NBA First Look: Tuesday, March 3rd

We’ve got seven games to examine on Tuesday night.

Cleveland (37-24) Boston (23-34) CLE -12 209.0 7:00 pm EST
New York (12-46) Sacramento (20-37) NYK +2.5 200.0 9:00 pm EST
Charlotte (24-33) L.A. Lakers (16-42) CHA -8 192.0 7:00 pm EST
Atlanta (47-12) Houston (41-18) ATL -9.5 199.5 7:30 pm EST
Chicago (37-23) Washington (34-26) CHI +1.5 186.5 8:00 pm EST
Memphis (42-16) Utah (23-35) MEM -7.5 182.5 8:00 pm EST
Denver (20-39) Milwaukee (32-27) MIL -5.5 192.0 9:00 pm EST



Opponent Preview – Cleveland:
Pace of Play: 95 (Rank: 24)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.8 (Rank: 12)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 21
Rebounding Differential Rank: 8


Avery Bradley (FD: $5600, DK: $5600 / DvP: 22 / Usage Rate: 20.9) – Bradley has played well over his last six games, averaging 32 fantasy points in 35 minutes per contest. His price is still affordable at $5,600 on both FanDuel and DraftKings and the Cavaliers have struggled to contain opposing shooting guards this season.

Evan Turner (FD: $6100, DK: $5500 / DvP: 13 / Usage Rate: 19.2) – Turner has also played well recently, averaging 30 fantasy points per game over his last seven. He is a bit more expensive than Bradley, but he is also a little more versatile, as he doesn’t rely solely on scoring for his fantasy production.

Jae Crowder (FD: $4800, DK: $4900 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 16.5) – I didn’t think I’d ever consider targeting Crowder at a price close to $5,000 when he is still coming off the bench, but he has been on a tear over his last five games. During that stretch he has scored at least 23 fantasy points in every game, while averaging 30 fantasy points per contest.


Opponent Preview – Boston:
Pace of Play: 98.8 (Rank: 4)
Points Allowed Per Game: 102.7 (Rank: 25)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 15
Rebounding Differential Rank: 17


LeBron James (FD: $11200, DK: $10400 / DvP: 20 / Usage Rate: 33.4) – James had a rough ending to the game against the Rockets. Not only did he get kicked in the groin, but he missed two free throws that could have won the game. He will look to bounce back against a Celtics’ team that is ranked 25th in points allowed per game this season.

Kevin Love (FD: $8100, DK: $7900 / DvP: 26 / Usage Rate: 22) – It took more than half of a season, but Love is finally on the fantasy radar again. He has scored at least 36 fantasy points in four of his last nine games. He draws a favorable matchup against the Celtics, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to power forwards.


Opponent Preview – New York:
Pace of Play: 93.1 (Rank: 28)
Points Allowed Per Game: 100.9 (Rank: 23)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 28
Rebounding Differential Rank: 28


Rudy Gay (FD: $7600, DK: $7700 / DvP: 3 / Usage Rate: 26.3) – There hasn’t been an update on the availability of DeMarcus Cousins yet, but if he is forced to sit Tuesday’s game out, Gay will be the primary option in the Kings’ offense. Gay already has a high usage rate that will only go up if Cousins is forced to miss more time.

Jason Thompson (FD: $4300, DK: $4100 / DvP: 6 / Usage Rate: 12.2) – Thompson’s fantasy appeal also hinges on the health of DeMarcus Cousins. Thompson has played well in Cousins’ absence, averaging 25 fantasy points per game over his last three. Don’t be alarmed by his limited minutes on Sunday, as he was in foul trouble all game.

New York

Opponent Preview – Sacramento:
Pace of Play: 97.5 (Rank: 8)
Points Allowed Per Game: 104.4 (Rank: 27)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 27
Rebounding Differential Rank: 1


Langston Galloway (FD: $5400, DK: $4900 / DvP: 27 / Usage Rate: 19.1) – Jose Calderon is out for the next couple of weeks, which means Galloway will continue to start at point guard. He has scored at least 24 fantasy points in six of his last nine outings and he draws a favorable matchup against the Kings.

Andrea Bargnani (FD: $4600, DK: $4500 / DvP: 20 / Usage Rate: 25.3) – Bargnani is back in the good graces of fantasy owners everywhere. He has scored 29, 49, and 21 fantasy points over his last three games. Continue to target Bargnani as a top value play until his price comes up across the industry.

L.A. Lakers

Opponent Preview – Charlotte:
Pace of Play: 95.3 (Rank: 23)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.8 (Rank: 6)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 8
Rebounding Differential Rank: 13


Jordan Clarkson (FD: $5300, DK: $4700 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 21.6) – Clarkson has played at least 30 minutes in three straight games, which is a promising sign moving forward. Over that three-game stretch, he has 27 fantasy points per contest. If he can replicate that again on Tuesday, he will reach value with ease.

Wayne Ellington (FD: $5500, DK: $4700 / DvP: 18 / Usage Rate: 18.1) – Ellington’s minutes are also trending upward, as he has played at least 35 minutes and scored at least 27 fantasy points in each of his last three games. His price on FanDuel may be a bit high, but he’s priced at a very playable $4,700 on DraftKings.


Opponent Preview – L.A. Lakers:
Pace of Play: 96.7 (Rank: 10)
Points Allowed Per Game: 106.1 (Rank: 30)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 29
Rebounding Differential Rank: 20


Al Jefferson (FD: $8200, DK: $7800 / DvP: 10 / Usage Rate: 26.5) – The Hornets draw a terrific matchup against the Lakers, who have allowed more points per game than any other team in the NBA this season. The Lakers have done a decent job at defending centers, but Jefferson is a tough cover for any big man.

Mo Williams (FD: $6600, DK: $7000 / DvP: 30 / Usage Rate: 23.2) – Williams’ price has come way up on both FanDuel and DraftKings and hopefully we will see his ownership level come down. Williams has been on a tear since joining the Hornets. He has averaged 37 fantasy points over his last five games.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (FD: $6000, DK: $6100 / DvP: 20 / Usage Rate: 19.2)MKG is priced a little higher than I’d like to pay for him, but his minutes and production are both trending upward. Over his last three games, he has averaged 32 fantasy points in 38 minutes per contest.


Opponent Preview – Atlanta:
Pace of Play: 96.2 (Rank: 15)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.4 (Rank: 2)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 4
Rebounding Differential Rank: 27


Terrence Jones (FD: $6500, DK: $7000 / DvP: 13 / Usage Rate: 18.9) – Basically, all you need to know is that James Harden is suspended for Tuesday night’s game against the Hawks. Even though the matchup is less than appealing, Harden’s absence opens up a TON of production for the rest of the Rockets. Don’t be afraid to load up on the Rockets in this one. Jones is an excellent play here, as are the following players:

Josh Smith (FD: $6300, DK: $6500 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 24.5)

Trevor Ariza (FD: $5800, DK: $5900 / DvP: 12 / Usage Rate: 16.8)

Corey Brewer (FD: $4200, DK: $4000 / DvP: 17 / Usage Rate: 20.6)


Opponent Preview – Houston:
Pace of Play: 99.1 (Rank: 3)
Points Allowed Per Game: 99.7 (Rank: 16)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 3
Rebounding Differential Rank: 11


Paul Millsap (FD: $7500, DK: $8000 / DvP: 19 / Usage Rate: 23.5) – The Hawks continue to be the Spurs of the East. While that may be a compliment within most basketball circles, it’s not a good thing to be in daily fantasy. They continue to rest players and limit their starter’s minutes. Millsap is the only Hawks’ player that stands out in Tuesday night’s matchup against the Rockets.


Opponent Preview – Chicago:
Pace of Play: 95.5 (Rank: 22)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.5 (Rank: 11)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 12
Rebounding Differential Rank: 5


John Wall (FD: $9100, DK: $8600 / DvP: 10 / Usage Rate: 25.1) – Wall’s production has been down a bit recently, but his price is at a very affordable level on both FanDuel and DraftKings. He draws a favorable matchup against the Bulls, who no longer have Derrick Rose in the lineup. Aaron Brooks is not a great defender and Wall should have no problem creating easy shots for himself and his teammates.

Marcin Gortat (FD: $5500, DK: $5700 / DvP: 15 / Usage Rate: 17.9) – Gortat has been on a tear recently, averaging 35 fantasy points per game over his last five. His price has yet to reflect his hot streak, which gives us one more chance to buy low on the Polish Hammer.


Opponent Preview – Washington:
Pace of Play: 96 (Rank: 16)
Points Allowed Per Game: 98.1 (Rank: 10)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 8
Rebounding Differential Rank: 4


Pau Gasol (FD: $9500, DK: $9500 / DvP: 5 / Usage Rate: 23.7) – Much like the Rockets, there are quite a few plays on the Bulls as well. Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose are both out, which means the rest of the team is going to have to step in in their absence. Gasol should be the number one option in the Bulls offense. He, along with the following players, should see a sizable fantasy boost:

Joakim Noah (FD: $7200, DK: $7000 / DvP: 5 / Usage Rate: 14)

Aaron Brooks (FD: $4500, DK: $4600 / DvP: 11 / Usage Rate: 25.6)

Tony Snell (FD: $3800, DK: $3600 / DvP: 8 / Usage Rate: 14.1)


Opponent Preview – Memphis:
Pace of Play: 94.3 (Rank: 26)
Points Allowed Per Game: 95.7 (Rank: 1)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 7
Rebounding Differential Rank: 13


Derrick Favors (FD: $7600, DK: $7400 / DvP: 3 / Usage Rate: 23) – The Jazz draw the toughest matchup possible. The Grizzlies are ranked first in points allowed per game this season. The Jazz are an easy team to avoid altogether, but if you want to have some exposure, Favors is the preferred play. He has scored at least 35 fantasy points in four of his last five games.


Opponent Preview – Utah:
Pace of Play: 92.9 (Rank: 29)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.8 (Rank: 6)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 23
Rebounding Differential Rank: 3

Targets: None – The Jazz play at a very slow pace and this game has the lowest total on the board tonight. The Grizzlies can safely be avoided in all league formats.


Opponent Preview – Denver:
Pace of Play: 98.4 (Rank: 5)
Points Allowed Per Game: 104.2 (Rank: 26)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 25
Rebounding Differential Rank: 18


Giannis Antetokounmpo (FD: $6400, DK: $7100 / DvP: 26 / Usage Rate: 19.5) – The Greek Alphabet is coming off of a strong 10-game stretch, where he averaged 31 fantasy points in 34 minutes per contest. His price on FanDuel is still too low and given his matchup against the Nuggets, he will likely be a popular choice at shooting guard.

Ersan Ilyasova (FD: $4300, DK: $4400 / DvP: 29 / Usage Rate: 22.7) – If I had to choose between Bargnani and Ilyasova, I would take Bargnani hands down. But, if you are feeling froggy, why not roster them both? Ilyasova faces a Nuggets’ team that hasn’t been able to defend opposing big men for the better part of a decade.


Opponent Preview – Milwaukee:
Pace of Play: 96.4 (Rank: 14)
Points Allowed Per Game: 96.4 (Rank: 2)
Defensive Efficiency Rank: 2
Rebounding Differential Rank: 24

Targets: None – The Nuggets have been playing their worst basketball of the season. They also draw an extremely tough matchup against the Bucks, who have held their opponents to the second-fewest points per game this season.

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.


  • wisewill13

    No Mirotic Love….

  • sonicattack

    If Gasol is back, Mirotic is a tourney play at best.

  • bgizzle714

    Mirotic will probably get around 28 minutes since Taj is out.

  • buffballz

    i would target mirotic to pick up scoring slack with butler and taj out over targeting snell

  • eroem

    Gasol was back during the Clippers game and that didn’t stop Miro from having a monster game.

  • joshschreder

    When I look at the DvP chart it says Lakers are 25th versus Centers. Both season long & the past three weeks. Just curious where you came up with 10th Noto?

  • biener

    NOTOCONGRATS on the big win last night!!!


    @biener said...

    NOTOCONGRATS on the big win last night!!!

    Do you got a link to his game? :O I wanna see it

  • louislipps

    Noto what happened with the WFBC identical lineups? Aren’t they supposed to be unique to maximize chances? You were SO CLOSE, too!!

  • rambotex

    I also am curious about the omission of Miro and other recommendations on attacking Denver other than Illy. Please expand

  • jimmythesaint

    You may not know, but Gasol was playing sick that game.

    Gasol should devour Washington’s bigs tonight.

    Also, keep an a Eye on Evan Turner. Going back to Ohio to play.

    The stands will be packed with friends, family and the OSU faithful.

  • beauvanlaanen

    how is it2 not a target for boston?

  • boltonscott79

    How about josh smith revenge game too

  • Notorious

    Lead RG Analyst

    • 315

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    Hey guys,

    Nikola Mirotic is definitely in play. He will be featured in the Grind Down.

    The story behind the train in the qualifier is funny. I joined the Q early in the morning before it was filled. Then I forgot that I had joined it later in the day so when I set my cash game lineup, it exported to all of my leagues. It worked out last night, but definitely not a recommended strategy!

  • Shamrocks10

    I was in your 50/50 last night. Beast mode of a cash game lineup.

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