RotoWire Partners

NBA Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Tuesday

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Charlotte Bobcats at Golden State Warriors: The Warriors have allowed just 99.3 points per 100 possessions this season, good for the fourth-best defensive rating in the NBA. Playing at the league's fifth-fastest pace may offset a significant portion of that impact in daily fantasy games, but the Warriors have been so good on defense lately that they have a shot to hold the Bobcats under 90 points, even if Tuesday's game is played at a relatively fast pace. In their last four games, the Warriors surrendered just 90 points per contest, despite facing a relatively difficult slate (POR-WAS-LAC-UTA). The hot Golden State defense may be facing a Bobcats team at less than 100 percent Tuesday, as Kemba Walker (ankle) is questionable and hasn't played since Jan. 18. Charlotte has relied on Al Jefferson lately, and while Jefferson has been fantastic, he hasn't had to contend with many true rim-protecting centers like Andrew Bogut, who is playing his best basketball of the season right now. Bogut has averaged 3.6 blocks in his last five games, and the Warriors' opponents made just 47.7 percent of shots within eight feet of the basket during that stretch. The tough defense inside continues a season-long trend, as the Warriors rank second in the league in opponent's field-goal percentage (51.6 percent) on shots within eight feet of the rim.

Offenses to Use
Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks: When it comes to elite teams like the Pacers, daily fantasy gamers need to be wary of matchups so friendly that they lead to blowouts and early exits for the starters. At the same time, difficult matchups generally aren't going to provide great production, which means that finding a middle ground can be beneficial. A road game in Atlanta isn't a walk through the park for Indiana, but it also isn't a particularly difficult matchup for the Pacers' middling offense. The Hawks play at an above-average pace, and they have the league's 13th-best defensive rating (104.0) since Jan. 1 and 15th-best defensive rating (102.8) for the season. Sure, the Pacers are on the road in the second game of a back-to-back, but they played so well in Monday's blowout win over the Magic that only Lance Stephenson (37 minutes) logged more than 27 minutes. With the Hawks likely to offer real resistance Tuesday, coach Frank Vogel will need more from his starters.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns
Second game of a back-to-back: Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
If you've never played on DraftKings.com before, we recommend reading our Daily Fantasy Basketball 101: How to Win on DraftKings strategy article.

Want to play in a $1,000,000 daily NBA contest? For a limited time you can get free entry into a DraftKings $1,000,000 qualifier with a first time deposit. Check it out.


Point Guard
J.J. Barea, MIN (vs. LAL), PG, ($3,400): The Lakers won't have Pau Gasol (groin) on Tuesday, and they may be getting three point guards back from injury. While the extra bodies probably can't hurt, the likes of Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Jordan Farmar probably won't be able to immediately turn the team around. As has often been the case in recent weeks, the Lakers are up against a far superior roster Tuesday. A possible blowout could mean more playing time for Barea, who isn't a bad value at $3400, even if he only sees his typical 15-20 minutes. We know that the Spaniard is aggressive, and the Lakers have plenty of weaknesses to attack.

Other suggestions: Goran Dragic, PHO (vs. CHI), PG/SG, ($8,100)

Shooting Guard
Paul George, IND (at ATL), SG/SF, ($9,000): His shooting touch has soured over the last few weeks, but George has continued to contribute in other categories, and his shot looked better in the Pacers' last two games. Coach Frank Vogel only needed 27 minutes from his superstar in Monday's blowout win, so George should be relatively well rested Tuesday for the second game of a back-to-back. The feisty Hawks should at least be able to keep things close, which bodes well for George's chances of piling up points. It also helps that Atlanta doesn't have a ball-dominant wing, meaning that George shouldn't have to focus too much of his energy on defense. In the first matchup between the Hawks and Pacers this season, George recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds in a 97-87 loss. Look for more of the same Tuesday, be it in a win or a loss.

Other suggestions: Jimmy Butler, CHI (at PHO), SG/SF, ($5,800)

Small Forward
DeMarre Carroll, ATL (vs. IND), SF/PF, ($4,600): Though his price has gone up a bit lately, Carroll still makes for a nice bargain, as he's scored more than 25 fantasy points on DraftKings in each of his last six games. Going back to Jan. 1, Carroll is averaging 13.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.7 treys over 33.2 minutes in his last 12 games. While he obviously isn't a great playmaker, Carroll logs plenty of minutes and contributes in a number of different of ways. He should have a significant role in defending Paul George on Tuesday, which could lead to some extra minutes for the Hawks small forward.

Power Forward
Joakim Noah, CHI (at PHO), PF/C, ($8,000): After getting ejected from Monday's game in the third quarter, Noah shouldn't have any concerns about logging heavy minutes in the second game of a back-to-back. Prior to Monday, he'd been on a tear, posting 39.5 points or better on DraftKings in seven consecutive games. Coach Tom Thibodeau has been asking Noah for a ton of minutes lately, and that will likely be the case again Tuesday, particularly after Noah got some extra rest Monday. It also can't hurt that the Bulls are facing a relatively fast-paced Phoenix team that doesn't have a great big man to contend with Noah.

Other suggestions: Ryan Kelly, LA (at MIN), PF, ($3,600)

Center
Roy Hibbert, IND (at ATL), C, ($6900): With Al Horford (pectoral) likely done for the season and Pero Antic (ankle) recently succumbing to injury, the Hawks are left to rely on Gustavo Ayon and Elton Brand at center. It doesn't always show up in the box score when Hibbert dominates a matchup, but the Pacers would be wise to get their center a few extra touches Tuesday night. Ayon and Brand are simply outclassed here, and Hibbert should have a big game on the boards.

Other suggestions: Andrew Bogut, GS (vs. CHA), C, ($6300)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Pero Antic (ankle) is 1.5 weeks into a 2-4 week timetable.
Nikola Pekovic (ankle) will be evaluated later this week.
Pau Gasol (groin) is out for at least one week with a strained right groin.
Xavier Henry (knee) remains out.

Game-Time Decision
Steve Blake (elbow), who has not played since Dec. 10, may return Tuesday.
Steve Nash (back) is also targeting a Tuesday return, meaning that the Lakers' backcourt is highly unsettled.
Jordan Farmar (hamstring) is the third and final Lakers point guard targeting a Tuesday return after an extended absence.
Kemba Walker (ankle) practiced Monday and is questionable for Tuesday. Walker has been out since Jan. 18.
David Lee (shoulder) did not play Friday but returned to practice Monday. Lee may be a game-time decision Tuesday.
Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) hasn't been called a game-time decision, but O'Neal is reportedly nearing a return and could be back before the All-Star break.