This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
What was supposed to be a second consecutive seven-game slate Tuesday night is now six, as the Pistons-Raptors game has been postponed due to Toronto's COVID-19 issues. That aside, in contrast to Monday's ledger, the night has more of a big-game flavor. Showdowns between the Clippers and Celtics, Nuggets and Bucks and Suns and Lakers particularly stand out, while the Grizzlies-Wizards and Knicks-Spurs battles could deliver value. Overall, the night shapes up as an intriguing one for DFS purposes, especially with some competitive and high-total contests expected.
Here's a closer look at the three games with the highest projected totals on Tuesday's slate:
Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards (Projected total: 238.0 points)
As we're well aware of by now, the Wizards are always a solid bet to be part of the game with the highest projected total any time they're on the slate. Washington is allowing 121.5 points per game at home and is averaging an NBA-high 107.4 possessions per contest. The Grizzlies do allow a much more respectable 110.7 points per contest – including just 108.1 per road game – but with both teams averaging over 114 points per game on offense and players like Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal and Ja Morant on the floor, there's little doubt there will be plenty of points scored here.
Denver Nuggets at Milwaukee Bucks (Projected total: 236.0 points)
The Bucks are averaging an NBA-high 119.8 points per home game and shooting an NBA-best 49.4 percent at Fiserv Forum as well, and they're allowing 112.1 points per contest overall. Meanwhile, the Nuggets check in averaging the fourth-most points per road game (115.5) while shooting a Western Conference-high 49.5 percent when traveling as well. Denver is also giving up 111.6 points per contest and the fifth-highest shooting percentage on the road (48.2); considering the caliber of performances Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been churning out and the fact these two teams combined for 237 points in their prior meeting this season, this total seems completely feasible.
Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat (Projected total: 222.0 points)
The Hawks will be playing their first game under interim head coach Nate McMillan, and it remains be seen whether that will light a spark. Atlanta is allowing a hefty 114.1 points per road game, along with 47.1 percent shooting. The Heat has picked up the pace offensively as well, averaging 116.7 points per game over the last three, while the Hawks have been solid in that regard as well with 113.5 points scored per road game. Although Sunday's initial installment of the two-game finished with just 208 points and Jimmy Butler remains questionable for Miami, a Hawks squad potentially getting a bit of a boost under new leadership could help this game live up to expectations.
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.
LeBron James, LAL (ankle)/ Status: PROBABLE
James is fully expected to continue playing through his perpetual probable designation and should enjoy elevated usage once again with Anthony Davis (Achilles) still out.
Jimmy Butler, MIA (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Kyle Anderson, MEM (illness)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Jaylen Brown, BOS (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Other notable injuries:
Anthony Davis, LAL (Achilles/calf)/ Status: OUT
Cam Reddish, ATL (Achilles)/ Status: OUT
Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Grayson Allen, MEM (concussion)/ Status: OUT
Kevin Huerter, ATL (back)/ Status: PROBABLE
JaMychal Green, DEN (shoulder)/ Status: OUT
Facundo Campazzo, DEN (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT
Derrick White, SAN (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: GTD
Rudy Gay, SAN (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: GTD
Elfrid Payton, NYK (hamstring)/ Status: GTD
Marcus Smart, BOS (calf)/ Status: OUT
Blake Griffin, DET (team decision)/ Status: OUT
Of the four, it's arguably LeBron who may have the least appeal, considering his matchup against a stingy Suns defense that's allowing the third-fewest points per road game (107.1). Otherwise, Antetokounmpo and Jokic could be worth every bit of the investment required to roster them in a matchup against one another, while Beal is part of the game with the highest projected total and has scored between 33 and 46 points in five of the last six contests.
There are also several players with salaries in the high four figures that have the ability to deliver elite scores, including Kawhi Leonard ($9,700), Russell Westbrook ($9,600), Julius Randle ($9,500), Trae Young ($9,400) and Jayson Tatum ($9,400).
From that group, Leonard and Tatum will be locked into one of the marquee matchups of the night against each other, while Westbrook, like Beal, could benefit from the expected Grizzlies-Wizards game environment. Randle will also be facing a Spurs team that will be on the second game of a back-to-back and likely still short-handed.
Likely chalk plays include Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn and Bam Adebayo if Jimmy Butler sits out, as well as Brandon Clarke if Kyle Anderson is also out of action. Additionally, Jamal Murray, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday should all see plenty of clicks on their names due to the expected competitive nature of the Nuggets-Bucks battle, with the same applying to Kemba Walker and Paul George in the Clippers-Celtics clash.
Kendrick Nunn, MIA vs. ATL ($5,800)
Nunn racked up 44.1 FD points against the Hawks in Sunday's first game of the home-and-home series, and he gets another crack at Atlanta on Tuesday. The Hawks are surrendering the eighth-highest offensive efficiency (51.8 percent) to guards on the season, and they've given up the most FD points per game (65.9) to point guards specifically over the last five games. Meanwhile, Nunn has three tallies of greater than 44 FD points in his last five contests alone, and he's delivered over a 5x return on his current salary in 11 of 26 games overall (including five of the last 13).
Justise Winslow, MEM at WAS ($4,400)
Winslow has been in solid form after a significantly delayed start to the season due to a hip injury, averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists across 22.3 minutes over his first four contests. Those numbers have helped produce totals of 21.4 and 29.FD points in two of those games, and Tuesday, Winslow could be in good position to extend his strong play for a couple of reasons. There's a chance he sees a bump in playing time if Kyle Anderson sits out due to an illness, while facing a fast-paced Wizards team that's ranked in the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency surrendered to second-unit players (42.5 percent) and giving up 49.5 FD points per game to fours over the last 10 games offers Winslow a prime opportunity for value.
Markieff Morris, LAL vs. PHO ($4,000)
Morris should continue starting at power forward while Kyle Kuzma comes off the bench Tuesday, as the veteran big man has posted 23.3 and 28.6 FD points in two of the first three games of his current tenure with the first unit as a result of the absence of Anthony Davis. Morris has shot 50.0 percent in both of those contests, and although the Suns are far from vulnerable defensively, they've given up 49.2 percent shooting to power forwards on the season, along with 44.2 FD points per game over the last 10 to the position. Morris can still space the floor and supplement his production with a handful of three-point buckets, making the 20 FD points that would constitute a 5x return, and that he's already exceeded in three of five starts this season, very much within reach.