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 seven-game slate starting at 8 p.m. ET.
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Luka Doncic has been absolutely rolling recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.24 on FanDuel over his past 10 games, and he’s coming off 61.3 FanDuel points Friday vs. the Spurs. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.56 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, which gives him one of the highest ceilings every time he takes the floor.
Doncic is in a great spot Saturday vs. the Rockets. Houston has played at the second-fastest pace this season, and Doncic owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.74 on FanDuel.
Sticking with the Mavs, Jalen Brunson is underpriced at just $4,300 on FanDuel. He’s averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute this season — which is an elite mark considering his price tag — and he’s currently projected for 29.1 minutes in our NBA Models. Brunson has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.49 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool), and he benefits from the same elite matchup as Doncic.
Devin Booker is doubtful for the Suns, which should result in more ownership than usual for Chris Paul. He has seen a slight bump in production with Booker off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.13 DraftKings points per minute, but don’t expect a huge bump in playing time. The Suns have been careful with CP3’s minutes this season, and they’re coming off an overtime loss in their last outing Friday. He has more upside than usual, but he’s far from a slam dunk.
Mike Conley continues to stand out as one of the best pure values on DraftKings. His $6,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.16 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s in a solid spot Saturday vs. the Warriors, with Utah’s implied team total of 117.75 ranking third on the slate.
D’Angelo Russell has not had the best start to his season, and he’s coming off a dreadful performance Friday vs. the Hawks. That said, he still possesses excellent upside with Karl-Anthony Towns out of the lineup. He leads the team with a usage rate of 32.1% in 10 games without Towns this season, and he’s averaged 1.11 FanDuel points per minute in those contests.
He stands out as a nice value on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 67%, and he also owns an excellent matchup vs. the Pelicans. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.90, which is the top mark at the position.
Josh Jackson got off to a strong start this season, scoring at least 30.0 DraftKings points in three of his first four games, but he appeared to lose his spot in the rotation to Wayne Ellington following an injury. However, Jackson played 30.7 minutes on Friday, which was his highest mark of the entire season. That makes him an interesting option Saturday at just $3,700. Jackson has averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s capable of taking advantage of some extra playing time.
Christian Wood is doubtful for Saturday’s game vs. the Mavericks, and John Wall remains out of the lineup with a knee injury. That means Victor Oladipo should once again be looking at a sizable workload. He struggled Friday vs. the Pistons, shooting just 4-of-16 from the field. He’s a strong positive regression candidate vs. the Mavericks, and he scored at least 44.75 DraftKings points in each of his first two games with the Rockets.
Jevon Carter has SG eligibility on DraftKings, and he’s an interesting punt play at the absolute minimum. He’s one of the candidates to see a few additional minutes with Booker out of the lineup, and he’s currently projected for 22.1 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, minimum-priced players have averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.81 with a comparable minute projection.
LeBron James is listed as questionable for Saturday’s matchup vs. the Bulls, just as he has been for virtually every other game this season. That hasn’t stopped him from suiting up in each of the Lakers’ first 16 games this season, so expect him to be in the lineup.
As long as he’s active, he’s too cheap at $9,400 on DraftKings. It results in a Bargain Rating of 90%, and James has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.24 with a comparable salary. LeBron isn’t being leaned on as heavily this season as he has in the past, but he’s still averaged a strong 1.49 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He doesn’t need a massive workload to potentially return value at his current salary vs. the Bulls, who rank just 26th in defensive efficiency to start the year. The Lakers’ implied team total of 118.0 also ranks second on the slate.
Cameron Johnson didn’t come through for fantasy players Fridaynight, but he continues to trend in the right direction. He played 31.6 minutes in that contest, which was his top mark of the season. He could see a few additional minutes Saturday if Booker is ruled out, and he’s averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute with Booker off the court. He’s an elite value at $4,400 on FanDuel.
Mikal Bridges and Abdel Nader are other options you can consider for the Suns. Bridges is the safer option, but Nader can provide big value at the absolute minimum across the industry.
The Heat continue to be without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, which opens up plenty of usage for the rest of the roster. Duncan Robinson stands out as one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s currently projected for 36.0 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s one of the best pure values at the position on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 73%.
Brandon Ingram’s price has been in a free-fall recently. It has decreased by $1,200 over his past 10 games on FanDuel and $1,000 over his past two games on DraftKings. That makes him an interesting buy-low option vs. the Timberwolves. They’ve been significantly worse defensively with Towns off the court this season, allowing an average of 114.6 points per 100 possessions.
Zion Williamson hasn’t displayed a monster ceiling lately, but he has been very consistent. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games on DraftKings, yet his salary has actually decreased over that time frame. He should have a field day on the interior vs. the Timberwolves. They just allowed Clint Capela to post a triple-double with points, rebounds, and blocked shots, and Williamson has a similar skill set.
The Pistons are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, which means Blake Griffin is a rest candidate. He’s dealt with plenty of health concerns throughout his career, and the Pistons have yet to play him on both legs of a back-to-back this season.
If he’s out of the lineup, Sekou Doumbouya will become a nice punt play across the industry. He’s priced at the minimum on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and he’s averaged 0.80 DraftKings points per minute in games without Griffin this season. He played a season-high 23.5 minutes the last time Griffin was out of the lineup and responded with 22.5 DraftKings points.
Make sure to monitor Griffin’s status using the Labs Insiders tool.
Bam Adebayo should continue to carry some extra fantasy value for the shorthanded Heat. He’s increased his usage rate by 2.6% with Butler and Herro off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.25 FanDuel points per minute. He leads the position with 11 Pro Trends, and his matchup vs. the Nets results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.77.
Thaddeus Young has scored at least 27.2 FanDuel points in three straight games, even though he’s played 25.3 minutes or less in all three contests. His workload could be in jeopardy when the Bulls are at full strength, but that shouldn’t be an issue Saturday with Wendell Carter Jr. out of the lineup. He’s too cheap at $3,800 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 71%.
Joel Embiid was dominant Friday night vs. the Celtics. He finished with 58.25 DraftKings points thanks to 38 points and 11 rebounds, and he did it in just 30 minutes of playing time. The fact that the 76ers didn’t need to lean on him all that heavily should work in Embiid’s favor on the second leg of a back-to-back.
He’s in a potential smash spot Saturday vs. the Pistons. They’ve been dreadful defensively this season, and they’ve struggled in particular against opposing centers. Embiid owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.14 on FanDuel, which is the top mark at the position.
DeMarcus Cousins drew the start at center Friday vs. the Rockets, and he will likely start again Saturday if Wood is ruled out. That makes him a very tough fade at his current salary. Cousins managed to post a Plus/Minus of +15.87 on Friday even though he shot just 2-of-16 from the field. That is absolutely absurd.
Cousins has averaged 1.40 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he should be looking at an even better performance if he sees a comparable workload. His price has come up a bit across the industry, but it’s still not nearly high enough.
Steven Adams is another potential value option at the position. He’s in an excellent spot vs. the Timberwolves, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.84, and his $5,400 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 70%. He’s played at least 30.4 minutes in three of his past four games, and he’s averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Rudy Gobert never seems to be priced correctly on DraftKings. Saturday’s matchup vs. the Warriors is no exception, and his $7,300 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. Gobert has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.56 with a comparable salary, and he provides one of the safest floors on the slate.