This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a six-game slate on tap Monday night, but danger does loom with an injury report that contains multiple big names. There's a possibility elite options such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins, Blake Griffin, and Karl-Anthony Towns could all sit out, while Trae Young is already ruled out due to an ankle injury. Another interesting aspect of this slate is that there are currently only two games with a projected total over the 220-point threshold as of late morning.
As usual, we'll proceed to break down the positional outlook below, along with possible chalk plays and some likely under-owned bargains that could help you round out your lineups with a couple of superstars.
Before delving into the slate, a reminder that FanDuel has reverted to its previous format of NOT dropping the lowest scoring in lineups after a one-year experiment with that feature. Therefore, it will be important to be prudent with each selection, as each player's total will count toward your final score.
Without further ado, let's take a more comprehensive look at Monday's slate!
Here's a closer look at the three games with the highest projected totals on Monday's slate:
Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers (Projected total: 230.5 points)
With exception of Deandre Ayton (ankle), these two teams arrive in good health at key positions, which ups the chances of the high-scoring affair that's projected coming to fruition. The Suns come in allowing 114.5 points per road game, while the Trail Blazers nearly mirror that figure exactly with 114.6 points scored per home contest. The pace here should also be brisk with both squads ranked in the top 12 in possessions per game, leaving open the possibility both squads exceed the 221 points they combined for the first time they met this season.
Miami Heat at Washington Wizards (Projected total: 227.5 points)
The Wizards are in their usual spot in one of the highest-projected scoring games of the night, as they continue to be one of the most defensively generous teams in the league. Washington remains racked with injuries and is allowing the most points per game of any team on its home floor (121.4), while also playing at the third-fastest pace (107.6 possessions per game). The Heat aren't quite as prolific offensively on the road (107.6 PPG scored) as they are at home (117.7 PPG), but the Wizards have consistently raised the offensive expectation/production of any team they've faced this season.
PG: Although Trae Young's absence hurts, the projected return of Eric Bledsoe helps boost the depth here to an extent. Damian Lillard and Spencer Dinwiddie offer access to potentially elite production at sub-$9K prices, while viable value can be found into the high $3K range.
SG: We have a pair of especially prominent injuries at play here with Bradley Beal (calf) and Andrew Wiggins (illness), who are both legitimately questionable. The depth here would naturally take a hit were both players to miss, but there are still strong upper-tier options in Donovan Mitchell and Zach LaVine followed by a pair of arguably underpriced assets in Devin Booker and C.J. McCollum at $7.1K and $6.9K, respectively. Here, too, value can be had as far down as the high $3K range.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo (back) could miss another game Monday, but the position is otherwise in relatively strong shape health-wise as far as starters go. You also don't' have to break the bank outside of Giannis – the next closest option in terms of salary is Jonathan Isaac all the way down at $6.6K.
PF: With Aaron Gordon (Achilles), Lauri Markkanen (illness) and Blake Griffin (knee) either confirmed (Gordon), likely (Griffin) or 50/50 (Markkanen) to miss Monday, the overall depth here might be the weakest of any position. Even the value tier has health-related concerns with Jabari Parker (shoulder) doubtful and Skal Labissiere (knee) confirmed out.
C: The potential absence of Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) and the confirmed absence of Deandre Ayton (ankle) are the big issues at center, as the position is otherwise well-stocked with the likes of Rudy Gobert, Andrew Drummond and Hassan Whiteside up top, Gorgui Dieng (if Towns misses), Wendell Carter and Brook Lopez in the middle, and value into the high $3K-low $4K range.
Notable 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 (usually late morning Eastern time), 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.
Trae Young, ATL
Young has already been ruled out with an ankle injury. His absence could lead to another start at point guard for Cam Reddish.
Bradley Beal, WAS
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN
Towns is considered questionable with the knee sprain that's cost him the last six games. Gorgui Dieng would be in line for another start should Towns miss again.
Andrew Wiggins, MIN
Wiggins is considered questionable with the illness that cost him Saturday's game. Jarrett Culver would likely draw another start at shooting guard should Wiggins miss.
Antetokounmpo is considered questionable with a back injury. Ersan Ilyasova would project for another start in his place should Antetokounmpo miss.
Eric Bledsoe, MIL
Bledsoe is considered probable to return Monday from the leg injury that's sidelined him the last eight games.
Aaron Gordon, ORL
Gordon will not play due to an Achilles injury. Amile Jefferson could draw a spot start at power forward.
Tomas Satoransky, CHI
Satoransky is considered probable with left ankle soreness.
Lauri Markkanen, CHI
Markkanen is considered questionable with an illness. Thaddeus Young would likely be the beneficiary of a spot start should Markkanen miss.
Deandre Ayton, PHO
Ayton has been ruled out with his ankle injury. Aron Baynes will draw another start in Ayton's stead.
Blake Griffin, DET
Evan Turner, ATL
Turner is considered probable with a hamstring injury.
Alex Len, ATL
Len is considered probable with an ankle injury.
Jabari Parker, ATL
Parker is considered doubtful with a shoulder injury that's already cost him two games. Vince Carter and De'Andre Hunter are expected to continue seeing backup power forward minutes behind John Collins.
Markieff Morris, DET
Skal Labissiere, POR
Mario Hezonja, POR
Mo Bamba, ORL
Bamba is considered probable with an ankle sprain.
Notable Longer-Term Injuries/Absences: Kyrie Irving, BKN; Caris LeVert, BKN; Jusuf Nurkic, POR; Zach Collins, POR; Rodney Hood, POR; Davis Bertans, WAS; Rui Hachimura, WAS; Thomas Bryant, WAS; Moritz Wagner, WAS; Luke Kennard, DET; Reggie Jackson, DET; Otto Porter Jr., CHI; Chandler Hutchison, CHI; Nicholas Claxton, BKN; Jake Layman, MIN; Mike Conley, UTA; Justise Winslow, MIA; Al-Farouq Aminu, ORL
The elite level is tough to prognosticate at the moment due to the plethora of injury concerns already highlighted. All three players (Antetokounmpo, Young and Towns) with five-figure salaries have designations, with Young already ruled out. Therefore, the highest-end option for the night could ultimately be Andre Drummond ($9,600), who would be especially valuable with Blake Griffin (knee) expected to sit out. Bam Adebayo ($9,100) should also be especially popular and productive while facing the Wizards' decimated frontcourt. Moreover, Adebayo slots into the thinnest position overall Monday, power forward.
Injury could once again largely dictate the chalk Monday. The likes of Gorgui Dieng and Ersan Ilyasova should continue to be very popular should Towns and Antetokounmpo sit, while Jordan McRae and Gary Payton II would likely draw plenty of clicks if Beal misses for the Wizards. Look for several of the Heat's key pieces – including Adebayo – to also potentially see elevated ownership due to the matchup against the Wizards, while Drummond's ownership should also be robust with Griffin expected to sit.
As usual, I've also compiled a list of some sub-$6K value plays – including Dieng – that should carry a fair share of ownership due to savings, enhanced roles due to injuries, or both.
Terrence Ross, ORL vs. ATL ($4,400)
The sharpshooting veteran carries more than enough upside for his current salary, as demonstrated this season with his nine tallies of better than 25 FanDuel points. Ross is averaging a rock-solid 24.9 minutes per contest and faces a Hawks team allowing the third-most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards (58.9) for the season.
Garrett Temple, BKN at MIN ($4,200)
Temple has had his stretches of high ownership this season, but he's been a bit up and down recently with five games of less than 20 FanDuel points in his last seven. That should help keep the clicks on his name down a bit Monday, but he'll be locked into an enticing matchup that could well coax one of his better performances out of him.
The Timberwolves are allowing a bottom-10 offensive efficiency rating (22.2) to two-guards and the seventh-most FanDuel points per game (55.7) to the position. Minnesota also surrenders 36.7 percent three-point shooting overall (tied for seventh highest), while Temple checks in taking a career-high 6.5 three-point attempts per contest.
Meyers Leonard, MIA at WAS ($3,600)
The floor-stretching big man is a clear fourth or fifth option on most plays offensively, but his salary and across-the-board production is such that he's certainly worthy of consideration for larger-field tournaments. The Wizards are as depleted as could be up front, and Washington is giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to centers (40.7) overall. Plus, they come in ranked last in the league in rebounding rate (47.3 percent). Leonard has over 20 FanDuel points in three of his last four contests.
Other Value Plays To Consider: Gorgui Dieng ($5,700); Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,600); Joe Ingles ($5,600); Evan Fournier ($5,500); Carmelo Anthony ($5,400); Goran Dragic ($5,300); Jeff Teague ($5,200); Brook Lopez ($5,000); Kendrick Nunn ($4,500); Johnathan Williams, WAS vs. MIA ($4,500); Royce O'Neale ($4,200); Derrick Jones Jr. ($4,200); D.J. Augustin, ORL vs. ATL ($4,000); Coby White, CHI vs. MIL ($3,900);