This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We're set for an appealing six-game slate Tuesday night, one that gives us a manageable amount of decisions as DFS players and features a healthy dose of both robust projected totals and teams with plenty to play for in terms of postseason positioning. The injury report does cast a bit of a dark cloud, as it contains several notable names, but as we often note that also typically opens up value plays at the mid-salary and bargain levels.
Here's a closer look at the three games with projected totals on FanDuel Sportsbook:
Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers (Projected total: 239.5 points)
These two squads are a prime example of teams with plenty of firepower, defensive questions and vested interest. The Blazers are allowing 115.4 points per road contest, while the Pacers are giving up 113.5 per home tilt. Portland and Indiana are also scoring 114.7 and 111.7 points per game in the home/road splits that apply to them, and Indy is now up to playing at the league's fourth-fastest pace (105.2 possessions per game). The first game between the teams finished with just 198 total points in what turned into a Pacers rout, but that game unfolded in mid-January, when the context of the season was completely different. Nevertheless, the Pacers will be down both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis for Tuesday's contest, so they could have a tough time maximizing their offensive potential.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets (Projected total: 234.5 points)
In contrast, neither of these teams is going to realistically qualify for even a play-in opportunity, but because both are capable of surrendering plenty on the defensive end, we have a healthy projected total anyhow. Minnesota is allowing an NBA-high 120.6 points per game on the road on NBA-high 49.4 percent shooting. Meanwhile, the Rockets are yielding 113.6 points per home contest and will get a nice bump in pace from the visitors, which average the second-most road possessions per game (106.4) in the league. The most recent game between the two clubs finished with 236 points, although it bears noting both John Wall and Malik Beasley will be absent from this game due to hamstring injuries.
Brooklyn Nets at Toronto Raptors (Projected total: 233.0 points)
Kevin Durant is back and played 28 minutes off the bench in his most recent game, so he could well see over 30 minutes versus Toronto. The Nets already come in averaging 119.6 points per road game and allowing 117.5 per contest when traveling as well, and they also sneak into the top 10 in pace with 103.5 possessions per game overall. The Raps have been a much better defensive squad at their temporary Amalie Arena home (108.0 PPG allowed), but they did allow 117 points to Brooklyn in one of the two prior meetings between the teams.
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, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.
James Harden, BRO (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Jayson Tatum, BOS (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Kemba Walker, BOS (side)/ Status: OUT
Chris Boucher, TOR (knee)/ Status: OUT
Boucher's expected absence should result in another start for Khem Birch at center.
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (ankle)/ Status: GTD
If Porzingis is out again, Maxi Kleber is likely to remain in the starting five.
Domantas Sabonis, IND (back)/ Status: OUT
In Sabonis' absence, Oshae Brissett is slated to remain in the starting five at power forward.
John Wall, HOU (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Other notable injuries:
Myles Turner, IND (toe)/ Status: OUT
Gordon Hayward, CHA (foot)/ Status: OUT
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC (foot)/ Status: OUT
Luguentz Dort, OKC (hip)/ Status: GTD
Bruce Brown, BRO (knee)/ Status: OUT
Gary Trent, TOR (lower leg)/ Status: GTD
Jeremy Lamb, IND (knee/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Robert Williams, BOS (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Malik Monk, CHA (ankle)/ Status: GTD
Malik Beasley, MIN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Kent Bazemore, GSW (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: GTD
Eric Gordon, HOU (groin)/ Status: OUT
Doncic played through elbow soreness Monday night against the Kings and scored 40.4 FD points, so he should be ready to exploit what should be an excellent game environment Tuesday. There's also a good chance he takes the floor without Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) once again. Antetokounmpo is also in an intriguing matchup against a Hornets team that's gunning for the postseason and that he put up 72.1 FD points against earlier this season. Giannis also comes in averaging 59.4 FD points over the last three. Irving checks in averaging 50.2 FD points in his last seven games and just racked up 62.2 FD points on Wednesday versus Toronto, although Durant was unavailable for that contest.
Healthy players with salaries in the high four figures capable of also delivering elite scores include Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700), Stephen Curry ($9,700), Kevin Durant ($9,700), Pascal Siakam ($9,100), Malcolm Brogdon ($8,500) and Damian Lillard ($8,300). Towns gets an elite matchup against a Rockets team that's allowed the most rebounds per game and that he's scored 53.0 and 61.2 FD points against already this season. Curry's shooting is scalding hot again after an off night three games ago and he already has one tally of 66.9 FD points versus Dallas this season. As mentioned earlier, Durant could be in for a bump in minutes in a favorable matchup even if he comes off the bench, while Siakam has averaged 45.5 FD points over his last five contests and has a good positional matchup in the same game. Finally, Brogdon and Lillard are included because of their appealing salaries relative to upside and the fact the game environment for Blazers-Pacers could well be the most appealing of the night from a DFS perspective.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:
Caris LeVert, IND ($8,300)
LeVert has averaged 45.2 FD points in his last three games and will be part of the game with the highest projected total of the night.
Jusuf Nurkic, POR ($8,200)
Nurkic has come alive with two big double-doubles in his last pair of contests, games in which he's cleared 50 FD points.
Jaylen Brown, BOS ($8,100)
Marcus Smart, BOS ($6,600)
Smart is averaging 30.4 FD points per 36 minutes without Tatum and Walker on the floor and should be on plenty of rosters due to the dual absences.
Kelly Olynyk, HOU ($6,000)
Olynyk is averaging 36.9 FD points per 36 minutes when Wall is unavailable and has scored 35.4 to 49.0 FD points in five of the last seven games.
Oshae Brissett, IND ($5,600)
Brissett is averaging 32.6 FD points over the last four games in a starting role and should once again run with the first unit with Sabonis out.
Khem Birch, TOR ($4,900)
Birch should be popular due to his positional matchup against the Nets, his salary and the 26.8 FD points he's averaged during his current six-game starting tenure.
Kelly Olynyk, HOU vs. MIN ($6,000)
Olynyk's strong numbers with John Wall off the floor were just detailed, and the floor-stretching big also has a very appealing game environment and positional matchup to work with. The Timberwolves are allowing an NBA-high 120.6 points per road game and surrender NBA-high 40.6 percent three-point shooting when traveling as well. Meanwhile, Olynyk is taking a career-high 5.5 three-point attempts per game and is shooting 40.2 percent from behind the arc in his 17 games with the Rockets thus far. He also has a tally of 34.8 FD points against the T-Wolves and Minnesota checks in giving up the seventh-most FD points per game (38.1) to centers, along with the 12th-highest offensive efficiency (33.3 percent) to the position.
Kevin Porter, HOU vs. MIN ($5,600)
Olynyk's teammate Porter makes for another value option in his return from a brief period in the COVID-19 protocols, as he should be walking right into a starting point guard role in light of Wall's absence. The second-year guard has averaged 29.5 FD points over his last 12 games while averaging a healthy 12.9 shot attempts per contest, and the fact he should function as a primary ball handler against a Timberwolves team that's yielded the fourth-most FD points per game (45.1) to point guards for the season (49.3 over the last 10) and that allows a Western Conference-high 26.8 assists per contest only serve to strengthen his case. Finney-Smith has also delivered over 5x value on 12 occasions this season, with half of those coming within April.
Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL at GS ($5,300)
Finney-Smith came through again Monday against the Kings, putting up 32.4 FD points over 33 minutes. The versatile wing is now averaging 27.0 FD points over his last 10 games while shooting a red-hot 52.2 percent, including 44.1 percent from behind the arc. There's a good chance Porzingis sits out for the Mavericks again Tuesday as well, and the Warriors will bring a nice bump in pace for Dallas and already allow 41.8 FD points per game to small forwards on the campaign.