FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're set for an appealing six-game slate Tuesday night, one that gives us a manageable amount of decisions as DFS players and features a healthy dose of both robust projected totals and teams with plenty to play for in terms of postseason positioning. The injury report does cast a bit of a dark cloud, as it contains several notable names, but as we often note that also typically opens up value plays at the mid-salary and bargain levels.

Slate Overview

Here's a closer look at the three games with projected totals on FanDuel Sportsbook: 

Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers (Projected total: 239.5 points) 

These two squads are a prime example of teams with plenty of firepower, defensive questions and vested interest. The Blazers are allowing 115.4 points per road contest, while the Pacers are giving up 113.5 per home tilt. Portland and Indiana are also scoring 114.7 and 111.7 points per game in the home/road splits that apply to them, and Indy is now up to playing at the league's fourth-fastest pace (105.2 possessions per game). The first game between the teams finished with just 198 total points in what turned into a Pacers rout, but that game unfolded in mid-January, when the context of the season was completely different. Nevertheless, the Pacers will be down both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis for Tuesday's contest, so they could have a tough time maximizing their offensive potential. 

Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets (Projected total: 234.5 points)

In contrast, neither of these teams is going to realistically qualify for even a play-in opportunity, but because both are capable of surrendering plenty on the defensive end, we have a healthy projected total anyhow. Minnesota is allowing an NBA-high 120.6 points per game on the road on NBA-high 49.4 percent shooting. Meanwhile, the Rockets are yielding 113.6 points per home contest and will get a nice bump in pace from the visitors, which average the second-most road possessions per game (106.4) in the league. The most recent game between the two clubs finished with 236 points, although it bears noting both John Wall and Malik Beasley will be absent from this game due to hamstring injuries.

Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (Projected total: 233.0 points) 

Kevin Durant is back and played 28 minutes off the bench in his most recent game, so he could well see over 30 minutes versus Toronto. The Nets already come in averaging 119.6 points per road game and allowing 117.5 per contest when traveling as well, and they also sneak into the top 10 in pace with 103.5 possessions per game overall. The Raps have been a much better defensive squad at their temporary Amalie Arena home (108.0 PPG allowed), but they did allow 117 points to Brooklyn in one of the two prior meetings between the teams. 

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate. 

James Harden, BRO (hamstring)/ Status: OUT 

Harden's ongoing absence should continue to lead to plenty of extra usage for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Jayson Tatum, BOS (ankle)/ Status: OUT 

Tatum's absence should lead to plenty of extra opportunity for Semi Ojeleye and Jabari Parker at power forward, as well as elevated usage for the remainder of the starting five.

Kemba Walker, BOS (side)/ Status: OUT

Walker's absence is likely to lead to a starting opportunity at point guard for Marcus Smart, while Evan Fournier is likely to move into the first unit at shooting guard. 

Chris Boucher, TOR (knee)/ Status: OUT 

Boucher's expected absence should result in another start for Khem Birch at center. 

Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (ankle)/ Status: GTD 

If Porzingis is out again, Maxi Kleber is likely to remain in the starting five. 

Domantas Sabonis, IND (back)/ Status: OUT 

In Sabonis' absence, Oshae Brissett is slated to remain in the starting five at power forward.

John Wall, HOU (hamstring)/ Status: OUT 

Wall's absence the rest of the way should lead to the returning Kevin Porter drawing a start at point guard Tuesday, while Avery Bradley fills the shooting guard role. 

Other notable injuries: 

Myles Turner, IND (toe)/ Status: OUT 

Gordon Hayward, CHA (foot)/ Status: OUT 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC (foot)/ Status: OUT 

Luguentz Dort, OKC (hip)/ Status: GTD 

Bruce Brown, BRO (knee)/ Status: OUT 

Gary Trent, TOR (lower leg)/ Status: GTD 

Jeremy Lamb, IND (knee/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Robert Williams, BOS (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE 

Malik Monk, CHA (ankle)/ Status: GTD 

Malik Beasley, MIN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT 

Kent Bazemore, GSW (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: GTD 

Eric Gordon, HOU (groin)/ Status: OUT 

Elite Players

We have three healthy players with five-figure salaries on Tuesday's slate – Luka Doncic ($11,300), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) and Kyrie Irving ($10,200). 

Doncic played through elbow soreness Monday night against the Kings and scored 40.4 FD points, so he should be ready to exploit what should be an excellent game environment Tuesday. There's also a good chance he takes the floor without Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) once again. Antetokounmpo is also in an intriguing matchup against a Hornets team that's gunning for the postseason and that he put up 72.1 FD points against earlier this season. Giannis also comes in averaging 59.4 FD points over the last three. Irving checks in averaging 50.2 FD points in his last seven games and just racked up 62.2 FD points on Wednesday versus Toronto, although Durant was unavailable for that contest. 

Healthy players with salaries in the high four figures capable of also delivering elite scores include Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700), Stephen Curry ($9,700), Kevin Durant ($9,700), Pascal Siakam ($9,100), Malcolm Brogdon ($8,500) and Damian Lillard ($8,300). Towns gets an elite matchup against a Rockets team that's allowed the most rebounds per game and that he's scored 53.0 and 61.2 FD points against already this season. Curry's shooting is scalding hot again after an off night three games ago and he already has one tally of 66.9 FD points versus Dallas this season. As mentioned earlier, Durant could be in for a bump in minutes in a favorable matchup even if he comes off the bench, while Siakam has averaged 45.5 FD points over his last five contests and has a good positional matchup in the same game. Finally, Brogdon and Lillard are included because of their appealing salaries relative to upside and the fact the game environment for Blazers-Pacers could well be the most appealing of the night from a DFS perspective. 

Expected Chalk

In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:

Caris LeVert, IND ($8,300)

LeVert has averaged 45.2 FD points in his last three games and will be part of the game with the highest projected total of the night.

Jusuf Nurkic, POR ($8,200)

Nurkic has come alive with two big double-doubles in his last pair of contests, games in which he's cleared 50 FD points.

Jaylen Brown, BOS ($8,100) 

Brown has a team-high 37.7 percent usage rate and is averaging 45.9 FD points per 36 minutes without Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker on the floor.

Marcus Smart, BOS ($6,600)

Smart is averaging 30.4 FD points per 36 minutes without Tatum and Walker on the floor and should be on plenty of rosters due to the dual absences. 

Kelly Olynyk, HOU ($6,000) 

Olynyk is averaging 36.9 FD points per 36 minutes when Wall is unavailable and has scored 35.4 to 49.0 FD points in five of the last seven games. 

Oshae Brissett, IND ($5,600) 

Brissett is averaging 32.6 FD points over the last four games in a starting role and should once again run with the first unit with Sabonis out.

Khem Birch, TOR ($4,900)

Birch should be popular due to his positional matchup against the Nets, his salary and the 26.8 FD points he's averaged during his current six-game starting tenure.

Key Values 

Kelly Olynyk, HOU vs. MIN ($6,000)

Olynyk's strong numbers with John Wall off the floor were just detailed, and the floor-stretching big also has a very appealing game environment and positional matchup to work with. The Timberwolves are allowing an NBA-high 120.6 points per road game and surrender NBA-high 40.6 percent three-point shooting when traveling as well. Meanwhile, Olynyk is taking a career-high 5.5 three-point attempts per game and is shooting 40.2 percent from behind the arc in his 17 games with the Rockets thus far. He also has a tally of 34.8 FD points against the T-Wolves and Minnesota checks in giving up the seventh-most FD points per game (38.1) to centers, along with the 12th-highest offensive efficiency (33.3 percent) to the position.

Kevin Porter, HOU vs. MIN ($5,600)

Olynyk's teammate Porter makes for another value option in his return from a brief period in the COVID-19 protocols, as he should be walking right into a starting point guard role in light of Wall's absence. The second-year guard has averaged 29.5 FD points over his last 12 games while averaging a healthy 12.9 shot attempts per contest, and the fact he should function as a primary ball handler against a Timberwolves team that's yielded the fourth-most FD points per game (45.1) to point guards for the season (49.3 over the last 10) and that allows a Western Conference-high 26.8 assists per contest only serve to strengthen his case. Finney-Smith has also delivered over 5x value on 12 occasions this season, with half of those coming within April.

Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL at GS ($5,300)

Finney-Smith came through again Monday against the Kings, putting up 32.4 FD points over 33 minutes. The versatile wing is now averaging 27.0 FD points over his last 10 games while shooting a red-hot 52.2 percent, including 44.1 percent from behind the arc. There's a good chance Porzingis sits out for the Mavericks again Tuesday as well, and the Warriors will bring a nice bump in pace for Dallas and already allow 41.8 FD points per game to small forwards on the campaign.  

Other value plays to consider: Oshae Brissett, IND vs. POR ($5,600); Evan Fournier, BOS vs. OKC ($5,200); Khem Birch, TOR vs. BRO ($4,900); Payton Pritchard, BOS vs. OKC ($4,300)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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