This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a robust slate by Saturday standards, as there eight games on the docket. There are some big names sporting injury designations, but many of those players could ultimately take the floor. That includes Luka Donic, who could be making his return from a heel injury and therefore play alongside Kyrie Irving for the first time.
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There are six games with spreads of five games or less as of early Saturday morning, which is a welcome sight with respect to the prospects for competitive games. Meanwhile, there are five games with projected totals above 230 points, and while the Mavericks-Kings game is off the board as of early Saturday while Luka Doncic's status remains up in the air, that contest could also eventually carry number in that range.
Injury Situations to Monitor
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Anthony Davis, LAL (foot): PROBABLE
Davis appears set to continue playing through his probable designation and could be in line for another night of hefty usage if LeBron James (ankle) is sidelined again.
Luka Doncic, DAL (heel): GTD
If Doncic can suit up, he'll be playing alongside Kyrie Irving for the first time and will undoubtedly make a significant dent in his new backcourt mate's usage.
LeBron James, LAL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE
If James suits up, he'll be playing his first game alongside trade-deadline acquisition D'Angelo Russell and could benefit from the latter's facilitation skills.
Jamal Murray, DEN (knee): QUESTIONABLE
If Murray misses a fourth straight game, Bruce Brown could remain in the starting five.
Aaron Gordon, DEN (ribs): QUESTIONABLE
If Gordon can't suit up, Jeff Green could draw a spot start at power forward.
Other notable injuries:
Stephen Curry, GSW (lower leg): OUT
Kyle Kuzma, WAS (ankle): OUT
Kelly Oubre, CHA (hand): OUT
Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): OUT
Mitchell Robinson, NYK (thumb): OUT
Jordan Clarkson, UTA (illness): GTD
Tre Jones, SAN (knee): GTD
DeMar DeRozan, CHI (hip): PROBABLE
We have four players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Saturday's slate – Nikola Jokic ($12,000), Luka Doncic ($11,800), Anthony Davis ($10,800) and LeBron James ($10,400).
Jokic has scored 54.4 FD points or more in five straight games and could potentially take the floor Saturday without both Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon.
Doncic is sporting a questionable tag due to his heel injury, and if he plays, it will be interesting to see how much his usage is affected by the presence of Kyrie Irving.
Davis scored just 40.2 FD points across 35 minutes against the Bucks on Thursday night despite LeBron James' absence, and Saturday, he'll be joined by a new high-usage point guard in D'Angelo Russell.
If James plays after getting Thursday night off, he'll be looking to exceed 50 FD points for the fourth time in the last six games but will be sharing the floor with Russell for the first time, which could lead to a slight dip in usage.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Trae Young, ATL ($9,700)
Young is coming off having scored 59.4 FD points across 38 minutes against the Suns on Thursday, and he's scored at least 42.6 in five of the last six overall.
Kyrie Irving, DAL ($9,400)
Irving has hit the ground running with the Mavericks by scoring 37.3 and 44.6 FD points in his first two games, and although Doncic could join him on Saturday, the recent arrival should still be popular.
Julius Randle, NYK ($9,300)
Randle just put together yet another 40-plus FD-point tally on Friday night against the 76ers, his 11th straight game over the 40-mark.
Kristaps Porzingis, WAS ($9,200)
Porzingis just racked up 54.8 FD points against the Hornets on Wednesday, and he'd posted 48 to 60.3 FD points in three of the previous four contests as well.
Nikola Vucevic, CHI ($8,800)
Vucevic posted another double-double against the Nets on Thursday but fell below 40 FD points for the first time in seven games. Nevertheless, he should remain very popular due to his recent body of work, which includes seven straight double-doubles overall.
Deni Avdija, WAS vs. IND ($6,300)
Avdija enters Saturday's game in the midst of a strong stretch in which he's averaged 32.3 FD points on the strength of 15.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 assists while shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range over the last eight contests. Avdija is slated to be in the starting five again with Kyle Kuzma (ankle) still sidelined, and the opposing Pacers are tied for the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating allowed to small forwards (23.6) and are surrendering the second-highest three-point shooting percentage (39.2) to the position as well. Indy is also conceding the second-most FD points per game to threes (43.2) and most rebounds (9.1) per contest to the position as well.
Zach Collins, SAS at ATL ($5,600)
Collins was a hit as the Spurs' new starting center in Friday's double-OT marathon against the Pistons, producing 46.7 FD points across 35 minutes on the strength of a 29-point, 11-rebound double-double. While he could certainly be feeling some fatigue Saturday as a result, Collins' salary remains very reasonable, and he should also have plenty of energy reserves considering he'd been operating in a modest second-unit role all season behind the recently traded Jakob Poeltl. He now gets a crack at a Hawks squad allowing the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating to centers (35.2), along with a robust 54.5 FD points per contest to the position.
Onyeka Okongwu, ATL vs. SAS ($5,300)
Okongwu turned in yet another impressive showing off the bench against the Suns on Thursday, generating 30.2 FD points on the strength of an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double in only 22 minutes. The young big has three double-digit scoring efforts in the last five games overall, and he's exceeded 30 FD points on three occasions overall in the 10 games since he returned to a second-unit role. The Spurs should make for a viable target Saturday night, as they're coming off a tiring double-overtime loss to the Pistons on Friday and are already allowing a Western Conference-high 36.0 offensive efficiency rating to centers, along with an NBA-high 69.5 FD points per game to centers in the last 15 contests. To top it off, San Antonio is yielding an NBA-high 49.7 offensive efficiency rating to bench players are is tied for the second-most rebounds per contest surrendered to second-unit players as well (16.4), furthering Okongwu's case at a very reasonable salary.
ALSO CONSIDER: Daniel Gafford, WAS vs. IND ($6,000); Collin Sexton, UTA at NYK ($5,500); Bruce Brown, DEN at CHA ($5,500); Malaki Branham, SAS at ATL ($5,000)