This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The week kicked off with 10 matchups Monday night, so we get a bit of a reprieve Tuesday evening. There are only four games on the slate with the action set to begin at 7:30 PM Eastern time in New Orleans, as the Pelicans will face off against the Bucks. The final game of the day features the Spurs and the Lakers.
Here's your friendly 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.
There should be plenty of scoring on this small slate, though there is one game in particular that is expected to outpace the other three. 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.
Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans (Projected Total: 245.0)
The Bucks own the best record in the league this season in part due to their explosive offense. They sit atop the league, averaging 120 points on the year and 131.7 in their last three matchups. The Pelicans also have a top-10 offensive attack, putting up 115.1 points per game, good enough for sixth in the NBA. Look for big nights from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brandon Ingram in this one.
Despite a smaller slate Tuesday night, there are seven players priced at $10K or above, with at least one top-tier player at each position. I'll take you through the top choices along with some mid-tier and value plays below.
PG: Damian Lillard has been scorching hot of late, so it's unsurprising to see that he's at the top of the list. Russell Westbrook (thumb) is close behind. From a strategy standpoint, it would be wise to go with one of the top two options, followed by a mid-tier option or value play. There's a steep dropoff after Westbrook, with Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe and Terry Rozier making up the mid-tier choices.
SG: James Harden had been struggling of late, but he's looked like his old self over the last two contests, putting up 72.2 and 67.5 FanDuel points. He's the top option at shooting guard for $11,600, and he could be paired with a cheaper option like Josh Hart or Gary Harris.
SF: Giannis and LeBron James are the hot commodities at small forward, followed by Brandon Ingram and Will Barton. Rudy Gay and Nicolas Batum are two value plays to consider, as they seem to be priced unusually low.
PF: Anthony Davis (shoulder) is the premiere selection at power forward. Zion Williamson and LaMarcus Aldridge are the next two options, but they fall into the mid-tier range. If you're rolling with Davis, you could consider P.J. Tucker or Derrick Favors in the second slot.
C: Nikola Jokic is the lone center with an elite salary, but if you're looking to save money here, Cody Zeller is a name worth looking at. He's put up 26-plus FD points in each of his last four contests, including a 48.4-point performance Saturday against the Spurs.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Pat Connaughton, MIL
Connaughton is probable against the Pelicans with right ankle soreness.
Russell Westbrook, HOU
Westbrook is doubtful due to a left thumb injury.
Austin Rivers, HOU
Rivers missed Monday's contest due to illness, putting his availability in question.
Jamal Murray, DEN
Murray is questionable with a sprained left ankle.
Anthony Davis, LAL
Davis is probable with right shoulder soreness.
Alex Caruso, LAL
Caruso is probable due to neck soreness.
As noted above, there are seven superstars valued at $10K or above on this slate, though Russell Westbrook ($10,700) isn't expected to go due to a thumb injury. Not to fear, Damian Lillard ($10,900) is still available at point guard if you're looking for an elite play. Outside of Lillard and Westbrook, James Harden ($11,600), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500), LeBron James ($10,400), Nikola Jokic ($10,400) and Anthony Davis ($10,200) are the others in the $10K group.
If you're setting your sights a bit lower, look no further than Hassan Whiteside ($9,100), Brandon Ingram ($7,600) and DeMar DeRozan ($7,600) for mid-tier options with elite upside. Jrue Holiday ($7,500) also falls into this category – he's averaging 39.67 FD points per game this season.
The top players in the league are nearly always in high demand, but they'll be especially chalky picks within this slate. Harden and Lillard are the hot hands, while Giannis draws one of the more favorable matchups of the night. Khris Middleton ($7,200) could also be considered a chalky play, putting up 40-plus FanDuel points in two of his last three games.
Ingram and Zion Williamson ($7,100) also stand out to me as popular selections in what figures to be a shootout against the Bucks. Zion in particular has gained an enormous amount of attention since making his debut, and for good reason. He's put up 34-plus FanDuel points in three of his last four games.
Danuel House, HOU vs. CHA ($5,100)
House is coming off a few solid performances, finishing with 29.6 and 30.9 FanDuel points in back-to-back contests. The Texas A&M product has not only produced at a high level of late, but he's also averaging 34 minutes over his last four games (three starts). With both Russell Westbrook and Clint Capela likely out, look for House to get plenty of chances to do damage on his home court.
Dejounte Murray, SA vs. LAL ($5,600)
Much like House, Murray has also been scorching hot of late, coming off back-to-back games of 34-plus FanDuel points. Though his matchup against the Lakers isn't ideal, Los Angeles has surrendered 113 and 119 points over the last two games, and the projected total for the game sits at 229.0. Murray is on track to make his 14th straight start at point guard for the Spurs on Tuesday.