This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have seven games on the slate Sunday night, highlighted by the 76ers-Raptors and Nets-Clippers showdowns. There's also an intriguing battle between the Nuggets and Hawks and at least three with projected totals over 230 points, setting up what should be multiple productive DFS environments. There are some big names on the injury report, but the player pool should still offer enough viable options at every point of the salary scale.
Here's a closer look at the three games with the highest projected totals on Sunday's slate:
Sacramento Kings at Milwaukee Bucks (Projected total: 239.0 points)
The Kings will be on the second night of a back-to-back set after dropping a 122-114 decision to the Bulls on Saturday. Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes will also remain out for Sacramento with foot and knee issues, respectively, but this game still carries a very hefty total largely due to the Bucks' firepower. Milwaukee is averaging the second-most points per game (118.9) and the seventh-most possessions of any team on its home floor (104.4), while the Kings are giving up the second-most points per contest (119.2) and rank in the bottom-10 in shooting percentage allowed (47.8). Jrue Holiday is expected to continue on the sidelines for Milwaukee, but this represents a game that should carry elevated offensive expectations for the home team given the visitors' defensive deficiencies.
Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Clippers (Projected total: 236.5 points)
The Nets are scoring an NBA-high 123.5 points per road game while also giving up the most points per road contest in the league at 120.6. Brooklyn is also averaging the fourth-most possessions per game (105.3), while the Clippers are tied with multiple teams for fourth-most points per contest (115.5) on the strength of the NBA's fourth-highest shooting percentage (48.5). Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are now back healthy, while the Nets have scored 128 to 134 points in three of the games Kevin Durant (hamstring) has missed.
Denver Nuggets at Atlanta Hawks (Projected total: 232.0 points)
The Nuggets are scoring the fourth-most points per game at 115.5 and allow 111.9 points per road contest, while the Hawks are putting up 113 per game and allowing 113.1. Atlanta also continues to rank in the top half of the league in pace (103.3 possessions per game). And with the likes of Trae Young, Clint Capela, Jamal Murray (coming off a 50-point effort) and Nikola Jokic among those taking the floor, there's certainly a chance this matchup lives up to this total - especially with Denver ranking fifth in the league with 48.3 percent shooting.
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.
Kevin Durant, BKN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Ben Simmons, PHI (illness)/ Status: PROBABLE
Simmons is expected to suit up and play without restrictions.
Jrue Holiday (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT
In Holiday's continued absence, Bryn Forbes and D.J. Augustin should continue to handle the majority of point guard minutes while the remainder of the Bucks' starting five should keep seeing elevated usage.
Kyle Lowry (thumb)/ Status: DOUBTFUL
Harrison Barnes, SAC (foot)/ Status: OUT
D'Angelo Russell, MIN (knee)/ Status: OUT
Delon Wright, DET (groin)/ Status: DOUBTFUL
Other notable injuries:
Andre Drummond, CLE (team decision)/ Status: OUT
Richaun Holmes, SAC (knee)/ Status: OUT
Paul Millsap, DEN (knee)/ Status: OUT
Taurean Prince, CLE (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Blake Griffin, DET (team decision)/ Status: OUT
George Hill, OKC (thumb)/ Status: OUT
Glenn Robinson, SAC (knee)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
JaMychal Green, DEN (shoulder)/ Status: OUT
Rajon Rondo, ATL (back)/ Status: OUT
Gary Harris, DEN (thigh)/ Status: OUT
There's five players with five-figure salaries on Sunday's slate, although only four are playable with Durant out. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) leads the way, while Joel Embiid ($11,000), James Harden ($10,800) and Nikola Jokic ($10,600) sit close behind.
Antetokounmpo is in an excellent matchup against what could be a tired and already defensively deficient Kings team, while Embiid is on a tear and faces a Raptors squad he already lit up for 61.2 FD points back on Dec. 29. Harden will once again take the floor without Durant and is also involved in the contest with the night's second-highest projected total, while Jokic - similar to Embiid - is posting career bests in several categories and also draws a strong matchup against a Hawks team that should struggle guarding him away from the basket.
There are also several players with salaries in the high four-figures who have the ability to deliver elite scores, including Kawhi Leonard ($9,800), Nikola Vucevic ($9,700), Ben Simmons ($9,600), Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,300) and Trae Young ($9,200). Kyrie Irving ($8,800) and Paul George ($8,500) could also overdeliver on their salaries given their usage and expected game environment.
All the names mentioned in Elite Players section are naturally going to be very popular Sunday, but there should be a fair amount of differentiation on rosters with 14 teams in action.
In terms of injury-influenced chalk, Malik Beasley should continue to find himself on plenty of rosters with Russell still out, while the same should be true for Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Khris Middleton due to the absences of Lowry and Holiday, respectively. Julius Randle and Jamal Murray should also get plenty of clicks on their names based on matchup (Randle) and most recent performance (Murray).
Evan Fournier, ORL vs. DET ($6,800)
Fournier has been excellent since returning from a five-game absence due to a back injury, averaging 23.5 points on 57.6 percent shooting over his first two contests - including 57.1 percent from distance. He put up 45.8 FD points in his most recent outing and he'll get another favorable matchup Sunday to stay hot. The opposing Pistons are ranked last in offensive efficiency allowed to backcourt players at 55.2 percent, giving up 48.0 percent shooting to guards and 48.4 FD points per game against over the last 10 contests specifically to two-guards. Addtionally, consider Detroit surrenders elevated 39.2 percent three-point shooting on the road, which could certainly help boost Fournier's fantasy production.
Al Horford, OKC at CLE ($6,300)
Horford has produced one tally of over 40 FD points and another pair well over 50 over his last seven contests, offering a glimpse at the upside he's capable at this value. The veteran floor spacer has offered over a 5x return on his current salary in seven games this season - all within his last 13 games. The Cavaliers also rank in the bottom-half of the league in FD points allowed per game to centers over the last 10 contests (37.3). And given Horford's ability to score from anywhere on the floor, it's worth noting Cleveland also ranks in the bottom-10 in offensive efficiency (82.0 percent) and three-point shooting (38.5 percent) surrendered to frontcourt players.
Cedi Osman, CLE vs. OKC ($5,400)
Osman should continue to run with the first unit Sunday with Taurean Prince (ankle) still out of action, a role where he's scored 36.0 and 30.7 FD points over the last two matchups. He also scored 26.6 three games ago off the bench, and he'll be in a good spot to deliver a strong return once again on a very reasonable salary. The Thunder are allowing the third-highest offensive efficiency (85.3 percent) and fourth-highest shooting percentage (49.8) to frontcourt players, along with the fifth-most FD points per game to power forwards (50.4) on the season.