Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets (Projected total: 238.0 points) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and James Harden already raise the offensive expectations in this game to sky-high levels, and if Kyrie Irving (COVID-19 protocols) happens to make his return as well, this number could go even higher before tip-off. Milwaukee comes in averaging the second-most points per game (120.2), while Brooklyn is right behind them with 118.9 per contest. Unsurprisingly, the squads are 1-2 in team shooting percentage (Brooklyn at 49.1/ Milwaukee at 48.9), and the Nets are also ranked in the bottom 10 with 113.1 points per contest allowed. As if all that wasn't enough, the Bucks' 104.9 possessions per game and Brooklyn's 106.2 rank 10th and fifth, setting up one of the most fertile environments of the season for DFS production. Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers (Projected total: 225.5 points) The Warriors have managed to fight their way to 6-6 after looking lost over the first two games of the season, and although far from the caliber of their heyday, this version of the Dubs does have some solid scoring upside. Golden State has worked its way into the top half of the league with 111.3 points per contest, while the Lakers check in at sixthwith 115.4 per contest (117.0 per game at home). However, the Warriors are also allowing the fifth-most points per game (115.3) and averaging an NBA-high 111.4 possessions per road game, while the Lakers rank second with just 104.4 points per game allowed. Therefore, while the total here could be met or exceeded, it may be in the course of a lopsided win for Los Angeles. OTHER POTENTIAL HIGH-SCORING GAME: Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls (Total off the board as of early Monday morning) Rockets play at seventh-fastest pace (105.2 possessions per game) and Bulls allow second-most points per game (121.6). Injury Situations to Monitor NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written Off injury report: Victor Oladipo, HOU LeBron James, LAL (ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE There's no indication James won't continue playing through his ankle issue Monday, as he has all season. Anthony Davis, LAL (back)/ Status: PROBABLE Davis is dealing with some lower-back tightness, but he's expected to play through it again Monday. Kyrie Irving, BKN (COVID-19 protocol)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE Irving apparently is a 50/50 proposition to return from his six-game absence Monday, and if he does, he'll have a new backcourt mate in James Harden. If Irving does sit out once more, Harden is likely to fill the PG spot once again, with Joe Harris starting at two-guard. John Wall, HOU (back)/ Status: OUT Wall will miss a third straight game, but his absence Monday will be partly offset by the expected debut of Victor Oladipo. Meanwhile, Ben McLemore and Eric Gordon should be the primary beneficiaries of Wall's absence. Tim Hardaway, DAL (groin) Status: QUESTIONABLE If Hardaway is forced to miss a second straight game, it could open up plenty of extra minutes for Trey Burke and Josh Green. Eric Gordon (lower leg)/ Status: PROBABLE Gordon will likely enjoy some extra run if he suits up as expected, as both Wall and Danuel House(COVID-19) are expected to remain out. Josh Richardson, DAL (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT Richardson's ongoing absence could lead to another start for Wes Iwundu. Elite Players There's four games Monday evening and a quartet of five-figure salaries to match: Luka Doncic($11,000), James Harden ($10,800), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,400) and Kevin Durant($10,100). All four players are worthy of consideration, especially considering the last three are involved in what should be a wire-to-wire Bucks-Nets battle that also carries the highest projected total of the night. However, as mentioned earlier, there's a chance Harden and Durant are joined by Kyrie, which would naturally result in a hit to the duo's usage. Some four-figure salary players that also have the ability to produce at an elite level include Stephen Curry ($9,800), LeBron James ($9,700), Zach LaVine ($9,500), Anthony Davis ($9,300), Kyrie Irving ($9,100) and Christian Wood ($8,900). Curry, James and Davis will be involved in the last matchup of the night, but there is some blowout risk for the Lakers' duo. LaVine and Wood have very good positional matchups in the Rockets-Bulls tilt, and Wood's usage is through the roof with Wall and Harden out of the picture. Irving is a bit of a mystery if he does play, considering he'll be sharing the backcourt with Harden for the first time and last took the floor Jan. 5. Expected Chalk All of the names mentioned in Elite Players section should see elevated roster rates with only four games on the ledger. The front-line players in both the Bucks-Nets and Warriors-Lakers tilts are especially likely to get plenty of attention given the prominence of both contests. Additionally, it's worth noting the most prominent confirmed absence as of early Monday morning is that of John Wall for the Rockets, which could lead to the debuting Victor Oladipo and big man Christian Wood both seeing plenty of extra clicks on their names. Key Values Lauri Markkanen, CHI vs. HOU ($6,700) Markkanen slots in just a bit above what my normal price range is for value recommendations, but the big man is appealing Monday with respect to both matchup and salary. He compiled a season-high 47.5 DK points against the Mavs on Sunday in his return from a COVID-related absence, a tally that pushed his season average to an impressive 33.0 DK points. Markkanen is already averaging a career-best 19.0 points on career-high 48.1 percent shooting, including 41.0 percent from three-point range. Meanwhile, the opposing Rockets come in allowing the fifth-highest offensive efficiency (27.4 percent) to power forwards, along with 49.7 percent shooting to the position. Bobby Portis, MIL at BKN ($5,300) Portis has fit right into the Bucks' center rotation, averaging a solid 23.5 minutes off the bench and parlaying them into averages of 11.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting 54.9 percent, including 42.9 percent from deep. The rebounds and shooting percentages are career bests for the floor-spacing big man, who'll face a Nets team Monday that's surrendering the third-highest offensive efficiency (35.3 percent) to centers, along with the sixth-most rebounds (16.6), fifth-most assists (4.4) and third-most steals (2.1). Moreover, Brooklyn is giving 40.0 percent three-point shooting to fives, making them a particularly appealing for Portis' aggressive style on the offensive end in a game that also carries the highest-projected total of the four-game slate. James Wiseman, GS at LAL ($4,600) Wiseman is coming off having compiled a season-high 32.75 DK points at the expense of the Nuggets on Thursday, and he's now averaging a solid 23.3 DK points per contest for the season. Wiseman has exceeded 20 DK points on five occasions in 12 games, and although he figures to have an uphill battle at times against Marc Gasol down low Monday, it's worth noting the Lakers have allowed some above-average offense to centers. Los Angeles is giving up 20.5 points per game to fives, along with 52.8 percent shooting, including 37.8 percent from behind the arc. In turn, Wiseman has done a nice job spacing the floor while shooting 48.0 percent, including an impressive 40.0 percent from deep. While there's certainly some volatility to his fantasy production early in his career, the rookie makes for an intriguing cost-savings tournament play with just eight teams in action.
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