This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Tuesday's NBA slate features eight games and begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. While there aren't many obviously exploitable matchups here, certain situations still stand out as more fantasy-friendly than others. The Pistons and Jazz will both be finishing back-to-back sets, while the remainder of teams in action come in fresh.
Games to Target
Kings (-2) vs. Trail Blazers O/U: 227
Both of these teams like to push the pace, as both allow more points per game than the league average. With plenty of fantasy-friendly options on both sides, this game offers intriguing lineup building blocks from across the price spectrum.
Jazz (-6.5) vs. Nets O/U: 217
Something has to give when a Jazz team that slows the game down to a crawl takes on a Nets squad that loves to run. Considering Utah has a few enticing fantasy pieces despite playing at a snail's pace, any increase in number of possessions against the Nets should only raise those players' value further, even with the Jazz finishing up a back-to-back set.
Games to Fade
Pacers (-3) vs. Thunder O/U: 211
This one projects as a defensive grind, as both of these teams rank among the 10 stingiest defenses. With plenty of alternatives to choose from on this slate, it's best to look elsewhere.
Heat (-7) vs. Pistons O/U: TBD
The Pistons are rounding out a back-to-back against a tough Heat defense, while Miami's rotation has some extra uncertainty with a few players questionable.
As has been the case with most slates, point guard and center offer the most depth and best selection of elite talent. With a few injuries limiting the power forward position, it's barely superior to shooting guard or small forward. Your UTIL spot should almost certainly go to a point guard or center.
Injury Situations to Monitor
De'Aaron Fox is questionable for the Kings after spraining his ankle in Monday's practice.
Ben Simmons has been sidelined by a shoulder injury since Nov. 6, but he's approaching a return and is listed as questionable against Cleveland. Regardless of the point guard's status, big man Al Horford will be rested by Philadelphia.
Caris LeVert sprained his thumb Sunday and won't dress for the Nets in Utah.
Anthony Davis (shoulder) is probable for the Lakers.
A lot of this slate's top players are faced with tricky matchups, but that's not the case for Damian Lillard ($9,500). Portland's point guard will face a Kings team that ranks among the league's 10 leakiest defenses against the position.
Joel Embiid ($9,400) is another guy who should be worth paying up for. With Horford resting, Embiid should have all the room to roam he can handle in the paint against Cleveland.
If you don't have the funds for Embiid, Nikola Jokic ($8,300) is a fine choice at $1,100 cheaper. His Nuggets will be playing host to the Hawks.
Donovan Mitchell ($7,900) is Utah's best source of offense, so he should be a popular pick against a Nets defense that's easily the worst in this slate with 121.7 points allowed per game. In addition to pouring in over 24 points per game this season, Mitchell has supplied at least four rebounds in each of his last six games and six-plus assists in each of the past four games.
Assuming Hassan Whiteside ($6,900) plays through his probable designation due to a right foot sprain, he'll be an enticing option in Sacramento. Whiteside is averaging a robust 14.9 PPG, 13.1 RPG and 2.0 blocks per game, and he didn't seem bothered by the injury at all in his last game, delivering 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks against the Hawks.
RJ Barrett ($5,900) has hit the skids with 12 combined points over the past two games, but he gets an ideal opportunity to bounce back against the Bulls. The best performance of his young career came in New York's Oct. 28 win over Chicago, as Barrett posted 19 points and 15 rebounds against the fellow Eastern Conference bottom-dwellers. His recent struggles set up a nice buy-low opportunity here.
Zach LaVine ($7,100) is another player in the Knicks-Bulls game who can be had a little cheaper than usual due to a recent slump. The offense will likely return against lowly New York, and if LaVine's newfound defensive contributions (six steals, three blocks in the last three games) persist, he'll be a steal at $7,100.
Cory Joseph ($3,700) has started to make a larger impact for Sacramento with at least nine points, four rebounds and four assists in each of the last two games. He managed those numbers in an average of 24 minutes per game, and Joseph would likely see a substantial increase in court time if Fox sits.
Sticking with the Kings, Richaun Holmes ($5,400) is a nice affordable big man option in what could be this slate's highest-scoring game. He's played at least 29 minutes in five of the past six games, averaging 12.2 PPG and 8.5 RPG over that span.
The previous meeting between New York and Chicago was the Bobby Portis ($5,500) revenge game, as he eviscerated his former team with 28 points and 11 rebounds en route to a 105-98 Knicks win at MSG. Expect Portis to once again play with extra motivation in his first road return to Chicago.