This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have an exciting eight-game slate on tap Tuesday, with stars such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic stepping onto the court. The first two contests of the evening are set to tip off at 7:00 PM Eastern time, and the final matchup of the night features the Trail Blazers and the Kings, set to begin at 10:00 PM Eastern.
If you've yet to plug in a lineup with FanDuel this season, here's a quick reminder that they've gone back to the old format, counting all nine of your players' scores within your lineup after dropping the lowest player's total a season ago. With each selection counting towards your score, it'll be vital to make each and every choice count.
Here we go!
Here are a few matchups to either target or avoid on this slate, based on their projected scoring total. It's often beneficial to add players to your lineup who are expected to play in favorable environments, especially if you're having trouble picking between two players.
Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings (Projected total: 226.5)
Anytime you've got Damian Lillard on your team, there's a chance for a big scoring night, and according to FanDuel's Sportsbook, this matchup has a chance to rack up the points. Both Portland and Sacramento are in the bottom half of the league when it comes to opponent points per contest, so we're not expecting an defensive struggle in this one. However, it's worth noting that De'Aaron Fox (ankle) has been ruled out for the next 3-to-4 weeks, so the Kings will be without one of their top producers.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers (Projected total: 209.5)
Although it's early in the year, the Thunder are ranked 21st in scoring with 107.3 PPG, and they'll go up against an Indiana squad with a 104.7 defensive rating (12th). The Pacers are banged up at the moment, with Jeremy Lamb (ankle), Myles Turner (ankle), Goga Bitadze (concussion) and Edmond Sumner (hand) all out, and Victor Oladipo (knee) still at least a few weeks away from returning. As a result, their offense is expected to struggle.
With eight contests lined up Tuesday, there will be plenty of stars and mid-to-low tier options out there, but shooting guard looks to be the weakest position of the five. Jimmy Butler ($9,400) is the top option, followed by Devin Booker ($8,800) and Donovan Mitchell ($8,400). These options are nothing to sneeze at, but there are no $10K players up for grabs at this position. However, there are plenty of mid-tier choices as you work your way down this list.
LeBron James ($11,500) sits atop the board at small forward, but we see a pretty significant dropoff after LeBron, as Tobias Harris ($7,300), Harrison Barnes ($6,700) and Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,600) follow. Given the amount of depth elsewhere within this slate, it's certainly worth considering paying up for James.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Ben Simmons, PHI
Simmons is questionable for Tuesday's contest due to a right shoulder strain. He was initially expected to miss the contest but was upgraded to a game-time call Monday afternoon. With Shake Milton (knee) doubtful, if Simmons can't go, Raul Neto and Trey Burke could benefit.
Tyler Herro, MIA
Herro has been a key contributor off the bench this season for Miami, but he'll be a game-time decision Tuesday due to an ankle injury. His availability will become clearer following shootaround.
Kelly Olynyk, MIA
Wendell Carter, CHI
Carter has been probable for the last few contests due to a thumb issue, but he hasn't missed any time. The expectation is that he'll be available for his usual workload Tuesday.
Alex Len, ATL
Len is questionable with a sprained left ankle, an injury suffered during Sunday's game against Portland. Damian Jones and/or Bruno Fernando would likely have a chance to step up in the event that Len is ruled out.
Cam Reddish, ATL
Reddish is listed as probable on Atlanta's injury report due to a left shoulder sprain. He came off the bench for the first time in his young NBA career Sunday, so his role remains uncertain heading into Tuesday's clash.
Rajon Rondo, LAL
Rondo has been unable to make his 2019-20 debut due to a lingering calf injury. He's questionable for Tuesday's game against the Suns.
Anthony Davis, LAL
Davis has been nursing a shoulder injury since late October, but even after suffering a minor setback Sunday, he's expected to take the court Tuesday. His status should be cleared up shortly after shootaround.
Rodney Hood, POR
Hood was held out of Sunday's game due to back spasms, but he's probable for Tuesday's showdown against Sacramento. Assuming he's cleared to play, expect the Duke product to take on his typical workload.
With 16 teams in action Tuesday night, there's plenty of elite talent to be had. Damian Lillard ($10,500), LeBron James ($11,500), Anthony Davis ($11,700), Joel Embiid ($10,800) and Andre Drummond ($10,400) are the players priced at $10K or higher for the night. Kyrie Irving ($9,900) and Trae Young ($9,600) are also great options at point guard despite sitting in the $9K range.
Heading over to power forward, Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) and Blake Griffin ($8,600) are two enticing options priced below the other stars of the night. Nikola Jokic ($9,000) is another great choice at center when looking to save a few bucks – he's put up 58 and 43.7 FD points in his last two games.
The majority of Tuesday's chalk plays will come from stars such as James, Davis, Lillard and Embiid, especially with a big name at nearly every position. Given the projected total of Portland at Sacramento, Lillard may be an especially popular play.
Heading to Philadelphia, Ben Simmons (shoulder) is a guy who should be heavily owned, as he'll face a favorable matchup on his home floor (if he's cleared to play). Cleveland is allowing 64.2 FD points per game to opposing point guards, which is the worst in the league.
Nemanja Bjelica, SAC vs. POR ($4,300)
As previously mentioned, the Kings are dealing with several key injuries, opening the door for Bjelica to see more playing time. He's made seven consecutive starts at power forward and is in line to run with the first unit yet again Tuesday against a Portland team that's giving up 57.7 FD points to power forwards in the early going. He's no Anthony Davis, but he's scored in double figures in five of his last six contests and has shown upside when distributing the basketball as well as on the boards.
Jamal Murray, DEN vs. ATL ($7,200)
Murray isn't exactly a traditional "value play," but you can't argue with the matchup here, as he'll face off against an Atlanta defense that's allowing 60.2 FanDuel points to opposing point guards on average. I'm also drawn to this pick because of the abundance of talent at point guard, especially in the Tier 1 range. Murray is putting up 32.2 FD points per contest this year and could fly under the radar with the likes of Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving headlining the slate at point guard.