Saturday features a four-game slate starting at 1 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.
Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
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NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
After a nice appetizer with the play-in tournament, we’re finally ready for the main course. The first round of the postseason gets underway with four contests on Saturday, and some of the biggest superstars in basketball will be in action.
Spencer Dinwiddie might not be considered a star, but he does stand out at the top of the point guard position in our NBA Models. He’s been an excellent fantasy contributor since arriving in Brooklyn, and he’s averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. Dinwiddie has also posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games on FanDuel, scoring at least 35.1 FanDuel points in each contest.
He’s currently projected for 38.1 minutes vs. the 76ers, while his 12 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position. Overall, he leads all point guards in projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
The Celtics’ backcourt is the best place to look for value. On DraftKings, Derrick White stands out as your best option. Most players stand out as far better values on FanDuel than DraftKings on Saturday, but White is a clear exception. His 89% Bargain Rating is the top mark by a wide margin, and he’s also been productive of late. He’s averaged 1.01 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 30.5 DraftKings points in three straight games.
On FanDuel, Marcus Smart is the preferred value target. He hasn’t been quite as effective as White on a per-minute basis recently, but he’s still averaged a healthy 0.95 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s also projected for far more playing time, checking in at more than 36 projected minutes in our NBA Models.
Both players should find success against a Hawks’ defense that was extremely generous down the stretch. They ranked fourth in pace and 25th in defensive efficiency after the All-Star break, and the Celtics’ implied team total of 119.75 ranks first on the slate.
The matchup between the Kings and Warriors stands out as a prime target, featuring a slate-high 237.5-point total and just a one-point spread. That makes both Steph Curry and De’Aaron Fox appealing pay-up options. Curry is the better per-minute producer, but Fox comes at a more affordable price tag.
Darius Garland has struggled a bit recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of -3.81 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. That’s caused his salary to dip to $7,500, making him an interesting buy-low option. Garland has had a comparable salary in 22 previous games this season, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.69 (per the Trends tool).
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Jaylen Brown has been underpriced on FanDuel all year, and nothing has changed for the playoffs. His $8,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%, and Brown has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.58 with a comparable salary this season. His average of 1.16 FanDuel points per minute ranks third among Saturday’s shooting guards, and he’s projected for the second-most minutes at the position. Add in a juicy matchup vs. the Hawks, and Brown can definitely pay off his price tag on Saturday’s slate.
Malik Monk has been an excellent signing for the Kings. He’s served as their sixth man for most of the year, routinely playing around 25 minutes per game off the bench. However, that hasn’t stopped him from putting together some excellent fantasy performances. He’s averaged 1.10 DraftKings points per minute for the year, and he has the upside for even more. Monk has scored at least 27.25 DraftKings points in four of his past five games, and he had at least 36.0 DraftKings points in two of them. You’ll gladly take that kind of upside at his current salary.
Watching Mikal Bridges transform into a complete player with the Nets has been awesome, and now he’ll have a chance to stick it to the team that traded away his draft rights. Bridges has increased his production to 1.08 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.17 over his past 10 games. No one is projected for more minutes at the position, so he provides a safe floor with some ceiling.
Klay Thompson has scored at least 40.0 DraftKings points in three of his past four games, and he’s capable of getting hotter than anyone in the league. The Kings know all about his ability to catch fire after he erupted for record 37 points in a single quarter against them back in 2015. The Kings have struggled defensively this season despite their excellent record, so Thompson has the potential for another big performance.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Jayson Tatum has gotten better each year since entering the NBA, and he put together the best season of his career in 2022-23. He averaged career highs virtually across the board, including points (30.1), rebounds (8.8), and assists (4.6) per game. Add it all up, and he averaged 51.75 DraftKings points in his 74 contests. He was not named a finalist for the MVP award, but he very well could’ve been.
Tatum leads all small forwards with an average of 1.42 DraftKings points per minute for the season, and he’s increased that figure to 1.46 over the past month. His median and ceiling projections are nearly seven points higher than the rest of the position, and Brown is the only other player even in the same zip code. Tatum is expensive, but his 37% Bargain Rating on DraftKings is actually one of the best marks among Saturday’s studs. He’s a strong option to build around against the Hawks.
Royce O’Neale is an important role play for the Nets. He’s not a huge scoring threat, but he’s capable of doing a little bit of everything. He’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s currently projected for approximately 32 minutes in our NBA Models.
O’Neale also stands out as undervalued from an ownership perspective. He’s currently projected for 32.6% ownership on DraftKings, but he owns a Perfect% of 43.7%. That means he’s showing up in the optimal lineup far more frequently than he’s expected to be rostered.
Keegan Murray has eligibility at both forward spots on FanDuel, where his $4,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He made some nice strides towards the tail end of his rookie season, averaging 0.84 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s scored at least 24.8 FanDuel points in five of his past six games, and he displayed a ceiling of more than 40 fantasy points during that stretch.
Julius Randle is tentatively expected to suit up on Saturday, but there’s still a chance he’s ultimately ruled out. R.J. Barrett would see a boost in value in that scenario. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.2% with Randle off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.92 FanDuel points per minute.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Domantas Sabonis has PF eligibility on FanDuel, and he stands out as one of the top options at the position on that site. In fact, he stands out as one of the top options regardless of position, ranking second on the entire slate in projected Plus/Minus. Sabonis has had an excellent season in Sacramento, and he’s increased his production to 1.37 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. The Warriors aren’t an ideal matchup, but Sabonis’ ability to rack up fantasy points in a variety of ways gives him plenty of paths to return value.
Draymond Green isn’t the same elite fantasy contributor he was in his prime, but he’s still very capable of providing value. He’s averaged 0.98 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and there’s a chance he could see a few additional minutes during the playoffs. The likely return of Andrew Wiggins won’t help, but Draymond averaged an additional +3.1 minutes per game during the postseason last year. If something similar happens in 2022-23, it would do wonders for his fantasy stock.
Al Horford continues to get the job done for the Celtics at an advanced age. He was instrumental for them during the postseason last year, and he was a strong contributor during the regular season as well. He was particularly effective down the stretch, averaging 1.02 DraftKings points per minute over the past month while scoring at least 25.0 DraftKings points in five of his final six games.
Dorian Finney-Smith is far from the greatest per-minute producer, but he’s expected to see plenty of playing time at a reasonable salary. He’s projected for more than 36 minutes vs. the 76ers, and it’s hard to find players in his price range with comparable workloads. He doesn’t offer much in terms of ceiling, but he’s a reliable value target.
NBA DFS Center Picks
It seems like Joel Embiid will take home the first MVP award of his career this season. He led the league in scoring for the second straight year, averaging a career-best 33.1 points per game while shooting 54.8% from the field. Overall, he averaged 57.85 DraftKings points per game and 1.65 DraftKings points per minute, both easily the top marks among Saturday’s options.
The Nets were a middling matchup for centers this season, but Embiid is capable of going off against anyone. He torched the Nets in two previous matchups this season, averaging 31.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
Embiid is the most expensive player on Saturday’s slate, so he’s going to be tough to fit in your lineups. There’s not nearly as much value available during the playoffs as there is during the regular season, so you’re going to have to get creative if you want to play Embiid. That said, he ranks second on the DraftKings slate in terms of projected Plus/Minus, so he provides fantasy value in addition to his elite ceiling. He’s also projected for just 12% ownership, so I’m trying to fit him in wherever possible.
Jarrett Allen is the only player on DraftKings who provides a better projected Plus/Minus than Embiid in our NBA Models. The Cavs’ center missed some time with injuries towards the end of the season, but he was extremely effective when on the floor. He averaged 1.10 DraftKings points per minute, and he went off for 54.0 DraftKings points in his last game with more than 34 minutes. I wouldn’t expect that type of production vs. the Knicks, but he has a great chance to return value at just $6,600.
Our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations table is also bullish on Allen’s fantasy prospects:
Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu are splitting the center minutes in Atlanta, but Capela is getting most of the playing time. He saw more than 28 minutes in their play-in win over the Heat, and Capela has averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Capela has always been an excellent per-minute producer, so he can do plenty of damage with 28 minutes.
Kevon Looney was once considered just a token starter for the Warriors, but he has blossomed into a very important part of their rotation. He’s averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s coming off 40.7 FanDuel points vs. the Kings last Friday. He’s another viable midrange target at the position.