This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
We've got a slim slate on DraftKings tonight with a wide assortment of elites, but I've got some deep values to round out your lineups.
DEN (-10) @ CHA, O/U: 207
HOU (-0.5) vs. LAC, O/U: 236.5
SAC (-5) vs. PHI, O/U: 219
TOR (-8) @ GS, O/U: 225
All hail the return of Stephen Curry ($8,000) tonight. Aside from the LAC/HOU playoff preview matchup, Curry's return is easily the biggest news on the slate tonight, but I would use caution here, as Curry is well known for taking some time before his shot gets humming. His price is just a little high for me to consider him.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Both Ben Simmons (back) and Joel Embiid (shoulder) remain out for Philly. Josh Richardson (concussion) is also out, so Alec Burks ($5,000) should see more time and possibly join Shake Milton ($6,500) and Tobias Harris ($7,900) as a primary producer in the starting lineup.
Fred VanVleet (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
There are conflicting reports about the severity of this injury, but we could see VanVleet back on the floor as early as tonight, though he would likely be limited if he plays. While Norman Powell ($6,600) would draw the start in VanVleet's absence, it's worth mentioning that OG Anunoby ($6,400) is playing like a man possessed in this game script, with totals ranging from 30 to 60 DKFP over the past three games. Some of that is also due to Serge Ibaka's (knee) absence. He is also questionable tonight.
Devonte' Graham (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
I suspect Graham will remain out for one more game, as the Hornets have no need to risk Graham's health when they have nothing to play for. Cody Martin ($4,500) would once again get extended minutes if Graham remains out.
There are three ways to go for elites on this slim slate – load up on Houston, load up on the Clippers, or work out a combo of the two. James Harden's ($10,700) three-game average against the Clippers is 24 DKFP more than Russell Westbrook's ($10,000) efforts in these games, so Harden is easily the better cash game play. On the LA side, I think both Kawhi Leonard ($9,300) and Paul George ($7,400) are priced right for this lightning-fast matchup, and I actually like George a bit better despite some tepid stat lines recently. Cash games for me will likely work out to a Harden/George core, while I would consider Westbrook/Leonard in GPP contests. The previously mentioned Tobias Harris ($7,900) should also find a way into your cash core, but we'll need some low-priced value to afford three elites. We'll try to find some below.
While both Kyle Lowry ($8,400) and Pascal Siakam ($9,100) stick out in this price range as well, I'm inclined to wait and see about VanVleet's status before I start clicking Raptors. This could also be a lopsided affair, which would warrant less exposure to this duo.
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
Robert Covington, HOU ($6,700) vs LAC
Don't let Covington's game history with the Clippers fool you, as both contests occurred before his trade to the Rockets. Players across both squads should be targeted as this is by far the slate's fastest game, and it's hard to ignore Covington's streak of two double-doubles that were worth an average of 47.5 DKFP over the past two games.
Buddy Hield, SAC ($5,900) vs. PHI
Hield's ability to beat 5x value at this price is in play tonight, as he was successful in putting up 35 DKFP against a stronger Philly team in their first matchup. While De'Aaron Fox is expected to play, Hield should do his part in steering the offense and will no doubt try to warm up his three-point shot in an attempt to off the injury-plagued Sixers. Hield needs a few more minutes of court time to really blow up, however. Over the past five games, he's only played an average of 24 minutes. Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,500) is probably a slightly safer play in this spot, and is a more reasonable cash play as opposed to Hield, who is better suited for tournaments.
Keep Toronto values Anunoby and Powell in mind, but wait for an updated injury report on VanVleet and Ibaka before going that route.
Paul Millsap, DEN ($4,600) @ CHA
I suppose we're fortunate to have Millsap saddled with injuries so often. Otherwise, we'd never get him at this price with such consistency. He returned to action with a value-beating 32 DKFP against the Warriors, and barring any late news we should see a healthy Millsap take the floor and log around 25 minutes. If he's able to grab his share of rebounds, he'll come in with a nice number for this price.
Mychal Mulder, GS ($4,000) vs. TOR
I think Steve Kerr is going to run with this kid through season's end as he searches for his 2020-21 list of starters. Although watching the Warriors with any regularity is challenging at best, I had the chance to watch Mulder start against Denver two nights ago, and the Kentucky product fit right in. He restricted his shooting to beyond the arc and drilled five threes in the process. If he draws another start opposite Steph Curry tonight, an uptick is definitely possible.
Jalen McDaniels, CHA ($3,600) vs. DEN
This is the time of year when teams that are out of contention start to kick the tires of their bench players to see what they have to work with. The San Diego State product hasn't seen much action yet, but I think that will change as the season draws to a close. He played for 27 minutes and logged 24 DKFP in Charlotte's last game against the Spurs, so there's definitely upside for the rookie at this bargain price.