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 four-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Luka Doncic is coming off a monster performance yesterday vs. the Knicks, posting a triple-double with 38 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. He’s taken a big step forward from a fantasy perspective in his second season, increasing his fantasy production from 42.2 to 57.75 DraftKings points per game. His usage rate, assist rate, and rebound rate are all way up, and he’s also averaging approximately 3.5 additional minutes per game.
He has the potential to be in one of the best spots of the day vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. For starters, the Grizzlies are playing at one of the fastest paces in the league this season, making this a drastic pace-up spot for Doncic. They also rank merely 20th in defensive efficiency, giving Doncic an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.88 on DraftKings.
The Mavericks will also be without Kristaps Porzingis. They’re playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, so they are giving him the night off for rest purposes. Doncic has averaged 1.82 DraftKings points per minute with Porzingis off the court this season, which makes him very tough to fade at $9,600.
Tomas Satoransky is a nice option today on FanDuel, where his $5,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in each of his past three games, and he’s coming off a season-high 30.0 minutes in his last contest. He has an excellent matchup today vs. the Houston Rockets, who currently rank 29th in defensive efficiency.
On the other side of that matchup, Russell Westbrook is obviously in play for the Rockets. They lead the slate with an implied team total of 120.5 points, and Westbrook leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on DraftKings. He’s coming off one of his worst games of the season, but that’s caused his salary to drop to just $9,000 on DraftKings. This is an excellent buy-low opportunity.
Terry Rozier got off to a rough start this season, but he’s increased his production recently. He’s scored at least 34.0 FanDuel points in three of his past four games. He has an awesome individual matchup today vs. the Pelicans, evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.30 on FanDuel.
James Harden has started to snap out of his shooting funk, and the results have been outstanding from a fantasy perspective. He’s scored at least 73.0 DraftKings points in each of his past two games, so his ceiling remains one of the highest in DFS despite the addition of Westbrook. No one on today’s slate can match him in that department: His current ceiling projection of 80.9 DraftKings points is the highest in our NBA Models by nearly 10 points.
It’s tough to make a case against him on FanDuel, where his $11,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75%. It’s pretty easy to jam him in your lineups and still find room for someone like Doncic or Westbrook at PG.
If you are looking for a reason to fade Harden, there has been some interesting research done on Reddit about his performance in certain road cities:
A reddit user found a correlation between James Harden’s lack of performance on the road and the quality of strips clubs in that city…. pic.twitter.com/xWg0awhp6K
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 7, 2019
Man I love the internet. Chicago apparently ranks pretty well in this department, so keep that in mind when building your lineups.
Devonte’ Graham has developed into a key member of the Hornets’ rotation this season. He’s played at least 30.3 minutes in each of their past five games, and he’s averaged 34.18 FanDuel points per game over that time frame. Overall, he’s averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute this season, which makes him an excellent fantasy producer considering his price tag. He benefits from the same elite matchup as Rozier, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.73.
I’m sure D’Angelo Russell didn’t imagine he’d be sharing the court with guys like Eric Pashcall, Glenn Robinson III, and Jordan Poole when he was traded to the Warriors, but that’s what his situation is currently. He’s going to have to carry a massive workload to try and keep them afloat, and that’s exactly what he did yesterday vs. the Timberwolves. He scored 52 points on a ridiculous 37 shots, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 41.0% in each of his past two games. He obviously isn’t the same caliber of player as Harden, but he has a Harden-esque workload at a significantly cheaper salary across the industry.
The Thunder are taking on the Warriors today, which has been an extremely juicy matchup to start the season. They rank dead last in defensive efficiency by a pretty substantial margin. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is definitely someone to consider in this matchup. He’s averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute this season, and his $7,100 price tag on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.
Brandon Ingram stands out in his own tier at the SF position today. He’s priced at $8,800 on FanDuel, and no one else at the position is priced above $6,700.
Ingram has been fantastic to start the season, averaging 43.17 FanDuel points per game, but it’s fair to question if he can continue to produce at that level moving forward. He’s shot the ball extremely well from the field (52.7%) and 3-point range (44.4%), so he could be looking at some regression.
That said, he could see a few additional minutes today with Lonzo Ball out of the lineup. He also leads all SFs with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is coming off a season-high 15 shot attempts in his last game, and he could see a few additional minutes with Porzingis not suiting up. He hasn’t exactly dominated this season from a fantasy perspective, averaging just 0.67 FanDuel points per minute, but he doesn’t have to do much to return value at $3,700 on FanDuel.
Hamidou Diallo has always had a fantasy-friendly game. He’s the type of guy who can rack up points in a short period of time, evidenced by his average of 1.03 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s starting to see more minutes for the Thunder as well: He’s played at least 29.5 minutes in two of his past three games. He has a huge ceiling at $4,100 on DraftKings if he sees that much playing time today vs. the Warriors.
Glenn Robinson III stands out on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 91%. He’s been asked to play big minutes for the shorthanded Warriors, and only two players are currently projected for more minutes at the position in our NBA Models. Robinson has been productive when on the court this season, averaging 0.76 FanDuel points per minute.
The PF position is another weak one with Porzingis unavailable. Lauri Markkanen is the most expensive option at just $7,000, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of -4.60 to start the season on FanDuel. His playing time is down to just 30.2 minutes per game, and he’s shooting a paltry 39.3% from the field and 30.4% from 3-point range.
That said, he could be in a get-right spot today vs. the Rockets. He owns an elite +3.79 Opponent Plus/Minus on FanDuel, and his salary has decreased by -$700 since the beginning of the season. Markannen also played a season-high 34.4 minutes in his last contest, so this could be an excellent buy-low opportunity.
Sticking with the Bulls, Thaddeus Young is a cheaper way to get exposure to this matchup vs. the Rockets. He’s not expected to see as much playing time, but he’s still projected for a healthy 26.9 minutes in our NBA Models. He’s averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute this season, so that should be more than enough playing time to pay off his $4,200 salary on DraftKings.
Maxi Kleber could move into the starting lineup with Porzingis out of the lineup, which would make him an appealing value option. He’s averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he could do some damage with a few additional minutes. His $4,100 salary on DraftKings also comes with a Bargain Rating of 78%.
Eric Paschall is coming off a disappointing 11.7 FanDuel points in his last game, and he will probably lose some shot attempts with Russell back in the lineup. Still, he’s played at least 33.7 minutes in five of his past six games, and he’s averaged 0.89 FanDuel points per minute. He’s worth some consideration at $6,500 on FanDuel.
Clint Capela is coming off his best performance of the season in his last outing, scoring 57.0 DraftKings points vs. the Golden State Warriors. He’s in another great spot today vs. the Bulls, who have hemorrhaged fantasy points to opposing centers this season. The result is an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.96 on DraftKings, where his $7,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%.
Still, I’m skeptical he can put together another big performance today. His fantasy output was inflated by six blocks in his last contest, and he also pulled down a season-high 16 boards. Westbrook and Harden are both great rebounders for their size, so it seems likely he’ll see some regression on today’s slate.
Dwight Powell has struggled to get things going this season, but his playing time remains encouraging. He’s played at least 27.2 minutes in each of his past three games, and he should see at least that much playing time with Porzingis out of the lineup. Powell has averaged just 0.66 FanDuel points per minute this season, but he averaged over 1.00 FanDuel points per minute last year. He’s a prime candidate for some positive regression moving forward.
Steven Adams has one of the best matchups possible today vs. the Warriors, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.68 on DraftKings. He’s seen a pretty drastic reduction in playing time this season, which has caused his salary to decrease by -$1,300 on DraftKings. He has nice upside for his price tag.
Jahlil Okafor is a viable punt play at just $3,500 on DraftKings. He’s always been capable of averaging well over a fantasy point per minute, and he’s played at least 21.5 minutes in three of his past four games.
Pictured above: Mavericks G Luka Doncic (77)
Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports