This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
After a busy Monday night, we're down to a five-game slate Tuesday, and it's one that's going to be missing three of the biggest stars in the league due to injury. That opens up plenty of usage opportunities for other players on those teams, some who won't have salaries that account for their expanded roles. We also do have enough healthy players in the upper echelon to enable paying up for potential elite production, and the extra value created by some of the aforementioned absences could allow for rostering two high-end options while building a viable lineup around them.
Here's a closer look at the two games with projected totals on FanDuel Sportsbook as of early Tuesday morning:
Minnesota Timberwolves at Sacramento Kings (Projected total: 237.5 points)
These two teams have both been involved in games with the highest projected total of the night on many occasions this season, so it's no surprise a contest that pits them against the other carries the most elevated offensive expectations of the ledger. The first game between these squads finished with a total of 222 points, but Sacramento is now allowing an NBA-high 118.6 points per game and Minnesota is right behind them with 118.1 points per contest surrendered, including 121.2 per road tilt. The T-Wolves also average an NBA-high 106.8 possessions per road game, which also helps support the notion of a high-scoring affair.
Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks (Projected total: 219.0 points)
The two teams combined for 227 points in their first game back in early March and currently have the stats that support this total. The Hawks are allowing 111.4 points per contest, while the Magic are giving up 112.0 points per game. Atlanta is also scoring 114.0 points per game and has John Collins back in the lineup, while Orlando has been a tick better offensively in a small sample recently, scoring 115 and 110 points in two of the last three contests.
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, 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.
James Harden, BKN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Kevin Durant, BKN (thigh)/ Status: OUT
Damian Lillard, POR (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Devonte' Graham, CHA (quadriceps)/ Status: QUESTIONABLE
Other notable injuries:
Gordon Hayward, CHA (foot)/ Status: OUT
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, NOP (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Richaun Holmes, SAC (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Jusuf Nurkic, POR (injury management)/ Status: OUT
Danilo Gallinari, ATL (foot)/ Status: OUT
Malik Beasley, MIN (hamstring)/ Status: OUT
Malik Monk, CHA (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Cam Reddish, ATL (Achilles)/ Status: OUT
De'Andre Hunter, ATL (knee)/ Status: OUT
Josh Hart, NOP (thumb)/ Status: OUT
James Ennis, ORL (calf)/ Status: OUT
Michael Carter-Williams, ORL (ankle)/ Status: OUT
Terrence Ross, ORL (back)/ Status: OUT
Otto Porter, ORL (foot)/ Status: OUT
Serge Ibaka, LAC (back)/ Status: OUT
Alec Burks, NYK (COVID-19 protocols)/ Status: OUT
James Johnson, NOP (groin)/ Status: DOUBTFUL
Serge Ibaka, LAC (back)/ Status: OUT
We have just one healthy player with a five-figure salary on Tuesday's slate – Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,800).
Towns exited Sunday's game versus the Clippers with a knee issue, but he's not even on the injury report Tuesday. Therefore, he should be set for a normal workload against a Kings team that's allowing the second-highest offensive efficiency (35.0 percent) to centers and that gave up 51.1 FD points to Towns in their one previous game against him.
Players with salaries in the high four figures capable of also delivering elite scores include Kawhi Leonard ($9,900), De'Aaron Fox ($9,900), Zion Williamson ($9,800), Trae Young ($9,500), Julius Randle ($9,400) and Kyrie Irving ($9,400).
Leonard scored 40.2 FD points over just 22 minutes in his return from a four-game absence Sunday and will be in an excellent spot against a Trail Blazers team he's already posted 54.1 and 52.9 FD points against in two prior games this season.
Fox is also set up well in the game with the highest projected total of the night against a T-Wolves team he recorded 53.7 FD points against in one prior meeting this season.
Williamson comes in on an extended tear that's seen him average 48.4 FD points per game over the last 15 contests, including six tallies of more than 50 FD points.
Young gets a premium positional matchup against Cole Anthony and the Magic's suspect backcourt defense, while Randle, much like Williamson, has taken his play to another level in the second half of the season while averaging 48.8 FD points in his last 19 games.
Finally, Irving will theoretically be in a good spot with both Harden and Durant out, although he has posted a pair of sub-30 FD-point tallies in his last four contests.
In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:
CJ McCollum, POR ($8,100)
He'll be rostered heavily with Lillard out, which should once again afford him the primary ball-handling role.
Norman Powell, POR ($6,200)
Like McCollum, he should be poised for increased offensive responsibility due to Lillard's absence.
Joe Harris, BKN ($4,600)
He's coming off a pair of recent games with more than 30 FD points and is averaging 32.1 FD points per 36 minutes without Harden and Durant on the floor.
Terry Rozier, CHA ($7,800)
Coming off three massive games with scores of 48.2 to 65.6 FD points, he should be in plenty of lineups even if Devonte' Graham returns.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, ATL ($7,100)
He still carries a reasonable salary despite averaging 39.7 FD points in his last 11 games.
Steven Adams, NOP ($6,000)
Adams is trending in the right direction after a multi-game stretch in which it appeared he was losing some playing time, as he's averaged 29.9 FD points per contest over the last four. Adams averaged an impressive 13.0 rebounds per game during that sample, which included a pair of double-doubles. He'll be in a good position to extend his strong play facing Nets team that's allowing the third-highest offensive efficiency (34.4 percent) to centers, along with the fourth-most FD points per game (47.9) to the position in the last five contests. It's also worth noting Brooklyn is also allowing the second-most steals per game (1.6) to centers, while Adams has recorded multiple thefts in three of the last four contests.
Enes Kanter, POR vs. LAC ($5,500)
Jusuf Nurkic will sit out Tuesday's game for injury management purposes, meaning Kanter should get a run with the starting five. The veteran has averaged 34.5 FD points over his 34 starts this season on averages of 13.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists across 30.3 minutes. He's also averaged 28.8 FD points in two games against the Clippers, with Kanter coming off the bench and playing just 25 minutes in one of those contests. The matchup isn't an appealing one on paper by any stretch, but Kanter has already delivered over 5x his current salary in 31 of 56 games this season and sports a salary that isn't commensurate to the role he should fill.
Kevin Huerter, ATL vs. ORL ($5,400)
Huerter's salary remains unchanged from Sunday, when he posted 45.3 FD points against the Pacers on the strength of a 23-point, nine-rebound effort. That performance was an extension of a stretch of strong play as a starter for the third-year wing, who's averaged 28.8 FD points on 15.7 points, 4.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 steal across 32.9 minutes over the last nine contests with the first unit. De'Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Danilo Gallinari all remain out for the Hawks, which should give Huerter another hefty workload. The opposing Magic will also be down an important defender in James Ennis, and Orlando already comes in ranked in the bottom half of the league with 40.8 FD points per game allowed to small forwards while also surrendering the seventh-highest three-point percentage per road game (38.1). Finally, it's worth noting Huerter already compiled 32.7 FD points over 32 minutes in his one prior encounter with the Magic this season.
Landry Shamet, BKN at NOP ($4,400)
It was notably Shamet and not Kyrie Irving who led the Nets in scoring during Sunday's loss to the Heat, a game Kevin Durant left after four minutes on the court and that James Harden missed altogether. Shamet racked up 30 points on his way to 35.9 FD points over 37 minutes off the bench. What his exact role will be Tuesday remains to be seen, but his salary is such that it makes him a safe play in a game in which he should see minutes in the mid-20s at minimum. The Pelicans come in ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in offensive efficiency (44.1 percent) surrendered to second-unit players, and New Orleans is also allowing the second-highest three-point percentage (38.9) overall. Shamet is also averaging 28.4 FD points across 30.3 minutes in his last four contests, a stretch during which he's shooting a scalding 51.4 percent from deep.