Top Tier: Russell Westbrook- It’s not often that we get a perfect storm scenario in NBA DFS, but tonight is one of them with Russ taking on the Atlanta Hawks. What I mean by perfect storm is, that the Hawks are currently playing at the fastest-pace in the NBA, yet come in 30th against Point Guards in defensive efficiency. This is the perfect mix of fast-pace and bad defense, and I think locking in Westy and Paul George would be the staple of my cash game build tonight.
Mid Tier: Kris Dunn- The mid tier of Point Guard is filled with similar players tonight, so if you choose to go with this range for cash games it’s going to leave you with some difficult decisions. Dunn has reached 30+ FanDuel points in 11 of his last 12 games, and should be counted on for offensive production tonight against the Lakers, despite the tough individual matchup with Lonzo Ball.
Low Tier: Trae Young- With the news that Jeremy Lin has been downgraded to doubtful, that gives Trae Young the bump into cash game territory, especially since we are already interested in multiple pieces of this game. Lin has regularly stolen minutes from Young, and with him out we can expect him to eclipse 33 minutes, and despite the tough matchup, Young has exceeded 17 real points in five straight games.
Top Tier: Jimmy Butler- The top of shooting guard comes down to Victor Oladipo, Devin Booker and Jimmy Butler on Tuesday night, with Butler sticking out due to narrative street. Butler takes on his former team in the Minnesota Timberwolves, and if he is isn’t slated to be massively owned that only makes it better. The ownership should be pretty evenly spread out here with all of them so closely priced, and I think that you should ultimately side with whichever one isn’t going to be massive chalk, for leverage.
Mid Tier: Kevin Huerter- Huerter has benefited from the Hawks running a tighter rotation in recent weeks, he has topped 30+ minutes in eight straight games, and that should be even more secure tonight with Jeremy Lin doubtful. He’s not just on the floor doing nothing, he has averaged double-digit field goal attempts throughout those eight games, and could see some extra shots with Lin on the sidelines.
Low Tier: Dennis Schroder- As you can tell, tonight is allllll about the narratives with Dennis Schroder taking on his former team, the Atlanta Hawks. I don’t love jamming in all of these Thunder players, but Schroder is too cheap for his abilities, especially if he is more motivated than usual. I expect both him and Huerter to carry ownership, but I think I would side with the upside of Schroder if picking one.
Top Tier: Paul George- I noted above that the Hawks were 30th in defensive efficiency against PG’s, and that’s not without stating that they are actually 29th in overall defensive efficiency as well. This is not a good defensive team whatsoever, and George remains a strong play given his new-found floor and due to the fact that he remains under $10,000 across the industry.
Mid Tier: Brandon Ingram-It’s clear that we cannot expect a massive floor from Ingram, but his role in this offense without LeBron James is too good not to consider a core play while he remains under $7,000 on FanDuel. This is the exact type of matchup that he should excel in, against a bad defense in the Chicago Bulls, and all the inconsistency really does is keep his price in check for us.
Low Tier: TJ Warren- Warren has fallen all the way down to $6,000 on FanDuel, and that is enough for me to consider him a cash game option if you can’t get up to Ingram. Oladipo should spend his time defending Devin Booker, which improves the matchup for Warren and he has actually been much better from a fantasy standpoint with Booker in the lineup this season than without him.
Top Tier: John Collins- As you can tell, the 235 O/U of the Thunder/Hawks game is one we are going to be heavily targeting tonight, and it’s worth noting that the spread is only 8.5 points. Since we want to jam in Russell Westbrook and Paul George, John Collins is the obvious player to stack along with them, similar to D’Angelo Russell last night against the Celtics. Collins fits FanDuel’s scoring where you get +3 for a block, and while his price is up there, it’s not too high that it completely zaps his ceiling.
Mid Tier: Kyle Kuzma- Kuzma is pretty much a lock for me in cash games at his price, especially with LeBron James still out for the Lakers. His usage rate has risen to 29% with James off the floor this season, and the matchup couldn’t get much tastier against the Chicago Bulls.
Low Tier: Omari Spellman- It looks like Alex Len is slated to start now, even though Spellman did in the last game without Dewayne Dedmon, but we can still target him as a value play for minimum price on FanDuel. Spellman saw 30 minutes in the last game that Dedmon missed, and even if he isn’t in the starting lineup the minutes should be somewhat secure, and we are protected by the low-score drop scoring.
Top Tier: Joel Embiid- Center is top-heavy once again tonight, with Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic and Karl-Anthony Towns all sticking out as strong plays. If choosing one, I think it comes down to Embiid for me, even though we have the narrative of Towns facing off with Butler for the first time. It’s much easier to spend up at Center on DraftKings, so I think we can tag him as a cash game play there with him being better for GPPs on FanDuel.
Mid Tier: Steven Adams- It’s weird that we are targeting so many Thunder players tonight, but the matchup just doesn’t get better from a pace and bad defense perspective than the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks rank outside the top 20 in defensive efficiency against the Center position, and they are particularly vulnerable on the offensive glass, a spot that Adams has excelled throughout his career. I don’t think you will be able to get all the way up to Embiid in cash games, so it comes down to Adams or our next guest…
Low Tier: Javale McGee- The minutes are not secure, and we need to wait and see what changes Luke Walton elects to make to the Lakers starting lineup, but if he ends up starting McGee stands out as a great value play at Center against Chicago. The Bulls rank bottom-three in defensive efficiency against the Center position, and have been a team we have attacked with big men all season long. He’s cheap enough that he doesn’t need to play massive minutes (if starting) and he fits optimal roster construction if we are prioritizing Russ/PG.
UPDATE: With Alex Len starting, he is a viable cheap option as well along with McGee.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)