Of Tuesday’s eight NBA games, two stand out in terms of high score potential, though only one of those also features low salaries. Russell Westbrook $10700 and Kevin Durant $9800 should carve up the Timberwolves, who have lost six in a row.
However, for either of the Thunder superstars to put up huge numbers, Minnesota must play well. If Ricky Rubio $6900 and Andrew Wiggins $6500 keep it close, OKC will keep firing the big guns. Karl-Anthony Towns $6700 is losing just enough minutes to Nikola Pekovic $3200 that I don’t like either in DFS. Steven Adams $4400 might be the best value among big men, as he double-doubled in 35 minutes on Sunday while Enes Kanter $4800 played only two brief stints for 13 minutes. Bargain hunters note that Shabazz Muhammad $4000 is on the rise.
The “worst” game of the night could be profitable at DraftKings. Assuming the Pelicans are cautious with Anthony Davis $10500 (back) and let him rest one more night, they will rely heavily again on Jrue Holiday $6000 and Tyreke Evans $8100, who were superb on Sunday in forcing overtime against the red-hot Clippers. Ryan Anderson $6500 is the only other offensive threat until Davis returns.
The Lakers, terrible at best, are hurting. Kobe Bryant $6100 (Achilles) is highly questionable, D’Angelo Russell $4800 (ankle) and Julius Randle $5000 (foot) sound more likely to go, while Brandon Bass $3900 (eye) is probable. This could mean more touches for Lou Williams $6400 and Jordan Clarkson $5900, while Larry Nance Jr. $4900 gets extra run.
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The Celtics have dropped three in a row and five of six, but Isaiah Thomas $7800 (thumb) found his shot on Sunday, Avery Bradley $5000 (hip) should be nearly 100% and Amir Johnson $4700 — who often plays hurt — looks spry. The timeshare between Kelly Olynyk $5100 and Jared Sullinger $5300 doesn’t help their fantasy owners. The Knicks will win if Jose Calderon $4100 and Arron Afflalo $4900 can slow down Boston’s guards. Robin Lopez $5000 has been inspired lately, which allows Kristaps Porzingis $6900 to shine like he did in San Antonio on Friday (28 points, 11 rebounds, three triples) and gives Carmelo Anthony $8500 better looks.
In this road back-to-back, the Spurs (who romped by 27 in Brooklyn) might give a random night off to one or more veterans. They can’t underestimate the well-rested Pistons, led to three straight victories by Andre Drummond $8800 and Reggie Jackson $7100. The status of Marcus Morris $5300 (knee) is uncertain; rookie Stanley Johnson $4200 got his first start on Saturday and Ersan Ilyasova $5500 gained the most fantasy value. Last night Boban Marjanovic $3300 scored 13 points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked two shots in 13 minutes of garbage time. If Tim Duncan $5300 rests, the giant Serbian is an excellent spot start.
Mike Conley $6200 (Achilles) is questionable but Courtney Lee $4200 (hip) is probable, so Mario Chalmers $5900 may see slightly fewer minutes just as his salary has risen dramatically. For Houston, Patrick Beverley $4500 has stepped up while Ty Lawson (suspension) sits out, and on Sunday, listed as a doubtful starter, Dwight Howard $7300 (back) posted a monster double-double — 21 PTS, 17 REB in 43 minutes. Memphis beat the Rockets twice in five days back in November when Conley was healthy. James Harden $9900 is always a threat, but Tony Allen $4900 will try to contain him.
Phoenix has lost 10 of 11 and simply can’t replace Eric Bledsoe (knee.) Brandon Knight $7300 and Devin Booker $4900 are the safest plays, but the Suns rotation is constantly changing. Markieff Morris $4000 (doghouse) has become irrelevant as Jon Leuer $4700, P.J. Tucker $4600 and Mirza Teletovic $4700 take turns getting hot. Assuming Tucker is assigned to Paul George $9100, I prefer the other two. I’m expecting the “small” Pacers: PG-13 at PF, C.J. Miles $4600 starting at SF and big nights from all the guards, though George Hill $5200 and Monta Ellis $6300 might give way to Rodney Stuckey $4200 if it gets out of hand.
Cleveland at Dallas will be fun to watch. Perfect so far on this road trip, LeBron James $10000 and Kyrie Irving $7000 are in sync, while Kevin Love $7400 is one of the best third options anywhere. Despite missed 13 shots against the 76ers, J.R. Smith $5100 has hit 22 3-pointers in four games at a better than 50% clip. The Mavericks may be old, but they are smart and they compete. Dirk Nowitzki $6300 and Zaza Pachulia $6300 aren’t overmatched against Love and Tristan Thompson $5400.
I’m not crazy about the Bulls on the road, 24 hours after losing at home to the wounded Wizards. One week ago, he Bucks lost in Chicago as Jimmy Butler $8400 and Pau Gasol $8200 dominated, but tonight in Milwaukee, Greg Monroe $6600 and his mates might turn the tables. There are better games for fantasy speculators.
|PG||Russell Westbrook $10700||Jrue Holiday $6000||Donald Sloan $3700|
|SG||James Harden $9900||Tyreke Evans $8100||Rodney Stuckey $4200|
|SF||LeBron James 10000||Carmelo Anthony $8500||S. Muhammad $4000|
|PF||Kristaps Porzingis $6900||Dirk Nowitzki $6300||Jon Leuer $4700|
|C||Andre Drummond $8800||Zaza Pachulia $6300||Boban Marjanovic $3300|
The Fantasy Spin features DFS advice every day of the NBA season. Follow Kent Williams @SheridanFantasy for updates.