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FantasyDraft NBA: 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 us another modestly-sized slate, as there are only four games on the docket. However, there are no shortage of superstars, as the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Damian Lillard are all in action. Let’s take a look at who’s capable of living up to their price tag and what mid-tier and value plays can help you afford them:

GUARDS:

Premium Option

Damian Lillard, POR vs. PHO ($17,000): Lillard has scored no less than 33.00 and as many as 50.75 fantasy points in his five games since returning from an extended layoff due to a calf injury. He also lit up the Suns for 25 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and one steal back on Oct. 28, and Phoenix comes in allowing the second-most fantasy points (49.4) to point guards on the season, along with the third-most points (23.8), second-most rebounds (7.2), most steals (2.5) and third-highest shooting percentage (44.0) to the position. Lillard is also sporting a 29.8 percent usage rate and averaging 1.22 fantasy points per minute in the five games since returning, while the Suns are generating the sixth-most possessions on the road (104.6), which should allow him plenty of opportunity to provide another strong return.

Mid-Tier

Jeff Teague, MIN at ORL ($13,300): Teague has been hot in his own right since returning from a knee injury, as he’s posted 36.00 and 38.75 fantasy points in his last two games. The veteran encouragingly has eight assists apiece and multiple steals in those contests, and his ability to provide solid returns through multiple categories should serve him well again Tuesday against the Magic. Orlando comes in allowing 54.2 fantasy points to point guards over the last five games, seventh most over that span and a notably higher figure than 46.6 they’ve yielded on the season.

Affordable

Yogi Ferrell, DAL at DEN ($8,800): Ferrell should be in for some extended run once again Tuesday with J.J. Barea already ruled out with a groin injury, an absence that also puts Devin Harris ($6,600) in consideration as an even cheaper alternative. However, Ferrell has been outproducing his price for multiple games now, as he’s scored 31.50 to 33.50 fantasy points in the last three contests. He’s putting up 11.0 shot attempts, including 7.7 from three-point range, over that span as well, and he’ll draw a favorable matchup versus the Nuggets’ backcourt Tuesday. Denver has allowed the third-most fantasy points (49.0) to point guards on the season and 56.0 fantasy points to two-guards over the last five games, with the latter figure the seventh most over that span and a notably higher number than the 42.0 they’ve surrendered to the position on the season.

FORWARDS/CENTERS:

Premium

DeMarcus Cousins, NO at BOS ($19,100): Cousins has historically thrived against the Celtics, and Tuesday could bring more of the same. Boston has allowed 36.0 fantasy points per game to centers over the last five, while Cousins has scored 64.25 and 61.50 fantasy points, respectively, over the last two games. He’s particularly been strong on the glass in recent contests (13.6 rebounds over the last five games), while the Celtics have been more vulnerable in that area over the same span (11.0 rebounds surrendered to centers in the last five as compared to 9.8 for the season). While it’s essentially a coin flip between Cousins and teammate Anthony Davis ($19,200) at the top tier, Cousins’ matchup and typically more balanced stat lines give him the slightest of edges.

Mid-Tier

Bismack Biyombo, ORL vs. MIN ($12,300): Biyombo continues to outproduce his price tag on a fairly consistent basis, with the most recent examples coming over the last two contests. The interim starter compiled 30.25 and 50.75 fantasy points, respectively, in those games, and he’s complemented his typically strong work on the boards with a favorable uptick in offensive involvement in his last five contests overall. Biyombo has upped his shot attempts to 6.4 over the latter span, a notable increase from the 3.9 he’s averaging for the season. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points (36.7) to centers on the campaign, along with the fourth-most rebounds (11.3) and fourth-highest shooting percentage (55.0).

Affordable

Marcus Morris, BOS vs. NO ($8,600): Morris’ troublesome knee has been managed carefully by coach Brad Stevens this season, but the veteran should be good to go after four full days of rest and just two games in the last 11 days overall. Morris exploded for an impressive 35.50 fantasy points versus the Sixers in London last Thursday, and he’ll draw a matchup that could well facilitate more of the same Tuesday. The Pelicans have been among the most generous teams to power forwards this season, allowing the third-most fantasy points (47.2) to the position, including 52.5 over the last five games. They’re also yielding either league-worst or bottom-10 figures to the position in virtually every other category, providing Morris with plenty of paths to pay off his very reasonable price.

UTILITY

Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. DAL ($16,500): The Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler ($16,700) is always an excellent choice as well and is just $200 more expensive, but Jokic is certainly worthy of consideration in his own right Tuesday. He compiled 49.25 fantasy points versus the Spurs on Saturday night and had scored 43.50 and 62.00 in two other games over the prior three, providing a glimpse at his considerable tournament ceiling. The Mavericks have tightened up some against centers as the season’s first half has unfolded, but they’re still allowing 35.5 fantasy points per game to fives on the season, along with the fourth-highest shooting percentage (55.0).

Kyrie Irving, BOS vs. NO ($15,500): Irving has been a virtual lock for 30 fantasy points at a minimum this season, and he’s also eclipsed 40 fantasy points in three of his last six. The All-Star guard continues to sport team highs in usage rate (32.5 percent) and fantasy points per minute (1.23), and he’ll be in a highly favorable spot to continue churning out superior numbers Tuesday. The Pelicans have been a sieve to point guards throughout the season, allowing the fourth-most fantasy points (48.1) on the campaign, along with bottom-five or bottom-10 figures in points (23.3), rebounds (6.8), assists (8.6), steals (2.1) and made three-pointers (2.7). Irving has been particularly aggressive on offense in recent contests as well, as he’s eclipsed 20 shot attempts in three of the last five games.

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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.