Saturday features a five-game main slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
The Lakers are going to be playing without LeBron James for at least the next week, which means Russell Westbrook is going to have to pick up the slack. He’s more than capable of doing that. Westbrook has increased his usage rate by +5.5% with LeBron off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.41 DraftKings points per minute. He’s been even more effective in three full games without LeBron, averaging 50.83 DraftKings points per game.
Anthony Davis is also questionable on Saturday, and Westbrook would be close to a must-play if he’s also ruled out. He’s increased his usage rate to an absurd 45.3% with LeBron and AD off the court this season, and he’s averaged 1.71 DraftKings points per minute.
Mike Conley is coming off back-to-back big games, scoring at least 35.6 FanDuel points in both contests. That said, his salary has stayed pretty stagnant on FanDuel. He’s still priced at a discount at just $5,600, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 95%. Conley has historically been a great target in that price range, averaging a Plus/Minus of +5.16 (per the Trends tool).
Conley has a tough matchup on Saturday vs. the Heat, but he could benefit from the absence of Donovan Mitchell. He’s currently listed as questionable, and Conley would be one of the biggest beneficiaries if he’s unable to suit up.
Damian Lillard‘s slump has been one of the biggest stories of the NBA season. He had another dismal shooting game on Friday, making just 2 of 13 shots from the field. He’s now shooting a paltry 33.7% from the field and 21.7% from 3-point range, which are easily the worst marks of his career. Still, I continue to believe he’ll turn things around, and he’s in a great spot Saturday vs. the Lakers. His Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.67 on FanDuel is the top mark at the position.
Dennis Schroder stands out as one of the best values at the position on DraftKings. His $5,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 79%, and he should see a boost in value with Jaylen Brown out of the lineup. Schroder has averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for more than 30 minutes in our NBA Models.
Luka Doncic has been quiet to start the year. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of -2.85 on FanDuel, which has caused his price tag to drop to just $10,200. That’s a very fair price tag for Doncic. He’s historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.76 with a comparable salary.
Doncic’s per-minute production is down to start the year, but there’s no reason to expect that to continue. His usage rate, assist rate, and rebound rate are all in line with his marks from last season, he just hasn’t shot particularly well to start the year. He’s made just 42.2% of his shots from the field and 25.4% from 3-point range, so he’s due for some positive regression.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has posted a negative Plus/Minus in two straight games, which has caused his salary to dip to just $4,800 on FanDuel. That results in a Bargain Rating of 87%, and he’s an appealing buy-low target at this price tag. He’s currently projected for just under 30 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s the type of player who can average a fantasy point per minute.
The 76ers are still playing shorthanded. Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Isaiah Joe are all out due to health and safety protocols, while Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz are questionable. If Korkmaz is able to suit up, he’s a very appealing target. He’s averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s scored at least 22.25 DraftKings points in his past two games.
If Mitchell is active, he’s an interesting option at $8,000 on FanDuel. He leads the league with a 35.2% usage rate, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 36.0% in each of his past three games.
Jayson Tatum hasn’t played particularly well to start the year, but he should carry a larger workload than usual on Saturday. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.9% with Brown off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.13 DraftKings points per minute. That gives him a bit more appeal against the Mavericks, who are essentially league-average in terms of defensive efficiency.
Norman Powell stands out as one of the strongest options of the day on DraftKings. He’s priced at just $4,800, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%, and he’s also in an excellent spot vs. the Lakers. The Blazers are currently implied for 112.0 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
Powell has also been very good this season, averaging 0.96 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s played at least 32.1 minutes in three of his past four games. He’s scored at least 37.5 DraftKings points in his past two, so he’s massively underpriced at the moment.
The Suns own the top implied team total on the slate, so Mikal Bridges is worth some consideration on FanDuel. His $5,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%, and his matchup vs. the Hawks results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.24.
Danny Green is another potential option for the shorthanded 76ers if he’s able to suit up. He’s not nearly as effective as Korkmaz on a per-minute basis, but he should see a solid handful of minutes given the team’s COVID situation.
AD becomes one of the top studs on the slate if he’s in the lineup on Saturday. He’s been easily the team’s top fantasy producer in games without LeBron this season, averaging 58.0 DraftKings points. He hasn’t seen quite as large of a usage bump as Westbrook in that situation, but he’s increased his usage rate, assist rate, and rebound rate in games without his star teammate. Davis has also seen a large bump in playing time, averaging a whopping 39 minutes per game.
If Davis is a full go vs. the Blazers, he has massive upside. The Blazers have struggled against opposing big men this season, giving Davis an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.11 on FanDuel.
Larry Nance Jr. has struggled to carve out a consistent role with the Blazers. He’s routinely playing around 18 minutes per game, which is just enough to put him on the fantasy radar. He’s averaged a respectable 0.84 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to pay off his $3,200 salary.
Sticking with the Blazers, Robert Covington is the better bet for minutes at power forward. He’s played at least 30.4 minutes in back-to-back games, and he’s racked up at least 26.0 FanDuel points in both contests. He’s currently projected for just under 30 minutes in our NBA Models, and Covington has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +11.62 with a comparable salary and minute projection.
Kristaps Porzingis has missed the past five games for the Mavericks, but he’s been upgraded to questionable for Saturday’s matchup vs. the Celtics. If he’s able to suit up, he has some appeal for tournaments at just $7,000 on FanDuel. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.09 vs. the Celtics, and Porzingis has the ability to rack up fantasy points quickly. He’s one of the few big men in the league who can knock down 3-pointers and protect the rim, which is an appealing skill set for fantasy.
Joel Embiid is one of the toughest players to evaluate on Saturday’s slate. He’s clearly playing through an injury at the moment, which has hampered his fantasy production. He’s averaged just 1.36 DraftKings points per minute this season, which is well below his mark from last year. His usage rate and rebound rate are both down, and he’s scored 41.3 FanDuel points or fewer in four of his past five games.
Still, his upside for the shorthanded 76ers is undeniable. Embiid has played 242 minutes with Harris and Ben Simmons off the court since the start of last year, and he’s averaged 1.81 FanDuel points per minute. That number has come down considerably since the start of the year, but Embiid still has the potential for a blowup performance vs. the Bulls. His ownership could also be down given his recent play, so he’s the ultimate GPP pivot off someone like Davis.
It’s hard to go too cheap at center. No one is really popping as a value option, so spending up at the position seems like your best bet.
Deandre Ayton is about as cheap as I’m willing to go on DraftKings. He’s currently questionable, but he was able to play through a questionable tag in his last contest. He played just 25.8 minutes, but he still finished with 34.25 DraftKings points. His $6,500 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%, so he’s definitely viable if he’s active.
Clint Capela stands out as underpriced on FanDuel. He owns a Bargain Rating of 92%, and his playing time is trending in the right direction. He’s played at least 32.4 minutes in each of his past three games, including a season-high 35.9 minutes in his last contest. Capela has historically been an elite producer on a per-minute basis, so he’s unsurprisingly returned value in all three contests. He’s an excellent target vs. the Suns.
Nikola Vucevic draws a tough matchup vs. Embiid and the 76ers, but he leads the slate with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel. He’s also a nice value on FanDuel, where his $8,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.