This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We have a seven-game slate featured on DraftKings for today. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. EDT with the Nets facing the Magic in a game with nothing on the line as the Eastern Conference is set, aside from potential seeding changes. The Western Conference, however, is a different story with four teams (Trail Blazers, Suns, Spurs, Grizzlies) all fighting for the No. 8 spot, which Memphis is currently hanging only by only a half game over Portland. With the last few regular season games wrap up this week, some teams have chosen to rest their starters, leaving extra minutes available – and in some cases it can be hard to predict who will benefit the most. Staying updated on news leading up to lock time can prove to be valuable, as we saw yesterday with Deandre Ayton. A good strategy the rest of the way could be to focus on the teams with motivation, as their rotations should be more reliable.
BKN vs. ORL (-6) O/U 220.5
SA vs. HOU (-4) O/U n/a
PHI vs. PHO (-8) O/U n/a
DAL vs. POR (-1) O/U 220.5
MEM vs. BOS (-5) O/U 224.5
SAC vs. NO (-1) O/U n/a
WAS vs. MIL (-8) O/U 229.5
As I said in the intro, there is a four-way battle for the eighth seed in the West. Prioritizing players from those teams could be a smart strategy, as they have extra incentive to put their best roster on the floor and get a win. We could also see starters from other teams sit, creating further incentive to get some of those motivated players into your lineups.
Injury Situations To Monitor
James Harden, (rest) OUT
It would be assumed that the Rockets would alternate resting Harden and Russell Westbrook the last few regular season games. I'd expect Westbrook to be a very popular choice today, despite the Rockets being locked into the No. 4 seed in the West.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, (tooth) OUT
Giannis didn't play Monday and I wouldn't be surprised to see him out again. Khris Middleton should benefit the most in his absence.
Joel Embiid, (ankle) OUT
Embiid seems to have a legitimate ankle issue. Ben Simmons has already been ruled out for the season after having surgery. Josh Richardson is listed as out, and Al Horford and Tobias Harris are both questionable. There could be a lot of minutes to go around for Philly so be aware of what lineup the Sixers decide to roll out today.
The Pelicans have been eliminated from playoff contention so it's no surprise to see these three set to sit Tuesday. Lonzo Ball should be the direct beneficiary, assuming he suits up himself.
De'Aaron Fox, (rest) OUT
Like the Pelicans, the Kings have no incentive to play their starters as they have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Pretty clear running theme here. Nets have a clinched playoff birth. They are opting to hold out most of their starters.
Damian Lillard, POR ($9,800) vs. DAL
Russell Westbrook is surely to be more popular with James Harden sitting out, but I think pivoting to Lillard makes a lot of sense as he should be extra focused with his team right on the heels of the Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the West. Lillard has averaged 56 fantasy points in three games against Dallas this season and should get to face a watered-down version of the team with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis potentially out.
Devin Booker, PHO ($8,800) vs. PHI
Much like Lillard, Booker will be looked upon to carry his team to a victory in the tight race for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Booker has been tremendous since the bubble restart, helping his team to go undefeated so far and be in a position to make the playoffs. The Kentucky product has scored over 50 fantasy points in two of the last four games and will face a Sixers teams with potentially all five of its usual starters sitting out.
Lonzo Ball, NO ($6,400) vs. SAC
Ball should be the focal point of the offense here with Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson all projected to sit out. We have a decent sample size with this scenario, and Ball sees a 21 percent usage rate when all three are off the court. He has had great success against the Kings this season, averaging 43.3 fantasy points in two games.
Khris Middleton, MIL ($7,700) vs. WAS
With Giannis Antetokounmpo potentially out again after sitting Monday, it would be expected that Middleton would carry the load for the Bucks. He has been relied on in this situation before and carries a 33.9 usage rating with Antetokounmpo off the court. He underwhelmed Monday in this spot but now faces a Wizards team that he averaged a whopping 68.1 fantasy points in two games against during the season. The Wizards are still one of the fastest-paced teams in the league (106.6) even without star player Bradley Beal. Middleton should thrive yet again in this atmosphere as long as Washington can keep it relatively close.
With so many starters out and possibly more to be announced later today, there should be an abundance of value to sift through as lineups come into focus, so making any specific recommendations is difficult. These last few regular season games, it might be best to just have fun and play who you want – until we get to the playoffs, and have the luxury of normal rotations and secure minutes to combine with our season-long data.