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By Juan Blanco
RotoWire Basketball Writer
Tuesday's seven-game slate offers a combination of some solid producers in favorable matchups, as well as an assortment of value plays that could fly under the radar. One elite center is an optimal situation, making him particularly important on a somewhat abbreviated schedule.
Kyle Lowry, TOR at DAL ($32) - Lowry has stuffed the stat sheet in his first three games, showing consistency that fantasy owners crave. He gets a favorable matchup Tuesday against a fast-paced Mavs offense that should provide plenty of offensive opportunity. Deron Williams also figures to shadow Lowry, a matchup that should work in Lowry's favor more often than not, particularly as Williams continues to heal from a knee bruise.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, DET vs. IND ($21) - Caldwell-Pope got off to a solid start in his first two games before running into a dose of Jimmy Butler's defense last Friday. A short memory is often a necessity, though. Monta Ellis will never be confused with Butler, and Caldwell-Pope should be able to exploit a two-inch size advantage on him to pour in his fair share of buckets. O.J. Mayo's hamstring injury also continues to give Caldwell-Pope more opportunities, as he averaged 37 minutes per game in his first three.
Guard to Avoid:
Kyle Korver, ATL at MIA ($19) - Korver has had a rocky start to the season, and a maintenance program for his recently surgically repaired ankle may be preventing him from getting into a normal rhythm. Korver has scored in single digits in two of three games, and his trademark three-point shot has not fallen with usual regularity so far. Korver draws Dwyane Wade as a primary defender Tuesday, further dampening his prospects for breaking out of his offensive doldrums.
Paul Millsap, ATL at MIA ($32) - Millsap appears to have stepped up his game across the board in the wake of DeMarre Carroll's offseason departure. Not only has the veteran played heavy minutes (35.5 per game), Millsap has come just a pair of boards short of three double-doubles in four games. Millsap also draws Chris Bosh as a primary defender Tuesday, who traditionally has trouble outmuscling opposing power forwards for rebounds under the basket.
Luol Deng, MIA vs. ATL ($22) - Deng has been a reliable producer for the Heat this season, and now gets a good matchup versus the defensive sieve that is Kent Bazemore. Small forwards have had their way against Atlanta, and Deng has shown signs of becoming a more consistent offensive performer as he begins his second season with the Heat. He also continues to be a strong presence on the boards with consecutive six-rebound games heading into Tuesday.
Forward to Avoid:
Chandler Parsons, DAL vs. TOR ($32) - Parsons returned to the Mavs' lineup Sunday, and scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 12 minutes. His playing time figures to be progressively increased over a series of games, so Tuesday's contest may only provide Parsons a nominal boost in court time. Factoring in that he likely will face the rugged defense of DeMarre Carroll, Parsons becomes an easy avoid in Dallas' matchup against the Raptors.
Andre Drummond, DET vs. IND ($35) - Drummond has been on a tear since preseason and is coming off a 20-20 double-double against the Bulls on Friday. His matchup Tuesday provides an even more favorable environment, as the Pacers have been exposed against centers this season. Jonas Valanciunas, Marc Gasol and Rudy Gobert had explosive performances against a Pacers frontcourt that is a shadow of the Roy Hibbert/David West era, and Drummond offers a higher upside than all three. Another double-double performance is certainly in play for Drummond.
Center to Avoid:
Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC vs. MEM ($19) - The rookie center figures to be in for a tough learning experience Monday, facing the imposing frontcourt duo of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph without DeMarcus Cousins by his side to take pressure off him. The Grizzlies' defense is off to its typical strong start, ranking second in the NBA in points allowed at 95.1 per game. With the cards stacked against him, it's best to look elsewhere for center help Tuesday.
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