The NBA has a massive 10-game slate on Tuesday night, providing fantasy players with many different options to consider from the 20-team player pool. None of the 20 teams in action are on the second night of a back-to-back, but seven teams will turn around and play again on Wednesday.
It should be a wild night, and there are definitely some fantasy-friendly spots to try to attack as you assemble your DFS fantasy basketball lineups. Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and projections.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Editor’s note: This article was submitted before Trae Young was ruled out. Check NBA Models for updates.
One of the breakout stars in the early part of the season has been Tyrese Maxey of the 76ers, who has stepped up in the wake of the departure of James Harden and kept the Sixers a contender in the Eastern Conference. His usage has increased from 24.1% last season to 26.0% through his first nine games this year, and he has averaged an impressive 1.31 DraftKings points and 1.34 FanDuel points per minute.
Maxey has exceeded salary-based expectations in eight of his nine games this season and is coming off his first career 50-point game. He added seven rebounds, five assists, and three blocks to his dominant performance, and he should be set to build on that monster game in the rematch on Tuesday.
In fact, Maxey may have even more work to do since Joel Embiid (hip) is questionable, and Nicolas Batum (personal) has already been ruled out. Even with the uncertainty around Embiid, Maxey’s Sixers have the second-highest implied team total on the slate, according to our Vegas Dashboard. The matchup against Indiana is ideal since the Pacers play at the third-fastest Pace in the NBA and have the fourth-worst defensive efficiency.
If Embiid is limited at all or ends up needing to sit this one out, Maxey would get even more usage, and he’s already shown he can dominate in this matchup. While he’s over $10K on FanDuel, he’s still under $9K on DraftKings, where he has an 86% Bargain Rating.
He’s already among the leaders in projections with Embiid in the model, so he could stand out even more if he ends up with more work. There’s no reason to think Maxey’s maturing and growing into a star is flukey in any way, and he’s a great stud to build around this Monday.
The Jazz host the Trail Blazers in a matchup that features plenty of good value plays to consider. Utah’s offense is running through rookie point guard Keyonte George, who has moved into the starting lineup and impressed in the past two games. He has the highest Projected Plus/Minus at point guard on DraftKings on this slate and one of the best Pts/Sal on the whole slate. On FanDuel, George is eligible at shooting guard, where he brings the highest Projected Plus/Minus and Pts/Sal at the position and the second-highest on the whole slate.
George has produced 0.79 DraftKings points and 0.74 FanDuel points per minute so far this season, but in his last two games since moving to the starting five, his rates have improved to 0.86 DraftKings points and 0.83 FanDuel points per minute. His workload also increased to 30.0 minutes per game. George had a career-high 11 assists on Friday against the Grizzlies and had a 22.4% Usage rate. He shot just 2-of-12 from the field, so if he starts hitting his shots, the ceiling is even higher for him in his current role.
The Trail Blazers have a young backcourt of their own and will be without Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Scoot Henderson (ankle), and Anfernee Simons (thumb). Skylar Mays has played well (more below), but the short-handed backcourt should be a good matchup for George and the Jazz in a relatively fantasy-friendly home matchup.
Every position on a 10-game slate is stacked with options, but point guard is especially juicy on Tuesday. Luka Doncic has the third-highest median and ceiling projection on the whole slate and always brings the potential for a massive stat line that breaks the slate. He has a great matchup against the Pelicans as the Mavs finish a two-game stay in the Big Easy.
Doncic’s teammate Kyrie Irving projects to be one of the best values on the board. He has the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all point guards on FanDuel and the third-highest on DraftKings. He is tied for the best Pts/Sal at the position on both sites and matches 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where he has an 83% Bargain Rating.
LaMelo Ball actually matches the most Pro Trends of any point guard on FanDuel and is tied for the most on DraftKings. He has exceeded salary-based expectations on FanDuel in each of his last four games and has scored at least 25 points in each of those games while stuffing the stat sheet in multiple categories.
Another great top-end option is Tyrese Haliburton, who is playing the Sixers for the second straight game. He had a huge 25-point, 17-assist game in Philly on Sunday and is now averaging an elite 1.55 DraftKings points and 1.49 FanDuel points per minute on the season.
Even with so many elite options, it’s hard to overlook Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, especially since the Thunder have the highest implied team total on the board. SGA has been excellent when available this season, scoring at least 30 points in four straight games and adding very solid non-scoring production as well. If Maxey wasn’t so much cheaper than him on DraftKings, Gilgeous-Alexander would have been my stud selection.
If you decide to target midrange options at point guard, the models indicate Jordan Clarkson and Marcus Smart are good options. Smart has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel and is tied with Kyrie for the highest Pts/Sal at point guard. Clarkson is a little more expensive on FanDuel but projects slightly higher than Smart on DraftKings.
Another emerging midrange option is Skylar Mays, who earned a standard contract with a few strong games filling in for all the injured Trail Blazers. Mays has posted back-to-back double-doubles and vastly exceeded salary-based expectations in the last two games, although his salary has now climbed to compensate for his larger role.
Mike Conley stands out as a value against the Warriors, and Jacob Gilyard is also an intriguing value play with upside if he draws a second straight start for the Grizzlies.
Other bargains that pop in the models for Tuesday include Collin Sexton of the Jazz (especially on DraftKings), Theo Maledon of the Hornets, and Collin Gillespie of the Nuggets.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
With all the available workload in Portland, Shaedon Sharpe is a strong play against the Jazz in one of the most fantasy-friendly environments of the night. Sharpe actually has the second-highest ceiling projection of all shooting guards on FanDuel, even though he is only the 13th-most expensive option. Sharpe has a 96% Bargain Rating on FanDuel and brings the second-most Pts/Sal at the position behind only Keyonte George (discussed above).
Sharpe has played at least 40 minutes in five straight games for Portland and has posted a 22.3% Usage rate during that time. His production rate of 0.84 DraftKings points and 0.81 FanDuel points per minute isn’t elite, but the fact that he’s getting so many minutes and so many opportunities makes him a strong option to consider in what should be an up-tempo matchup in Utah.
Given how cheap he is on FanDuel and the fact that he is eligible at both shooting guard and small forward, Sharpe is easy to fit into many roster builds on that site. On DraftKings, he’s a little trickier with his salary of almost $8K, but he still brings one of the best median projections and Pts/Sal on the slate and is projected for over 25% usage and over 39 minutes against the Jazz.
There are two values I really like at shooting guard on Tuesday’s slate. De’Anthony Melton is a better value on FanDuel, where he brings the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position, but Bogdan Bogdanovic is a slightly better option on DraftKings, where he ranks in the top eight in both Pts/Sal and Projected Plus/Minus at shooting guard.
Melton has an 88% Bargain Rating on FanDuel and has outperformed salary-based expectations on that site in three of his last seven games while posting an Average Plus/Minus of +0.66 FanDuel points per game. He has scored double-digit points in three of his last four games and contributed six assists on Sunday as well in the Sixers big game against the Pacers. In the rematch, he could get even more minutes and usage depending on the status of Embiid, and he definitely should have more work with Batum not available on the wing.
While Bogdanovic has a positive Projected Plus/Minus on both sites, he’s a much better value on DraftKings, where he has a 79% Bargain Rating. While coming off the bench for the Hawks, Bogdanovic has exceeded salary-based expectations in four straight games, scoring at least 15 points in each of his last three. In those four games, Bogdanovic has an Average Plus/Minus of 6.1 DraftKings points per game. With Atlanta visiting the Motor City on Tuesday, Bogdanovic should be a strong value once again for the Hawks.
While Kyrie Irving, Cade Cunningham, Dejounte Murray, and Stephen Curry (on DraftKings) can flex over to this spot, most of the top guards are just point guards on this slate. Irving has the third-highest Projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel and the second-highest on DraftKings. He also has the highest median projection on both sites and is expected to put up a huge game against the Pelicans. If Sharpe wasn’t such an outstanding value on FanDuel, Irving would be my top stud option in this spot.
Desmond Bane continues to carry the offensive workload for the Grizzlies with a 30.9% usage rate on the year. He has produced 1.27 DraftKings points and 1.25 FanDuel points per minute, so he brings one of the best ceilings at the position to his matchup against the Lakers in Los Angeles. He has at least 27 points and at least five assists in four of his last five games.
Anthony Edwards and Paul George also always bring a high ceiling, but on this slate, both are projected to fall short of salary-based expectations.
In the midrange, some other strong plays to consider in addition to Melton and Bogdanovic are Devin Vassell of the Spurs, Jalen Suggs of the Magic, and Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Mavericks. Marcus Smart (on DraftKings), Skylar Mays, and Jordan Clarkson can also slide over to this spot and bring good value in this price range.
Collin Sexton again stands out as a bargain since he has the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all shooting guards on DraftKings. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Norman Powell go head-to-head in a matchup of other bargain shooting guard options. Other cheap shooting guards that show up as bargains in the projections include Malaki Branham of the Spurs and Luke Kennard of the Grizzlies.
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NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
On this slate overstocked with point guards and centers, it’s a little unusual to have a bit of a shortage of stud small forwards. LeBron James (calf) is the obvious exception if he returns from his one-game absence with a left calf contusion. Another great option to consider, though, is Michael Porter Jr., who has been putting up very strong numbers so far this season for the defending champs.
Porter has produced 1.11 DraftKings points and 1.10 FanDuel points per minute on the season, and he brings the highest Projected Plus/Minus of all small forwards on DraftKings, where he has a 73% Bargain Rating and can also slide over to power forward (only small forward eligible on FanDuel.) Porter is in the top 10 in Projected Plus/Minus and Pts/Sal on FanDuel as well.
In each of his past five games, Porter has exceeded salary-based expectations with an Average Plus/Minus of 9.4 DraftKings points and 12.3 FanDuel points per game. Over that span, he has averaged 40.5 DraftKings points and 39.08 FanDuel points per game with a usage rate of over 20% in each contest.
The Thunder have gotten strong play from Jalen Williams this season. Williams is eligible at shooting guard and small forward on FanDuel but only at power forward on DraftKings. He ranks in the top six in Projected Plus/Minus at all of those positions and brings a high ceiling in what should be a high-scoring game against the Spurs.
Williams let up the Suns on Sunday for a season-high 31 points while helping his team to a 12-point win. While he didn’t have great non-scoring numbers in that contest, he has shown throughout this season that he can contribute across the box score with good rebounds, assists, and steals in the right matchup. This should be a great matchup for him since the Spurs have the third-worst defensive efficiency and the second-fastest Pace in the NBA.
On the season, Williams has produced 0.89 DraftKings points and 0.87 FanDuel points per minute. He’s projected for over 34 minutes in this home game, so he should be a very solid midrange play wherever you can fit him onto your roster.
Lauri Markkanen should be in a good spot in that Jazz-Blazers matchup and brings the second-highest ceiling and median projection at the position on DraftKings behind only LeBron. He also has the second-highest ceiling projection at the position on FanDuel.
Brandon Ingram brings the second-highest floor projection at the position on DraftKings and the fifth-highest on FanDuel. He had over 30 points against the Rockets but came back to earth in the first game of this two-game series vs. the Mavs.
Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard both bring high ceilings but haven’t lived up to salary-based expectations lately. They’re projected for negative Plus/Minus on this slate as well.
One player who comes at a similar salary to those established stars but has been putting up great numbers so far this season is rookie Ausar Thompson. Thompson has outperformed salary-based expectations in eight of his past 10 games and has produced 1.11 DraftKings points and 1.13 FanDuel points per minute. He has played 32.2 minutes per game over that stretch and has been extremely productive. Thompson is a small forward on both DraftKings and FanDuel and can flex over to shooting guard on FanDuel and to power forward on DraftKings.
Keldon Johnson had a double-double in one of his best games of the season on Sunday, and he’ll look to keep rolling against the Thunder.
With Batum ruled out for the Sixers, there should be space for Danuel House Jr. and Robert Covington to be excellent value plays. Both are small forwards on FanDuel with Covington also being able to slide to power forward. On DraftKings, Covington can play either power forward or center while House actually brings the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus at small forward on the entire slate at his minimum salary of $3,000.
Some other value plays that show well in the projections are Matisse Thybulle, Saddiq Bey and Taurean Prince.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
With so many key contributors sidelined, Jerami Grant has been putting up stud numbers for the Trail Blazers. He has the fourth-highest ceiling projection at power forward on DraftKings and the fifth-highest on FanDuel, even though he’s outside the top 10 in salary at the position on both sites.
Grant has the highest Projected Plus/Minus and the highest Pts/Sal on the entire slate on FanDuel, and he has the second-highest Projected Plus/Minus and Pts/Sal at power forward on DraftKings behind only the ultra-cheap Robert Covington.
In his past four games, Grant has a team-high 29.4% usage and has produced 1.04 DraftKings points and 0.99 FanDuel points per minute. He has exceeded salary-based expectations on FanDuel in each of those four games and has played at least 37 minutes in six straight games. With so many minutes and so much usage, Grant can be an elite option even though his salary isn’t at the very top of the list.
After missing seven games with a calf strain, Cameron Johnson is stepping back into a big role for Brooklyn. He played just 25 minutes in his first game back on Friday but saw that workload jump to 35 minutes on Sunday against the Wizards. Even though he shot just 2-of-11 from long range, it’s a great sign that his minutes and usage were so high, and he should be able to put up big numbers as he finds his rhythm going forward. He has a usage rate of over 20% in each of his three games this season.
On Tuesday, he and the Nets host the Magic in a spot that should set him up for a good game. He has the seventh-highest Projected Plus/Minus at power forward on FanDuel and the fourth-highest at the position on DraftKings.
Victor Wembanyama has been very good for the Spurs and is in that juicy Spurs-Thunder game on Tuesday night. He has at least nine rebounds and at least 13 points in each of his last six games. He also had a career-high seven assists on Sunday in San Antonio’s loss to the Heat. He has posted an impressive 30.9% usage rate so far this season and produced 1.36 DraftKings points and 1.35 FanDuel points per minute.
Zion Williamson had a down game against Dallas on Sunday but is projected to bounce back with a better performance Tuesday.
For the Magic, Paolo Banchero always brings a high ceiling and is coming off a great 26-point, 14-rebound double-double against the Bucks on Saturday. He’s been inconsistent this season but has also definitely shown a high ceiling.
While Grant is a great mid-range option Aaron Gordon, Zach Collins, Draymond Green and John Collins are also good options in that price range.
If you have to dive into the bargain bin, Covington stands out as the best power forward play with De’Andre Hunter, Saddiq Bey, and Kyle Anderson also under $5K on DraftKings with great Projected Plus/Minus. On FanDuel, Kelly Olynyk is also a great option in this price range, and Andrew Wiggins is also very affordable at just $4,400.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Like point guard, center is overstuffed with great options on this 20-team slate. Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid lead the way, with Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo not far behind. While Embiid has injury concerns of his own, Davis could get a huge boost and be the best play if LeBron sits a second straight game, so keep a close eye on the news throughout the day. Of that fearsome foursome, though, the most affordable play is Adebayo, who is also in a great matchup and has been lighting up the league lately.
Due to injuries and absences, Adbayo has had to step up lately for the Heat, and he has risen to the occasion. Even with Butler and Kyle Lowry expected to play on Tuesday, Bam still sets up in a smash spot against the Hornets, who give him a +2.61 Opponents Plus/Minus on DraftKings and project to be a great matchup across the board.
Adebayo has exceeded salary-based expectations in four straight games with double-doubles in each contest and an Average Plus/Minus of 17.6 DraftKings points and 21.8 FanDuel points per game. He has averaged a robust 25.5 points and 14.75 rebounds per game during that stretch for 1.63 DraftKings points and 1.61 FanDuel points per minute.
He costs significantly less than the other top center options and has been just as effective lately. Throw in his matchup, and Adebayo has a strong case as the top stud option even on this slate.
If you’re searching for a steady midrange value at center, Clint Capela is hard to argue against. He has been very steady and productive all season for the Hawks and gets a good matchup on Tuesday against the Pistons, who will be without Jaren Duran (ankle) for a second straight game. Capela should be in a favorable matchup as a result, and his Hawks have the fourth-highest implied team total on the night.
Capela has produced 1.17 DraftKings points and 1.19 FanDuel points per minute in his nine games this season while averaging 24.7 minutes per game. He has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his nine contests with an Average Plus/Minus of 3.01 FanDuel points per game.
Capela doesn’t typically take a ton of shots or score a lot of points, but his defense and rebounding make him a reliable force in the middle both for the Hawks and his fantasy owners. He doesn’t have the flashy ceiling of the elite options but usually finds a way to return good value, especially in favorable matchups like this one.
If Joel Embiid plays at nearly 100%, he projects to have a sky-high ceiling and be in a complete smash spot against the Pacers. However, he didn’t play for much of the fourth quarter on Sunday and may be limited even if he ends up giving it a go on Tuesday. The upside is undeniable, but the risk is also real. If Embiid ends up sitting this game out, Paul Reed would instantly become one of the best values on the board.
If Anthony Davis plays and LeBron doesn’t, he has a similar ceiling to Embiid and Jokic in what should be a very favorable matchup with Memphis. He always brings some “boom-or-bust” factor, but like with Embiid, the upside is definitely there.
Kelly Olynyk and John Collins actually have the top two Projected Plus/Minus at the position on FanDuel, where both seem underpriced for this matchup with the Blazers. Olynyk, in particular, comes in very cheap at just $4,500 with a 93% Bargain Rating. On the other side of that matchup, Deandre Ayton also has good Projected Plu/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Another source of value at center lately has been Orlando, where Goga Bitadze and Moritz Wagner have been filling in well for Wendell Carter Jr. While Goga is starting and has shown a higher ceiling, don’t sleep on the older Wagner brother, who has exceeded salary-based expectations in five of his last six games while scoring double-digit points in each of those six contests.