The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Saturday features a four-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Kyrie Irving is still working his way back from an injury, but he is coming off 33.2 minutes in his last game. He’s too cheap at $8,700 on FanDuel if he’s going to continue to see that much playing time. He was priced closer to $10,000 prior to his injury, and he leads the position with an average of 1.46 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Irving is in a solid spot today vs. the Detroit Pistons. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.99, and the Nets’ implied team total of 115.75 ranks first on the slate.
The Timberwolves shipped Jeff Teague to the Atlanta Hawks in what was essentially a salary dump, which leaves Shabazz Napier as one of the only true PGs on the roster. He’s been a strong fantasy asset recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in four of his past five games, and he remains very reasonable priced at $4,800.
Napier should continue to thrive with increased playing time. He’s averaged 1.07 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Derrick Rose continues to turn back the clock with the Detroit Pistons. He’s been fantastic this season, and he’s currently on pace to post a new career-high in field goal percentage. He’s also put up plenty of shot attempts, leading the team with a usage rate of 31.4%, and he could exceed that mark today with Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson out of the lineup.
Rose has been particularly effective over his past 10 games, posting an average Plus/Minus of +8.38 on FanDuel. He owns an elite matchup today vs. the Nets, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.83. He’s a particularly strong target on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 96%.
It’s a lot harder to find strong values today on DraftKings. Most of the top Bargain Ratings are found on FanDuel, but Chris Paul is pretty evenly priced across the industry. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.19 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.69 with a comparable salary this season (per the Trends tool).
Zach LaVine has been in a bit of a slump recently, but his matchup vs. the Cavaliers looks like a prime breakout spot. They rank dead last in defensive efficiency, and LaVine does the majority of his fantasy scoring through points scored.
He should also benefit from the absence of Lauri Markkanen. He’s expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a pelvis injury, and LaVine has increased his usage rate by +2.3% with Markkanen off the court this season.
LaVine leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $8,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
Langston Galloway should get the opportunity to play bigger minutes today for the Pistons. Jackson and Tony Snell have both been ruled out, which opens up a solid chunk of playing time in the backcourt.
Galloway has been solid when on the court this season, averaging 0.73 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s currently projected for 29.8 minutes in our NBA Models. He’s priced at just $3,600 on DraftKings, and players with comparable price tags and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.80.
Dennis Schroder has seen a slight price increase recently, but he’s still too cheap at $6,200 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 96%, and he’s been on an absolute tear of late. He’s scored at least 33.0 FanDuel points in five of his past six games, and he should continue to play a big role with Terrence Ferguson, Abdel Nader, and Danilo Gallinari all ruled out for today’s contest.
Furkan Korkmaz has the potential to step into a big role today for the 76ers. Josh Richardson has been ruled out for the next 2-3 weeks with a hamstring injury, and Korkmaz is the most logical candidate to replace him in the starting lineup. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.3% with Richardson and Joel Embiid off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.76 FanDuel points per minute.
LeBron James has seen has salary come back to reality a bit after spiking with Anthony Davis out of the lineup. That makes him a strong target on a slate that is largely devoid of star power. LeBron is also a very reliable target, posting a Consistency Rating of 92% on DraftKings over the past month and 85% over the past year.
His matchup vs. the 76ers is not ideal — they’re currently tied for fourth in defensive efficiency— but they’re much less intimidating with Embiid out of the lineup.
Davis is also listed as questionable for today’s contest, and LeBron would become close to a must-play if he’s ultimately ruled out. Make sure to monitor his status using the new Labs Insiders tool.
On the other side of that matchup, Matisse Thybulle stands out as an intriguing value option on FanDuel. He’s very limited offensively, but he’s already one of the best defensive players in the NBA. That could keep him on the court for a few additional minutes today vs. LeBron, which makes him a nice value at $4,100. He has the ability to rack up steals and blocked shots — he’s averaging 4.3 “stocks” per 36 minutes this season — and those are worth three fantasy points a piece on FanDuel
Sticking with the 76ers, Tobias Harris has the potential to provide stud-like production at a discount. He’s seen a usage bump of +2.9% with Embiid and Richardson off the court this season, resulting in a team-high 1.17 DraftKings points per minute.
Bruce Brown is another potential value option for the shorthanded Pistons, and he’s very reasonably priced at $3,900 on DraftKings. He’s averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute this season, and his matchup vs. the Nets results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.24.
Kevin Love is in a dream spot today vs. the Chicago Bulls. They have been dreadful on the glass this season, ranking just 28th in team rebound rate, so it’s not surprising that they have struggled against opposing big men in fantasy.
Love has also been a steady producer when on the court recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in seven of his past eight games on FanDuel. He’s too cheap at $7,100, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 97%.
Thaddeus Young stands out as one of the best value options of the day across the industry. He’s expected to start in place of Markkanen and is currently projected for 32.1 minutes in our NBA models. He’s averaged 0.96 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s capable of doing a lot of damage with that much playing time. Young has only been projected for a comparable workload in one previous game this season, and he scored 35.0 DraftKings points in that contest.
If you want to go even cheaper at PF, consider Darius Bazley. The Thunder have a ton of minutes available at the forward position, and Bazley could soak up the majority of those. He’s currently projected for 27.0 minutes in our NBA Models, which makes him very appeal at $3,100 on DraftKings. He’s also been more productive than the typical punt play when on the court this season, averaging 0.76 DraftKings points per minute.
Al Horford has some appeal on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 81%. His $6,500 price tag represents a decrease of -$1,000 over the past week or so, so he’s an appealing buy-low candidate.
There are plenty of value options on today’s slate, so I recommend paying up at center for Andre Drummond. He checks every box today, particularly on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 95%. He’s missed each of the past two games with a lip injury — no one has a weirder injury log than Drummond this season — but he’s expected to rejoin the lineup tonight.
He couldn’t ask for a better spot vs. the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve hemorrhaged fantasy points to opposing big men this season, giving Drummond an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.51. He should also be asked to carry a larger workload than usual given the Pistons current injury situation.
Overall, Drummond owns the top ceiling projection in our NBA Models, but he’s priced as just the sixth-most expensive option.
If you do want to pay down at center, Cristiano Felicio makes sense at $3,800 on FanDuel. He’s currently projected for 26 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 1.13 FanDuel points per minute this season. His production has been way down recently, but it’s over a very small sample size.
Drummond should draw the majority of attention for those paying up at center today, which makes Karl-Anthony Towns an interesting pivot. He was limited to just 27.6 minutes in his last contest, but he scored 54.0 DraftKings points and posted a usage rate of 40.4% in his limited playing time. He should see a few additional minutes today, and he should check in with modest ownership.
Pictured: Detroit Pistons PG Derrick Rose (25)
Photo Credit: Leon Halip-Getty Images