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NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Tuesday

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets: The Nets still own ugly season-long numbers but have allowed exactly 100 points per 100 possessions in January, good for fifth-best in the league. Their recent run of seven wins in eight games includes victories over the Heat, Warriors, and Thunder, along with a pair of blowout wins over the Hawks and Knicks. The Magic are headed in the opposite direction, as Sunday's 93-91 home win over the Celtics ended a 10-game losing streak. They rank 28th in the league with a meager 95.3 points per 100 possessions in January, ahead of only the lowly Bucks and 76ers. Things should get better once Nikola Pekovic (concussion) returns, but for the time being, Orlando is simply too thin up front.

Offenses to Use
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat: The Heat have been a bit lackadaisical lately, but mostly just on the defensive end. They are returning from a 2-4 six-game road trip Tuesday, after putting up a respectable 105.0 points per 100 possessions on the disappointing trip. Their lousy defense in recent weeks is probably a good thing in fantasy terms, as it increases the odds that the Heat will let the Celtics stay close, thus forcing Miami to keep their best players in the game. As for the Celtics, the once-proud defensive team is just 1-10 in January and has allowed 107.8 points per 100 possessions for the month. Rajon Rondo is on a minutes limit and not yet playing his usual caliber of defense, and the Celtics still don't have much of a defensive presence up front.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder
Second game of a back-to-back: Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Mario Chalmers (vs. BOS), PG, ($3900): In three games since returning from an Achilles injury, Chalmers is averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 three-pointers, and 2.3 steals in 31 minutes. Those numbers are actually slightly better than what he's averaging for the season, yet there still seems to be an injury-related discount. Even if a potential Dwyane Wade (general soreness) return chops off a few of Chalmers' minutes, the sixth-year point guard offers great value at this price. He'll likely be back to the $5000-$5500 range within a week or two.

Damian Lillard, (at OKC), PG, ($8400): The Thunder have been scalded by opposing point guards the last few weeks, most recently surrendering 38 points to Sacramento's Isaiah Thomas on Sunday in a comfortable 108-93 Oklahoma City win. The game before that saw the Thunder give up 37 points and 11 assists to Stephen Curry, albeit in another victory. Lillard always offers a nice combination of floor and ceiling, and he's essentially the only healthy player in this price range at any position. If you're looking for a B-list DraftKings star Tuesday, there really aren't many other options.

Other suggestions: Reggie Jackson (vs. POR), PG, ($5800)

Shooting Guard
Tyreke Evans, (vs. SAC), SG/SF, ($4800): With Ryan Anderson (back) and Jrue Holliday (leg) sidelined, the Pelicans need Evans, Eric Gordon, and Anthony Davis to carry most of the scoring load on a team that lacks depth. Evans has looked healthy since returning from an ankle injury, logging 31 and 26 minutes in two games with averages of 14.5 points and 4.5 assists. Until Holliday returns, Evans figures to see more than the 25.3 minutes per game that he's averaging for the season, and a modest uptick on his 11.3 field goal attempts is also a fair expectation. Like Chalmers, Evans will likely see his DraftKings price rise in the coming days.

Other suggestions: Brian Roberts (vs. SAC), PG/SG, ($4600)

Small Forward
Arron Afflalo, (at BKN), SG/SF, ($5500): Here we have another player experiencing a price reduction due to a recent injury that didn't impact his long term outlook. Afflalo still has the same role, and in two games since returning from a minor foot injury, he's averaging 22 points, 8.5 rebounds, four assists, and three three-pointers in 41 minutes. The rebounds are obviously a sample size fluke, but does that look like a player who is struggling to recover from an injury?

Other suggestions: Joe Johnson, (vs. ORL), SG/SF, ($6000)

Power Forward
Chris Bosh, (vs. BOS), PF/C, ($6900): Bosh has been red-hot recently, and his Tuesday opponent isn't particularly strong up front. The Celtics lack a true rim protector among their big men and also don't have great size or quickness. It's a group that possesses some interesting skills but not the necessary tools to cool down Bosh on Tuesday. The Miami big man put up 24.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last four games, with better than 20 points in each of those contests. Perhaps more importantly, Bosh hoisted up an average of 17.8 field goals during the stretch.
Kyle O'Quinn, (at BKN), PF/C, ($3300): The Magic went to a seven-man rotation Sunday and were finally able to end a 10-game losing streak with a 93-91 win over the Celtics. They won't necessarily use the same rotation Tuesday, but it's definitely a possibility, and O'Quinn figures to be the first big man off the bench, either way. He's seemingly come out of nowhere to average 10 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in 6.7 minutes over the last three games. Those numbers are better than what you can expect Tuesday, but O'Quinn doesn't even need to match them to provide value at $3300.

Other suggestions: Andray Blatche, (vs. ORL), PF/C, ($5700), LaMarcus Aldridge, (at OKC), PF/C, ($9800)

Center
Nikola Pekovic, (at UTA), C, ($7700): The Jazz have been a fantasy friend to opposing big men all season, and Saturday's game against the Timberwolves was no different. After burning Utah for 27 points and 14 rebounds on 12-of-17 shooting in a blowout win, Pekovic will be back for more of the same Tuesday. In the month of January, Utah's opponents have converted a whopping 67.1 percent of shots within five feet of the basket. For the season, that number stands at 59.8 percent, ranking 21st in the NBA. Pekovic, meanwhile, leads the NBA with 384 field-goal attempts within five feet of the basket. He's made a solid 60.4 percent of those, good for 19th among the 43 players with a minimum of 200 such attempts.

Other suggestions: DeMarcus Cousins, (at NO), PF/C, ($9300)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Nikola Vucevic (concussion) will miss an eighth consecutive game Tuesday.
Ronnie Price (foot) is out Tuesday.
Ryan Anderson (back) is not expected back before March.
Jrue Holliday (leg) remains out indefinitely.
Jason Smith (knee) is out indefinitely.
Russell Westbrook (knee) is making good progress but will miss at least a few more games.

Game-Time Decision
Jerryd Bayless sprained a toe Sunday and did not practice Monday.
Chris Andersen (knee) returned to action Monday.
Dwyane Wade (general soreness) did not play Saturday or Monday.
Anthony Morrow (illness) did not play Monday.
Gordon Hayward (hip) practiced Monday and is a game-time decision Tuesday, after missing five consecutive games.
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