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
Saturday’s slate is a bit bizarre for the postseason. There are some massive injuries to consider in all four games, and a few big-name players have already been ruled out.
That includes Joel Embiid for the 76ers. He’s been ruled out with a knee injury, which is going to open up plenty of opportunities for the rest of the squad. Fortunately, the 76ers are up 3-0 in their series vs. the Nets, so they have the luxury of getting the star big man some rest.
James Harden should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s seen a team-high +5.7% usage bump with Embiid off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.44 DraftKings points per minute. Harden has averaged just 1.1 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so that represents a massive increase. He’s also been priced down to just $8,600 on DraftKings, which is a -$1,300 decrease over the past 10 games. The price drop has been warranted – he owns an average Plus/Minus of -8.64 over that stretch – but this is the perfect spot for a bounce-back performance.
Sticking with the 76ers, Tyrese Maxey also figures to be busier than usual. He’s seen a 4.9% usage bump sans Embiid, and he’s actually seen the biggest boost in fantasy production. He’s averaged 0.95 DraftKings points per minute for the year, but that figure increases to 1.10 with Embiid off the floor. Maxey is way too cheap at $6,400, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 71%. Maxey leads all point guards in projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings, while his 10 Pro Trends rank second.
Spencer Dinwiddie stands out as the top value on FanDuel, where his $7,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%. He also leads the position with 13 Pro Trends. He’s struggled to find his footing during the postseason, but he did finish with 37.1 FanDuel points in Game 3. He’s also played at least 41.3 minutes in back-to-back games, and he should be looking at another large workload with his team facing elimination.
Bones Hyland is another potential source of value at the position. The Clippers are going to be without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, leaving the team extremely thin on offense. Hyland is capable of giving them a lift in that department. He racked up 26.25 DraftKings points in 21.4 minutes in Game 3, thanks to a 35.1% usage rate. He’s averaged 1.12 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially return value.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Norman Powell isn’t exactly priced like a stud, but he has the potential to deliver stud-like production. He’s always been an excellent per-minute producer, but he’s played limited minutes when the team has been at full strength. That’s clearly not the case on Saturday, and Powell is projected for just under 38 minutes in our NBA Models.
Powell has also been one of the biggest beneficiaries with Leonard and George off the floor this season. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.5% in that scenario, resulting in an average of 1.15 FanDuel points per minute. He racked up 51.5 FanDuel points in his first playoff contest as the team’s top option, and he has similar upside on Saturday.
Max Strus stands out as a nice value on FanDuel, where his $4,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%. Strus is not a particularly strong per-minute producer, but he’s projected for more than 38 minutes Saturday vs. the Bucks. That’s a ton of playing time for someone in this price range, especially during the postseason. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.73 (per the Trends tool).
Ja Morant is currently questionable for the Grizzlies, and Desmond Bane would have some additional appeal if he’s unable to go. He struggled without Morant on Wednesday, finishing with just 21.5 DraftKings points across 35.1 minutes, but he shot just 6-18 from the field. He still posted a usage rate of 31.3% in that contest, which represents a sizable increase from his season average. With some better shooting luck, he could definitely return value with another expanded workload.
Austin Reaves came crashing back to reality in his second postseason contest, finishing with just 24.25 DraftKings points over 37.2 minutes. Still, that wasn’t a terrible performance for his price tag, and he has the potential for a better showing on Saturday. He’s averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he’s underpriced across the industry if he’s going to continue to play 36+ minutes.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Jimmy Butler and the Heat got their doors blown off by the Bucks in Game 2, who were playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo. They were down roughly 30 points at halftime, so Butler unsurprisingly saw reduced minutes in the blowout. He still finished with 25 points and 37.75 DraftKings points in his 28.3 minutes, and he’s projected for closer to 40 minutes on Saturday.
Butler is known for elevating his game during the postseason, and so far this season, he’s done exactly that. He erupted for 63.75 DraftKings points in Game 1 vs. the Bucks, finishing with 35 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, and three steals. With Tyler Herro sidelined with a broken hand, Butler is going to have to continue to carry the load offensively. The Bucks are a tough matchup, but Butler has already proven he can succeed in this spot.
De’Anthony Melton has SF eligibility on DraftKings, where his $3,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 79%. With Embiid out of the picture, he stands out as one of the best values of the day. He played more than 30 minutes in the team’s last outing, and he responded with 23.0 DraftKings points. Melton has increased his production to 0.94 DraftKings points per minute with Embiid off the floor this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially return value.
It remains to be seen if Giannis will return to the lineup in Game 3. He’s currently questionable, and if he’s ruled out once again, Khris Middleton will be asked to pick up the slack. He was only needed for 27.7 minutes in Game 2, but Middleton chipped in 34.5 DraftKings points in his limited court time. He could play significantly more if Saturday’s game is more competitive, and he’s averaged 1.33 DraftKings points per minute with Giannis off the floor this season.
Cameron Johnson erupted for 28 points and 42.3 FanDuel points in Game 2 vs. the 76ers, but he was unable to repeat that production in Game 3. Still, he finished with 29.0 FanDuel points across nearly 44 minutes. Johnson has averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute for the year, so he has excellent upside for his price tag if he sees a comparable workload in Game 4.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Points are expected to be at a premium on this slate, with the top total of the day sitting at just 227.0 points. The Suns appear to have the most offensive potential, with their implied team total of 117.25 points ranking first on the slate by more than four points.
Kevin Durant hasn’t been asked to do a ton of scoring in the first three games vs. the Clippers, but he’s obviously capable of it if needed. He’s one of the most efficient high-volume scorers in NBA history, and he shot a blistering 56.0% from the field and 40.4% from 3-point range this season. He’s averaged 1.33 FanDuel points per minute, and he leads all power forward with 42.1 projected minutes in our NBA Models.
Durant is an elite option across the industry, but he’s a particularly strong target on FanDuel. He leads all power forwards with 11 Pro Trends, and his $10,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%. Without Leonard available to slow him down, Durant could be poised for a monster performance.
Tobias Harris is often overlooked for the 76ers. He’s sacrificed a lot of his offensive game to satisfy the rest of the team’s high-usage options, but he’s still capable of scoring when needed. With no Embiid on Saturday, this is his opportunity to shine. Harris has seen a +4.3% usage bump with Embiid off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.05 DraftKings points per minute. He’s currently projected for 36 minutes in our NBA Models, making him far too cheap at just $5,900 on DraftKings.
Harris also stands out using our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations table:
Dorian Finney-Smith is a viable punt play in stars-and-scrubs lineup constructions. He played more than 36 minutes in the Nets’ last contest, and he’s projected for another 32 minutes on Saturday. He’s extremely affordable at $3,800 on DraftKings, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.76 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is another player who would benefit if Morant is unable to suit up. He’s seen a team-high +4.9% usage bump with Morant off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.39 DraftKings points per minute. He’s also displayed an excellent ceiling of late even with Morant in the lineup, scoring at least 51.0 FanDuel points in three of his past four games. Jackson is best utilized on FanDuel, where he owns an 82% Bargain Rating and gets an additional fantasy point for blocks.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Like most of the Heat, Bam Adebayo struggled to get anything going in his last contest. He was limited to just 24.9 minutes and responded with just 25.5 FanDuel points. Still, Adebayo posted a usage rate of at least 33.0% for the second straight game, which bodes well for his production moving forward. His usage rate was merely 25.2% during the regular season, so that represents a sizable increase.
Adebayo should continue to be more aggressive than usual offensively with Herro out of the lineup. He ranked second on the team in usage in games without Herro during the regular season, averaging 44.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes.
Paul Reed should get the opportunity to play a bit more than usual with Embiid sidelined on Saturday. Reed is an excellent fantasy producer, averaging 1.18 FanDuel points per minute for the year and 1.36 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. Those are elite figures for someone who is priced just $200 over the minimum on FanDuel. He’s only projected for 18 minutes in our NBA Models, but he still ranks second at the position in terms of projected Plus/Minus.
Anthony Davis stands out as one of the best pure values of the day on DraftKings, where his $9,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He struggled in his last outing, finishing with just 38.25 DraftKings points over 37.6 minutes, but his average of 1.52 DraftKings points per minute trails only Antetokounmpo on Saturday’s slate. This could be the perfect opportunity to buy low on him, especially with his projected ownership sitting at under 20%.