This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We kick off the week with a seven-game slate that features some solid elites and immense value spots. This should be a fun offering of games, so let's get started!
NYK @ BKN (-5.5) O/U: 217.5
UTA @ DAL (+5.5) O/U: 226.5
WAS @ TOR (-5) O/U: 228.5
CLE @ SAS (-9) O/U: 216.5
DET @ OKC (+3) O/U: 212.5
SAC @ MIN (+2.5) O/U: 236.5
PHO @ HOU (+11) O/U: 218.5
(Odds are best-available US odds and subject to change)
Games to Target in BOLD
Games to Fade in ITALIC
BKN James Harden (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE
BKN Kevin Durant (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE
There's a tug-of-war happening in the frontcourt, thanks to some new arrivals. Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge could both be rest candidates in this back-to-back, and if that happens, Jeff Green ($4,500) would receive back some of the minutes he's lost recently.
DAL Kristaps Porzingis (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
DAL Josh Richardson (calf) - QUESTIONABLE
WAS Bradley Beal (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
WAS Rui Hachimura (shoulder) - QUESTIONABLE
We will discuss Beal's pivot a bit later, but Robin Lopez ($4,600) figures to see a boost if Hachimura is sidelined.
TOR Kyle Lowry (foot) - OUT
TOR Fred VanVleet (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
TOR Rodney Hood (hip) - OUT
The backcourt would be a jumble if VanVleet is out, but since he would likely play the point, Gary Trent ($5,400) is the smartest pivot in either outcome. If VanVleet is a confirmed scratch, it would be safe to involve Malachi Flynn ($3,500) as well.
CLE Jarrett Allen (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE
CLE Larry Nance (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
OKC Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot) - OUT
OKC Al Horford (inactive) - OUT
OKC Darius Bazley (shoulder) - OUT
OKC Isaiah Roby (concussion) - OUT
OKC Luguentz Dort (concussion) - OUT
Aleksej Pokusevski ($5,500) will see increased opportunity for the short-handed Thunder. Otherwise, focus on the starting lineup that becomes available later in the day.
MIN D'Angelo Russell (knee) - DOUBTFUL
MIN Malik Beasley (hamstring) - DOUBTFUL
MIN Ricky Rubio (back) - DOUBTFUL
These absences are obviously good news for Anthony Edwards ($7,400), but there are other options if you're unwilling to spend that much. Jordan McLaughlin ($4,600) will almost assuredly see more time in this injury scenario.
HOU John Wall (knee) - DOUBTFUL
HOU Danuel House (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
Russell Westbrook ($11,000) will be a wise play once again and gets an extra endorsement if Beal is absent. This game sets up well for both the Wizards and the Raptors. Karl-Anthony Towns ($11,000) also sets up well against the Kings, and it's difficult to ignore his recent streak of six straight double-doubles. Luka Doncic ($10,300) will be a fade for me tonight against a tough Jazz defense, and I feel similarly about Kyrie Irving ($10,000) on a back-to-back. Irving rounds out the five-digit salaries. Amazingly enough, De'Aaron Fox ($9,300) and Julius Randle ($9,000) are the only players in the 9k range. Of the two, I prefer Fox due to the higher game total. Randle may face some added interference from a revamped Nets frontcourt, and although I think he'll post a good number, he isn't an essential core player tonight. Out of the group, Westbrook and Towns are my two favorite elite plays.
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,700) vs. WAS
Siakam should have little resistance against the Wizards' depleted frontcourt. His salary rose $400 since his last game, which is odd because he didn't even meet 5x value. Either way, I think he's a candidate to do a lot more tonight, especially given the current condition of his backcourt teammates.
Devin Booker, PHO ($8,300) @ HOU
Booker committed six turnovers in his last game against the Rockets, and it ruined what would have otherwise been a respectable outing. If he can tamp down the mistakes, he should score north of 20 points and contribute some assists and rebounds along the way.
DeMar DeRozan, SAS ($7,900) vs. CLE
Although you'll have to weather some blowout risk, DeRozan should be able to inflict major damage in this spot. He only took 12 shot attempts against the Pacers in his last game, resulting in a slight regression, but his other recent performances have been exemplary. Shot volume is the key for DeRozan, as his other contributions are very consistent. He will almost always deliver solid rebound and assist totals, but it's his scoring that fluctuates. If he gets hot early, he'll have no problem going north of 40 FP.
Jakob Poeltl, SAS ($7,100) vs. CLE
FanDuel has finally caught up to this value gold mine, but I still like Poeltl at this price. He's fully embraced the starting role and continues to be a size mismatch for most teams. Even if Jarrett Allen returns, he'll be rusty from the absence, and Kevin Love still isn't at 100 percent. It looks to be an exploitable spot for Poeltl, who is playing some of the best basketball of his career.
As usual, there is a wealth of value data available in the Injuries section, but here are some additional budget options worth considering.
Darius Garland, CLE ($5,900) @ SAS
No one should endorse a player based on an ejection, but his ousting Saturday produced the most emotion I've seen from the youngster, who was on his way to one of his best games ever before getting his second technical. This will be a tough matchup for the Cavs, and they'll need a solid backcourt performance to stay competitive. Although Collin Sexton ($7,500) is also a fine play, I like the savings for Garland, who has an equal ability to pop in this matchup.
Tyrese Haliburton, SAC ($5,800) @ MIN
The injury section already highlighted Minnesota's backcourt struggles, and I think both Fox and Haliburton will supply the Kings' offensive output while steering clear of KAT on the defensive end. It'll be rough going for Richaun Holmes, so it'll be up to the backcourt duo to get things done. The rookie is at a great salary point, especially considering his upside.
Deni Avdija, WAS ($4,300) @ TOR
With Hachimura questionable and possibly limited, someone with some height, speed and mobility needs to step up. For this salary point, I think Avdija is an excellent place to start. He's beaten 5x value in four of his last five games, and although his price has gone up a bit, he only needs about 24 FP to beat value again.
I'll conclude the article with a value play I've already highlighted, but in all of my builds, he keeps popping up, so he deserves an additional mention. Jordan McLaughlin ($4,600) is probably the best value you'll find on this slate and is a high-confidence budget call for me.