This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
The industry is fading the early UTA/LAL game today, leaving us with a five-game slate to work with. The first tip-off of the slate will be a bit later than normal at 8:00 p.m. ET.
(Lines and odds are best available US numbers and are subject to change)
Games to Target in BOLD
Games to Fade in ITALIC
DET @ WAS (-4.5) O/U: 228.5
CLE @ CHI (-1.5) O/U: 212.5
GSW @ BOS (-4.5) O/U: 227.5
MEM @ MIL (-8.5) O/U: 236.5
SAS @ PHO (-9) O/U: 229
DET Cory Joseph (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
DET Hamidou Diallo (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
WAS Davis Bertans (personal) - QUESTIONABLE
Deni Avdija ($3,800) should see a bit more time with Bertans out of the rotation.
CHI Zach LaVine (COVID-19 protocols) - OUT
CHI Tomas Satoransky (back) - QUESTIONABLE
Garrett Temple ($3,500) should start for LaVine, and Coby White ($4,500) will start again after an excellent 27-point game Friday night against the Grizzlies. This could be the case even if Satoransky is available.
GSW Kelly Oubre (wrist) - QUESTIONABLE
GSW James Wiseman - OUT FOR SEASON
Kent Bazemore ($4,800) would start again if Oubre misses. Although Kevon Looney ($4,100) is now the starting center and is recording decent rebound totals, Juan Toscano-Anderson ($4,000) also appears to show some benefit in the new Warriors' frontcourt.
BOS Robert Williams (knee) - OUT
Tristan Thompson ($4,300) will start Saturday. He put up a respectable 14 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes as the fill-in.
MEM Brandon Clarke (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
MEM De'Anthony Melton (leg) - QUESTIONABLE
Xavier Tillman ($3,500) would see a modest boost in the second unit if Clarke is unable to play.
MIL Donte DiVincenzo (toe) - OUT
The start at point guard should go to Bryn Forbes ($3,700). Although he struggled in his last games out, he's shown an ability to pop when given a decent allotment of minutes.
Due to the small slate, we'll extend our elite section down to $8,000. The top three are no surprise today, with Russell Westbrook ($11,400), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) and Stephen Curry ($10,600) all clocking in at 10k-plus salary numbers. Their salary order is also the order to rate them today, although the gap between Giannis and Westbrook is a virtual tie in my projections. Your decision to go with two of these players largely depends on how many Boston elites you'll load in your lineups. The pool is structured in a way that makes a Boston stack a fill-or-fade proposition, so if you go with guys like Jayson Tatum ($9,400) and Jaylen Brown ($8,200), you can only go with one of these. I like this Boston duo, so pairing them with either Westbrook or Antetokounmpo is how many of my cores will begin. Curry should have a decent game, but exposure to him won't be as high as his other five-digit counterparts.
Bradley Beal ($8,300) is lurking in the 8k range, and this is as low as we will see Beal moving forward. He's averaged around 41 FP over the past three games, which is right at 5x value. He could be the cheaper way to go against Detroit. The 8k range is also filled with steady, solid center value in Nikola Vucevic ($9,000) and Jonas Valanciunas ($8,400). Due to the desire to spend up as we did above, both of these big men won't be a factor in most of my builds, as we'll strive to look for a more sensibly priced option at FanDuel's sole center slot. Backcourt options like Devin Booker ($8,700) and Jrue Holiday ($8,200) sit in our elite level as well. Holiday had a down game when he last played the Grizzlies, and Booker is in the midst of a cold shooting streak. That's enough to take them off the priority list.
Before we begin, the Spurs-Suns matchup is a game worth targeting. Incredibly, these two teams have yet to meet, and with San Antonio fully healthy, they have the goods to stop the Suns in their tracks. You can safely assume that this game will be competitive, and it puts several Spurs in play. DeMar DeRozan ($7,900), Dejounte Murray ($7,400) and Keldon Johnson ($4,300) are all worth a look here.
Khris Middleton, MIL ($7,800) vs. MEM
For the sake of diversification, Middleton should find your way into lineups if you opt for Westbrook or some other structure that omits Giannis. The standout forward seems to enjoy the game script against Memphis, as he recorded one of his seven double-doubles against them earlier this season. The Grizzlies only lost by one in that game, so expect this matchup to be competitive once again.
Deandre Ayton, PHO ($7,400) vs. SA
Ayton will be about as high as I'll go at center due to the desire to spend up elsewhere. Although a guy like Tristan Thompson ($4,300) is a more likely target in my build preference, Ayton will get some exposure as he lines up opposite Jakob Poeltl ($5,900). Up until recently, one could consider this matchup as a draw under the basket, but Ayton is playing superlative ball currently. He's been able to handle standout big men like Bam Adebayo and Rudy Gobert without too much trouble in recent weeks, and although he's at a slight size disadvantage against Poeltl, I don't expect that to matter much.
Ja Morant, MEM ($6,800) @ MIL
In sticking with the competitive narrative of this matchup, Morant seems to be a sensible way to go at this salary level. Although the second-year star has suffered through some variance, he has recently shown an ability to beat 5x value against this price. If we trust Vegas' lofty O/U total, Morant should keep his shot volume up, which is key to his production.
Also consider: Andrew Wiggins, GSW ($7,000) @ BOS
We have several worthy value plays in the injury section, but here are some additional options to consider tonight.
Dillon Brooks, MEM ($5,000) @ MIL
Brooks had one of his best games of the season against the Bucks. He scorched them for 56 FP last month, and there's no compelling difference in the narrative tonight. He posted that number opposite a healthy Bucks team that had no absences.
Daniel Theis, CHI ($4,200) @ CLE
Although his numbers took a hit in his last game versus Memphis, his totals are otherwise excellent over the past week. He posted over 30 FP against Minnesota and Orlando, and both of those teams are set up similarly to Cleveland, with a standout center and dominant options at power forward. The Cavs will have their hands full with Nikola Vucevic, and that should allow Theis to put up a decent number if he can log more than 25 minutes.
Pat Connaughton, MIL ($4,100) vs. MEM
With DiVincenzo out, Connaughton should also see time, although not as much as Bryn Forbes. Should Forbes underperform, we could see more from Connaughton, and he'll still be very visible in the second unit. He put up 24 FP in this scenario once already, and that's a great number relative to his salary.
Also consider: Derrick White, SA ($5,600) @ PHO