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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Tuesday Picks

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

Tuesday brings a larger than usual eight-game slate featuring heavyweights such as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry. With plenty of choices all across the pricing scale, here’s a breakdown of how best the dollars might be spent:

GUARDS

Chris Paul, LAC at LAL ($44):
Stephen Curry ($53) and Jimmy Butler ($48) sit atop the guard pool Tuesday, but the former may be bit overpriced while the latter may not provide enough return. Meanwhile, Paul may actually be bit on the low-owned side Tuesday because of some recent down games. However, his most recent outing came against a Cavs team without its Big Three, which left Paul playing just 27 minutes. He’s admittedly struggled with his shot, but he has also scored between 43.6 and 54.2 fantasy points in three of his last five games. He draws a Lakers squad that just gave up 46 points to Kyrie Irving on Sunday and that surrenders the fourth-most fantasy points per game (52.9) to point guards this season, including the most (59.2) over the last five. They also continue yielding the most assists (10.1) to the position, which are a primary source of Paul’s fantasy production. With a 46.5 fantasy points against the Lakers in his one previous meeting this season, he makes for an appealing tournament or cash play. For those in need of some savings at the higher tier, Mike Conley ($36) and Goran Dragic ($33) are nice pivots.

J.J. Barea, DAL vs. GS ($11): There are a couple of interesting options for those who can afford to spend up a bit, such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($19), Jordan Crawford ($14) and for just $1 more than Barea, J.J. Redick ($12). However, Barea is just a buck away from the minimum and has scored 27.9 and 34.2 fantasy points in two of his last three games. He played more than 26 minutes against the Nets on Sunday, his highest total since returning from an extended absence due to a calf injury, and is sporting a 26.7 percent usage rate over the six games he’s been back.

Guard to Avoid

Stephen Curry, GS at DAL ($53):
It always seems odd to label a player the caliber of Curry an avoid candidate, but this designation is overwhelmingly about price and matchup. The Mavs have been the best defense in the league against point guards, allowing 44.5 fantasy points per game, and they’ve done well in two previous meetings against Curry, limiting him to just 19.0 points per game. Naturally, Curry’s usage wasn’t what it is now with Kevin Durant (knee) out, but he still figures to have a tough time fully justifying his price on the road and on the second game of a back-to-back.

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FORWARDS

Blake Griffin, LAC at LAL ($41):
Anthony Davis ($55) is always in play if you can swing the price, but Griffin gets the call if you’re looking for the best combination of cost and potential upside. He’s scored between 38.0 and 40.4 fantasy points in three of his last five and turned in respectable 26.8 and 31.9 tallies in the other two contests during that span. The matchup will most definitely be in his favor, as the Lakers, which were just steamrolled by Kevin Love for a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double in under 30 minutes, give up the most fantasy points per game (50.0) to power forwards this season and the last five (58.2), along with the most rebounds (12.8).

Vince Carter, MEM at NO ($10): There are a few interesting tournament plays at or near the minimum, including Quincy Acy ($10), Shabazz Muhammad ($10), Jonathon Simmons ($10), Bobby Portis ($11), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($11) and Marquese Chriss ($11). Meanwhile, Carter, who is now starting in place of the injured Chandler Parsons, scored 41.0 fantasy points four games ago against the Bucks and tallied 22.3 against the tough Spurs defense in his last contest. As a bottom-10 shooting team, the Pelicans also provide plenty of rebounding opportunities, and they have surrendered the most boards per game (8.5) to small forwards on the season. As with any player at this tier, Carter carries some risk, but he has been seeing close to 30 minutes per game in his role on the first unit.

Forward to Avoid

Julius Randle, LAL vs. LAC ($30):
Randle has scored fewer than 30 fantasy points in three of the last four and draws a Clippers defense that has given up the fifth-fewest fantasy points (42.2) per game to power forwards this season, including the third-fewest (38.6) over the last 10. They rank in the top 10 in fewest points and rebounds allowed to fours, further discouraging Randle’s use at his price.

CENTERS

Hassan Whiteside, MIA vs. PHO ($37):
Whiteside provides a nice discount over studs DeMarcus Cousins ($52), who’s had trouble hitting value recently, and Karl-Anthony Towns ($50), who draws the Spurs. Meanwhile, Whiteside takes aim at the Suns, who have yielded the sixth-most fantasy points per game (49.3) to centers this season season, including the second-most (60.9) over the last five. The Heat big man has 12 straight double-doubles and over 40 fantasy points twice and over 50 once in the last four games, making him a potentially much better fantasy-point-per-dollar value than the top two choices.

Robin Lopez, CHI at TOR ($10): Ivica Zubac ($13) is interesting but his minutes are difficult to trust, while Zaza Pachulia ($10) and Alex Len ($10) are serviceable but carry limited upside. Lopez is a very different type of minimum-priced option, considering he’s scored 42.4 and 26.0 fantasy points in the two full games the Bulls have played without Dwyane Wade. He’s boasting a 23.8 percent usage rate over that span, an increase of six percentage points over what he posted with Wade healthy. The Raptors are generally effective against centers, but Lopez’s price and expected involvement is low risk and provides plenty of flexibility.

Center to Avoid

Nerlens Noel, DAL vs. GS ($18):
There are plenty of low-priced centers who can easily be avoided, but Noel is one that bears mentioning, as he could be tempting at his relatively modest price. However, he’s been hard to trust, as he’s scored 9.3, 17.0 and 18.1 fantasy points in three of his last five, and seems to frequently alternate an above-average outing with a poor one. The Warriors have been solid down low with Zaza Pachulia and company, and Greg Monroe ($18) presents as a much steadier and trusted option at the same price.
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.