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 8 p.m. ET.
The 76ers are going to be extremely shorthanded today, with Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, and Wilson Chandler all already ruled out. That makes Ben Simmons a really appealing option. He’s seen a usage bump of +6.7% with Embiid and Butler both off the court since Butler was acquired from the Timberwolves, and he’s averaged 1.43 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on DraftKings, where his $9,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%.
Sticking with the 76ers, T.J. McConnell and Landry Shamet also figure to see a boost in production with Embiid and Butler out of the lineup. Shamet is currently projected for more minutes in our NBA Models, but McConnell might be the more appealing option. He’s averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and McConnell has historically posted a Plus/Minus of +2.84 on FanDuel when projected for 20-25 minutes (per the Trends tool).
The Pacers have a brutal matchup vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, but they’re another team that will be shorthanded on today’s slate. Victor Oladipo went down with a gruesome injury in their last game and unfortunately will miss the remainder of the season. Darren Collison and Cory Joseph should both see a boost with Oladipo out of the lineup, and both players have averaged a Plus/Minus of at least +2.6 in 11 games without Oladipo this season.
The SG position is thin at the top today, with only two players owning a salary above $5,500 on FanDuel. One of those players is C.J. McCollum, and he’s in an absolutely elite spot today vs. the Atlanta Hawks. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league this season, and Blazers’ implied team total of 120.0 points is the top mark on the slate. He’s pretty affordable at the moment at $6,800 on FanDuel, and McCollum has historically posted a Plus/Minus of +2.45 with a comparable salary.
Damian Lillard has also been downgraded to doubtful for today’s contest, which would obviously give McCollum a huge boost in value. He’s seen a usage bump of +8.9% with Lillard off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.0 DraftKings points per minute. Lillard has yet to miss a game this season, but McCollum averaged 39.06 DraftKings points per minute in two games without Lillard last season.
JJ Redick is set up for a monster game tonight vs. the Denver Nuggets. He’s seen a whopping usage bump of +11.0% in 67 minutes without Embiid and Butler this season, resulting in an average of 1.18 DraftKings points per minute. Redick is a particularly appealing target on DraftKings, where his $5,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%.
Klay Thompson is always capable of posting a big game, and his $5,900 salary on DraftKings makes him as cheap as he’s been all season. That said, he has a tough matchup vs. the Boston Celtics, who rank fourth in defensive efficiency, and his outlook with DeMarcus Cousins is still pretty bleak. He’s posted a usage rate of 18.1% or less in two of three games with Cousins in the lineup, which makes him a low-floor, high-ceiling type of play.
Corey Brewer has signed his second 10-day contract with the 76ers and should continue to start with Butler out of the lineup. He’s averaged just 0.66 DraftKings points per minute but is projected for 31 minutes at just $3,800.
Kevin Durant stands out in his own tier today on FanDuel. That said, it does appear that Cousins returning to the lineup has had a negative impact on him. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in each of his past three games and has averaged a usage rate of just 25.7% over that time frame. That’s a pretty significant decrease from his season-long average of 30.6%.
Still, his salary has decreased by -$1,100 over the past month on FanDuel, and it’s hard not to like him at his current $9,400 price tag. Durant has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.14 with a comparable salary as a member of the Warriors, so this could be an excellent time to buy low on him.
Will Barton is an elite target today on FanDuel, where his $5,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute over the past month and has logged at least 26 minutes in each of his past two games.
The Nuggets won their most recent contest by 37 points, so it’s possible he could see even more playing time on today’s slate. Jamal Murray is also questionable for today’s contest, and Barton has seen a team-high usage bump of +7.1% with Murray off the court this season.
Bojan Bogdonvic has been one of the biggest beneficiaries with Oladipo off the court this season, leading the team with a usage bump of +1.5%. He’s also been a nice value in games without Oladipo, averaging a Plus/Minus of +5.1 on DraftKings.
The time seems right to start targeting Taurean Prince. He’s priced at just $4,700 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 90%, and he’s coming off 28 minutes of playing time in his most recent contest. He’s averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need to play more than that to be a value at his current salary.
John Collins continues to provide nice value on DraftKings. He’s posted a Consistency Rating of 92% over the past month and is coming off 53.0 DraftKings points in his most recent contest. That’s definitely more than you should expect today – he’s probably not shooting 14-16 from the field again – but he’s one of the safest bets for a double-double every time he takes the floor. He’s a strong play on DraftKings, where his $8,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%.
The PF position looks like a nice spot to save some money today. Paul Millsap is coming off 40.25 DraftKings points in 22 minutes yesterday vs. the Suns, yet his salary has actually decreased for today’s contest vs. the 76ers. It’s definitely not as good of a spot, especially since Nikola Jokic will be back in the lineup, but it still seems too cheap for Millsap given his average of 1.09 DraftKings points per minute this season. His current $5,000 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%.
The game between the Warriors and Celtics is today’s marquee matchup, featuring the highest total at 231.5 points and a spread of just 3.5. Marcus Morris could be a way to get some cheap exposure at just $4,800 on DraftKings. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past two games and has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.85 with a comparable salary this season.
Al-Farouq Aminu could be a nice buy-low target today vs. the Hawks. He’s coming off just 16 minutes in their last game, which the Blazers won easily vs. the Phoenix Suns. He should return to his usual workload today – he’s currently projected for 30 minutes in our NBA Models – and has averaged 0.91 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.
Nikola Jokic had the night off yesterday due to a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation, so he should be well rested for tonight’s contest vs. the 76ers. That usually a tough matchup for centers, but it will be much easier today with Embiid out of the lineup. They’ve allowed five additional points per 100 possessions with Embiid off the court this season, and opponents have increased their FG% from 43.4% to 48.0%.
Jokic has also averaged 1.64 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, which is the top mark on today’s slate. He has huge upside given the matchup.
Mike Muscala will likely enter the starting lineup today, which makes him one of the most appealing options on the slate. He’s particularly appealing on FanDuel, where he’s priced at the absolute minimum and owns a Bargain Rating of 98%. He’s averaged 0.76 FanDuel points per minute with Embiid and Butler off the court this season and is currently projected for 26.8 minutes in our NBA Models.
Myles Turner has seen the largest bump in fantasy value in games without Oladipo this season. He’s averaged 34.35 DraftKings points in 10 games with Oladipo out of the lineup, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +7.0. He’s should carry minimal ownership in a tough matchup vs. the Grizzlies, which makes him an appealing option for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Al Horford is in an excellent spot today vs. the Warriors, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.21 on DraftKings. He’s averaged 1.13 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and his current $5,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.
Pictured: Blazers G CJ McCollum
Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports