The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Saturday features an eight-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
PG is a bit thin at the top today, with only De’Aaron Fox owning a salary above $7,000 on FanDuel. That said, Malcolm Brogdon could provide big production at a slight discount. His price has dropped to $6,700 on FanDuel and $6,500 on DraftKings, which is low given his average of 33.4 DraftKings points per game this season. He has seen a slight reduction in value recently with Victor Oladipo back in the lineup, but Oladipo will get the night off for rest. T.J. Warren is also questionable, so Brogdon could be looking at a big offensive workload.
He’s also in an outstanding spot vs. the Pelicans. They currently rank third in pace and 21st in defensive efficiency, giving Brogdon an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.32 on DraftKings. The Pacers’ implied team total of 115.0 points ranks third on the slate and represents a massive increase compared to their season average (109.5).
It’s going to be hard to avoid Ky Bowman today at the absolute minimum on DraftKings. He’s expected to handle the majority of the PG minutes for the Warriors, and he could see even more playmaking responsibilities if Draymond Green sits out and Andrew Wiggins is limited in his first game with a new team. Make sure to monitor Green’s status using the new Labs Insiders tool.
Bowman would still be a ridiculous value even if both players are active. He’s currently projected for 29.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and min-priced PGs have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +8.68 with a comparable minute projection (per the Trends tool).
Spencer Dinwiddie is one of the best pure values of the day on FanDuel, where his $6,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s coming off back-to-back subpar games, but he saw reduced minutes in both due to blowouts. He’s averaged 37.86 FanDuel points in 30 games without Irving this season, so this is an elite buy-low spot.
The Pistons are going to be shorthanded tonight, which makes Reggie Jackson an excellent option. He’s averaged 1.07 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s logged at least 32.7 minutes in each of his past two games. He shouldn’t face much resistance today vs. the Knicks, who rank tied for 24th in defensive efficiency.
Fred VanVleet is not the most expensive option at SG, but he’s easily the top target at the position. Marc Gasol has already been ruled out for the sixth straight game, while Kyle Lowry is questionable. Lowry was originally considered unlikely to play after leaving Friday’s game early due to whiplash, so it’s far from a guarantee that he’s able to suit up. The Raptors have been playing a short rotation even with Lowry in the lineup, so VanVleet could be looking at a monster workload if he’s ruled out. VanVleet logged nearly 40.6 minutes yesterday vs. the Pacers, and he’s increased his usage rate by +4.0% with Lowry and Gasol off the court this season. That’s a really appealing combination.
Sticking with the Raptors, Terence Davis is a strong value option at SG. He’s played at least 25 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s exploded for at least 37.0 DraftKings points in two of those contests. Overall, he’s averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute this season, so it’s not surprising that he’s been successful given the bump in playing time.
Both Davis and VanVleet have excellent matchups vs. the Nets, who have struggled against opposing backcourts this season.
Lou Williams has struggled a bit recently, posting a negative Plus/Minus in three of his past five games on FanDuel. That said, he could see a slight bump in value today given the Clippers’ current injury situation. Patrick Beverley has been ruled out, and Williams has seen the second-largest usage bump on the team with Beverley off the court this season. Williams is also a strong pure value on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 95%.
Bruce Brown remains underpriced for the shorthanded Pistons. He played over 33 minutes and posted a Plus/Minus of +5.90 on FanDuel yesterday vs. the Thunder despite shooting just 1-9 from the field. He has a monster ceiling if he can score the ball a little better vs. the Knicks.
Pascal Siakam was absolutely dreadful yesterday vs. the Pacers. He shot the ball poorly from the field and racked up virtually no peripherals, resulting in just 19.8 FanDuel points. That’s very uncharacteristic for him, so I would expect a bounce back today.
Of course, he should also benefit from the Raptors current injury situation. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +6.2% with Lowry and Gasol off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.26 FanDuel points per minute. He should provide a safe floor vs. the Nets and has a higher ceiling than usual.
Kristaps Porzingis will get the night off for the Mavericks, and Luka Dončić remains out of the lineup. Someone is going to have to carry the offensive load in their absence, and Tim Hardaway Jr. is one of the top options. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.1% with both Porzingis and Doncic off the court this season. He hasn’t shot the ball well in that situation — his effective FG% drops by -11.2% with both players off the court — but it shows the type of upside he has if his shot starts falling. He’s a nice value option on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 96%.
OG Anunoby is a fine consolation prize If you can’t get all the way up to Siakam but still want some exposure to the Raptors. In fact, he might be the better pure value at just $3,800 on FanDuel and $4,000 on DraftKings. His average of 0.84 DraftKings points per minute this season is very respectable, and he’s currently projected for 31.8 minutes in our NBA Models.
Kelly Oubre continues to command a massive workload for the Suns. He’s logged at least 35.6 minutes in five straight games. That includes a game that the Suns have won by 38 points and two games where they’ve lost by at least 21, so he’s pretty much game-script proof. Oubre has averaged 1.03 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s way underpriced at $6,600.
There are definitely some blowout concerns today for the Lakers. They’re currently favored by 13.5 points over the Warriors, and that number could conceivably rise if Green and/or Wiggins are unable to suit up.
Still, Anthony Davis deserves some consideration for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). It’s an amazing spot if the Warriors can somehow keep this game competitive. They rank 23rd in defensive efficiency and 28th in team rebound rate, giving Davis an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.65 on FanDuel. The Lakers’ implied team total of 118.5 also ranks second on the slate. Davis shouldn’t command much ownership — he’s currently projected for 13-16% on FanDuel — but he owns the third-highest ceiling projection in our Models.
I’ve already touched on a bunch of Raptors, but Serge Ibaka might be the best play on the entire slate on FanDuel. He continues to absolutely crush with for the shorthanded Raptors, posting a Plus/Minus of +10.93 over his past 10 games. That said, his salary hasn’t increased much over that time frame, and his current $6,300 price tag comes with.a Bargain Rating of 95%.
Ibaka is also in an elite spot today vs. the Nets. They’ve surrendered plenty of big games to opposing big men this season, giving Ibaka an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.89.
The Pistons have a pair of appealing options at the PF position today. Christian Wood is the obvious target. He’s dominated this season when given the opportunity to play, averaging 1.28 DraftKings points per minute, and the coast is clear for him to play huge minutes following the Andre Drummond trade. He didn’t disappoint in his last game, logging 52.0 DraftKings points over 35.3 minutes vs. the Thunder. He’s been priced up aggressively on FanDuel, but he’s very reasonable at $6,700 on DraftKings.
If you’re looking to go cheaper, Thon Maker is also worth consideration. He saw a bump in playing time as well, logging 33.5 minutes yesterday vs. the Thunder. He hasn’t been as productive as Wood this season, but his average of 0.96 DraftKings points per minute is still very solid. He’s also significantly cheaper across the industry, and his $3,300 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.
Domantas Sabonis has seen a price decrease of -$1,000 over the past month on FanDuel, and his $8,100 salary results in a Bargain Rating of 99% for today’s matchup vs. the Pelicans. Sabonis has crushed with a comparable salary this season, averaging a Plus/Minus of +4.32.
The Timberwolves are another team that will be important to monitor heading into lineup lock. They were able to land D’Angelo Russell before the trade deadline — who was someone that they coveted badly — in exchange for Andrew Wiggins and a first-round pick. That said, Russell is still dealing with a quad injury, so he’s questionable for today’s matchup vs. the Clippers.
If he’s unable to suit up, Karl-Anthony Towns should be looking at a huge offensive workload. They basically have no one left but him. Wiggins is gone. Jeff Teague is gone. Even Robert Covington and Shabazz Napier are gone. Unsurprisingly, Towns has seen a massive usage bump with all four players off the court this season, leading the team with a mark of 35.5%. He leads all centers with 14 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $10,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%.
Willie Cauley-Stein drew the start the last time Porzingis was out of the lineup, so it seems likely he’ll draw another start today. He scored 28.5 FanDuel points over nearly 26 minutes in that outing, which makes him a nice target at $3,700 on FanDuel and $3,500 on DraftKings.
Nikola Jokić has seen a massive price increase on FanDuel, but he remains very reasonable at $10,200 on DraftKings. He’s averaged a ridiculous 77.0 DraftKings points over his past three games, and he’s scored at least 69.75 DraftKings points in each of those contests. The Nuggets are getting healthier — which will obviously effect Jokic’s production — but they will still be without Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. for today’s matchup vs. the Suns.
Pictured: Raptors F Pascal Siakam (43)
Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus-Getty Images