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 8 p.m. ET.
New offer from FantasyLabs: Get our NFL models and tools free when you sign up for the NBA monthly plan!
Damian Lillard stands out as one of the top plays of the day on FanDuel. He’s been an excellent investment recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +5.25 over his past 10 games, and his $9,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 72%.
He should also continue to carry a massive workload for the shorthanded Blazers. C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic remain out with long-term injuries, and Derrick Jones Jr. will join them on the sidelines tonight. Robert Covington is also questionable after missing the past two games with a concussion.
Lillard is in a wonderful spot vs. the Bulls. They’ve struggled defensively this season, giving Lillard an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.07 on FanDuel. The total on that game also sits at a slate-high 233 points. Add it all up, and Lillard is a very tough fade on today’s slate.
Lonzo Ball played through a questionable designation yesterday vs. the Bucks, and he put together one of his best fantasy performances of the season. He finished with 27 points, three rebounds, and eight assists, resulting in 47.25 DraftKings points. Overall, Ball has increased his fantasy output to 0.95 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. The Rockets aren’t an ideal matchup – they’ve been excellent defensively following the James Harden trade – but Ball has too much upside to ignore at $5,000.
The Spurs have a pair of interesting options at the PG position. Dejounte Murray stands out on DraftKings, where his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%. Murray has scored at least 38.5 DraftKings points in five of his past six games, excluding the game that he left early due to an injury.
On FanDuel, Patty Mills might be the preferred Spurs’ target. He’s been an excellent option recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +5.72 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s scored at least 29.9 FanDuel points in two of his past three games. He’s underpriced at just $4,000 given his Bargain Rating of 72%.
Devin Booker remains out for the Suns, so Chris Paul remains squarely on the DFS radar. He’s coming off a poor performance in his last game, but the Suns didn’t need much from him in a blowout win vs. the Warriors. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.5% with Booker off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.13 FanDuel points per minute.
Zach LaVine is a walking bucket. He has become one of the best scorers in the league, averaging 27.0 points per game while shooting 50.2% from the field and 39.7% from 3-point range. Those are absolute elite marks considering the volume of shots he attempts on a nightly basis. He’s averaged 1.28 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s increased that mark to 1.30 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
He should have no problems scoring tonight vs. the Blazers. They rank just 28th in defensive efficiency, and the Bulls’ implied team total of 117.75 ranks second on the slate.
Lonnie Walker hasn’t made a leap in his second season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t provide some fantasy value. He’s currently projected for 29.1 minutes in our NBA Models, which is an excellent mark considering his $3,800 price tag. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.98 on FanDuel (per the Trends tool).
That said, the return of Derrick White does put a slight damper on his fantasy stock. White likely won’t play a ton of minutes in his first game back, but he should siphon a few minutes away from Walker.
Devonte’ Graham got off to a slow start this season, but he’s turned things around recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.83 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he leads the position with nine Pro Trends. His matchup vs. the Bucks also results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.11 on FanDuel, where his $5,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 72%.
Tyrese Haliburton was a favorite of many draft analysts this season, and he’s lived up to the hype so far. He’s averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 36.75 DraftKings points in two of his past three games. That should make him a very popular target at $4,900 vs. the Heat.
Gordon Hayward continues to stand out as underpriced across the industry. He’s carrying a massive workload at the moment for the Hornets, logging at least 37.1 minutes in six straight games. He’s put together subpar performances in back-to-back games, but he scored at least 43.25 DraftKings points in each of his three prior contests. That makes him an appealing buy-low target tonight vs. the Bucks.
Keldon Johnson has scored at least 32.5 FanDuel points in three of his past four games, yet his salary has dropped by -$1,000 over that time frame. That doesn’t make much sense, but it’s something that we should definitely take advantage of. He’s averaged a stout 0.97 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 31.1 minutes in our NBA Models. His matchup vs. the Hornets is also solid, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.53.
Cameron Johnson has seen plenty of minutes recently, and he’s currently projected for 30.7 minutes tonight vs. the Mavericks. That makes him an appealing target at $4,600 on FanDuel. He’s historically posted a Plus/Minus of +3.74 with a comparable salary and minute projection, and the Mavericks rank just 20th in defensive efficiency this season.
Rodney Hood could be forced into a big workload for the Blazers tonight if Covington is unable to suit up. He only played 19.7 minutes in his last game, but he could very easily eclipse 30 with Covington and Jones Jr. both out of the lineup. He would be massively underpriced on DraftKings in that situation at just $3,800.
There aren’t a ton of mega-studs available on today’s slate, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is a clear exception. He remains one of the most dominant fantasy players in the league on a per-minute basis, and his playing time has been on the rise recently. He’s played at least 35.1 minutes in five straight games, and he’s logged at least 36.4 minutes or more in four of them. Unsurprisingly, he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of those four contests, and he racked up 67.75 DraftKings points last night vs. the Pelicans.
It’s hard to envision a scenario where he doesn’t return value with a comparable workload tonight vs. the Hornets. It’s a solid matchup – Giannis owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.80 on DraftKings – and his $10,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%. His 10 Pro Trends are also tied for the most at the position. As long as coach Mike Budenholzer doesn’t limit him on the second leg of a back-to-back, Giannis easily has the top ceiling on Saturday’s slate.
Draymond Green hasn’t provided much in terms of ceiling this season, but he has posted a positive Plus/Minus in three straight games. That includes his last game, despite being limited to just 24.9 minutes in a blowout loss. He should see more playing time tonight vs. the Pistons, which makes him a great cash game play at $4,900 on FanDuel.
Kristaps Porzingis might be one of the best pure values on the slate at $7,000 on FanDuel. He was priced as high as $8,700 just last week, so he’s seen a massive salary change over a very short time frame. Porzingis has still averaged 1.13 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he should have no problem bouncing back soon. He’s currently projected for 32.9 minutes in our NBA Models, and Porzingis has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.93 with a comparable salary and minute projection. Porzingis is listed as questionable for rest on the injury report, so make sure to monitor his status using the Labs Insiders tool.
LaMarcus Aldridge looks like an elite buy-low target on DraftKings. His price has dipped to just $5,400, which is virtually unprecedented for Aldridge. His minutes are down this season, but he’s still averaged a solid 0.96 DraftKings points per minute this season. He also owns a fantastic matchup vs. the Grizzlies, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.83.
Today’s slate is pretty thin at the top of the center position, particularly on FanDuel given the lack of positional flexibility. Only Deandre Ayton is priced above $7,300 among today’s options.
That said, Ayton does have some appeal tonight. He’s seen one of the bigger boosts in usage with Booker off the court this season, and he owns an elite matchup vs. the Mavericks. They rank just 29th in team rebound rate, so Ayton should do plenty of damage in that department. Overall, his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.16 is one of the best marks at the position on FanDuel.
Expect Xavier Tillman to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. Jonas Valanciunas remains out due to health and safety protocols, and Tillman has played great in his absence. He’s scored at least 26.75 DraftKings points in each of his past three games, and he’s increased his production to 0.96 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. That means he’s simply too cheap at $3,500 on DraftKings.
Mason Plumlee has been a nice source of value for the Pistons recently. He’s scored at least 34.0 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he’s averaged a strong 1.02 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s currently projected for 26.7 minutes in our NBA Models, which makes him a nice value across the industry in a solid matchup vs. the Warriors.
Enes Kanter could fly a bit under the radar today, but he shouldn’t at $6,900 on FanDuel. He’s been a monster recently, averaging 1.37 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he should have zero playing time concerns with all the Blazers’ injuries. The Bulls are also a solid matchup, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.25.