This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
The MLK holiday gives us a rare nine-game slate on a weekday, but due to the early start time for some of the games, we are going to focus on the secondary five-game slate that kicks off later in the day.
LAL (-2.5) @ BOS O/U: 223
MIN (-2.5) vs. DEN O/U: 220.5
UTA (-7) vs. IND O/U: 216.5
PHO (-4.5) vs. SA O/U: 229.5
POR vs. GS O/U: 220.5
With several teams on back-to-backs, trusting teams like San Antonio and Indiana might prove to be a bit difficult. The game I seem to be focused on is the GS/POR game, as there's value on both sides due to the shifting pieces happening in Portland.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Anthony Davis (back) QUESTIONABLE
Despite the questionable tag, I think it's safe to consider Davis as out for today's game. Barring a late announcement, Kyle Kuzma ($6,300) should continue to start in AD's place.
Kemba Walker (knee) QUESTIONABLE
Jaylen Brown (thumb) QUESTIONABLE
Walker missed Saturday's game and is still deemed questionable as I write this. Marcus Smart ($5,800) would get the start if Walker sits, and if both players are out, I'm going to throw some additional exposure Gordon Hayward's ($5,600) way.
C.J. McCollum (ankle) OUT
Along with McCollum's absence, things are in a bit of flux for Portland following the Kent Bazemore/Trevor Ariza trade. It's unclear if Ariza will take the floor tonight, and I'm not very confident in the secondary options if he doesn't play. Anfernee Simons ($3,900) could easily beat value at his price, but with McCollum out, it looks like a perfect time to spend some cash on Damian Lillard ($8,400).
Jamal Murray (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
Gary Harris (groin) QUESTIONABLE
Paul Millsap (knee) QUESTIONABLE
Questionable tags are definitely an improvement for these players, but playing on the tail end of a back-to-back on the road further complicates things. None of the replacements did much to distinguish themselves in Sunday's loss to the Pacers, with Jerami Grant ($4,400) looking like the safest value play coming out of that contest. From a usage perspective, I still think Michael Porter Jr. ($6,500) is the best candidate to pop, but his salary is just a tad too pricey relative to the risk involved. Torrey Craig ($3,900) has a price tag that's probably the most welcoming in comparison to his 25 minutes on the floor against Indiana.
Rudy Gay (illness) QUESTIONABLE
The Spurs could certainly use Gay in this back-to-back, but if he's ruled out, Marco Belinelli ($3,200) makes for a reasonable pivot.
LeBron James, LAL ($10,800) @ BOS
James will make his first trip to the Garden this season, and with some injury-related issues for Boston, one has to assume it will benefit the King. With AD still on the sidelines, it's open season for James' stat line. He's dipped below 50 DKFP only twice in his past 10 games, and we're hoping for something approaching 60 DKFP in this spot tonight.
Devin Booker, PHO ($8,600) vs. SA
Booker and the Suns catch the Spurs on the tail end of a back-to-back. With Kelly Oubre Jr. still sidelined and Ricky Rubio a bit too expensive at $8k, Booker looks to be an ideal elite add. His 31 DKFP performance against Charlotte is the only real blemish on his past 10 games. While we'd like to see a little more from beyond the arc, Booker can draw a foul with the best of them and he's gone a whopping 47-of-51 from the foul line over the past five games.
Also consider: Deandre Ayton, PHO ($8,300) vs. SA
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
D'Angelo Russell, GS ($7,600) @ POR
With things a bit askew in Portland in the wake of Kent Bazemore's departure, I imagine that a lot of the sharps will head over to Russell in an attempt to exploit this situation and also take advantage of C.J. McCollum's absence. With Russell's average of 43 DKFP over the last five games, more than 5x value is a reasonable expectation based on the recent floor he's generating, and despite the potentially high ownership I think he's a fine alternative cash play.
Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($6,600) vs. DEN
Wiggins burst back onto the scene with a triple-double against the Raptors, and given the Nuggets' injury woes, I think it's a good opportunity for Wiggins once again. I don't think it's an accident that his' stat lines began to taper off a bit after his four-game absence due to illness, and additionally, he wasn't his hitting seasonal averages after an initial burst when Towns went down. The combination of Towns' return and a clean bill of health should free up Wiggins to do what he does best: move the ball to play-makers and create shots on his own without the pressure of carrying the offense.
Carmelo Anthony, POR ($6,100) vs. GS
It's a prime spot for Anthony to absorb some value in this tiny waiting period before Ariza gets fully acclimated to his new role in Portland. Even if Ariza plays tonight, I think Anthony will receive plenty of court time as well as some hefty ownership numbers, but at a price just below the DK median he's a great cash option.
Also consider: Jayson Tatum, BOS ($6,900) vs. LAL
Draymond Green, GS ($5,700) @ POR
I'll again refer to the recent transition taking place in Portland as a decent opportunity to play some Warriors for once, and with Glenn Robinson III potentially out tonight, Green should be called upon to do more, especially on defense. If they are giving Draymond the green light, I don't think the sprained finger that sidelined him Saturday should be much of a concern.
Joe Ingles, UTA ($5,300) vs. IND
The Jazz will face a slightly gassed Indiana team on a back-to-back, and although I haven't given much love to Jazz players in this article, I have nothing against their premier guys, especially Rudy Gobert ($8,100). Ingles remains a great value as Utah toils without a sound complement to Donovan Mitchell. Mike Conley hasn't worked out the way they hoped and although he recently returned to action, he wasn't doing much when he was healthy. Recently they've used Ingles in multiple positions, but he's definitely assumed a slightly larger role in the backcourt.
Gary Trent Jr., POR ($3,200) vs. GS
If you thought I was just going to tell you that McCollum didn't have a pivot, think again. I think Trent deserved special mention in the value plays section and couldn't be buried in the injury report. He was pretty special as he spelled McCollum in 38 minutes of work on the way to a 30/5/1 line, and I see no reason why we shouldn't trust Trent with the same role against the Warriors.
Also consider: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL ($4,500) @ BOS
I'd definitely cull the info from the injury report as players like Kyle Kuzma and Marcus Smart could definitely reap huge dividends. Be sure to check back in with RotoWire before game lock to get all the up-to-date information on the latest developments.