Saturday brings a nine-game all-day slate starting at 5pm ET. The eight-game main slate begins at 7pm. Let’s jump in.
Stephen Curry somehow remains only $9,100 on FanDuel, where he owns 12 Pro Trends and an 81 percent Bargain Rating. He’s playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, but it’s against the Milwaukee Bucks, who have allowed 0.8 FD points above salary-based expectations to PGs this year — the seventh-worst mark in the slate (per our Plus/Minus metric). Steph struggled a bit last night against the revamped Celtics defense, scoring ‘only’ 36.9 FD points in 36.3 minutes of action. He shot 2-of-10 from the 3-point line and scored only 16 points. He’s due for some regression and, again, he’s only $9,100. He’s certainly viable in all contest formats.
On the other side of that GS-Boston matchup last night was another PG who really struggled, Isaiah Thomas. He had easily the worst game of his season, scoring 26.5 DraftKings points in only 27.6 minutes of action. The low minutes aren’t too concerning, as this game turned into a blowout quickly after halftime. Tonight he gets an easier matchup: He’ll face a Pistons team that ranks seventh in the league defensively yet has allowed 1.0 FD points above salary-based expectations to PGs this year — the sixth-worst mark in the league. Thomas’ low $7,700 DK price tag gives him an implied total of 36.15 points, a mark he’s easily exceeded in nine of his 12 games this year. There aren’t many values at PG today, but Thomas is definitely a bit underpriced on DK.
Kemba Walker had a really tough matchup last night against the top-ranked Atlanta defense, but he gets an easier one tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans: The Hornets are currently five-point road favorites implied by Vegas for 105.5 points. He’ll likely start against Tim Frazier, although he’ll see a bit of Jrue Holiday as well, who returned to the Pels last night and played very well, scoring 36.9 FD points in 23.2 minutes of action. People could definitely be scared off Kemba because of Jrue’s return — he’s always been a great defender — but Jrue will likely continue to be eased back into the rotation. Kemba currently has a high 52-point projected ceiling on DK, and could have lower ownership than the studs right above him in Chris Paul and John Wall.
The Warriors held the Boston Celtics to only 88 points last night and put together a solid defensive performance. That said, they’re still very hot and cold on that side of the floor and have an average defensive rank on the year, allowing 104.6 points per 100 possessions. Giannis Antetokounmpo gets them tonight on the second leg of a back-to-back and Vegas doesn’t seem to hate them: The Bucks are currently implied for 105.75 points. Giannis is definitely the most expensive SG option today at $9,600 (he’s a PG on DK), but his ceiling is way higher than any other SG’s, as shown by two of his recent games: Prior to last game’s 33.4-point FD outing against the Heat, he dropped 56.5 and 52.7 points against tough Hawks and Grizzlies defenses. There is a blowout concern here, as there was with the Celtics last night, but Giannis certainly has access to a different type of ceiling tonight.
Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki have already been ruled out tonight, and obviously JJ Barea is out for the next six weeks or so. That means Seth Curry will likely get the start at PG tonight alongside Wes Matthews. Seth has struggled in his last two games, scoring 19.5 and 16 FD points on poor shooting. However, the minutes have been there: He’s received 30-plus minutes in each of his last three games. He will definitely get a hefty number of minutes tonight, given the Mavs’ injuries. He gets a nice matchup against a Magic team that’s average defensively, allowing 104.6 points per 100 possessions this year. Seth is currently the highest-rated SG in the Phan Model for FD, where he owns a nice +6.64 Projected Plus/Minus and six Pro Trends.
Nicolas Batum has been on quite the heater lately, scoring 35-plus FD points in each of his last four contests.
On top of that, he’s shown a nice floor, too: He’s exceeded salary-based expectations in eight of his last nine games. Very few SGs in DFS have access to a safe floor yet a nice ceiling for guaranteed prize pools, and Batum currently boasts that for only $6,700 on FD, where he owns eight Pro Trends and a 75 percent Bargain Rating. The Pelicans have struggled against SGs this year, allowing them to score 0.4 FD points over salary-based expectations. If you believe that Kemba could somewhat be limited by the return of Jrue Holiday, the logical move would be to increase your exposure on Batum. He’s a nice pivot up or down from the likely-popular guys listed above and is projected for only nine to 12 percent ownership on FD.
Kevin Durant seems to be immune to any sort of game-flow issues: He plays consistently in fourth quarters and dropped 51.5 FD points against the Celtics last night in a blowout. He’s now scored at least 41 FD points in each of his five outings and is still only $9,400 DK and $9,700 FD. Tonight he gets the Bucks, who have really struggled defending SFs this year with Khris Middleton out: They’ve allowed opposing SFs to score 3.5 FD points above salary-based expectations — the second-worst mark in the league. This definitely sets up a for a potentially massive KD game: The Warriors are currently implied for a slate-high 113.25 points. Durant is very playable in all contest formats given his minutes safety and matchup tonight.
Again, the Mavericks are missing a ton of their starting rotation. That means Harrison Barnes should continue to see massive minutes and a massive workload: He’s played at least 33 minutes and taken at least 17 shots in each of his last seven games. He missed value against a tough Grizzlies defense last game but gets a much easier matchup tonight against an average Magic defense. There is a chance that Harry could draw Serge Ibaka on defense a little more with Dirk out, but he’s definitely still in play, given his usage projection (28.46 percent) and his low $6,100 price tag.
George Hill has been ruled out for the Jazz again tonight. DFS users might gravitate toward Dante Exum, who had a surprisingly impressive game last time out, scoring 25 DK points in 34.4 minutes of action. However, Patrick Beverley has returned for the Houston Rockets and is an excellent perimeter defender who will likely match up against Exum. Thus, perhaps the better play is Gordon Hayward, who has outperformed his salary-based expectations by an average of 4.6 DK points in the five games without Hill, per our NBA On/Off tool. Hayward has struggled in his last two games after crushing to start his year, but has a better matchup tonight and is only $7,500 on DK, where he owns a position-high +8.35 Projected Plus/Minus and 11 Pro Trends.
Anthony Davis crushed value last night, scoring 67.8 FD points in 36.7 minutes of action against the Trail Blazers. Compare that to someone like Blake Griffin: Griffin had arguably his best game of the season last night, scoring 50.4 points in 36.8 minutes thanks to a 29-7-6 line. This isn’t to diminish Blake or any other PF in this slate, but Brow just has access to a ceiling that is far higher than any other player’s. Tonight he faces a Charlotte team that has been average defensively against PFs this year, ranking 12th per our Trends tool. Brow will be massively owned tonight — our FantasyLabs ownership projections for FD currently have him at a slate-high 41-plus percent — but his 71-point projected ceiling is certainly worth chasing in tournaments.
Markieff Morris continues to see massive minutes for the Wizards, accumulating at least 30-plus — and sometimes 40-plus — in each of his last four games. He’s struggled to hit value, but the volume is nice: He’s projected for 34.8 minutes and 22.13 percent usage rate tonight against the Miami Heat. The Heat rank third on defense this year but only 15th versus PFs. Really, Kieff is just too cheap at $5,700 on FD, where he owns seven Pro Trends and a 90 percent Bargain Rating. There isn’t a whole lot of value at the PF spot currently — people might punt with Dwight Powell, but I’m personally less enthused about that play — and Kieff represents some minutes safety at a nice price point that allows you to go up and get Brow or another stud.
Moving back to Blake: He’s a very nice pivot down from Brow in tournaments. He’ll face a Chicago defense that ranks seventh this year, allowing 101.0 points per 100 possessions. However, he’ll match up with Taj Gibson, who could definitely struggle dealing with the more-athletic Blake on the perimeter and in the high post. Blake has now scored at least 40 DK points in each of his last four games and has scored at least 20 real points in each of his last six. He can fill out a box score in a variety of ways, which gives him a safe floor: His 22.7-point projected floor on DK is the fourth-highest mark today. He’s probably a bit underpriced at $8,300 on DK, where he owns 10 Pro Trends and an 86 percent Bargain Rating.
Hassan Whiteside boasts a projected ceiling on FD (65.8 points) that is over 10 points higher than any other center’s. He faces the Wizards, who have allowed FD centers to score 1.0 point above salary-based expectations this season. And, honestly, none of this matchup talk really matters for Whiteside: He’s recently dropped 54.0 and 48.9 FD points against the stingy Hawks and Spurs defenses. Here are his last five rebound totals: 17, 25, 17, 14, and 20. The dude is just a stud and has access to a 20-20 game anytime he steps on the court versus any competition. He’s expensive today at $9,000 on both sites, but he always has GPP-winning upside.
Cody Zeller has gotten the start at center and has now played 30-plus minutes in the last two games. He’s turned that into DK games of 36.8 and 28.8 points at $4,000 and $3,900 — Plus/Minus games of +19.1 and +11.6. He’s still cheap today at $4,000 on DK and is currently conservatively projected for 28.3 minutes. At that low price point, he needs only 17.65 DK points to hit value, which seems like a nice bet, considering that the Pelicans have been the 11th-worst team against opposing centers this season. Cody has a Projected Plus/Minus of +5.85 on DK.
Because of sky-high expectations, it seems that Karl-Anthony Towns has been somewhat disappointing this season. But check his numbers: The dude has still been amazing and just turned 21. He’s hit salary-based expectations in each of his last five games now, scoring at least 35 FD points in each of those contests. Tonight he’ll face the Grizzlies, who currently rank ninth defensively and have been very stingy against centers this year, holding them to 3.0 points below salary-based expectations on DK. That said, the Wolves are actually 1.5-point favorites on the road tonight and the matchup should serve to lower KAT’s ownership. He played the Grizzlies once this year already and posted a 21-4-5 line.
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