This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
With only six games left in the regular season, the injuries have piled up, elites are resting, new faces have emerged, and just a few teams are fighting for postseason positioning. I've got a lengthy injury list for you tonight, and some interesting new names that could give you considerable value on this nine-game slate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) QUESTIONABLE: Giannis was held out of Monday's game, and I would be surprised if they pushed him to play tonight against the Nets. D.J. Wilson ($3,500) saw the most significant boost on Sunday, so he's a great drop candidate. I am usually a fan of Khris Middleton ($7,400) in this scenario, but he was a scratch last night and is questionable to play with a groin injury. If Middleton can't go, my best bet is Pat Connaughton ($4,800). We are going to have to take a wait-and-see approach on this spot.
Joel Embiid (rest) and Jimmy Butler (back) OUT: Let the load management spots begin! Embiid will rest once again tonight, and it looks like the Sixers have elected to replace him with a three-headed committee of Boban Marjanovic, Jonah Bolden and Amir Johnson. Bolden will start again, so I'm most inclined to give him a GPP run at $4,500. James Ennis will fill Butler's spot in the starting five.
Luka Doncic (thigh) DOUBTFUL: Reports suggest that Doncic will probably be held out again tonight, which isn't surprising considering that the Mavs have nothing to play for at this point. Trey Burke ($3,600) will likely see more time, but I suspect the Mavs may start kicking the tires of some of their other options as the season draws to a close.
Blake Griffin (knee) OUT: There aren't a lot of options to replace Blake for the Pistons. I'd expect Thon Maker to start again, but I don't see myself going with anyone beyond Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson against a tough Indiana defense.
Kevin Love (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE: This is another center-by-committee situation should Love miss the game. Larry Nance ($7,000) is your pricey option, and it looks like Tristan Thompson ($4,500) is 100 percent and worth a flier, but only if Love is a scratch.
Deandre Ayton (ankle) OUT: An Ayton scratch was a rarity this season. Dragan Bender ($5,000) would be the obvious value play with Richaun Holmes (head) also questionable tonight. If Holmes manages to take the floor, he should be in line to absorb some of Ayton's production.
Zach LaVine (thigh) OUT: He's out again, so fantasy darling Shaquille Harrison ($6,200) will keep things rolling in what seems to be a favorable matchup against the Knicks. Lauri Markkanen will also be out tonight, so look for Robin Lopez and Cristiano Felicio to handle duties in the interior.
Darren Collison and Wesley Matthews are both OUT for Indiana. Expect Cory Joseph and Tyreke Evans to pick up most of the slack, with rookie Aaron Holiday likely re-entering the rotation off the bench.
Whew! And that was just the relevant news. There are also several ongoing situations where we can find value on the slate.
Damian Lillard, POR at MIN ($10,500): The Blazers are on the fourth game of a road stretch, but I expect Lillard to come in swinging once again against a T-Wolves team that is hurting in the backcourt. His three-game history against Minnesota isn't the best, but you can throw a lot of those metrics out the window with C.J. McCollum still sidelined.
Jalen Brunson, DAL vs. PHI ($5,500): Brunson is Dallas' future at point guard alongside Doncic in the backcourt, and I like his chances tonight with Luka on the sidelines. While he hasn't posted eye-popping totals, he should end up in the 30 FDFP neighborhood tonight.
Devin Booker, PHO vs. CLE ($11,500): Booker has the most favorable of matchups against Cleveland and will likely be highly owned. That won't keep me from using him as a cash anchor tonight, however. With a solid 40 FDFP floor and the potential to explode for heaps more, I'm firing up Booker and giving him a lot of exposure in a game that checks all the boxes.
Walter Lemon Jr., CHI at NY ($3,500): Enter the potential Shaquille Harrison killer! After a huge 46.8 FDFP debut, the Bulls will be happy to give him another go, and I predict he will start at the two on Monday alongside Harrison. I anticipate he'll provide considerable salary relief as we head into the home stretch.
Joe Ingles, UTA vs. CHA ($7,000): Ingles is on a nice two-game run, and I expect him to pitch in a bit more inside in Derrick Favors' absence. His lackluster showing in one game versus Charlotte should keep his ownership way down, so I like him in either format tonight against the Hornets.
Bonzie Colson, MIL at BKN ($3,500): Feeling lucky? Give Colson a go again, especially if he starts over Giannis tonight. He put up a shocking 42 FDFP in a starting role, and sure, his excellent outing is likely an aberration, even with the obvious bump in minutes. Either way, the Bucks seem to have found a handy solution if they want to keep Giannis fresh for the playoffs.
Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. ORL ($8,000): His price is too reasonable to pass up if the game script cooperates, but the last game in Chicago was a bit of a head-scratcher, as Siakam was benched in favor of a Marc Gasol/Serge Ibaka tandem. Granted, they probably didn't need to do much to win on Saturday, and Orlando is a much tougher opponent. Unless I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume a start for Siakam tonight.
Khem Birch, ORL at TOR ($3,800): The Magic are giving Birch a bit more time, and while I wouldn't expect miracles here, he doesn't need to do a lot to meet value at this price. I question the overall competitiveness of this game, especially if Toronto comes in firing with all of their starters on the floor. Birch's value would undoubtedly go up if the game gets out of hand.
Andre Drummond, DET at IND ($10,700): With Blake Griffin sidelined, it's hard to keep away from Drummond. While his average against the Pacers isn't all that great, Griffin's absence gives the big man an utterly different script inside, and while his ownership might spike in this scenario, I ultimately think he'll be worth the cash. Drummond's usage dwarfs all other Pistons when Griffin is off the floor, and his rebounding totals in two games against Indy were excellent.
Mitchell Robinson, CHI at NY ($8,000): I don't have to tell you that Karl-Anthony Towns is a chalk play on any given night, and with so many low-cost options, you can definitely afford him, but on a night with several elites at the five, Robinson might slip by in what I think could be a real value against the Bulls, who will be without Lauri Markkanen and won't offer much inside resistance. Robinson has shut down DeAndre Jordan completely and should hold on to a starting role down the stretch.
I normally conclude my column with a list of must-drop candidates, but the injury pivots and plays I've illustrated give you plenty of options in that category, and some of them might even outplay your higher-priced selections. For that reason alone, tonight's slate should be a wild one. Keep tabs on all the late-breaking injury updates on RotoWire's injury page.