This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
The main slate on DraftKings features four games, with the first tipping off at 7:30PM Eastern time. There are no shortage of studs, as five players come in over 10k. Value appears extremely limited at first glance, so monitoring news will be extra important. The Spurs and Hornets are the only teams on a back-to-back, so most players should be rested and ready to go.
MIL (-6) at NOP O/U 245
This game features the highest total on the slate. Both teams are in the top five in pace, and the Bucks, while usually known for strong defense, have given up an average of 122 points to opponents over their last three with the Pelicans averaging 124 points over their last three.
HOU (-14) vs CHA O/U 224.5
DEN (-4.5) vs POR O/U 224
This game should be competitive but may fly under the radar compared to the other three. You can gain some leverage potentially by going with a game stack in hopes it turns into a shootout with the others facing blowout concerns.
LAL (-12) vs SAS O/U 229
Injury Situations to Monitor
Jamal Murray (ankle) remains questionable after missing the last 10 games. His status should become clearer closer to tipoff.
James Harden ($12,000) is no surprise here. With Westbrook doubtful, Harden will be relied on to carry the offense. His usage rate reaches astronomical levels – over 49 percent – with Westbrook and Clint Capela off the floor. Charlotte plays little to no defense on a nightly basis, giving up 110 points per game, so this sets up extremely well for the Rockets superstar to find success.
Depending on how you think the Hornets/Rockets games goes, a Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) pivot from Harden could make a lot of sense. The matchup against the Pelicans projects to be closer and features the highest total on the slate. Giannis has scored over 60 fantasy points in his last four games and should come in at lower ownership. However, the stars and scrubs approach with Antetokounmpo plus Harden may also be a popular build, so some game theory comes into play when deciding how to construct your lineups.
Damian Lillard ($10,300) get an honorable mention here. He should be somewhat overlooked on this slate with most gravitating towards the two players priced above him. The matchup against Denver isn't the best but Lillard has been unstoppable over his last six games, averaging close to 75 fantasy points per contest.
Expected Chalk and Other Targets
Zion Williamson ($7,100) has had mixed results since his NBA debut. After seeing over 30 minutes versus the Rockets on Sunday, he gets a $600 discount here facing a tough Bucks defense, but if the Pelicans expect to keep this close they will need a big game from him. Power forward is one spot Milwaukee struggles to defend, giving up over 45 fantasy points per game to the position.
Devonte' Graham ($6,800) sees his lowest price tag in close to a month. He tends to thrive in fast-paced matchups and gets one here against Houston, who play at the second-fastest pace (106.4) in the league. Even in the event of a blowout he should still get over 30 minutes, making him a solid floor play at a decreased salary.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,200) continues to see his price plummet despite coming off a 50 fantasy point explosion against the Clippers on Monday. The Spurs stay in Los Angeles, so the back-to-back shouldn't have too much effect. The Lakers are one of the best in the league versus big men, but Aldridge's affordable salary leaves plenty of upside as long as the Spurs can keep the game close.
Eric Gordon ($5,300) is just way too cheap with Westbrook expected to be out. He generally sees minutes in the mid 30's and should get some extra usage here. You could gain some leverage with a fade, but at this price he seems like the best point per dollar play available.
Josh Hart ($4,700) has been seeing solid minutes with the Pelicans' second unit, playing 25 or more in five of his last six games. He's flashed 40 fantasy point upside, making him a nice cheap option on a slate with little value to be found.
Willy Hernangomez ($3,800) saw 21 minutes Monday with PJ Washington unavailable due to an ankle injury. He didn't have a great game fantasy wise but gets a nice matchup here against the Rockets, who are expected to be without Clint Capela. Keep an eye on the status of Washington as we get closer to tipoff.