This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.
A seven-game Tuesday is upon us, and there are two contests that stand out drastically. Both Pelicans at Rockets and 76ers at Lakers have over/unders topping 230, and both matchups feature heavy injuries on one side. Stacking both games is a viable strategy.
But we're here to discuss every game on the slate, so let's dive in:
Wizards at CavaliersOver/Under: 219.0
Spread: WAS (-8.5)
Cash Plays: Bradley Beal ($10,100); Ante Zizic ($6,500)
GPP Plays: Cedi Osman ($5,400); Alec Burks ($5,100)
WAS: Ian Mahinmi (thumb) - Questionable; Sam Dekker (back) - Questionable; Dwight Howard (back) - Out; Markieff Morris (neck) - Out; John Wall (heel) - Out for season
CLE: David Nwaba (ankle) - Out; Kevin Love (toe) - Out; Tristan Thompson (foot) - Out
Despite the absence of John Wall, the Wizards (6-19 on the road) have been putting things together lately, winning six of the past 10 contests. The Cavaliers' (5-19 at home) struggles haven't stopped, with Cleveland losing eight of the past 10 games. There are injuries abound in this contest, and that's where we can look for some value.
The Wizards continue to be led primarily by Bradley Beal, who has posted at least 40 fantasy points nine times this month, and he hasn't slipped below 32.2 FP during that time. Trevor Ariza has also picked up his play, going for 40-plus FP in three of his past seven. Tomas Satoransky also has three 40-plus FP outings during that stretch. On the other hand, Otto Porter has been slumping, failing to reach 30 FP over the past four contests. Thomas Bryant has been in tandem, failing to reach that threshold over the past five. The potential absences of Ian Mahinmi and Sam Dekker would probably leave extra time for Chasson Randle and Troy Brown, who are not expected to be fantasy relevant.
Alarmingly, Ante Zizic now leads the Cavaliers in fantasy points per game (26) of all available players, and he's just one FP behind Tristan Thompson on the year. Zizic has cracked 30 FP in five of his past seven. Alec Burks and Cedi Osman have also played notably well lately, with the former averaging 31.4 FP over the past three and the latter averaging 37.7 FP over that same stretch. Those performances have coincided with a small downturn from Jordan Clarkson, who has posted just 21.4 FP through his previous nine appearances.
Bucks at PistonsOver/Under: 217.5
Spread: MIL (-7.5)
Cash Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400); Blake Griffin ($10,000)
GPP Plays: Eric Bledsoe ($7,000) Brook Lopez ($5,700)
MIL: Malcolm Brogdon (chest) - Probable
DET: Reggie Bullock (ankle) - Doubtful; Ish Smith (groin) - Out
The Bucks (13-9 away) will be shooting for the season sweep of the divison-rival Pistons (13-11 home). Milwaukee's great season has continued lately, with the squad winning eight of the past 10 outings. The same can't be said for Detroit, who have lost six of the past 10. Few relevant injuries and a low over/under means it may be tough to find value in this matchup.
It's been the same story for the Bucks from a fantasy perspective, so whatever opinion you've formed of each player probably doesn't warrant a change. That said, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Brook Lopez are worth noting. Bledsoe is averaging 37.7 FP over the past eight; Brogdon is averaging 34.2 over the past three; Lopez has gone for 35-plus FP in two of the past three.
Andre Drummond just got back from a three-game absence while in concussion protocol, posting 49.0 FP in his return. Blake Griffin has been hot over the past five contests, going for 50-plus FP in three of those matchups. The rest of the team has been lowly, with a combined nine efforts of at least 20 FP over the past five games. Banking on anyone other than Drummond or Griffin remains a shot in the dark.
Thunder at MagicOver/Under: 222.0
Spread: OKC (-5.0)
Cash Plays: Russell Westbrook ($11,900); Paul George ($11,100)
GPP Plays: Aaron Gordon ($6,800); Jerami Grant ($6,100)
OKC: Steven Adams (ankle) - Questionable; Alex Abrines (personal) - Doubtful; Andre Roberson (kneecap) - Out
The Thunder will take its impressive road record (14-11) into Orlando to face the Magic, who are 12-14 at Amway Center. OKC is 6-4 over the past 10 games, while Orlando has managed to win four of the past 10. The over/under here is solid, and a potential absence to Steven Adams could open up value.
Four players on the Thunder – Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams and Jerami Grant – have cracked 30 FP over the past six games, minus a complete outlier from Abdel Nader during a blowout against the Knicks. Those four remain in contention here, and it's worth noting that both Westbrook and George have put together two 60-plus FP outings in the past three matchups. If Adams ends up sidelined, Nerlens Noel could make his way into DFS consideration.
The Magic are one of the toughest teams to make sense of on a night-to-night basis and are best utilized if you're a DFS owner with multiple lineups to burn. A statistic that I had to triple-check to make sure was correct: Over the past three contests, four players on the Magic have one performance of at least 25 FP and one performance in the single-digits. Those players are Evan Fournier, D.J. Augustin, Mohamed Bamba and Jerian Grant. Only three players appear to have some sembelance of reliability, and those are Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Terrance Ross. And frankly, the latter two still make me nervous.
Bulls at NetsOver/Under: 219.0
Cash Plays: Zach LaVine ($7,200)
GPP Plays: D'Angelo Russell ($8,600); Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,400); Robin Lopez ($4,000); Wayne Selden ($3,800)
CHI: Chandler Hutchison (toe) - Out; Wendell Carter (thumb) - Out
BKN: Jared Dudley (hamstring) - Questionable; Allen Crabbe (knee) - Questionable; Treveon Graham (back) - Questionable; Caris LeVert (foot) - Out; Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) - Out
Brooklyn (15-11 home) is performing like a playoff team, winning seven of the past ten and four of the past five. Meanwhile, the Bulls (6-19 away) have scraped together just one win in the past 10 matchups and have lost to both Cleveland and Atlanta in the past three outings by a combined 23 points. The over/under shouldn't drag you into this matchup, but there are a handful of injuries that could make things interesting.
In the Bulls' first game without Chandler Hutchison or Wendell Carter, four players posted at least 30 FP. They were Lauri Markkanen (43.5), Robin Lopez (34.4), Wayne Selden (31.7) and Zach LaVine (30.4). From a value perspective, I'm most intrigued by Selden, who played 38 minutes Sunday, and Lopez, who may be playing to get traded.
Four players on Brookyn have posted at least 30 FP over the past three games: D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Shabazz Napier and Ed Davis. With Spencer Dinwiddie out for an extended period, Napier will presumably take over his production, evidenced by his 31.9 FP outing Monday against Boston, where he played at least 26 minutes for the second straight game. Davis is mostly concerning for DFS, as production has swung his way over the past four contests, as opposed to Jarrett Allen. Over that stretch, Allen has averaged 19.7 FP and Davis has averaged 27.6 FP.
Pelicans at RocketsOver/Under: 234.5
Spread: HOU (-10.0)
Cash Plays: James Harden ($13,900); Jrue Holiday ($9,500)
GPP Plays: Jahlil Okafor ($7,200); Elfrid Payton ($5,700)
NOP: Julius Rande (ankle) - Out; E'Twaun Moore (rest) - Out; Anthony Davis (finger) - Out; Nikola Mirotic (calf) - Out
HOU: Clint Capela (thumb) - Out
The Pelicans (7-20 away) are climbing an uphill battle, having lost four of the past five games in the face of injuries, and are checking into Tuesday's game expected to lose by double-digits. Houston (19-7 home) is on the other end of the spectrum, having won four of the past five, including a key win over the Raptors. Overall, this contest should garner some value on New Orleans' side considering the injury situation and the 234.5 over/under.
Randle, Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis have each been out over the past two games. The contributions over those two games were spotty, with only Jrue Holiday looking comfortable. Still, Jahlil Okafor remains a strong DFS option, as he's recorded at least 40 FP in three of the past four outings. Darius Miller, Frank Jackson and Elfrid Payton have posted one 30 FP outing over the past two, though each posted fewer than 22 FP in the other contest.
Chris Paul made his return Sunday against the Magic, posting 33.0 FP in 25 minutes. The return did not affect James Harden's production, as the MVP candidate still recorded 69.2 FP. Kenneth Faried's production shouldn't go unrecognized, as he's dropped at least 35 FP in each of the past three games. Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker struggled in Paul's return, combining for 33.4 FP.
Suns at SpursOver/Under: 225.5
Spread: SA (-13.5)
Cash Plays: LaMarcus Aldridge ($8,800); Kelly Oubre ($6,300)
GPP Plays: Devin Booker ($8,100); Richaun Holmes ($5,000)
PHO: Deandre Ayton (ankle) - Questionable; T.J. Warren (ankle) - Out; De'Anthony Melton (ankle) - Out
SAS: DeMar DeRozan (knee) - Out
The Suns (4-22 away) have been one of the worst teams in the NBA lately, losing nine of the past 10 games. They'll attempt to secure a rare win on the road against the Spurs (19-7 home), who are 5-5 over the past 10 and 3-2 over the past five. However, San Antonio will be without a key piece, as DeMar DeRozan remains sidelined. Deandre Ayton's status is certainly worth monitoring too. The injury situations and a solid over/under coud make this game interesting from a value perspective.
With Richaun Holmes returning from injury and Deandre Ayton out since Jan. 20, the former was given a big role Sunday against the Lakers, going for 40.5 FP across 27 minutes. If Ayton ends up sidelined again, Holmes is a strong value play. Kelly Oubre has continued his strong play, though has averaged just 29.4 FP across his past seven away games, compared to 43.0 FP across his past four home games. Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson have also gotten into the mix, with three combined performances of at least 25 FP across the past two outings. Meanwhile, while role players have been thriving, Devin Booker has been slumping. The guard has shot just 26.3 percent from deep over the past five games, averaging only 30.1 FP in that span.
DeMar DeRozan will miss a third straight game for the Spurs, and the production has largely gone to LaMarcus Aldridge. The big man has totaled 101.2 FP over the past two games and is in what looks to be a cakewalk matchup Tuesday. Derrick White and Rudy Gay have also benefited, with the former totaling 60.6 FP and the latter totaling 70.9 FP over the past two. The trio is certainly enticing for DFS.
76ers at LakersOver/Under: 230.5
Spread: PHI (-8.0)
Cash Plays: Joel Embiid ($11,600); Ben Simmons ($9,400)
GPP Plays: Rajon Rondo ($6,900); Ivica Zubac ($5,800); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,500); Lance Stephenson ($4,300); Michael Beasley ($4,200)
PHI: Jonah Bolden (Achilles) - Out; Markelle Fultz (shoulder) - Out
LAL: Kyle Kuzma (hip) - Out; LeBron James (groin) - Out; Lonzo Ball (ankle) - Out
The 76ers (11-13 on the road) come into Tuesday's matchup essentially at full health for the first time in three games, with Jimmy Butler cleared to return after a three-game absence and Joel Embiid set to play after missing Saturday's loss to Denver. On the other hand, the Lakers (16-11 home) are beat up and have split the past 10 games. With a sky-high over/under and injuries for Los Angeles, this could be a matchup to target.
Philly's health means we've lost obvious value plays, and their side of the matchup could be more suited for cash, while the Lakers could be more suited for GPPs. Regardless, it doesn't seem like the Lakers have the size to contain Ben Simmons, who has four 50-plus FP outings this month. Joel Embiid is also intriguing, though the Lakers have three centers to throw against him in Ivica Zubac, JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler. Jimmy Butler is always a threat to post at least 40 FP.
Without Kyle Kuzma Sunday against Phoenix, Zubac led the way, posting a team-high 53.2 FP. Brandon Ingram was the only other player above 40 FP. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo all recorded between 29-35 FP. Rondo is the safest bet, though KCP, Beasley and Stephenson offer higher upside from a value perspective.