This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a big nine-game slate Tuesday night that includes multiple potentially explosive DFS game environments and what should be competitive games almost across the board. There are a couple of blowout possibilities that will warrant closer attention when selecting higher-salaried stars from favored teams, a subject we'll delve further into in the Elite Players section. The injury report also has a couple of big names on it that bear monitoring, but overall, it will certainly be a robust player pool to select from irrespective of which contest format one is playing.
Here's a closer look at the three games with some of the highest projected totals on Tuesday's slate:
Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets (Projected total: 242.0 points)
The Nets are 4-0 during Kevin Durant's current absence, and even though he'll sit out a fifth straight game Tuesday, Brooklyn's offensive expectations are unsurprisingly elevated. The team has 128- and 136-point tallies in two of the games Durant has missed thus far, and the Nets come in averaging an NBA-high 121.0 points per contest. In turn, the Kings are surrendering an NBA-high 119.6 per game and also allow the highest shooting percentage (48.9). Meanwhile, Brooklyn still has some defensive issues of its own (117.0 points per game allowed) and is operating at the third-highest pace (106.0 possessions per game) of any team on its home floor, further supporting the case for this astronomical total.
Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets (Projected total: 230.5 points)
The Trail Blazers stubbed their collective toe against the Suns on Monday night, putting up just 100 points. However, that allowed Damian Lillard to see under 30 minutes, and Portland is still averaging over 115 points per road game. The Blazers are also giving up 116.0 per contest when traveling and are ranked in the bottom five with 48.6 percent shooting given up in away games, so the Nuggets could be in for a particularly fruitful night of offense. It's also worth noting Denver has been more generous on defense than usual lately with 118.7 points per contest allowed in the last three, and they're putting up 116.2 per home game for the season as well.
Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers (Projected total: 227.5 points)
Both teams have had their share of defensive issues, ranking right next to each other in the bottom half of the NBA with 113.2 (Atlanta) and 113.4 (Cleveland) points per game given up. The Cavs have allowed 122.0 per contest in the last three as well, and they're giving up the second-highest shooting percentage (48.6) in the league. It's also worth noting the Hawks, which have scored 118.0 points per game over the last three and 115.1 per road game on the season, also bring a bit of a bump in pace to Cleveland – Atlanta is averaging 103.4 possessions per road game, while Cleveland plays at a more deliberate clip of 101.9 per home contest.
Other high-total game to consider: Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee Bucks (Projected total: 230.0 points)
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.
Potential load management day: Russell Westbrook, WAS
Kevin Durant, BKN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Stephen Curry, GSW (illness)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Curry is reportedly more on the probable side of questionable, but if he were to sit out, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre and Draymond Green would see bumps in usage, while Mychal Mulder and Brad Wanamaker would probably log the majority of point guard minutes.
Jrue Holiday (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT
In Holiday's continued absence Tuesday, 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 continue seeing elevated usage.
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (back)/ Status: GTD
Kyle Lowry (thumb/ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Harrison Barnes, SAC (foot)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
If Barnes sits out a fourth straight game, DaQuan Jeffries could once again find himself in the starting five.
D'Angelo Russell, MIN (knee)/ Status: OUT
Delon Wright, DET (groin)/ Status: OUT
Other notable injuries:
Andre Drummond, CLE (team decision)/ Status: OUT
Paul Millsap, DEN (knee)/ Status: OUT
Taurean Prince, CLE (ankle)/ Status: DOUBTFUL
Blake Griffin, DET (team decision)/ Status: OUT
Jeff Green, BKN (shoulder)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
James Wiseman, GSW (wrist)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Kevon Looney, GSW (ankle)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Maxi Kleber, DAL (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Cam Reddish, ATL (Achilles)/ Status: PROBABLE
Seth Curry, PHI (ankle)/ Status: PROBABLE
Glenn Robinson, SAC (knee)/ Status: PERSONAL
JaMychal Green, DEN (shoulder)/ Status: OUT
Rajon Rondo, ATL (back)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Gary Harris, DEN (thigh)/ Status: OUT
There are a whopping eight players with five-figure salaries on Tuesday's slate, although only seven are viable with Durant still out of action: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300), Luka Doncic ($11,200), James Harden ($11,000), Joel Embiid ($10,800), Nikola Jokic ($10,500), Damian Lillard ($10,300) and Stephen Curry ($10,000).
Antetokounmpo finds himself in an appealing matchup against the woeful Timberwolves, and he's coming off tallies of 72.8 and 62.6 FD points in his last two contests. However, there's a possibility Milwaukee eventually takes clear control of the game in the second half. Doncic had a "down" game by his standards in Monday's comfortable win over the Grizzlies, but he should have worked off any rust from his eight-day layoff in that contest and could be a lot more involved in what should be a tighter game versus the Marcus Smart-less Celtics.
Harden should continue enjoying elevated usage against the defensively challenged Kings and is part of the game with the highest projected total, although there is some blowout risk in this contest as well. Both Embiid and Jokic are offering stellar numbers nearly every time they take the floor, while Curry's status will need to be monitored carefully throughout the day. Lillard continues to carry a very elevated salary, but he should be relatively fresh after only logging 29 minutes in Monday's blowout loss to the Suns.
There are also several players with salaries in the high four figures that have the ability to deliver elite scores, including Nikola Vucevic ($9,900), Kawhi Leonard ($9,800), Bradley Beal ($9,800), Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700) and Trae Young ($9,600). From that group, Vucevic is particularly interesting due to his matchup against a Pistons team he just eviscerated for 63.9 FD points, following a 70.2-point tally against the Warriors. Leonard is in a favorable matchup against a fast-paced Wizards team that will be on the second game of a back-to-back set after an overtime battle against the Lakers, while Beal while likely take the floor without Russell Westbrook (load management), boosting his usage significantly.
In terms of injury-influenced chalk, Kyrie Irving should continue see a robust roster rate with Durant's absence persisting. Malik Beasley should once again find himself on plenty of rosters with Russell still out, while the same should be true for Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Pascal Siakam if Lowry sits out another contest.
Khris Middleton should also continue to see plenty of clicks on his name due to Holiday's absence, while complementary Mavericks (Tim Hardaway, Josh Richardson) could be popular if Porzingis misses a second straight contest, especially coming off their impressive Monday performances. If Curry is forced to sit out a second straight game, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kelly Oubre will likely be found in plenty of lineups as well.
Richaun Holmes, SAC at BKN ($6,400)
Holmes returned from a three-game absence due to a knee injury to score 26.2 FD points across 21 minutes versus the Bucks on Sunday, and he's in line for an even better matchup against a Nets squad that's allowing the second-highest offensive efficiency (35.3 percent) to centers, along with the sixth-most FD points per game (39.5) to the position on the season. Holmes has delivered over a 5x return on his current salary on 10 occasions already this season, and his offensive profile is tailor made to exploit a Brooklyn team that also gives up the second-most points in the paint (51.6) per contest.
RJ Barrett, NY vs. GSW ($5,500)
Barrett's salary is particularly reasonable for a player who's scored 27.9 to 34.7 FD points in his last three games, and who's come within a tenth of an FD point of delivering at least a 5x return in 20 of 31 games overall. The matchup against a Warriors team that will bring a significant bump in pace to the Knicks is particularly enticing, especially when also considering Golden State is giving up 37.6 percent shooting from behind the arc to small forwards, along with the most FD points per game (65.2) to threes over the last five contests. Barrett has drained 51.1 percent of his attempts during his impressive aforementioned three-game run, and another similarly sharp night with plenty of extra possessions to work could help make him one of the better fantasy-point-per-dollar plays of the slate.
Saddiq Bey, DET at ORL ($5,300)
Bey is currently holding down the starting small forward job with Jerami Grant sliding over to the four in place of Blake Griffin (team decision), and the rookie is making excellent use of the opportunity. Bey has scored 24.1 to 36.8 FD points in three of the those four turns with the first unit, generating a well-rounded line of 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals across 33.0 minutes over the entirety of that span. The 19th overall pick also put up 44.4 FD points in 27 minutes off the bench against the Celtics in the game immediately prior to that stretch, and Tuesday, he'll tangle with a Magic team that's ranked in the bottom half of the league with 46.7 percent shooting surrendered while also yielding the ninth-most FD points per game (49.6) to small forwards over the last 10 contests. Bey should once again be set for a workload of around 30 minutes and stands to benefit from added opportunity due to the absence of Delon Wright (groin).
Other value plays to consider: Malik Beasley, MIN at MIL ($6,500); Darius Garland, CLE vs. ATL ($5,900); Lou Williams, LAC vs. WAS ($5,500); Terrance Ross, ORL vs. DET ($5,400); Cedi Osman, CLE vs. ATL ($5,400); Josh Jackson, DET at ORL ($5,100); Josh Richardson, DAL vs. BOS ($4,700)