This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a six-game slate on tap Tuesday night, which some would argue is an ideal amount of contests for DFS purposes. There are certainly enough options to differentiate in tournaments, and ample selections to capture the safety we crave for cash games. There are also some big names populating the injury report, but the top end of the player pool still has a solid amount of depth to worth with. Additionally, the oddsmakers do seem to project a very competitive slate outside of one double-digit spread, which bodes well for high-end players seeing heavy minutes.
Here's a closer look at the three games with the highest projected totals on Tuesday's slate:
Los Angeles Clippers at Indiana Pacers (Projected total: 229.5 points)
This is an eye-catching total, considering the Clippers will remain without Kawhi Leonard due to his foot injury, although Los Angeles did just put up 131 points against the Pistons minus their star Sunday. The Pacers also rank in the bottom 10 of the league defensively with 113.7 points per game allowed, and they also score an almost identical 113.5 per contest. For their part, the Clippers are averaging the fourth-most points per contest (115.1) – although that number has largely been built up with Leonard on the floor – and they touched up Indiana for 129 in the one prior meeting between the teams this season.
Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers (Projected total: 227.5 points)
The Trail Blazers have been one of the league's more vulnerable teams defensively all season, surrendering the fifth-most points per game (114.9). Portland is countering it with 114.7 scored per contest, however, while the Celtics are now up to 112.4 points put up per game of their own. Boston is also averaging 117.0 per contest over the last three and is giving up three more points per road game (111.9) than home tilt (108.9).
Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz (Projected total: 224.0 points)
The Jazz actually had a difficult time with the Thunder the first time these two teams met in OKC, with Utah escaping 110-109. The Thunder are giving up 113.9 points per game, including 119.7 over the last three. However, they've notably been a markedly better road defense (110.9 PPG allowed) than at home (116.5 PPG). The Jazz remains one of the most prolific offenses in the league, averaging the third-most points per game (117.2), including a 119.1 per game figure on their home floor that's tied for the league high. Utah's defense remains a major deterrent to scoring, however, particularly at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where the Jazz allow an NBA-low 104.0 points per game.
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.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC (foot)/ Status: OUT
LeBron James, LAL (ankle)/ Status: OUT
James' ongoing absence will lead to elevated usage for the remainder of the Lakers' starting five.
Trae Young, ATL (calf)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Victor Oladipo, MIA (knee)/ Status: OUT
Fred VanVleet, TOR (hip)/ Status: OUT
Myles Turner, IND (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Other notable injuries:
P.J. Washington, CHA (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Anthony Davis, LAL (calf)/ Status: OUT
John Collins, ATL (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Gordon Hayward, CHA (foot)/ Status: OUT
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC (foot)/ Status: OUT
Evan Fournier, BOS (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT
Jordan Clarkson, UTA (ankle)/ Status: GTD
Danilo Gallinari, ATL (foot)/ Status: DOUBTFUL
De'Andre Hunter, ATL (knee)/ Status: OUT
Cam Reddish, ATL (Achilles)/ Status: OUT
Malik Monk, CHA (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Aleksej Pokusevski, OKC (arm)/ Status: OUT
Isaiah Roby, OKC (concussion)/ Status: OUT
Serge Ibaka, LAC (back)/ Status: OUT
The only player with a five-figure salary on Tuesday's slate, Kawhi Leonard ($10,200), is already ruled out with a foot injury.
Players with salaries in the high four figures capable of delivering elite scores include Devin Booker ($9,500), Jimmy Butler ($9,400), Clint Capela ($9,300), Donovan Mitchell ($9,200), Jayson Tatum ($9,200) and Paul George ($9,000).
Booker has an attractive matchup against a Heat team that's been vulnerable to shooting guards throughout the season and that will be missing Oladipo again Tuesday. Moreover, he comes into the contest against Miami with a hot hand, having shot 52.0 percent, including 41.0 percent from three-point range, over his last seven games. Butler has a tough matchup on paper in the same game against the Suns, but he checks in averaging an impressive 44.8 FD points per contest over the last eight.
Capela could potentially take the floor without Trae Young and already has a solid matchup against a Raptors squad he's averaged 50.5 FD points against in two prior games. Mitchell, Tatum and George are all in very appealing situations as well. Mitchell has back-to-back 42-point efforts and has averaged 40.5 over his last four games, while Tatum faces the defensively challenged Trail Blazers and George is averaging 33.7 points on 56.5 percent shooting, including 60.9 percent from three-point range, over his last three games. Additionally, he'll take the floor without Leonard once again Tuesday.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include: Kyle Lowry, DeAndre' Bembry and Malachi Flynn if VanVleet sits out again; Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis due to Turner's absence; Reggie Jackson, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Morris with Leonard ruled out; Tyler Herro with Oladipo out; Markieff Morris, Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma with James still out; and Bogdan Bogdanovic and Brandon Goodwin if Young is sidelined.
Kemba Walker, BOS at POR ($6,600)
Walker should be in the starting lineup Tuesday since Boston is in a non-back-to-back situation, and he'll draw an appealing matchup following tallies of 40.9 and 34.0 FD points in his last two contests. The Trail Blazers are giving up NBA-high 31.2 percent offensive efficiency to point guards, and they're allowing 44.1 FD points per contest to ones over the last five, compared to 41.8 for the season. Walker has also averaged 33.6 FD points per contest over his last 10 games, a stretch that includes seven tallies over 30 FD points and a solid 14.5 shot attempts per game, including 8.1 per contest from distance.
Markieff Morris, LAL at CHA ($5,200)
Morris is now averaging 29.1 FD points per 36 minutes without LeBron James on the floor this season, and he's shooting 49.2 percent, including 39.3 percent from three-point range, in the 12 games James has missed with his ankle sprain thus far. Morris has put up over 30 FD points in three of those contests, and Tuesday's matchup could afford him a similarly productive output. The opposing Hornets have been especially vulnerable to power forwards of late – the 54.0 FD points per game they're allowing to fours over the last 10 represents a significant bump from their 38.5 season figure – and Charlotte also gives up the sixth-highest offensive efficiency (26.5 percent) to the position for the season.
Nicolas Batum, LAC at IND ($4,900)
Batum's teammate Marcus Morris may get a bit more attention from DFS players Tuesday after his season-high 33-point effort versus the Pistons on Sunday, but Batum nearly matched him in fantasy production by putting up 39.3 FD points to Morris' 41.2 and also checks in with a salary $500 lower. The Pacers also come in ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency allowed to second-unit players (42.8 percent), and they're giving up the ninth-highest figure in that category (23.5 percent) to small forwards specifically. Additionally, Indiana is yielding elevated 40.9 percent three-point shooting to threes, while Batum, who's already delivered or exceeded a 5x return on his current salary on 20 occasions, is draining a career-best 42.5 percent of his attempts from behind the arc this season.