NBA DFS Breakdown: Will Ben Simmons Bounce Back?

NBA DFS Breakdown: Will Ben Simmons Bounce Back?

This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.

Tuesday's slate has two games that stand out from a pace perspective, with Lakers/Hawks boasting a huge 237.5 over/under, while Spurs/Grizzlies is at a lowly 209.5. The largest spread is Golden State (-9.0) over Utah, while the smallest spread is a tie between the Pelicans (-4.5) over the Magic and the Spurs (-4.5) over the Grizzlies.

Let's dive into a breakdown of each game:

Lakers at Hawks

Over/Under: 237.5
Spread: LAL (-5.0)
Notable Injuries
LAL: LeBron James (groin) - Probable; Mike Muscala (ankle) - Questionable; Tyson Chandler (toe) - Questionable Lonzo Ball (ankle) - Out; Josh Hart (knee) - Out
ATL: Jaylen Adams (ankle) - Questionable; Miles Plumlee (knee) - Out

The Hawks (8-16 home) check into this matchup with a better record than the Lakers (12-16 road) over the past ten games, with Atlanta winning four compared to Los Angeles' three. Based on pure talent alone, it's hard to believe this game's spread is as tight as it is, and picking the Hawks to upset the Lakers only nets you a +170 money line. Regardless, a high over/under figures to create a great DFS environment.

The Lakers threw deadline acquisitions Reggie Bullock (31 minutes) and Mike Muscala (13 minutes) into the fold Sunday, but that didn't prevent a 143-120 loss to the 76ers. The two combined for 28.9 fantasy points and don't project to be reliable DFS options moving forward. The bigger story was Rajon Rondo being moved to the bench in favor of Bullock, with coach Luke Walton shifting Brandon Ingram down to point guard in the starting five. The decision resulted in just 16 minutes of playing time for Rondo, and he finished with 12.1 FP. On the other hand, Ingram saw the most minutes on the team (34), responding with 26.8 FP, which ranked fourth for the squad. As coach Walton continues to search for an identity for the Lakers, it's tough to have concrete faith in any particular player to reach value. That said, on the injury front, Mike Muscala and Tyson Chandler both questionable could open the door for JaVale McGee to play huge minutes Tuesday.

A blowout loss to the Magic on Sunday on the second night of a back-to-back resulted in the no one seeing more than 28 minutes for the Hawks, and Trae Young was the leading fantasy scorer with just 26.5 FP. So, we probably shouldn't use that contest as a baseline for our Hawks DFS targets. Over the prior two games, Young was the premier fantasy option for Atlanta, combining for 71.2 FP. No other player posted 30-plus FP in either contest, though Dewayne Dedmon just missed the mark at 29.9 FP. John Collins has been underwhelming, though steady, posting at least 24.8 FP over the past three. Young represents the safest DFS play of this group, while Dedmon and Collins are best for tournaments.

Celtics at 76ers

Over/Under: 225.0
Spread: PHI (-6.5)
Notable Injuries
BOS: Kyrie Irving (knee) - Out; Aron Baynes (foot) - Out
PHI: None

The 76ers (23-6 home) enter as winners of six of the past four, but they've won the past two games with the newly-acquired Tobias Harris in the fold. His presence, plus the absence of Kyrie Irving for the Celtics (13-13 away), tilt the line in Philly's favor, though Boston is a surprising 7-2 in games Irving hasn't played in this season. With the Sixers now extremely top-heavy and the Celtics missing their star player, most of the DFS value in this game should come from Boston's end.

There should be value to be had on the Celtics side of things, as Kyrie Irving will sit this inter-divisional game out. Terry Rozier will almost certainly draw the start, and he remains a staple DFS go-to on Boston in this situation. That said, a variety of players have found success with Irving in street clothes. Over the past 30 days, in games Irving has been sidelined, Rozier, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart all average 35-plus FP. The last time Irving sat out a game against a playoff team was Jan. 30 in a 126-94 win over the Hornets. Rozier, Al Horford and Brown each had 40-plus FP. Considering the aforementioned players all produce similarly when Irving is out, it may be most beneficial to roll with the cheapest option on whatever DFS site you choose to play on.

Tobias Harris has looked right at home during his first two games as a Sixer, totaling 71.3 FP across 61 minutes. J.J. Redick (76 FP) and Joel Embiid (100.2 FP) have also thrived with Harris' addition. Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons may need more of an adjustment period. Butler posted just 24.3 FP during Sunday's 143-120 win over the Lakers, and Simmons has totaled 42.9 FP in the past two games. A wait-and-see approach may be best for Simmons and Butler moving forward in DFS, while Redick represents a low-ownership option with 35 FP upside.

Spurs at Grizzlies

Over/Under: 209.5
Spread: SAS (-4.5)
Notable Injuries
SAS: Rudy Gay (ankle) - Probable; Derrick White (heel) - Out; Lonnie Walker (ankle) - Out
MEM: Jonas Valanciunas (not injury related) - Questionable; Chandler Parsons (coach's decision) - Out; Kyle Anderson (shoulder) - Out

The Spurs (10-19 away) -- losers of four straight -- will look to stop the bleeding against a weakened Grizzlies (14-14 home) team. If Jonas Valanciunas, who has had complications with his immigration paperwork, ends up available, the line could tilt more towards Memphis. That said, for fantasy purposes, his absence would be welcome, as it would open up some value in a game that is otherwise less than ideal for DFS considering the over/under.

Coach Gregg Popovich gave LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan the day off Feb. 6 against the Warriors, and the Spurs have played two games since then. Each player has one 40 FP effort in four February appearances, and they represent the safest DFS options on San Antonio. Rudy Gay missed the most recent contest Saturday against the Jazz, but he's expected to return Tuesday. He's the only other Spurs player that it's easy to have confidence in for DFS, as he's dipped below 20 FP just six times in 47 appearances and has gone for 35-plus FP on 10 occasions.

The main question for this contest will be the availability of Jonas Valanciunas, who has run into some hangups with his immigration paperwork and has yet to make his Grizzlies debut. If he's out again, we can turn towards the Memphis frontcourt for value. Over the past three games, Ivan Rabb and Jaren Jackson Jr. each have one performance of at least 40 FP, and Joakim Noah came close with a 39.3 FP outing during Saturday's 99-90 loss to the Pelicans. Justin Holiday also neared that threshold, putting together 39.8 FP during a Feb. 5 win over Minnesota. Mike Conley has seemingly turned into the least interesting thing on the Grizzlies, but he's still seeing 31.3 minutes across the past three games with an average of 37.0 FP. If Valanciunas plays, Rabb and Noah take the biggest hits, and Valanciunas himself becomes an DFS option. A best-case scenario would result in the big man seeing 30-plus minutes. In the 111 career games Valanciunas has played between 30-39 minutes, he's averaging 15.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Magic at Pelicans

Over/Under: 225.0
Spread: NOP (-4.5)
Notable Injuries
ORL: Wesley Iwundu (head) - Questionable; Markelle Fultz (shoulder) - Out; Mo Bamba (lower leg) - Out
NOP: Elfrid Payton (ankle) - Questionable

The Magic (10-17 away), who are on a three-game winning streak, will look to keep up the impressive play by defeating the Pelicans (16-10 home), who are dealing with the awkwardness of having Anthony Davis back in the fold. This matchup has a solid over/under, but few relevant injuries make it just an average DFS environment.

Amidst the up-and-down play that plagues the Magic aside from Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac appears to have found a comfort zone. The second-year forward, who had much of his rookie season decimated by injury, has averaged 12.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assist (33.6 FP) since Jan. 27. Aside from Vucevic and Isaac, your DFS options are risky, though not devoid of upside. Since the beginning of February (five games), Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier each have a 40-FP outburst.

Despite publicly requesting a trade -- a request that was not granted -- Anthony Davis continues to play for New Orleans despite boos from the home crowd, as the NBA would have instituted a fine for the Pelicans if the team decided to send Davis home to protect the asset. Davis has responded with back-to-back 50 FP outings, despite averaging only 29.5 minutes. Julis Randle's fantasy value has taken a hit, as he's averaging only 32.6 FP since Davis' return. Kenrich Williams doesn't seem phased, however, as the rookie is averaging 35.1 FP over the past two. Tim Frazier also has one 40-FP outburst over the past two. The Pels' Big Three of Davis, Jrue Holiday and Randle remain cash game staples, while Williams and Frazier represent GPP options, though Williams is quickly becoming cash game chalk.

Jazz at Warriors

Over/Under: 227.0
Spread: GSW (-9.0)
Notable Injuries
UTA: Dante Exum (ankle) - Out
GSW: Andre Iguodala (hamstring) - Questionable

Both of these squads enter Tuesday's matchup having played great basketball lately. The Jazz (14-14 away) have won seven of the past ten, while the Warriors (21-7 home) have won nine of the past 10. This is a pace-up game for Utah, making players on that side of the action more enticing for DFS.

The Jazz, in a good way, have been a broken record for DFS players all season. Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio are the main targets. Guys like Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder can get some use on the fringes -- Favors for cash; Ingles and Crowder for GPPs. Aside from Crowder, each of those players have a 35-plus FP performance in February (four games). Notably, Mitchell has taken at least 21 field-goal attempts over the past three games.

The Warriors aren't a particularly enthralling DFS team, either. So it probably makes sense to focus on the only notably injured player: Andre Iguodala. Jonas Jerebko is the main DFS-relevant option to see a significant uptick in minutes (plus-4.1 up to 22.3 min/game) when Iguodala is sidelined. That said, he only turns it into 19.4 FP, which is hardly enough to justify spending minimum price to slot him in your lineup. Most top-tier Warriors options actually perform worse with Iguodala in street clothes. In terms of FP differential, Draymond Green is a minus-4.5 FP, Kevon Looney is a minus-3.4 FP, Klay Thompson is a minus-3.1 FP and Steph Curry is a minus-2.0 FP.

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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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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