This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We have just a modest five-game slate Saturday night after a typically busy Friday, which affords us a bit of a breather for DFS purposes. The 10-team player pool naturally eases our decision-making burden a bit, and thankfully, the injury report is relatively light compared to recent days. There are also three games, in particular, that should feature some elevated scoring, with two of them carrying projected totals in excess of 230 points as of early Saturday morning.
Here's a closer look at the three games with the highest projected totals on DraftKings Sportsbook as of Saturday morning.
Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks (Projected total: 236.5 points)
The Grizzlies have allowed 112.0 points per road game, gave up 115 in their last game and surrendered 112 to the Bucks in the first meeting between the teams this season, while the Bucks check in scoring an NBA-high 119.2 points per home contest and are playing at the NBA's fourth-fastest pace (105.0 possessions per game). Milwaukee also ranks in the bottom half of the league with 112.7 points per game yielded, and Memphis is somewhat surprisingly putting up the third-most points per road contest (116.9), so the total here could be conceivably lived up to.
San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns (Projected total: 230.5 points)
The Spurs and Suns both rank in the top half of the league in terms of points per game surrendered for the home/road splits that apply to them Saturday, so the elevated total here is interesting. San Antonio has been a better road defense (110.5 PPG allowed) than home (113.0 PPG surrendered), while Phoenix gives up just 107.7 points per home contest. Each squad also plays at a pace that ranks them in the bottom half of the league in possessions per game, but the Suns do check in averaging a robust 117.2 points per home contest. Each team's key players are also at full health, so perhaps this could be an unexpected offensive showcase.
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics (Projected total: 228.0)
The projected total for this interconference clash should be somewhere in the high 220s at minimum whenever it is released, as each team should have its elite players available, and Golden State could even get Kelly Oubre back from his wrist injury. The Warriors come in red hot thanks in large part to Stephen Curry's extended stretch of torrid shooting, as the Dubs have averaged an NBA-high 127.3 points per game over the last three. Meanwhile, the Celtics are coming off a 121-point performance against the Lakers and are playing their best basketball of the season, leaving them poised to exploit a Warriors unit that's allowing 115.4 points per road 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.
Zach LaVine, CHI (COVID-19 protocols)/Status: OUT
LaVine's ongoing absence likely sets up Garrett Temple for another start Saturday, while the usage of the remaining members of the starting five should be elevated.
Kelly Oubre, GSW (wrist)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
If Oubre can return, Kent Bazemore projects for a return to the second unit.
Donte DiVincenzo, MIL (toe)/ Status: OUT
Other notable injuries:
Tomas Satoransky, CHI (back)/ Status: GTD
Robert Williams, BOS (knee)/ Status: OUT
Hamidou Diallo, DET (knee)/ Status: GTD
Brandon Clarke, MEM (hip)/ Status: GTD
Cory Joseph, DET (ankle)/ Status; GTD
De'Anthony Melton, MEM (leg)/ Status: GTD
Dennis Smith, DET (knee)/ Status: OUT
Westbrook is on an extended heater and is arguably the most productive player in DFS of late, having exceeded 60 DK points in six of his last seven games on the strength of six triple-doubles. He did just log 44 minutes against the Pelicans on Friday night, however, so there is a bit of caution to be exercised Saturday when considering him, and it's even possible he sits out for rest on the second night of the back-to-back set. Antetokounmpo is another superstar who comes with a bit of an asterisk attached, as he was eased back in from his six-game absence Thursday against the Hawks with just a 25-minute workload. He could certainly be back up to at least 30 minutes Saturday, but whether he'll be able to truly pay off his hefty salary is another story. Finally, Curry is difficult not to roster at the moment, having averaged 59 DK points over his last six games while shooting 57.4 percent, including 51.2 percent from distance. What's more, Curry lit up the Celtics for 73.3 DK points in his one prior game against Boston this season.
Vucevic scored 53.5 DK points across 33 minutes in his first game without Zach LaVine on Friday. Although he'll be on the second night of a back-to-back Saturday, he's been one of the most reliable players at any position for DFS purposes all season. Meanwhile, Tatum will be an integral part of the Warriors-Celtics showdown and posted an impressive 42.8 DK points across 38 minutes in his first meeting with Golden State.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:
Devin Booker, PHO
Has had a couple of down games by his standards the last two times out, but his recent hot stretch is still fresh in DFS players' minds.
Bradley Beal, WAS
Is usually popular anyhow, but even more so on a smaller slate. However, it remains to be seen if he'll suit up on the second night of back-to-back set.
Jaylen Brown, BOS
Coming off a 40-point haul against the defending champs in a nationally televised matchup and is averaging over 45 DK points per contest over his last five.
Isaiah Stewart, DET
Going to be popular to a degree after exploding for 50.8 DK points in a start Friday, but Plumlee's expected return would dampen his prospects considerably Saturday.
Dillon Brooks, MEM at MIL ($5,400)
Brooks went off for 41 DK points Friday against the Bulls, extending what has been an impressive body of work for him on the road this season. The 25-year-old wing has shot 45.6 percent when traveling, compared to a pedestrian 37.8 percent at home, and he's averaging a solid 28.3 DK points across 24 away contests overall. Brooks also lit up the Bucks for 50.5 DK points across 34.4 minutes when he saw them earlier this season, and Milwaukee checks in ranked in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency (23.4 percent) allowed to small forwards, along with the most DK points per game (81.1) to players with a small forward designation over the last 10 contests.
Saddiq Bey, DET at WAS ($5,200)
Bey has been wielding a hot hand of late, averaging 30 DK points over his last six games on the strength of 49.4 percent shooting, including 38.9 percent from three-point range. The rookie has also been a more effective fantasy player on the road (21.9 DK points per road contest, compared to 19.8 per home game), and he's reached or exceeded a 5x return on his current salary on 20 occasions already this season. Saturday, he'll face a likely tired Wizards team that had to go into overtime against the Pelicans on Friday, and that's allowing the sixth-most DK points per game (74.8) to players with small forward designations in the last 10 contests. Washington also brings a significant bump in pace for Detroit, giving Bey some more possessions than usual to work with.
Daniel Theis, CHI vs. CLE ($4,000)
Theis is still finding his footing in the Bulls system. Still, the floor-spacing big man has already flashed some of his upside in the Windy City with a recent three-game stretch in which he scored 25.5 to 32.8 DK points while shooting 58.8 percent and putting up impressive averages of 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals. Theis already has a steady role and has logged at least 27 minutes in four of his last six contests. He even drew a start Friday against the Grizzlies but played just 20 minutes, but he could be primed for a bounceback effort Saturday. The Cavaliers rank in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency allowed to frontcourt players (81.0 percent), and Cleveland has yielded elevated 39.2 percent three-point shooting to power forwards specifically.