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 six-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
PG is absolutely loaded for a six-game slate. Russell Westbrook stands out on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 82%, and he’s been a fantasy monster recently. He posted a negative Plus/Minus in his last game, but he was limited to just 30.4 minutes in a blowout. Prior to that contest, he had posted a positive Plus/Minus in 11 of his past 12 games. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.50 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s really thrived with all the extra space following the Clint Capela trade.
Westbrook has a tough matchup today vs. the Jazz, but he still leads all PGs with 12 Pro Trends on DraftKings.
On FanDuel, Ben Simmons looks like the preferred option. He’s scored at least 46.3 FanDuel points in four straight games, and he has one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league, which has led to a lot of success for opposing PGs.
Overall, Simmons owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.06, and he leads the position with 14 Pro Trends.
Terry Rozier hasn’t lived up to the large contract he signed in the offseason, but he’s a prime value option on today’s slate. For starters, his salary has decreased by -$1,500 over the past month on DraftKings and -$800 on FanDuel, so his current price tag is very reasonable.
He’s also in an elite spot vs. the Nets, who have struggled mightily against opposing PGs this season. The result is an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.41 on DraftKings, which ranks second at the PG position.
The Mavericks are going to be a strong team to target today. They’re going to be without Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Willie Cauley-Stein, and they also own an elite matchup vs. the Hawks. Their implied team total of 118.25 ranks first on the slate, which is really appealing for a shorthanded squad.
Seth Curry has seen a team-high usage bump of +5.1% with both Doncic and Porzingis off the court this season, which would make him an appealing target if he’s able to suit up. That said, he’s currently listed as questionable, so the Mavs aren’t even guaranteed to have his services available.
Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright are also options. Brunson stands out at $3,900 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 98%. He’s currently projected for 30.6 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s massively underpriced if he’s going to see that much playing time. Brunson has averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute with Doncic and Porzingis off the court this season.
Don’t forget about Spencer Dinwiddie, who should be locked into a big role for the Nets with Kyrie Irving likely out for the rest of the season. He’s averaged 38.38 FanDuel points in 34 games without Irving, so he’s underpriced at $7,500.
James Harden has been a bit up-and-down recently, but he’s scored at least 60.25 DraftKings points in each of his past three games. He appears to be benefitting from the same increased space as Westbrook. He has thrived in 14 games without Capela this season, averaging a usage rate of 38.3% and 61.63 DraftKings points per game.
Overall, he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.00 on DraftKings despite an average salary of over $11,700. He’s priced at just $10,900 for today’s matchup vs. the Jazz, so he has even more upside than usual.
The Jazz are obviously a tough matchup, but Harden has been able to overcome it in the past. He scored 66.5 DraftKings points in his first meeting vs. the Jazz this season, and he’s averaged a positive Plus/Minus vs. the Jazz over the past three seasons.
Jimmy Butler will miss tonight’s game vs. the Cavaliers for personal reasons, which means we should be looking at a heavy dose of Kendrick Nunn. Nunn hasn’t seen as much playing time following the addition of Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, which has caused his salary to drop across the industry. He’s seen a usage bump of +1.1% in games without Butler this season, resulting in an average of 0.91 DraftKings points per minute. He’s a very strong value option at his current price tag, especially in a strong matchup vs. the Cavs.
Devonte’ Graham has SG eligibility on FanDuel, where his $6,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%. His production has decreased over the past month — he’s averaged just 0.91 FanDuel points per minute — but he’s still seeing a healthy amount of playing time. The Nets are definitely a spot where Graham could get right: He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.85 and leads all SGs with 13 Pro Trends.
Caris LeVert is another member of Nets to consider with Irving out of the lineup. He’s actually seen the largest boost in fantasy value in games without Irving this season, leading the team with a usage rate of 32.1%. He’s averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute in that situation, and he’s currently projected for 33.8 minutes in our NBA Models.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on a roll recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past eight games on FanDuel, and his average of 1.98 FanDuel points per minute over the past month is the top mark on the slate by a considerable margin.
His matchup vs. the 76ers should also be a positive for him. The Bucks are only favored by 8.5-points, which is lower than usual for them. He’s crushed vs. Philly over the past two seasons, posting an average Plus/Minus of +19.82 over five contests. He did disappoint vs. the 76ers on Christmas, but he should be able to bounce back as long as this game stays competitive.
Dorian Finney-Smith should be looking at a big workload today for the Mavs, which makes him an intriguing option at $4,000 on FanDuel. He’s averaged a respectable 0.76 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 34.2 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.80 on FanDuel (per the Trends tool).
Kelly Oubre has struggled a bit recently, posting a negative Plus/Minus in three straight games, but he’s played less minutes than usual in those contests. That said, two of those contests have been blowouts, so he should return to his normal workload moving forward. He’s underpriced at just $6,000 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 95%.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is another potential value option for the Mavericks. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.8% with Doncic and Porzingis off the court this season, which gives him a nice ceiling for his price tag. He’s struggled to shoot the ball all season, but he has big upside if his jumper is falling.
Bam Adebayo has seen a huge bump in fantasy production this season, and he’s a strong option today given the absence of Butler. He hasn’t seen a bump in usage rate with Butler off the court this season, but he has increased his assist rate and rebound rate. He’s in a great spot today vs. the Cavaliers, who rank dead last in defensive efficiency.
Maxi Kleber should see a big workload given the injury to Porzingis. He’s also averaged a strong 0.90 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he has the potential to take advantage of an increased workload. The Hawks are also an excellent matchup for big men, ranking 28th in team rebound rate.
P.J. Washington is another potential value option worth considering. He’s priced at just $4,800 on FanDuel, and he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.75 vs. the Nets. Washington has averaged 0.90 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for over 30 minutes in our NBA Models.
Al Horford is priced at just $4,600 on DraftKings, which would’ve been almost unfathomable at the beginning of the season. That said, the price decrease has been warranted. He’s scored 18.75 DraftKings points or fewer in three of his past six games, and he hasn’t eclipsed 34.0 DraftKings points in any of his other games over that time frame. That makes him an interesting buy-low target vs. the Bucks. Horford has historically been a strong defender vs. Giannis, so he could see a few additional minutes in this contest.
Joel Embiid has had a bit of a down season by his lofty standards. That said, he is coming off 69.5 DraftKings points in his last game, so he could be starting to turn things around. He’s still priced down at just $9,400 on DraftKings, which gives him a strong ceiling. The Bucks also represent an excellent matchup, giving Embiid an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.86 on DraftKings.
Daniel Gafford is priced at the absolute minimum on DraftKings, and he should see a solid handful of minutes today for the Bulls. He’s currently projected for 23.5 minutes, and min-priced centers with a comparable minute projection have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.19. Gafford has also averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute this season, which makes him an above-average producer for a punt play.
Rudy Gobert is going to have a massive size advantage today vs. the Rockets. P.J. Tucker has been handling the majority of their minutes at center, and they have no real potential big men options on the bench. Gobert disappointed in this matchup recently, but there’s no reason to expect a repeat performance today.
Photo credit: Bart Young-NBAE via Getty Images
Pictured: Mavericks SG/SF Tim Hardaway Jr. (11)