This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Sunday marks another seven-game slate thanks to the Kings/Grizzlies game being postponed, but two of those are early games. Of the five remaining on DraftKings' featured slate, there's still plenty of big names set to play such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and Jaylen Brown. Who isn't playing may be the bigger story, however we'll tackle that later in the column.
Injury Situation to Monitor
Note: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
Jayson Tatum, BOS (COVID-19 protocols)/Status : OUT
Jaylen Brown is averaging 28.5 points in the four games Tatum has missed to date.
Russell Westbrook, WAS (quadriceps)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
The Wizards haven't played since Jan. 11 due to healthy and safety protocols and yet Westbrook is still listed as questionable despite the lengthy time off. Not a particularly encouraging sign.
Trae Young, ATL (back)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Young has appeared on the injury report plenty of times, but hasn't missed a game yet this season.
Dejounte Murray, SAN (ankle)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Murray was forced out of Friday's game within a minute after twisting his ankle. If he's unable to play, Patty Mills should see a ton of extra playing time.
De'Andre Hunter, ATL (knee)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Hunter played through the knee injury Friday but saw his second-lowest minute total (27), although that partially could be explained by the blowout nature of the win. Cam Reddish (knee) and Danilo Gallinari (ankle) are likely to soak up more minutes in the coming games regardless.
Rui Hachimura, WAS (COVID-19 protocols)/Status: OUT
The Wizards already ruled out seven players prior to Sunday with Westbrook and Raul Neto (hamstring) also listed as questionable.
Other notable injuries:
Austin Rivers, NY (Achilles)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Payton Pritchard, BOS (knee)/Status: OUT
Reggie Bullock, NY (neck)/Status: DOUBTFUL
Five games on the main slate and yet four players have five-figure salaries, although one of them is the aforementioned Westbrook. Antetokounmpo ($10,400) hits the top of the slate, with Bradley Beal ($10,200) and Damian Lillard ($10,000) rounding out the top.
There's a decent amount of value in the $9,000 range, with almost all of them occupying the PF/C range. Andre Drummond ($9,300), Julius Randle ($9,200), Nikola Vucevic ($9,100) are joined by lone guard Trae Young ($9,400), who may or may not play in a difficult matchup against the Bucks. You might as well shoehorn Jaylen Brown ($8,600) into the mix especially with Tatum out, but the 24-year-old has been a bit less of a menace on the glass with the increased offensive responsibilities.
Beal is probably going to be thrown into most lineups especially if Westbrook doesn't end up playing, while Lillard and Giannis could be used as the "fade" options among the high-salaried players.
I'll be right there with DK users as well. But with the Wizards missing so many players the likes of Isaac Bonga ($3,300), Jerome Robinson ($3,500) and Robin Lopez ($4,600) are going to be heavily used. You could even expand that cheaper-player list with players like Patty Mills ($5,000) and Rajon Rondo ($3,500) depending on certain injury designations.
A stars-and-scrubs lineup might not just be a legitimate approach, but a practical one given how things play out closer to tip off. But at the very least, you should be prepared with multiple lineups prior to the start of the evening slate. There's really only a few options a user might have given the relatively small slate and shrinking number of big-play options, so planning ahead for any inevitable curveballs is likely your best advantage over others Sunday.
Devonte' Graham, CHA vs. ORL ($6,300)
It's probably because the frontcourt seemingly offers so few legitimate options - particularly if you're locked into the Bongas/Lopezes of the world like I am - but I think finding the major value at guard will be the key to Sunday's slate. To that end, Graham is one of the more intriguing options on the slate, especially given how bad the Magic have been against point guards this season. Graham seemingly has survived the LaMelo Ball threat (narrator - for now) as the rookie's minutes have tumbled over the last four games. That's probably because the Kansas product is finally getting out of his early-season shooting slump shooting over 40 percent in the last five games after averaging close to 27 percent from the field in the previous 10. Five times value seems like the floor for Graham on Sunday.
Patty Mills, SAN vs. WAS ($5,000)
This is just a reminder to play Mills if Murray is out. The veteran guard played 37 minutes after Murray left Friday's game. And while he didn't finish with a ton of points, I'll gladly roll the dice with someone playing 35-plus minutes at a $5k value.
Evan Fournier, ORL vs. CHA ($5,800)
Guess this is the CHA/ORL section. This represents more of an upside writeup as it's entirely possible Fournier continues his struggles from deep (shooting just 35 percent from deep), but I'm willing to bet this might be a get-right kinda game. The Hornets allow a ton of shots from beyond the arc - primarily to guards - which sets up Fournier well for a higher-variance type of performance. More than likely a DK lineup differential will fall upon the high-salaried group of Beal/Lillard/Giannis, but the 3-point upside really benefits a play like Fournier - especially under $6k.