PHI (-9.5) vs. CHA, O/U 214
The Hornets are one of two teams entering the day on a back-to-back. They were smashed at home by the Grizzlies on Friday night but will look to right the ship against the 4-1 76ers. Both of these teams tend to spread the production around so it can be difficult to peg which players to target on a nightly basis. On the Philadelphia side, we know Joel Embiid is usually the go to play regardless of price. He carries a 27 percent usage rate through the first five games of the season and should have his way with opposing center Bismack Biyombo. It's a lot more tricky on the Charlotte side of things. With the addition Gordon Hayward, the Hornets have solidified their core group, but in terms of daily fantasy sports, we won't see many ceiling games coming from their starting five on most nights given the equal talent across the board.
ORL (-8) vs. OKC, O/U 218
The main thing to watch here will be the availability of Terrance Ross and Evan Fournier. The former was ruled out prior to tip-off with hamstring soreness and the latter exited the same game after only playing three minutes due to back spasms. If one or both were to miss another contest, it could open the door to some cheap options since, upon a first look, we don't have many value plays to choose from. IND (-9) vs. NYK, O/U 216 On a five-game night, this matchup could feature a piece or two that you may want to get in your lineups with Indiana leaning heavily on Domantas Sabonis early on and likewise with Julius Randlefor the Knicks. The opposing power forwards are sitting in the 20 percent range from a usage standpoint and can drop a double-double on any given day, with the aforementioned Sabonis securing that feat in five straight to start the season. TOR (-1.5) at NO, O/U 213 These teams met to kick off their seasons with the Pelicans coming away with the 113-99 victory. Brandon Ingram stole the show with a 61.25 fantasy point showcase and should be a popular choice here with the Raptors giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards through the first two weeks. We'll have to keep an eye on the status of Pascal Siakam after he was a healthy scratch on Thursday due to disciplinary circumstances. ATL (-6) vs. CLE O/U, 233 The Hawks are the other team playing on a back-to-back. Of the five games on the slate, this is the only one to feature a total above 220. With that in mind, this will most likely be the game people will want the most exposure too and rightfully so. As I mentioned in the opening, it has two players in Trae Young and Andre Drummond who are truly the focal points of their respective offenses, made apparent by their individual usage rates hovering around the 30 percent range to start the new season.
Injury Situations to Monitor Alec Burks (ankle), Questionable After missing the last two due to a left ankle sprain, the backup guard is in jeopardy of not suiting up against the Pacers. In his absence, Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock have benefitted the most and could be solid plays if news comes out that Burks may sit again. Evan Fournier (back), Questionable Fournier was forced to leave the game against the 76ers on Thursday with a back spasms issue. Cole Anthony stepped in and played 30 minutes, delivering 27.3 fantasy points, and he could be in line for more run if Fournier is unable to suit up. Terrence Ross (hamstring), Questionable The Magic were without Ross as well on Thursday due to hamstring soreness. His status remains up in the air but it looks as though the ailment won't cause him to miss significant time. Michael Carter-Willams could benefit in his absence. Danilo Gallinari (ankle), Questionable It's been a rough go for the former Thunder forward to start the season. He continues to be sidelined with various injuries but the Hawks will hope to get him back soon. De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish have seen expanded roles for the time being but could feel an impact should Gallinari find his way back on to the court.
Elite Plays Trae Young ($10,200) As the top salary on the slate, Young offers an array of abilities on the court that usually makes him a top staple of any lineup. Through five games to start the season, he's averaging nearly six three-point attempts per game, while dishing assists and grabbing rebounds, giving him one of the highest floors in the league. His 36.7 percent usage rate ranks third overall and his tenacity to get the free-throw line adds to his massive floor. The Hawks are playing at the fastest pace (105.2) through the first two weeks and should create an atmosphere against Cleveland that can be a gold mine of fantasy production. Andre Drummond ($9,200) Staying in the same game, the beat goes on for the Drummond show in Cleveland. He is the offense – it runs through him. The 31 percent usage through five games says it all, and he's doing it in a multitude of ways. Averaging a double-double to start the season, the big man continues to be a force on the glass while scoring at will, and he's even doing a decent job from the charity stripe that in one game saw him go 9-14. This game against Atlanta has the highest total on the board, so running it back with the previously mentioned Trae Young makes a lot of sense in hopes of capturing all the production this tandem can provide. Mid-Range Targets Pascal Siakam ($8,300) After being a healthy scratch on Thursday, Siakam will look to rejoin the starting five versus the Pelicans. He's been solid to start the season, chipping in a pair of 30 plus fantasy point outings and one 49.8 display against the Spurs that was more reminiscent of what we usually expect of the former champ. He should be motivated to put his disciplinary mistake behind him and improve on his previous performance against New Orleans when they faced off in their first game of the season. The Raptors have started as one of the faster-paced teams (106.3) in the league so hopefully this can create an up and down game with plenty of opportunities for Siakam to excel. Brandon Ingram ($8,100) At a slightly lower salary below Siakam is Brandon Ingram. When these teams met to start the season, Ingram flashed the upside we know he's capable of, dropping 61.3 fantasy points in a win over the Raptors. He'll try and repeat that performance here despite taking part in two back-to-back blowouts that saw him ejected in the third quarter against the Thunder on Thursday. So far, the coexistence with Zion Williamson hasn't affected his production but keeping an eye on their salaries from game to game may be a good way to take advantage of certain situations that may benefit one or the other going forward. Key Values Clint Capela ($5,200) It's been a long road back to the hardwood for the former Rocket. Now with the Hawks, he's getting a fresh start and should be the team's center of the future. He's been on a minute restriction to start the season, but last night against the Nets, he logged 30 minutes for a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. With the Hawks playing a second game in a row, it's tough to say if they'll let him run that long again, but if he's going to hit the 30-fantasy-point mark from here on out, his $5,200 salary is just far too cheap. Be sure to monitor any updates regarding minute expectations leading up to tip-off, but if all systems are go, locking in the versatile big man could pay dividends at his suppressed salary. Aaron Holiday ($3,800) The loss of T.J. Warren is definitely a big blow for Indiana in the long term, but for the time being it appears Aaron Holiday should slide into the starting roster and be a serviceable contributor despite possibly being lost in the shuffle with Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis being the focal points of the offense. He played 22 minutes against the Cavs on Thursday, posting 19.3 fantasy points but potentially could have had a bigger day if the game would have been more competitive with the Pacers leading a blowout for most of the night. Justin Holiday($4,100) and Doug McDermott ($4,900) could also be targets to consider while Warren is on the shelf.