This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
It's a lazy Sunday with just one early game at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The next contest doesn't tip until 7:30 when Portland takes on Boston.
That leads to a healthy seven-game NBA main slate, which is a far cry from the four-game setups with which we've become accustomed. The Celtics/Blazers contest actually projects the highest total of any matchup (232), although I'm also eyeing a game between Sacramento and Dallas.
There are already some key names listed as out or questionable, so let's go ahead and dive into the injury news.
Injury News to Monitor
Kemba Walker, BOS (oblique)/Status: DOUBTFUL
Devonte' Graham, CHA (knee)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Graham missed the first half of a back-to-back set Saturday. It should be noted that LaMelo Ball also returned from injury. So whether Graham is in or out, the Hornets don't looks particularly appealing.
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL (knee)/Status: OUT
Porzingis missed Saturday against Washington and will sit again today. Luka Doncic went wild against the Wizards and can obviously command a massive amount of usage. Willie Cauley-Stein is still cheap and has been a great value option with Porzingis out.
Harrison Barnes, SAC (groin)/Status: DOUBTFUL
Barnes missed Friday and is unlikely to return today. Marvin Bagley returned from a long absence to start and play 20 minutes with the forward out. De'Aaron Fox is also still sidelined for Sacramento.
Dejounte Murray, SAS (knee)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Murray has been on another planet with 48 or more fantasy points in each of his past three games. That said, the guard's status is in question Sunday. With Derrick White (ankle) out for the season, San Antonio could be extra shorthanded in the backcourt if Murray misses.
Dort and Pokusevski both missed Saturday against Indiana. I would assume both are back, but keep an eye on their status. Nothing is certain with this tanking Oklahoma City squad.
LeBron James, LAL (ankle)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
James returned from the longest absence of his career to play 32 minutes against Sacramento on Friday. The Lakers are understandably being cautious and listing him as questionable. If LBJ is out, we can look to Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and potentially Talen Horton-Tucker.
Other injuries to monitor:
Gordon Hayward, CHA (foot)/Status: OUT
Victor Oladipo, MIA (knee)/Status: OUT
Tyler Herro, MIA (foot)/Status: OUT
Jae Crowder, PHO (ankle)/Status: OUT
Cameron Payne, PHO (knee)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Chris Boucher, TOR (MCL)/Status: OUT
Gary Trent Jr., TOR (leg)/Status: QUESTIONABLE
Luka Doncic ($10,800) leads the way as the most expensive player on the slate. He is coming off of a 31/12/20 performance against Washington and I expect a lot of people to keep riding him against a porous Sacramento defense.
Doncic's likely popularity makes Joel Embiid ($10,400) an interesting play just below him. We know the center is just as capable of being the highest scoring player on the slate.
Then we have Jayson Tatum ($9,900), who scored 60 points in the Celtics' last outing. I wouldn't chase that, but he certainly has opportunity against Portland.
Damian Lillard ($9,400) and Anthony Davis ($9,100) both should have higher salaries. Davis has yet to explode since returning from injury, but has now played five times and there is a chance LeBron is out. We just saw Lillard's upside when he dropped 32 on Brooklyn on Friday.
I would expect both Doncic and Tatum to be in a healthy amount of lineups after their respective performances.
Key Value Plays
Willie Cauley-Stein, DAL vs. SAC ($3,100)
I'm not sure how Cauley-Stein is still this low. I've played him the past couple of times Porzingis has been ruled out and he's been a big help to my lineups. Cauley-Stein offers a good shot to play north of 20 minutes even if he doesn't start. He showed his upside last time out against Washington with 28.5 fantasy points. Cauley-Stein now gets a matchup against Sacramento, one of the NBA's worst post defenses. What's not to like? Play this man.
Lonnie Walker, SAS vs. PHI ($3,500)
I'm expecting Dejounte Murray to be ruled out, which only means more usage to go around for someone like Walker. At this salary, you don't need him to explode, although he does have the potential. What you're buying into here is a guard who will play around 30 minutes with a ceiling of 40 fantasy points. If there's any time to jump on Walker, it's now.
Tyrese Haliburton, SAC at DAL ($7,300)
If this game stays close, it will be due to a big game from Haliburton. The rookie has taken over point guard duties with De'Aaron Fox out and most recently scored 50.5 fantasy points on a 23-point, 10-assist effort. The assists and rebounds are typically there for Haliburton and he'll pay off his salary if he scores 20 or more points. He's going to play big minutes and adds flexibility by being eligible at shooting guard on DraftKings.