This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a solid seven-game slate on tap Tuesday night, an amount that some DFS players find to be ideal in terms of player pool depth. As of early Tuesday, there are only two games with projected totals on FanDuel Sportsbook, but they're both notably carrying figures in excess of 230 points, certainly an encouraging sign. There are some big names among the walking wounded, however, including a couple whose absences are already confirmed, thinning out the top shelf a bit.
Here's a closer look at the two games with the highest projected totals as of early Tuesday, along with a third I believe has a chance to also feature plenty of offense:
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs (Projected total: 232.5 points)
These two squads surprisingly combined for just 205 points in the first game of this two-game set Monday night, so it remains to be seen if this lofty total will come close to being matched with the teams reconvening just 24 hours later. However, when a team averages 108.6 possessions per road game – as the Warriors did heading into Monday's contest – there's always a chance for plenty of offense. The expected ongoing absence of LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) for San Antonio naturally dings overall scoring expectations a bit, but if the normally solid shooting trio of Patty Mills, Rudy Gay and Derrick White doesn't come close to going a combined 7-for-31 from the field again as they did Monday, the Spurs should be able to contribute their fair share of offense.
Philadelphia 76ers at Sacramento Kings (Projected total: 230.5 points)
The Kings check into this game riding a four-game winning streak, but they're still tied with the Nets for the second-most points allowed per game (118.2). The Kings are also surrendering the second-highest shooting percentage of any team on its home floor (49.0 percent), including 39.3 percent from three-point range. The 76ers are allowing just 107.5 points and 43.6 percent shooting per road contest, however, so Sacramento could be challenged to approximate the 115.0 points per home game it averages. The 76ers will bring a bump in pace, as Philadelphia's 105.3 possessions per game outpaces the Kings' 102.3 per home game.
Orlando Magic at Portland Trail Blazers (Off the board as of early Tuesday)
The Magic are allowing 113.8 points and 48.1 percent shooting on the road, as well as 37.6 percent from three-point range. The Trail Blazers are surrendering the fourth-most points per home game (116.5) as well, and Damian Lillard has been cleared of the abdominal issue that prevented him from practicing Monday and should therefore be available without restrictions Tuesday. Neither team plays at a particularly fast pace, but given the defensive deficiencies of both in the home/road splits that apply – as well as the presence of offensively elite players like Lillard and Nikola Vucevic – this game will likely carry a projected total in the neighborhood of 220 points.
Injury Situations 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.
Kevin Durant, BKN (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT
Kyrie Irving, BKN (finger)/ Status: PROBABLE
If Irving suits up as expected, he'll be in line to benefit considerably from Kevin Durant's ongoing absence.
Christian Wood, HOU (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Jaylen Brown, BOS (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
LaMarcus Aldridge (hip)/ Status: OUT
Goran Dragic, MIA (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Dragic's second straight absence should afford Kendrick Nunn another start at point guard.
Delon Wright, DET (ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Evan Fournier, ORL (back)/ Status: OUT
Fournier's second straight absence, Dwayne Bacon is likely to draw another start at shooting guard.
Mike Conley, UTA (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Conley's second straight absence should once again see Donovan Mitchell take over primary ball-handling duties, a role in which he scored 52.3 FD points Sunday against the Pacers. Joe Ingles is also likely to remain in the starting five as a result of Conley's absence.
Other notable injuries:
Josh Hart, NOP (back)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Nassir Little, POR (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Nerlens Noel, NYK (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Marcus Smart, BOS (calf)/ Status: OUT
Wayne Ellington, DET (calf)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Derrick Rose, NYK (health and safety protocols)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
There are four players with five-figure salaries on Tuesday, but with Kevin Durant sidelined, the playable options are James Harden ($11,000), Joel Embiid ($10,600) and Stephen Curry ($10,400). From that group, Harden and his 1.36 FD points per minute average with Durant off the floor should make him even more valuable than usual, while Embiid is in an especially appealing matchup against the Kings and their defensive deficiencies.
There are also several players with salaries in the high four figures that have the ability to deliver elite scores, including Damian Lillard ($9,800), Jayson Tatum ($9,700), Kyrie Irving ($9,500), Ben Simmons ($9,100) and Julius Randle ($9,000). Nikola Vucevic ($8,700), De'Aaron Fox ($8,600) and Donovan Mitchell ($8,000) could also be in line to deliver elite-level scores based on recent performance, favorable positional matchup, and, in Mitchell's case, likely primary ball-handling responsibilities again in Mike Conley's stead.
With the relatively modest size of the slate and a couple of big names out of action, differentiation in tournaments is going to inevitably be a bit of an uphill battle. In terms of injury-influenced chalk, Harden and Irving will naturally be even more rostered than usual, while the same should apply to DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl if LaMarcus Aldridge remains out. The same should hold true for multiple members of the Rockets' starting five with Christian Wood still sidelined.
Eric Gordon, HOU at NO ($5,900)
Wood remains out Tuesday with his ankle injury, and Gordon, who sat out Monday's loss to the Hornets for rest, carries a 27.1 percent usage rate and averages just under a FD point per minute without his teammate on the floor this season. Gordon also heads into Tuesday's contest having eclipsed 30 FD points in three straight games, a stretch during which he's shot 50.0 percent from the field, including 39.1 percent from deep. The veteran wing compiled 20 FD points in just 23 minutes in his one prior meeting with the Pels this season, and he's already scored at least 20 points in 12 of 19 games this season despite averaging a relatively modest 28.6 minutes per contest. Finally, New Orleans also ranks in the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency allowed to backcourt players (51.4 percent), furthering Gordon's case.
Mason Plumlee, DET vs. BKN ($5,700)
Plumlee compiled a season-high 40.6 FD points in a double-OT thriller against the Lakers on Saturday, and he's delivered over a 5x return on his current salary in 12 of 23 games thus far this season. He draws one of the better matchups for centers Tuesday, as the Nets check in allowing the third-highest offensive efficiency to fives (35.7 percent) and in the paint (61.0 percent). Brooklyn is also giving up an Eastern Conference-high 51.6 points in the paint per game, while Plumlee is logging just over 77.0 percent of his scoring in that part of the floor. The big man should also benefit from some extra possessions considering the Nets are playing at the second-fastest pace in the league.
Cole Anthony, ORL at POR ($5,400)
Anthony sports a 24.2 percent usage rate with backcourt mate Evan Fournier (back) off the floor this season, and he's scored 26.4 to 37.3 FD points in his last four games. The rookie is shooting 47.9 percent, including 41.7 percent from distance, over that stretch, and Tuesday, he'll face a Trail Blazers squad allowing the eighth-most FD points per game (50.3) to point guards over the last 10, along with the highest offensive efficiency (32.5 percent) to the position on the season. Anthony is also starting to become more aggressive offensively, as he's averaging 12.0 shot attempts over the aforementioned four-game sample immediately preceding Tuesday, as compared to a 10.9 season figure.
Other value plays to consider: Robert Covington, POR vs. ORL ($6,000); Tyler Herro, MIA vs. NY ($5,800); Jakob Poeltl, SA vs. GS ($5,500); Jae'Sean Tate, HOU at NO ($5,500); DeAndre Jordan, BKN at DET ($5,100); David Nwaba, HOU at NO ($5,000)