This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
DEN (-5.5) vs. CHA, O/U: 219.5
MIN (-6.5) vs. DET, O/U: 227.5
LAC (-12.5) vs. TOR, O/U: 220.5
MIA (-1.5) vs. BOS, O/U: 222.5
BKN (-5.5) vs. CHI, O/U: 233.5
DAL (-1.5) vs. MEM, O/U: 226.5
PHI (-6.5) vs. IND, O/U: 236.5
ORL vs. MIL (-13.5), O/U: 229.5
NY vs. LAL (-4.5), O/U: 213.5
OKC vs. SAC (-11.5), O/U: 224.5
PHX (-4.5) vs. GS, O/U: 231.5
The matchups in bold feature high totals and teams with motivation to win, and project to be competitive. At this stage of the season, and on such a big slate, I'm looking to avoid potential blowouts and teams that have no reason to risk players. The GS-PHX matchup has the added benefit of starting at 10:00 p.m. EDT, as there will almost surely be some slate-altering news that comes after lock.
The Pistons and Raptors are good targets for value because they're short-handed while the Pacers, Thunder, Magic and Kings are also light on bodies. I wouldn't worry as much about targeting specific games and stacking them unless you're playing 20-plus lineups. Focus on finding the best cheap value to pair with spend-up options that have the most upside.
Injuries to Monitor
LeBron James (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
There have been conflicting reports about LeBron's status but he appears on track to play. Kyle Kuzma has been starting at small forward in his absence.
Joel Embiid (illness): QUESTIONABLE
Embiid is listed as questionable due to a non-COVID-19 illness. If he sits, Dwight Howard would be in line for extra minutes.
De'Aaron Fox (COVID-19): OUT
Fox will miss a 10th consecutive game as he works through the league's health protocols. Delon Wright will get another start at point guard.
Kristaps Porzingis (knee): OUT
Porzingis will miss another game as he continues to deal with discomfort in his knee but he has a chance to return Wednesday. Willie Cauley-Stein has been starting at center in his place.
The Raptors will rest their top four players tonight while Chris Boucher (knee) is also questionable to return after missing the past nine games. Malachi Flynn, Gary Trent, Yuta Watanabe, Stanley Johnson and Khem Birch are expected to start while Jalen Harris should see extended run off the bench.
Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Jaylen Brown (wrist): OUT
Brown has a torn ligament in his wrist and will miss the remainder of the season. Evan Fournier will start at small forward going forward.
Harrison Barnes (adductor): DOUBTFUL
Barnes will likely miss an eighth consecutive game. Marvin Bagley has been starting at power forward.
Miles Bridges (COVID-19): OUT
Dennis Schroder (COVID-19): OUT
Schroder has missed five consecutive games after being placed in the league's health and safety protocols but has a chance to return before the regular season ends. Alex Caruso has been starting at point guard in his place.
Luguentz Dort (knee): QUESTIONABLE
Dort missed Sunday's game due to a sore knee and his status for tonight remains uncertain. Aleksej Pokusevski got the start at shooting guard in his place.
The Thunder will be thin at guard. Maledon has been ruled out and Jerome would be in line to start at point guard, but he's listed as questionable after missing consecutive games with a calf strain. Kenrich Williams, Svi Mykhailiuk and Charlie Brown are candidates to see extra run if Jerome sits.
Barton has missed 10 consecutive games while Dozier is likely to miss the remainder of the regular season. Austin Rivers should continue to start at shooting guard.
Wendell Carter (eye): QUESTIONABLE
Carter has missed three consecutive games due to an eye injury but has a chance to return tonight. Mo Bamba has been starting at center in his place.
Kelly Oubre (wrist): OUT
Oubre is likely to miss the remainder of the regular season but should be back for the playoffs. Kent Bazemore will continue to start at small forward.
Luka Doncic ($10,800)
There are a lot of spend-up options with 22 teams to choose from, so I'll be targeting players that have something to play for in games that project to stay close. Doncic is coming off consecutive duds as the Mavericks blew out the Cavs twice, but tonight's matchup against the Grizzlies should be faster-paced and competitive.
Stephen Curry ($10,000)
Curry topped 50 DK points for the fifth consecutive game Monday and surprising saw his salary drop by $500. He's chasing a scoring title and the Warriors are fighting for playoff position in a matchup against the Suns that has a 231.5 total.
Nikola Jokic ($11,000)
Jokic is likely the safest of all the elite options on the slate. He's been seeing big minutes and the Nuggets are still missing key players. He's put up 60-plus DK points in three of his last seven and will continue to see all the usage he wants in a favorable matchup against the Hornets.
Nikola Vucevic ($10,300)
Vucevic is likely to go overlooked on such a big slate, but he's topped 55 DK points in four of his last five games and the Bulls are in a nice spot against the Nets, who have struggled to contain opposing centers all season.
Kevin Durant ($9,900)
Durant is just too cheap for his role in the absence of James Harden. He's coming off 65.75 DK points last time out, his third game of 60-plus in the last five, yet for whatever reason his salary dropped back under $10K for a favorable matchup against the Bulls.
Jayson Tatum ($9,700)
Tatum will be expected to step up after Jaylen Brown was ruled out for the season. He's seen 38 minutes in consecutive games and his salary is back under $10K for what should be a competitive game.
There will be a lot of cheap options on a deep slate and when that's the case, it takes elite value for a player to be chalky. While there is some nice value as things stand, none of it would compare to Howard getting extended run. Embiid popped up on the injury report with a non-COVID-19 related illness and the Sixers don't have much to play for in a matchup against the Pacers that they should win regardless. Howard would be the chalk of the slate if he starts and still popular coming off the bench.
Jonas Valanciunas ($7,900)
Valanciunas has put up 45-plus DK points in three consecutive games and he's been seeing more minutes with the Grizzlies battling for playoff positioning. They're in a decent spot against the Mavericks in a game that should stay competitive.
Draymond Green ($7,600)
Draymond goes overlooked just about every slate, but he flirts with a triple-double on a nightly basis and the Warriors are still playing for something. He's topped 40 fantasy points in consecutive games and we saw him put up 61.25 just last week.
Hayes played 38 minutes while Lee saw 32 last time out as the Pistons were without Josh Jackson and lost Frank Jackson after eight minutes. They're both viable tonight if one of the Jacksons sits and if both are out, I'd expect Hayes and Lee to be relatively popular.
Evan Fournier ($5,400)
Fournier is coming off his best game as a Celtic, putting up 51.25 DK points in Sunday's game against the Heat. He has the same matchup tonight and with Jaylen Brown out for the season, Fournier will be expected to take on a larger role going forward.
Austin Rivers ($4,200)
Rivers played 35 minutes last time out as he got the start at shooting guard in the absence of Will Barton and PJ Dozier. He showed a ceiling last week when he put up 41.75 DK points in 28 minutes and the Nuggets have a favorable matchup against the Hornets.
The Raptors are resting all of their regular starters tonight. Harris scored 32 DK points in 29 minutes Saturday, while Watanabe has seen 25-plus minutes in consecutive games and will likely get another start at small forward. Both get an added boost with Siakam out as well (he was the only regular that played Saturday). Any of the Raptors' substitute starters are viable, but I highlighted Watanabe and Harris because they carry the lowest salaries.