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 nine-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Luka Doncic has carried an immense workload for the Mavericks this season, and he has the potential to do even more today vs. the Hornets. Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. have both been ruled out, and they rank second and third in usage rate among Mavs regulars this season. Doncic has unsurprisingly seen a boost in usage rate with both players off the court this season, and he’s averaged a ridiculous 1.95 DraftKings points per minute in 292 minutes without Porzingis.
The Hornets also represent a nice matchup, ranking just 27th in defensive efficiency.
Doncic is a no-brainer on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 99%, but he is very expensive at $12,400 on DraftKings. I still think he has value at that price tag, but he’s going to need to do a lot more to return value.
Dejounte Murray is going to get the night off for the Spurs, which increases the value of the rest of their backcourt. They have a few interesting options to choose from.
Patty Mills stands out on DraftKings at just $3,600. He’s increased his production to 0.83 DraftKings points per minute with Murray off the court this season, and he’s currently projected for 27.2 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, players with comparable price tags and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.08 (per the Trends tool).
Bryn Forbes and Derrick White also deserve consideration. White in particular has been excellent over the past month, averaging 0.96 DraftKings points per minute, and his price remains reasonable across the industry.
PG is loaded with strong values today on FanDuel. De’Aaron Fox is priced at just $7,300, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%, and he has one of the best possible matchups vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.38. Marvin Bagley III remains out and Bogdan Bogdanovic is doubtful, so Fox could also carry a larger workload than usual.
Derrick Rose has been an excellent value recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +6.07 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. Blake Griffin has already been ruled out for today’s contest vs. the Warriors, and Rose has seen a team-high usage bump in games without Griffin this season.
Donovan Mitchell is in a tough spot today vs. the Orlando Magic. They’ve played at the fourth-slowest pace in basketball this season, and they also rank 10th in defensive efficiency. That’s a brutal combo for DFS, giving Mitchell an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.59.
Still, he owns 15 Pro Trends on FanDuel, which is tied for the most at the position. Historically, players with a comparable number of Pro Trends have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.82. He’s also one of the better pure values at the position given his Bargain Rating of 81%.
Kemba Walker will miss his second straight game for the Celtics, which makes Marcus Smart an elite value option. He’s crushed in two games without Kemba this season, averaging a ridiculous 43.13 DraftKings points per game. The Celtics are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back today, but that actually works as a positive: DraftKings and FanDuel didn’t have a chance to price up Smart after yesterday’s big performance.
DeMar DeRozan stands out as an elite option on DraftKings. He’s been priced all the way down to $6,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 87%. He leads the position with 14 Pro Trends, and he’s increased his usage rate by +1.9% with Murray off the court this season. There are some blowout concerns against the Bucks – the Spurs are currently 12-point underdogs — but they have played at the fastest pace in the league.
DeRozan has nice upside if this game stays competitive.
Jeremy Lamb is coming off 43.2 FanDuel points in his last contest, and his $5,500 salary for today’s contest comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%. It’s a nice matchup vs. the Hawks, who rank fourth in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency, and Lamb should benefit from the absence of Malcolm Brogdon.
Giannis Antetokounmpo could be a bit overlooked on today’s slate. He’s been inconsistent recently, and most people will likely pay all the way up for Doncic if they are targeting someone in this price range.
That said, Giannis continues to produce at an unreal pace. He’s averaged 1.97 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so no one in basketball can match his upside when he sees a full compliment of minutes. He’s a very appealing pivot off Doncic in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
The Warriors look like a potential source of value today. D’Angelo Russell and Kevon Looney have both been ruled out, while Willie Cauley-Stein is currently listed as questionable.
Alec Burks and Eric Paschall stand out as potential options at SF. Burks is a prime candidate to lead the team in usage today, and he’s averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute with Russell and Steph Curry off the court this season.
Paschall has actually seen a larger usage boost than Burks with Russell and Curry off the court (+2.2%), and he’s dirt-cheap at $3,500 on DraftKings. He probably wont see as many minutes as Burks – he’s currently projected for 22.6 in our NBA Models – but he’s averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute in that situation.
Bradley Beal missed yesterday’s contest for the Wizards, and he’s currently questionable for today’s matchup vs. the Nuggets. If he’s unable to suit up, Garrison Matthews would become an intriguing option at the absolute minimum on DraftKings. He’s scored 24.5 and 34.5 DraftKings points in the two games he’s played without Beal recently.
T.J. Warren is another member of the Pacers who should see a boost with Brogdon out of the lineup. He’s a particularly strong target on FanDuel, where his $5,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 81%, and he owns a Plus/Minus of +1.46 vs. the Hawks.
Domantas Sabonis has scored at least 45.5 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, and he’s set up for another big performance today vs. the Hawks. In addition to playing fast and struggling defensively, they also rank just 29th in team rebound rate this season. That makes them a very juicy matchup for big men.
Sabonis leads the position with 14 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $8,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.
There is no shortage of appealing value targets at PF on FanDuel. Nemanja Bjelica and Christian Wood both own Bargain Ratings of at least 97%, and both players should see a bump in playing time given their team’s current injury situations. Wood is slightly cheaper and has been better on a per-minute basis, but Bjelica is projected for more playing time and has a slightly safer floor. Both guys are definitely viable options.
Daniel Thies is a more appealing target on DraftKings, where his price discrepancy is not as steep. He played 24.4 minutes with Walker out of the lineup yesterday and responded with 29.5 DraftKings points, and he has a dream matchup today vs. the Pelicans. His Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.73 is one of the top marks at the position.
The Spurs options are basically underpriced across the board on DraftKings, including LaMarcus Aldridge. He owns a Bargain Rating of 88%, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.61 over his past 10 games on DraftKings. He has excellent upside vs. the Wizards given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.50.
Richaun Holmes is one of my personal favorite players because he’s so active when he’s on the court. He’s averaged 1.06 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s seeing all the minutes he can handle with Bagley out of the lineup. He’s currently projected for 33.8 minutes in our NBA Models, which should be enough for him to pay off his $6,900 price tag.
Doncic and Giannis have the highest ceilings on today’s slate, but don’t sleep on Andre Drummond. He has the potential to match their fantasy output, and he’s much more reasonably priced across the industry.
Drummond has been solid in games without Griffin this season, averaging 46.26 FanDuel points per game, and he’s in an amazing spot today vs. the Warriors. They’ve been crushed on the interior all season, giving Drummond an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.64. The matchup would become even more appealing if Cauley-Stein is unable to suit up, since that would leave the Warriors without their only true center.
The Hawks have dusted off Alex Len recently, and he’s been pretty productive. He’s averaged 1.22 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 24.0 DraftKings points in each of his past two games. He could see a few additional minutes today with Jabari Parker and John Collins both listed as doubtful.
Nikola Jokic has been a disaster over his past three games, averaging just 30.2 FanDuel points per game. That’s caused his salary to drop to just $8,900 on FanDuel in an amazing spot vs. the Wizards. Jokic is the prototypical boom-or-bust option, but he has more boom than usual in his range of outcomes today.
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Pictured: Pistons C Andre Drummond (0)