This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Once again, Sunday provides us with a relatively small DraftKings NBA main slate.
There are just five games on tap, beginning with Portland and Charlotte at 7 p.m. EDT. Four of the five contests start at or before 7:30, with the Timberwolves and Clippers concluding the evening at 10. The late matchup lists the highest total of any on the slate with 234.5, while Sacramento and Dallas at 7:30 is second at 228.5.
There are already a couple of stars ruled out, which will also open up value on the slate. We'll need to continue to monitor injuries throughout the day, but the early tip times mean we should have most of the news we need before lock.
So let's go ahead and jump into what you need to know to be prepared to take down Sunday's NBA main slate on DraftKings:
Injury News to Monitor
Damian Lillard, POR (hamstring)/Status: OUT
Gordon Hayward (foot) and Malik Monk (ankle) are already ruled out. And if Graham and Washington miss, Charlotte will be really shorthanded. We saw Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges have monster outings in the same scenario Friday.
Both VanVleet and Trent Jr. are in danger of missing Sunday's game against Oklahoma City. If that is the case, I would once again like Malachi Flynn, although it should be noted Kyle Lowry could be back after resting back-to-back games.
Aleksej Pokusevski, OKC (arm)/Status: OUT
Pokusevski has been forced to miss the last few contests and it's going to cost him another. Even so, no one sticks out on an OKC team that is actively trying to lose games.
John Wall, HOU (rest)/Status: OUT
Houston is again opting to rest Wall in the first game of a back-to-back set. This pushes Kevin Porter Jr. into a point guard role and tremendously increases his value.
Michael Carter-Williams, ORL (ankle)/Status: OUT
The Magic revealed the Carter-Williams will miss an extended period of time with an ankle injury. This makes Cole Anthony the likely starter and puts RJ Hampton into play as a value option.
Richaun Holmes, SAC (hamstring)/Status: OUT
Holmes has missed the past couple of games and is set to miss a third. Hassan Whiteside has been seeing more playing time in his absence.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC (foot)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Leonard has already missed four straight matchups, but it's possible he's back Sunday. This could be the biggest news of the slate and likely won't come until late with a 10 p.m. EDT tip. If he's in, Leonard could make for an interesting GPP play at low coverage.
Other injuries to monitor:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC (foot)/Status: OUT
Al Horford, OKC (rest)/Status: OUT
Eric Gordon, HOU (groin)/Status: OUT
Otto Porter Jr., ORL (foot)/Status: OUT
Danuel House Jr., HOU (ankle)/Status: OUT
Mo Bamba, ORL (hip)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Sterling Brown, HOU (knee)/Status: OUT
Malik Beasley, MIN (hamstring)/Status: OUT
Serge Ibaka, LAC (back)/Status: OUT
Jaylen Nowell, MIN (leg)/Status: DOUBTFUL
Patrick Beverley, LAC (hand)/Status: OUT
Luka Doncic leads the way with a salary of $10,900. He's got a great matchup against Sacramento, one of the NBA's worst defenses. On a small slate like this, it's definitely dangerous to fade a player like Doncic.
If you decide to look elsewhere, then Doncic's teammate Kristaps Porzingis ($9,000) could be a contrarian option. I also like CJ McCollum ($8,700) against Charlotte with no Damian Lillard. Terry Rozier ($8,300) offers similar upside if Devonte' Graham again misses.
I think Kawhi Leonard ($9,500) could be a sneaky play if he gets ruled in late and isn't on a minutes limit.
Lastly, I can't go without mentioning Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,600). Although he isn't my favorite play, I think he could come in a bit forgotten and always offers potential to be in the winning lineup.
There is no doubt McCollum will be in a lot of lineups with the Lillard news. I also expect Doncic to be popular because of who he is and the favorable matchup.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,600) should also get lots of looks with John Wall sidelined. The rest depends on the injury news of the Hornets and Raptors. Malachi Flynn ($5,900) could be more popular if both Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. are out.
Key Value Plays
Kevin Porter Jr., HOU at ORL ($6,600)
Porter is going to be a popular play, but I will not avoid him. He averages a little more than one DraftKings point per minute with Wall off the floor and his assist rate goes way up. Porter offers upside in the low 50s, but he's done his job even if he gets to 40.
Hassan Whiteside, SAC at DAL ($5,500)
It's a small sample size, but Whiteside has been a pretty productive fantasy player with Richaun Holmes out the past couple of games averaging 11.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in only 23.5 minutes. If you've played fantasy basketball the past few years, you know Whiteside's upside as a rebounder. He's a pretty easy double-double and just this season scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against Brooklyn. Whiteside is the perfect play with a high floor and massive ceiling.
Carmelo Anthony, POR at CHA ($4,200)
Melo is the riskiest of the three options here, but he's also the cheapest. As I've now mentioned many times, there is no Damian Lillard which only increases the likelihood of a high-scoring contest. What you're hoping for here is at least 20 real life points. Give us vintage Melo.