There are only six games tonight, but there’s gonna be a whole lotta non-defensive-ass basketball being played out there, with two games in particular that we’ll focus on here. The first is in Washington, and whew, boy, If you’re doing over/unders, I don’t need to tell you what to do. What’s bad for those who love defense is great for the gamblers.
2 / 6
Elites — Yah
Elites — Yah
👍🏽 Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
Yahoo: $49 | DraftKings: $10,700 | FanDuel: $10,200
It really came down to Lillard or Bradley Beal for this first spot, but to be honest, if you could squeeze both of them and leave yourself room to fill out a viable lineup, go for it. Both Lillard and Beal are facing each other tonight in what will likely land at the over for whatever the point total is on your sportsbook of choice. Neither man is on a team noted for their defense, and both have been on a tear due to injured key offensive teammates. Lillard just gets the nod because you could find other shooting guards, like Donovan Mitchell against the Detroit Pistons, a little further down. You can at point guard, too, with Ja Morant or Malcolm Brogdon, but Lillard may be the surest thing at guard tonight given that Russell Westbrook will be guarding, and … well, you know. Play Lillard and Beal if you could. If you want to save some money, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard face the Brooklyn Nets, and if you’ve been paying attention, that’s self-explanatory.
3 / 6
Elites — Nah
Elites — Nah
👎🏽 Fred VanVleet, SG/PG, Toronto Raptors
Yahoo: $35 | DraftKings: $7,400 | FanDuel: $8,800
Even without Markelle Fultz, Johnathan Issac, Aaron Gordon, and Mo Bamba, the Magic are still a grimy match-up for opposing teams. They’re bottom 10 in pace and closer to middle of the road defensively, but you saw FVV finish with nine points and five assists last time out against Orlando. As quality as FVV has been for fantasy purposes — 18.8 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game — he’s still just shooting 39.8 percent from the floor, as well as a career-low 35 percent from deep, making him difficult to trust. VanVleet is just too risky considering what surrounds him at guard, at that’s better options galore, like the aforementioned Lillard, Beal, Morant, Brogdon, Mitchell, and George.
4 / 6
😴 Serge Ibaka, C/PF, Los Angeles Clippers
Yahoo: $18 | DraftKings: $6,000 | FanDuel: $6,400
I covered the Nets from 2016-2019. For years, they’ve defended offensively talented centers as effectively under-the-train Williamsburg apartments against mice. It makes tonight a layup for Ibaka, who’s on one of his most consistent stretches of ball since joining the Clippers. Ibaka’s averaged 14.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks over his last six games. Tonight against Brooklyn, even with Leonard and George back, expect Ibaka to maintain his productive stretch, ideally with a double-double by virtue of what is expected to be a relentless offensive pace. Other sleepers of note include Delon Wright, Jeremy Lamb, and Jeff Green, who will inevitably guard Ibaka at some point, but who has been a pleasant surprise in Brooklyn.
5 / 6
🤷🏽♂️ Kemba Walker, PG, Boston Celtics
Yahoo: $23 | DraftKings: $6,700 | FanDuel: $5,700
Walker might not be this cheap again all season long, so rather than stay away due to his anomaly 1-of-12 shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers three nights ago, Tuesday is a good night to cash in. Though the opposing Golden State Warriors rank ninth in defensive rating, they’re in the league’s bottom 10 in points per game allowed, mainly due to their third fastest pace of play in the league. Since returning two weeks ago, and following his season debut against the New York Knicks, Walker strung together three quality showings, averaging about 20 points and five assists on 49 percent shooting from the field and nearly 43 percent from deep. In two games since, he’s dropped to 9.0 points and 3.0 assists on 26 percent shooting, mostly because of the 1-of-12 performance. Don’t expect that level of inconsistency to become a regularity, and in his range, Walker has as much upside of any point guard on the slate, so fuck it, run him against Steph Curry and the Dubs.
6 / 6