Game to Target
Clippers (-5.5) vs. Pelicans O/U: 226
As I mentioned earlier, the Pelicans are by far the worst defensive team in this otherwise stingy slate, as their 116.8 points allowed per game are fourth-most across the entire league. The Clippers actually allow the second-most points per game among teams in this slate at 109.6, and both offenses rank in the top five at 116.0 points per game apiece.
Game to Fade
76ers (-5.5) at Pacers O/U: 215
All four remaining games have over/unders between 210.5 and 216.5, but this one stands out as a contest in which scoring will be hard to come by. This is the first game for both of these teams, which should lead to some timing issues on offense. Plus, both defenses ranked among the seven stingiest with 107.4 points allowed per game each and both featured bottom-10 offenses at 109.6 points per game (76ers) and 109.3 (Pacers). While the Heat and Nuggets have the lowest line at 210.5, Denver's injuries create some enticing opportunities for both sides in that one.
Positional Breakdown Shooting guard is the toughest position to fill near the top, as every other position has 5-6 players priced over $7,500 while shooting guard has only two. In terms of top-end talent, center is the only position with multiple players priced at $9,000 or more, with three such options. Injury Situations to Monitor Both Lakers superstars are listed as probable against Toronto. LeBron James (groin) seemed to be a bit more hampered by his injury in Thursday's win than Anthony Davis (eye) was by his, but both players should be able to take the floor. Domantas Sabonis has left the bubble to seek treatment for plantar fasciitis and won't be eligible to suit up for the Pacers. Teammate Victor Oladipo (knee) is a game-time decision, and Malcolm Brogdon is questionable due to a cervical strain. The Nuggets experimented with some laughably large lineups during the scrimmages, and they'll likely have to turn to such a lineup here, as Jamal Murray (hamstring) is questionable while Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee) have both been ruled out. The Clippers' bench will continue to be without both Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, as was the case Thursday.
Elite Players As the best player on the team with the easiest matchup, Kawhi Leonard ($8,900) is an obvious choice here. His two-way game is especially valuable given the extra sloppiness associated with the restart — Leonard had two steals and two blocks Thursday against the Lakers to go with his 28 points. Ben Simmons ($8,600) brings a high floor thanks to his well-rounded skill set — he averaged 16.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 8.2 APG prior to the pause. He should fill the box score nicely against a depleted Pacers team that's struggled to defend point guards, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. With the Nuggets missing some key backcourt pieces, Nikola Jokic ($9,000) should have the ball in his hands even more than usual. While the Heat defense presents a tough matchup, Jokic should stuff the stat sheet much like Simmons.
Expected Chalk Paul George ($7,900) is $1,000 cheaper than Leonard, but he actually had 47.25 fantasy points to Leonard's 45.75 on Thursday. With the Clippers' scoring depth significantly depleted at the moment, George should continue to take on an increased scoring role against the porous Pelicans defense. He poured in a team-high 30 points against the Lakers. Look for Jimmy Butler ($7,600) to be aggressive on both ends against the depleted Denver backcourt. A lack of healthy guard options will leave the Nuggets with few options capable of matching Butler's quickness on the perimeter while also opening up more steal opportunities for the defensive dynamo due to a lack of ball handling. With season averages of 20.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 6.1 APG and 1.7 steals per game, Butler's set up to play to his strengths while contributing across the board. Reggie Jackson ($4,100) is taking on an increased role with Williams sidelined. He was underwhelming with 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting, six rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes Thursday but should be more effective against the generous Pelicans defense now that he's had a chance to shake off the rust. Kyle Kuzma ($4,300) is probable with an ankle injury, but he looked healthy and effective with 16 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes Thursday against the Clippers. His offensive prowess off the bench should make Kuzma a solid choice against Toronto, especially if James and Davis defer more than usual due to their minor injuries.
Key Values If Murray sits, Monte Morris ($3,500) should see extended run as the most prominent healthy Denver guard. Players hoping to strike gold with the Nuggets should also consider Bol Bol ($3,000), who was a standout performer in the scrimmages. Bol averaged 13.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG in those three games, while adding a bevy of blocks and steals thanks to his 7-foot-8 wingspan. If Bol gets serious run for the injury-riddled Nuggets, he could be a gem at his meager valuation. JJ Redick ($3,500) was one of three Pelicans players to score 20-plus points Thursday, as the veteran sharpshooter unsurprisingly came ready to play. While Redick won't give you much besides points, he should do plenty of scoring against his former team in what's expected to be the night's highest-scoring game. Jordan Clarkson ($3,900) was the only Jazz bench player to get more than 14 minutes of run Thursday, finishing with 23 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. A similar performance here would make Clarkson a terrific value play against the Thunder.