Saturday features a five-game slate starting at 1 p.m. ET.
Today’s slate is going to be wild, and I don’t mean that in a good way. There are virtually no games with playoff implications on Saturday, so it’s hard to handicap how seriously each team will take them. There are a host of questionable players, and there’s no guarantee that the players who suit up will command their usual workloads.
With that in mind, point guard is a tough position to find a stud. Coby White is the player I feel the best about. He’s increased his production to 0.97 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s played at least 37.2 minutes in back-to-back games. He would also see a boost if Tomas Satoransky is unable to suit up.
The Celtics should provide nice value at the position on Saturday. They’re going to be without Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams, which opens up a ton of playing time for the rest of the roster.
Tremont Waters is someone who should pick up a few additional minutes. He’s currently projected for 23 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute this season. That makes him a viable option on DraftKings, where his $3,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
On FanDuel, Payton Pritchard is the preferred target for the Celtics. He’s expected to see more playing time, and he only costs $100 more than Waters.
Cameron Payne is another potential value option at the position on DraftKings. He’s priced at just $3,900, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 92%, and Payne has averaged a stout 1.09 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He played more than 27.2 minutes yesterday vs. the Blazers, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past 10 games. The Suns are technically still fighting for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but Payne should still see plenty of work.
Dejounte Murray is currently questionable, but he’s an interesting option if he’s active. He leads the position with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel, and he’s scored at least 41.3 FanDuel points in three straight games. That makes his $7,400 salary very reasonable.
Devin Booker is coming off a poor performance yesterday, but he still played 35 minutes. That could be an encouraging sign for his fantasy prospects on Saturday. He’s also been priced down to just $7,300 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 87%. That represents a price decrease of -$1,400 over the past month, and Booker has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.54 with a comparable salary (per the Trends tool). He’ll have a chance to pay off this price tag even if he sees fewer minutes than usual vs. the Spurs.
Evan Fournier is probable for the Celtics and should be asked to pick up the slack for the shorthanded Celtics if he’s active. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games on DraftKings, and he’s increased his usage rate by +2.3% with Walker, Smart and Jaylen Brown off the court this season. That gives him a chance to improve upon his average of 0.92 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
The Timberwolves are one of the rare teams who don’t appear to be tanking to end the year. D’Angelo Russell logged more than 36 minutes in their last game, and he’s increased his production to 1.17 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. That makes him a nice target on FanDuel, where his $7,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 78%.
Kyrie Irving is expected to return to the Nets’ lineup on Saturday, which means the Nets will have Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant in the lineup for just the eighth time all season. Irving’s $9,200 price tag on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%, and the Nets’ implied team total of 122.5 points is the top mark on the slate by a sizable margin. The Nets could also take this game at least somewhat seriously since they’re looking to build chemistry with their “Big Three” heading into the playoffs.
The Knicks are locked into a top-six spot in the standings, but their seed is still up in the air. They could finish anywhere between fourth and sixth, and that could be something worth playing for. The sixth seed gets a first-round date with the Bucks, who have been one of the most dominant teams in basketball over the past three years, while moving up to fourth or fifth means a matchup between either the Hawks or Heat. The Knicks are also coached by Tom Thibodeau, and I’m pretty sure he’d play his starters heavy minutes in an exhibition game vs. the janitorial staff.
R.J. Barrett is coming off 40.9 minutes in his last outing, and his eight Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on FanDuel. He feels like one of the safer bets on a slate with plenty of uncertainty.
Alec Burks is another potential option for the Knicks. He’s blossomed into a valuable contributor in New York, and he racked up 50.5 DraftKings points over 34.1 minutes in his last outing. He probably won’t see that much playing time again today – he’s currently projected for 24.5 minutes in our NBA Models – but he doesn’t need to at his current price tag.
Grant Williams is projected for 27.5 minutes for the shorthanded Celtics, which makes him an interesting option at the absolute minimum on DraftKings. Historically, minimum-priced players with comparable playing time projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.21.
The Pacers are going to be an important team to monitor heading into lineup lock. They’ve already ruled out Malcolm Brogdon, Edmond Sumner and Jeremy Lamb, while Caris LeVert, Aaron Holiday and Domantas Sabonis are all questionable. That means this team could be extremely shorthanded vs. the Lakers.
If Sabonis is ruled out, Oshae Brissett would become an appealing value option. He’s averaged 29.2 FanDuel points in seven games without Sabonis and Myles Turner this season.
Make sure to monitor the Pacers and the rest of Saturday’s teams using the Labs Insiders tool.
Julius Randle is currently projected for 38.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and that might be conservative. He’s logged at least 43.7 minutes in each of his past two games, and he’s averaged 1.21 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. The Hornets are also a great matchup, giving Randle an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.80 on FanDuel, and his 12 Pro Trends rank first at the position.
Luke Kornet will likely be thrust into the starting center spot for the Celtics on Saturday, which makes him an elite value target at the absolute minimum on FanDuel. He should see plenty of playing time trying to slow down Karl-Anthony Towns, and Kornet has averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.
Thaddeus Young has had an excellent season with the Bulls. He hasn’t always seen a ton of playing time, but he’s averaged 1.18 FanDuel points per minute when he’s been on the floor. His playing time should be a bit more secure on Saturday with Daniel Theis out of the lineup, and his $5,000 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 82%.
Jayson Tatum is currently probable for the Celtics, but he still carries a bit of risk. They’re locked into the No. 7 seed in the East, so I’m not sure why Boston would push him in a meaningless game. Still, Tatum should command a monster usage rate when he’s on the floor, which gives him decent upside vs. the Timberwolves. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.0% with Walker, Smart and Brown off the court this season, and he’s increased his production to 1.37 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Towns is my favorite stud target on Saturday’s slate. He hasn’t been a particularly strong investment recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of -1.48 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, but he should have his way vs. Kornet and the Celtics. The Timberwolves are actually favored in this matchup, and their implied team total of 117.5 ranks second on the slate.
Deandre Ayton is currently listed as questionable, and his absence would open up some value with the Suns’ reserve big men. Dario Saric would be the most likely candidate to assume his minutes. He played nearly 31 minutes with Ayton out of the lineup on Thursday, and he’s averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute this season. That would make him extremely appealing at just $3,100.
Frank Kaminsky could also see a few additional minutes in that situation. He’s even cheaper than Saric at the absolute minimum, and he’s also been much more effective on a per-minute basis over the past month.
The Bulls probably won’t push Nikola Vucevic too hard vs. the Nets, but he doesn’t need a full complement of minutes to potentially return value on FanDuel. He leads all centers with 14 Pro Trends, and his matchup vs. the Nets results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.17. His $9,500 price tag also comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%.
The Spurs’ big men could have some value on this slate. Jakob Poeltl has been ruled out, which leaves Gorgui Dieng and Drew Eubanks to handle the minutes at center. Both players are dirt cheap, and both have averaged more than 1.00 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Pictured above: Karl-Anthony Towns
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