The same scheduling quirk that gave us 10 games on Monday grants us just four on Tuesday. Point guard and power forward are both remarkably slim, with just one player at both positions carrying a price tag of $7,800 or higher (Isaiah Thomas and Kevin Love). It’s entirely possible to build a lineup that features James Harden, LeBron James and DeMarcus Cousins, without feeling like it’s a complete stars-and-scrubs approach. In fact, that’s exactly what we’ve done here.
We’ll detail the Harden and Cousins selections below. As for James, he’s not interested in playing fewer minutes, especially with Kyrie Irving still on the shelf. With Danilo Gallinari the next small forward on the pricing chain, it’s hard to feel good about a Tuesday lineup that doesn’t include the King.
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Jameer Nelson ($4,200) @ MIN: Nelson has started the last two games with Emmanuel Mudiay out, averaging 15 points, seven assists, 5.5 rebounds and one steal in the small sample. Ricky Rubio, the starting point guard on the other side of the floor, has never been known as a defensive stalwart. This game also has the second-highest over/under on the board at 204.5.
SG: James Harden ($10,700) @ SAC: Harden is the top play, regardless of position, on the Tuesday slate. The Kings have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards this season, and the over/under in Sacramento is 219.5. The points will be bountiful in this game, and Harden should account for more than his fair share. He has had, by his standards, a couple of down games in a row, but has reached at least 49 fantasy points in six of his last 10 trips to the floor.
SF: Omri Casspi ($4,700) vs. HOU: Casspi is turning into a fantasy darling at his $4,700 price. He has played at least 40 minutes in both of Sacramento’s last two games, which, on its own, is enough to get him into lineups if he costs less than $5,000. He’ll take advantage of the same pace, as well as lack of defense, that will benefit Harden. The Rockets have surrendered the third-most fantasy points per game to small forwards this season.
PF: Jabari Parker ($5,000) @ LAL: The Bucks continue to bring their second-year forward back into the fold slowly, but the kid gloves are finally starting to come off. Parker has played 30.4 minutes per game over his last five contests, and is averaging 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in December. He had 19 points and seven boards in his last game, and set season highs in field goals (nine) and field goal attempts (14).
C: DeMarcus Cousins ($9,800) vs. HOU: Cousins is putting up 20.7 points 9.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in the six since returning from injury. He has posted three straight double-doubles and had at least 20 points in two of those three games. Houston isn’t all that interested in playing defense against any position, and Cousins should be right at the center of all fun in what’s expected to be, by far, the highest-scoring game of Tuesday night.