We're teed up for a five-game slate Tuesday that was originally at six games before the postponement of the Wizards-Nets clash. A glance at the odds implies a very competitive night of action; when matched with the reasonably sized player pool, it makes for an appealing DFS environment. However, as the injury report reveals, the top end is a bit thin thanks to a handful of big-name absences.
Indiana Pacers (-1) at Miami Heat (O/U: 209.0 points)
Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks (-7.5) (O/U: 207.0 points)
Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans (-1) (O/U: 219.0 points)
Minnesota Timberwolves (-1) at Dallas Mavericks (O/U: 212.5 points)
Phoenix Suns (-7.5) at Los Angeles Lakers (O/U: 223.0 points)
A trio of one-point spreads on a modestly sized slate is always a welcome sight for DFS players, as it's an indicator that normal court time can be expected from starters across the board. Some of the small projected advantages are due to the stars that reside on the injury report. The Heat's status as a small home underdog is certainly attributable to that factor, as is the Mavericks'.
The two games pegged as the likeliest high-scoring contests will likely fulfill those expectations, although the iffy status of Damian Lillard does put Portland's offensive expectations somewhat in jeopardy. Conversely, a Suns team now back at full strength with Devin Booker's return is capable of doing its part to contribute to the highest total on the board for the night.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Anthony Davis, LAL (knee): OUT
Luka Doncic, DAL (ankle): OUT
Jalen Brunson should draw the start at point guard in Doncic's absence, while the usage of the remaining members of the starting five should see a bump.
LeBron James, LAL (abdomen): PROBABLE
James is fully expected to play through his probable designation and will be primed for elevated usage with Davis out.
Damian Lillard, POR (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE
Jimmy Butler, MIA (back): OUT
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (toe): QUESTIONABLE
Other notable injuries:
Jerami Grant, DET (thumb): OUT
RJ Barrett, NYK (COVID-19 protocols): GTD
CJ McCollum, POR (chest): OUT
Bam Adebayo, MIA (thumb): OUT
Anthony Edwards, MIN (COVID-19 protocols): OUT
Derrick Rose, NYK (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
P.J. Tucker, MIA (knee): OUT
Patrick Beverley, MIN (COVID-19 protocols): OUT
Tyler Herro, MIA (quadriceps): QUESTIONABLE
There are no players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to be active on Tuesday's slate.
Players with salaries in the high four figures that have the ability to deliver elite-level production include Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,900), Russell Westbrook ($9,800), Domantas Sabonis ($9,000) and Brandon Ingram ($8,700).
Towns has scored over 40 FD points in three straight games, including over 50 in two of those contests, and sports a 34.0 percent usage rate without Anthony Edwards on the floor.
Westbrook scored 45.8 FD points without Davis available Sunday, his second game over the 40-mark in the last three. He also owns a 29.6 percent usage rate without AD available.
Sabonis has back-to-back sub 40-FD-point tallies but had put up 44.7 to 60 FD points in four straight contests prior to that, and he faces a depleted Miami squad that is without its starting forwards and center.
Ingram has overdelivered on his current salary recently, scoring over 50 FD points in two of his last three games and clearing that mark in four of the last seven overall.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:
Julius Randle, NYK ($8,800)
Randle has been a virtual lock for at least 35 FD points since late November and draws a favorable matchup against the lowly Pistons.
Chris Paul, PHO ($8,400)
Paul draws an excellent positional matchup against Westbrook and is involved in the highest profile game of the night, which should keep him popular.
Deandre Ayton, PHO ($8,100)
Ayton faces a frontcourt devoid of AD and checks in having scored over 40 FD points in two of his last three games.
Kyle Lowry, MIA ($7,800)
Lowry should have no shortage of opportunities with the ball in his hands given the multiple absences on the Heat and comes in having scored 35.8 to 44.6 FD points in six of the last seven games.
Jonas Valanciunas, NOP ($7,800)
Valanciunas has provided steady value at center all season and has delivered over 40 FD points in four of the last six contests.
Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL vs. MIN ($6,000)
As mentioned earlier, Finney-Smith could be in for some enhanced responsibility Tuesday if Porzingis sits out, and the versatile wing is already seeing a bump in production in recent games. Finney-Smith has scored over 34 FD points in two of his last four games and averages 28.8 per 36 minutes with Doncic off the floor. That figure bumps up to 32 when factoring in Porzingis' absence, and Finney-Smith should also have the benefit of an advantageous positional matchup. The T-Wolves have allowed the fifth-highest offensive efficiency to small forwards (23.8 percent) and 40.2 FD points per game to the position for the season, giving up an even more generous 48.9 per contest to power forwards, a position Finney-Smith may need to man Tuesday.
Gabe Vincent, MIA vs. IND ($5,800)
Vincent has already had several big games in the ongoing absences of Butler, Adebayo and Herro, and with Tucker also unavailable Tuesday, the young guard could be in for even more opportunity. Vincent has averaged 28.8 FD points over the last five games while running with the first unit, shooting a solid 46.0 percent, including 38.9 percent from three-point range, over that span. The Pacers rank in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency allowed to shooting guards (20.9 percent) and are yielding 39.1 FD points per game to the position as well, and Indiana is also notably more generous in surrendering three-point shooting on the road (36.0 percent) as compared to home (33.8 percent).
Alec Burks, NYK vs. DET ($5,600)
Burks should continue to run with the first unit at point guard Tuesday, a role in which he's averaged 28.3 FD points in thus far on the strength of 15.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals in a 10-game sample. Burks has struggled more than usual from in front of the arc but has his three-point shooting dialed in as ever, as he's drained 40.4 percent of his attempts from distance. The Pistons make for excellent targets, as Detroit is allowing NBA-high 27.4 percent offensive efficiency to PGs, along with 47.7 FD points per game to the position and the eighth-highest three-point shooting percentage on the road (36.8).
ALSO CONSIDER: Cameron Payne, PHO at LAL ($5,500)