This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Washington at Orlando
New Orleans at Toronto (-6.5) (o/u 220)
Minnesota (-5) at Houston (o/u 228.5)
Denver (-6.5) at Oklahoma City (o/u 214.5)
Chicago (-1.5) at Dallas
Cleveland at Golden State (-9)
Sacramento (-1) at Portland (o/u 224.5)
Memphis at Los Angeles Lakers
This week provided the opportunity to get back to slates that weren't dominated by COVID-19 protocols, and today should continue that trend. There's still plenty of news providing some key value with more likely to emerge throughout the day. The Pelicans and Grizzlies are both loaded with bargains based on either known or expected absences.
Sacramento and Portland offers true shootout potential, as they rank 27th and 29th in defensive rating. Houston is 29th in the metric, making the Timberwolves another team worth considering. With some of the more general analysis out of the way, let's jump into specifics.
Notable Injuries to Monitor
Rui Hachimura, WAS (conditioning): Questionable
Hachimura has not played this season, so he'd likely be on a minutes limit if he's able to return. He could get some run at center in small lineups if Montrezl Harrell remains out.
Davis Bertans, WAS (foot): Questionable
Bertans missed Friday with the injury. He's only logged 16 minutes per game since the start of December, so his status will have more of an impact on Kyle Kuzma's potential role.
Montrezl Harrell, WAS (COVID-19 protocols): Questionable
Daniel Gafford has seen as many minutes as he can handle at center with at least 30 in three of his last six, but Harrell's potential return could disrupt that.
Wendell Carter, ORL (hamstring): Questionable
Robin Lopez, ORL (COVID-19 protocols): Questionable
Carter was absent Saturday with a hamstring injury and Lopez has been out since Dec. 30. Both coud be back today, with Lopez in particular likely on a minutes limit. Freddie Gillespie entered the starting lineup with both out on Saturday, but only received 16 minutes.
Patrick Beverley, MIN (groin): Questionable
Beverley missed Friday with Jaden McDaniels sliding into the starting lineup. Nearly all of Minnesota's players were on limited minutes due to a blowout win over Oklahoma City, but today's matchup against the Rockets projects to be closer per Vegas lines. That could give McDaniels and Malik Beasley a chance for more run and expanded usage should Beverley remain sidelined.
Garrison Mathews, HOU (ankle): Questionable
Luka Doncic, DAL (ankle): Questionable
Jalen Brunson would earn an expanded role in the offense if Doncic remains sidelined for the second consecutive game. Unfortunately, he's appropriately valued and doesn't present obvious savings.
Juan Toscano-Anderson, GS (ankle): Questionable
Draymond Green will be back, so Toscano-Anderson isn't likely to be relevant regardless of his status.
De'Aaron Fox, SAC (shoulder): Questionable
Fox's status for today will be one of the slate's biggest updates. Tyrese Haliburton was a fantasy superstar in Fox's absence earlier this season, and his salary has dipped from a peak of $8,900 back to $7,200.
Ja Morant, MEM (thigh): Questionable
John Konchar, MEM (COVID-10 protocols): Questionable
Dillon Brooks, MEM (ankle): Questionable
Kyle Anderson, MEM (back): Questionable
Xavier Tillman, MEM (COVID-19 protocols): Questionable
This will be a key situation to monitor, with a lot of potential usage opening up. Tyus Jones would present strong value at only $4,200 if Morant is ruled out for a second consecutive game. If each of Brooks, Anderson and Morant are out, Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson will be in line for an expanded offensive role. Be sure to check back on the projections closer to lock.
Derrick Favors, OKC (back): Questionable
Other Notable Injuries:
Steven Adams, MEM (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Richaun Holmes, SAC (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Damian Lillard, POR (abdomen): Out
CJ McCollum, POR (chest): Out
Chimezie Metu, SAC (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Willie Cauley-Stein, DAL (personal): Out
Isaac Okoro, CLE (elbow): Out
Alperen Sengun, HOU (ankle): Out
Maurice Harkless, SAC (ankle): Questionable
Isaiah Roby, OKC (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Alex Caruso, CHI (COVID-19 protocols/foot): Out
Javonte Green, CHI (groin): Out
Josh Hart, NO (contact tracing): Out
Tomas Satoransky, NO (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Yuta Watanabe, TOR (COVID-19 protocols): Out
Larry Nance, POR (knee): Out
Nikola Jokic ($12,200) is always a strong option even at a steep salary considering he's topped 60 DK points in six of his last 10 appearances. The biggest risk is the potential for a blowout of OKC resulting in less minutes with the over-under also a possible concern. Both factors could be angles for fading Jokic in GPPs, but he remains a strong cash-game consideration.
LeBron James ($11,600) is listed as probable for the 18th straight game. He's almost certain to play and will be another cash-game building block. He offers a fairly significant discount from Jokic, has enjoyed a similar run of success and also isn't likely to have the same risk regarding minutes.
Fred VanVleet ($10,200) has been on an extended tear, and has shown the ability to provide value even with his valuation on the rise. The Pelicans carry a 111.5 defensive rating good for seventh-worst in the league, so the matchup isn't a reason to avoid.
Anthony Edwards ($8,000) isn't on the level of Jokic, James and VanVleet, but faces of the slate's best matchups and is valued at a level where he should receive more coverage.
In addition to the star players listed above, some other players that are likely to be chalky include:
Anfernee Simons ($6,500) will maintain a key role in the Blazers' backcourt. His value is on the rise, and still managed 31.25 DK points on a poor shooting night last time out. While that result wouldn't be ideal, Simons' previous two results (60.75 and 45.75 DK points) showed his upside to produce well beyond his salary point, which should result in a high roster rate.
Garrett Temple ($3,400) lost his hold of an increased role in the Pelicans' rotation and offense. With Josh Hart and Tomas Satoransky out, Brandon Ingram is likely to start at small forward and open the shooting guard role for a combination of Temple and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. The former is likely to get more of a boost in roster rate, but Alexander-Walker also presents himself as a potential value. Watch news/projections on this throughout the day.
As mentioned above, the entire Memphis starting lineup has the opportunity to present significant value and thus attract a lot of attention on the slate depending on the status of several of their players. Tyus Jones ($4,200), Brandon Clarke ($4,700) and Jaren Jackson ($6,300) are all likely to very popular if the Grizzlies are missing several pieces of their rotation.
Herbert Jones ($5,000) has seen his salary rise across his last eight games. His recent production has been fueled by defensive stats, which isn't a sustainable way to get things done. Brandon Ingram will be in a strong position to produce, but Jones should also get some extra usage. If his defensive stats stick for one more outing, he should provide plenty of value even at an elevated salary.
The Mavs are likely to be without their top two players tonight, which will open up substantial usage. The natural replacement for Doncic would be Jalen Brunson, though $7,400 makes him less interesting. Maxi Kleber ($4,400) is cheaper, but has provided uninspiring lines of late. That leaves Tim Hardaway ($5,700) as a nice value play to consider.
Alex Len ($3,900) appears to be set up for a strong chance to produce. Typically, those are the situations where he gets into foul trouble and loses minutes, but he delivered in a big way Friday. His salary remains manageable with Richaun Holmes out.
Robert Covington ($5,100) shot unsustainably well on his way to a big performance Friday with Larry Nance out. He's unlikely to repeat that, but he should be able to rebound enough and also provide enough defensive stats to deliver value.