FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays

FanDuel NBA: Tuesday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

Three All-NBA players take the court during Monday's three-game slate, and they represent the only players priced above $10,000. Damian Lillard ($10,200) and the Trail Blazers are traveling to Houston to take on James Harden ($11,500) and the Rockets. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard ($10,700) and the Raptors are in LA to take on the Clippers.

Most of the day's top players are also healthy, with Devin Booker ($8,000) being the highest-priced option with an injury designation. He's out against the Spurs with a hamstring injury. Also of note, Lou Williams ($5,200) left Monday's game against the Suns due to a hamstring injury and should be tentatively considered questionable for Tuesday. If he ends up sitting out, it would be his first absence of the season, so it's not immediately clear how coach Doc Rivers would handle the situation. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($5,100) would probably be the safest value play, while a pivot to Patrick Beverley ($4,200) or Avery Bradley ($3,900) could be worth exploring in tournaments.

Let's explore an option at each position:

Point Guard
De'Anthony Melton ($5,300), PHO at SA
The 46th overall pick in the 2018 Draft out of USC, Melton has taken over ballhandling responsibilities with Devin Booker sidelined. Over the past four games, he's averaging 27.8 fantasy points, which is about the kind of production you're hoping for at $5,300. Specifically, he's averaging 1.0 fantasy points per minute, which is an encouraging number considering he played 35 minutes during the Suns' most recent contest, which went into overtime. If Lou Williams ends up sidelined and you're looking to spend up at a different position, slotting in Melton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at point guard gives you upside of 60-plus fantasy points at just $10,400.

Shooting Guard
James Harden ($11,500), HOU vs. POR
I often try not to recommend players above $10,000, as there's rarely a situation where you can't justify rostering them. But Harden is one of the only options I feel comfortable with at shooting guard Tuesday. He averages 56.0 fantasy points when Chris Paul, who is available, plays. That's a far cry from the 72.1 FP he averages when Paul is out. Still, it's a fair average for the cost and nobody else jumps out at me. DeMar DeRozan ($9,600) is in a great matchup against the Suns, but the Spurs are 12.5-point favorites and I worry about DeRozan getting the early hook. C.J. McCollum is always playable in cash games, but his $7,300 tag is high for tournaments considering he's reached 40 fantasy points just three times. Pairing Harden with a cheaper second guy like Troy Daniels ($3,700), who has hit 20 fantasy points twice in the past four games and has seen 31 minutes in back-to-back games, might be better here than banking on DeRozan or McCollum to reach value.

Small Forward
T.J. Warren ($6,400), PHO at SA
Warren returned after a five-game absence Monday against the Clippers, seeing 12 minutes while on a minutes restriction. Assuming that gets lifted Tuesday, Warren has plenty of upside at $6,400 to be worth deploying. With Devin Booker (hamstring) out, Warren should have plenty of shot attempts for a team desperate to play a competitive basketball game. If we get word before tipoff that Warren is expected to play 30-plus minutes, that makes him a near lock, as he's averaging 36.0 fantasy points under that condition. Considering his price, you may not be able to work in Kawhi Leonard ($10,700) as well, but Danilo Gallinari ($6,700) has reached 30 fantasy points in seven of his past nine outings, including an outburst of 54 fantasy points.

Power Forward
Al-Farouq Aminu ($6,300), POR at HOU
Aminu has posted at least 30 fantasy points in four of the past five games, the only outlier being a complete blowout of the Suns on Thursday, where Aminu saw just 25 minutes. This has, by far, been his best stretch of the season. While his production seems unsustainable in the long term, I'm comfortable deploying him at $6,300 until it ceases. Aminu should get plenty of run in a game that projects to be competitive (Rockets -6.5), as the Blazers are trying to climb closer to the top of the Western Conference standings while the Rockets need to climb their way out of the cellar. Pascal Siakim ($6,800) is the safer option when looking for 30-35 fantasy points, but the $500 savings may come in handy.

Center
Deandre Ayton ($6,600), PHO at SA
Ayton looks to have broken out of a cold stretch. From Nov. 28 through Dec. 6, he didn't reach 30 fantasy points in any contest. Now, over the past two contests, he's racked up 32.2 FP and 45.9 FP, respectively. It's still concerning that he hasn't played 30 minutes since Nov. 30, but he's averaging 1.1 FP per minute, so hoping for around 32 fantasy points in 29 minutes of action is fair. A big game is always on the table, too, as Ayton has posted 45-plus fantasy points in six matchups. Fantasy owners looking for a cheaper, higher-risk option can consider Jakob Poeltl ($4,200) in this same contest. He's surpassed 30 FP twice in the past four games and stands to see extra run in a blowout.

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. Alex Barutha plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel Username: unclestosh99, DraftKings Username: Roto_Alex.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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