25 DraftKings points in his first start in place of Wood despite shooting just 2-16 from the field. He followed that up with a much better shooting performance in his second contest, and he increased his production to 58.25 DraftKings points. Cousins has averaged a dominant 1.47 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he should see at least 30 minutes if today’s game stays competitive.
If you’re not going to play Cousins – but seriously, just play Cousins – Ivica Zubac makes some sense at his current price tag. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in seven straight games on FanDuel, and he could see a slightly larger workload on today’s slate. The Hawks are also a solid matchup, giving Zubac an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.72.
Pairing Cousins with Rudy Gobert is definitely a viable strategy on DraftKings. Gobert owns a Bargain Rating of 99%, and his price has plummeted recently. He’s down to just $7,200, and Gobert has historically posted a Plus/Minus of +3.32 with a comparable salary. This is a nice buy-low opportunity.