This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We kicked off the week with a nine-game slate Monday, featuring a pair of buzzer beaters and plenty of the league's best on display, but we'll catch a breather Tuesday. There are only four games on the docket, but that doesn't mean there aren't value plays to be had. The Wizards visit the Hornets to kick off the night at 7:00 PM Eastern, and we'll close things out with the Knicks at the Trail Blazers, with tipoff scheduled for 10:00 PM Eastern.
Here's another quick reminder that FanDuel has gone back to their old format, counting all nine of your player's scores within your lineup. With each selection counting towards your score, it'll be important to make each choice count.
Let's take a closer look at tonight's matchups.
Here are a couple matchups to either target or avoid on this slate, based on FanDuel Sportsbook's projected scoring total. It can be beneficial to add players to your lineup who are expected to play in favorable scoring environments, especially if you're having a difficult time choosing between two value plays.
Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers (Projected Total: 206.0)
While it'll be tough to completely avoid a game on this small slate, it'll be worth taking into consideration that this matchup is expected to be the lowest scoring of the four. While the Sixers certainly have more than enough weapons to rack up points, Denver's defense is ranked first in points allowed per contest (101.9). The Nuggets' offense has also struggled mightily this year, putting up 106.5 PPG. They'll have a tough time holding up their end of the bargain in this one, which is why this matchup sits at a projected point total of 206.
Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets (Projected Total: 234.0)
The Wizards have consistently put up big numbers offensively this season, averaging 118.2 points as a team with the help of Bradley Beal, who leads the team with 28 points per contest. It also helps that Washington struggles on defense, sitting at last in the league with 122.5 points allowed per game. As the Hornets aren't known for their scoring prowess, expect the Wizards to carry the scoring load in this one, making this an especially enticing environment for DFS production.
With only eight teams set to take the court, it'll be more difficult to differentiate your lineups, making value plays all that more important. Let's take a look at some of the options at each position.
PG: Damian Lillard is the priciest option at point guard for $9,600, followed by Trae Young (also $9,600) and Ben Simmons ($8,700). Kendrick Nunn and Elfrid Payton are two players to consider who are priced under $5K.
SG: Shifting to shooting guard, Bradley Beal sits at the top for $9,700. Jimmy Butler is the other elite option ($9,600). If you're looking to avoid paying top dollar at this position, Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are two young members of the Heat worth noting.
SF: Small forward is one of the weakest positions on this slate, with Tobias Harris listed as the top player available for $7,600. Carmelo Anthony could be a strong choice for $6,000, especially considering his favorable matchup against the Knicks.
PF: Bam Adebayo is the most expensive selection for $8,600, but he's listed as questionable for Tuesday's matchup due to a groin injury, making this a risky play. Al Horford and Julius Randle will be safer options near the top of the board. Paul Millsap is a cheap alternative, averaging 25.7 FanDuel points on the year. He can be scooped up for $4,600.
C: Center is perhaps the most stacked position of the night, starting with Joel Embiid for $10,400. Nikola Jokic is also up for grabs, and while he's struggled at times this season, he's put up a total of 99.2 FD points over the course of his last two games. Cody Zeller has the potential to be a solid value play for $4,700.
Injury Situations to Monitor
PJ Washington, CHA
Washington is on the injury report due to a right ankle sprain, but the expectation is that he'll be ready to go Tuesday night. Marvin Williams is also on the injury report and is listed as doubtful due to a knee injury, so if Washington is unable to go, the Hornets would be short-handed at forward. Nicolas Batum and Dwayne Bacon could see extended playing time in this scenario.
Bam Adebayo, MIA
Adebayo will carry a questionable designation into Tuesday's matchup due to a groin injury, so it'll be vital to check RotoWire.com for an update on his status leading up to tipoff. Kelly Olynyk would likely draw the start at center if Adebayo isn't cleared.
Josh Richardson, PHI
Richardson was upgraded to questionable ahead of Tuesday's matchup, though he hasn't taken the court since Nov. 27 while battling a right hamstring injury. Furkan Korkmaz would draw another start at shooting guard if Richardson can't go.
There's only one player available above the $10K mark Tuesday night (Joel Embiid, $10,400), but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of elite players to be had. Damian Lillard ($9,600) and Trae Young ($9,600) are a pair of elite plays at point guard, while Bradley Beal ($9,700) and Jimmy Butler ($9,600) round out the backcourt at shooting guard.
Heading to the frontcourt, Bam Adebayo (groin) is a borderline elite play at power forward at $8,600 if healthy. Nikola Jokic and Hassan Whiteside are a few stars on the table at center, valued at $8,800 and $8,600, respectively.
With only a few stars up for grabs in this small slate, guys like Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal will be in high demand. However, the injury picture will also have an impact on chalky plays Tuesday night.
With Isaiah Thomas (calf) already ruled out for the night, Ish Smith is projected to draw another start at point guard and has filled in admirably of late. Priced at $5,200, Smith is averaging 28.2 FD points in 32 minutes over the last three games. In a matchup that's projected to include plenty of scoring, Smith figures to have high ownership.
Kent Bazemore, POR vs. NY ($5,200)
Bazemore has put up 20 or more FanDuel points in three of his last four matchups, and he'll draw a mouth-watering matchup Tuesday night against the Knicks, who've dropped nine straight games. It was also a positive sign that Bazemore logged 36 minutes in Portland's last contest against Oklahoma City, one game after Rodney Hood suffered a season-ending knee injury. The plan appears to be to give Bazemore plenty of opportunities at small forward, making him a solid value play against an inferior opponent.
Derrick Jones Jr., MIA vs. ATL ($3,500)
Jones hasn't factored into Miami's rotation until recently, so he's not expected to draw much interest around the DFS community – this is exactly what we're looking for when trying to differentiate our lineups. He's logged 26 minutes in each of his last two games, and he put together his best performance of the season Friday night against Boston, finishing with 21.6 FanDuel points. Jones hasn't scored in double digits yet this year, but he's shown that he can contribute across the board, making him at least a serviceable selection for this price. It's also worth noting that Atlanta is surrendering 51.7 FD points per game to opposing small forwards this season, so I like Jones' chances of feasting on a struggling Hawks defense.