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 five-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
De’Aaron Fox has been playing well recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games on FanDuel. That includes at least 38.1 FanDuel points in each of his past four games, so his $7,900 salary is very reasonable.
He’s in a wonderful spot today vs. the Blazers, who have struggled against opposing PGs this season. Fox owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.53 on FanDuel, which is one of the top marks at the position. The Kings’ implied team total of 114.0 also ranks third on the slate and represents a solid increase when compared to their season average of 108.7.
Shake Milton has seen his price skyrocket recently, but it’s been warranted given his production. He’s thrived filling in for the injured Ben Simmons, scoring at least 33.1 FanDuel points in four of his past five games.
He’s definitely still in play today vs. the Warriors, who represent a strong matchup. They rank merely 24th in defensive efficiency.
The Memphis Grizzlies own the top implied team total of the day vs. the Hawks. They’re currently implied for 119.75 points, which makes Ja Morant a very reasonable option. He’s crushed with a comparable implied team total this season, averaging a Plus/Minus of +7.33 on FanDuel (per the Trends tool).
It’s hard to ignore what Collin Sexton has been doing recently. He’s scored at least 50.25 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he’s carrying one of the largest workloads we’ve seen all season. He’s currently projected for a ridiculous 42.2 minutes in our NBA Models, which is the top mark on the position by roughly 5.5 minutes. Historically, PGs with a comparable salary and minute projection have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.20 on DraftKings.
The SG position is pretty thin at the top today. Only two players are priced above $5,700 on FanDuel — C.J. McCollum and Donovan Mitchell — and McCollum is basically unplayable at his current salary with Damian Lillard back in the lineup.
That leaves Mitchell, who does have some appeal vs. the Pistons. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.60 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and his 11 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position.
The Jazz could also be without Mike Conley on the second leg of a back-to-back. He’s been sitting out one leg of back-to-backs for most of the season, and Mitchell could be asked to carry a larger workload if he’s ultimately ruled out.
Sticking with the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson would also be asked to pick up the slack if Conley is ruled out. Clarkson has always been an excellent producer on a per-minute basis — he’s averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute over the past month — so he can do some damage with a few additional minutes.
Make sure to utilize the new Labs’ Insiders tool for any updates on Conley and the rest of the players on today’s slate.
Dillon Brooks is a pretty cheap way to get exposure to the Grizzlies’ slate-high team total. He’s averaged a respectable 0.94 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 32.4 minutes in our NBA Models.
Jordan McRae stands out on FanDuel, where his $3,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%. He’s coming off 25.8 minutes in his first game with the Pistons, and he’s averaged 1.14 FanDuel points per minute this season. He will see more competition for minutes today with Bruce Brown rejoining the rotation, but McRae doesn’t need a ton of playing time to pay off his current salary.
Tobias Harris isn’t exactly priced like a stud at $7,300 on FanDuel, but he has the potential to provide stud-like production for the shorthanded 76ers. Harris has been excellent in four games without Simmons and Joel Embiid this season, averaging 41.7 FanDuel points per game. That results in an average Plus/Minus of +9.8.
He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends, and he shouldn’t find a ton of resistance today vs. the Warriors.
Cedi Osman is another member of the Cavs who is playing massive minutes at the moment. He’s coming off 42.8 minutes in his last game, and he’s currently projected for 40.0 in our NBA Models. That makes him really tough to fade at just $4,000 on FanDuel. Players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.26. Basically, it’s really hard to fail at such a low price tag when you’re playing basically the entire game.
The Warriors are going to be without Steph Curry and Draymond Green today, which leaves their lineup without a ton of proven commodities. Juan Toscano-Anderson could slide back into the starting lineup, and he’s averaged a solid 0.79 FanDuel points per minute this season. He’s played upwards of 30 minutes in games without Draymond recently, which makes him a very interesting option at just $3,800 on FanDuel and $3,400 on DraftKings.
Joe Ingles is another member of the Jazz who would benefit from the absence of Conley. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.2% in games without Conley this season, and he’s averaged 0.90 DraftKings points per minute in that situation. That makes him a very strong option at just $4,100.
John Collins has been a nice fantasy option recently. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.44 over his past 10 games, and he’s posted a Plus/Minus of at least +9.5 in four of his past five contests. He’s in a solid spot today vs. the Grizzlies, who are thin in the frontcourt at the moment. They’re still without both Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke, which leaves them without a true PF option.
Richaun Holmes could make his return to the Kings’ lineup today, but Nemanja Bjelica still stands out as one of the best values of the day on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $4,800 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 97%, and he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.21 vs. the Blazers. He’s averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can still potentially return value even if he sees less minutes than usual.
Al Horford looks like one of the best options of the day for the shorthanded 76ers. He’s been awesome in games without Embiid this season, averaging 37.62 FanDuel points per game, and he’s averaged over 38 points per game with Embiid and Simmons out of the lineup. He also owns a tremendous matchup vs. the Warriors, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.19.
Christian Wood leads the position with 14 Pro Trends on FanDuel, and he’s been an excellent fantasy producer all season. He’s averaged 1.27 FanDuel points per minute, and he’s seen a massive bump in playing time with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond no longer in the picture. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.84 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past seven games.
Today’s slate is pretty light on star power, which increases the appeal for Nikola Jokic. Jokic is always tough to trust for cash games — he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in just four of his past 10 games on FanDuel — but he easily owns one of the highest ceilings on the slate. His price has also decreased by -$2,000 over the past month, so he has more upside than usual if he hits his ceiling.
He’s also in an excellent spot today vs. the Cavaliers. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.10 on FanDuel, and the Cavs rank dead last in defensive efficiency.
Dewayne Dedmon is an interesting value option at $4,500 on FanDuel and $4,300 on DraftKings. He’s not expected to see a ton of minutes, but he’s averaged a very healthy 1.12 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s coming off 29.2 FanDuel points in his last game, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.78 over his past 10 games.
Jonas Valanciunas should continue to provide value with Jackson and Clarke out of the lineup. He’s averaged 1.28 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s seen a spike in playing time with both players out of the lineup. He’s also in an excellent spot vs. the Hawks, who 28th in both defensive efficiency and team rebound rate.
The Warriors have a couple of interesting center options today with Draymond out of the lineup. Marquese Chriss is the most obvious option, and he’s been fantastic recently. He’s averaged 1.32 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.55 over his past 10 games. Dragan Bender is also a viable punt play at $3,300 on DraftKings. He hasn’t been as productive as Chriss on a per-minute basis, but he is projected for a similar amount of playing time on today’s slate.
Photo credit: Issac Baldizon-NBAE via Getty Images
Pictured: 76ers SF Tobias Harris (12)