Here are some of the top plays for Saturday’s late slate on FanDuel. The season is well underway, and we have injuries, coaching changes and all sorts of other news and trends to sort through as we try to figure out the top values at every position.
Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland Cavaliers, $4,100 - With Mo Williams ruled out, Dellavedova should draw another start, and he played a monstrous 39 minutes last game in place of Williams. He’s not going to get a ton of offensive usage, but he only needs 20 FD points to pay off his salary. He’s averaging just over .7 fantasy points per minute this season so at his increased minutes he should be in line to top 20 FD points.
If Jeff Teague sits another game, then fire up Dennis Schroder and load up at SG, SF and centers. His price is slightly up, but he’s still averaging well over 5x his salary with Teague out of the lineup. If Teague returns, then Mike Conley makes for a sneaky GPP option. Most people will avoid him as the Spurs have an elite defense. However, the weakness in their defense is against PG (25th in DVP) and for some reason Conley tends to play very well against Tony Parker, as he averaged almost 38 FD PPG against the Spurs in four games last year,
James Harden, Houston Rockets, $10,300 - Harden has deservedly taken a ton of heat this year as his play has been sub-par, and Kevin McHale took the fall. However, we saw him respond on Wednesday night with a huge night, so we know the upside is still there. The Rockets are coming off of another loss and will also be without Dwight Howard, so Harden will likely look to put the Rockets on his back tonight en route to another big fantasy day.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, $9,500 & Paul George, Indiana Pacers, $9,500 - SF is loaded today as there are four great high-end options, and I’d look to anchor your lineups with at least one of them. If LaMarcus Aldridge is out for the Spurs, I’m giving Kawhi Leonard a nice boost, but right now I’ll side with Carmelo and George as my favorite high-end options. Paul George is all the way back from his injury and is playing like a top-five player in the NBA right now. He’s seeing time as a stretch PF, which really boosts his rebounding numbers and has scored 26 or more points in eight straight games. Meanwhile, the Bucks have struggled to defend both the SF and PF position (25th in DVP) so this sets up as another big outing from George. As far as Carmelo goes, the Rockets are 28th in DVP against SF and Anthony has 25 or more points in five of his last six games. I think this one could set up as a shootout between Melo and Harden tonight.
Marcus Morris, Detroit Pistons, $6,000 - In terms of cheaper options, Morris looks to be in a very nice spot tonight. The Pistons will be playing way up in pace against the Wizards, who are 29th in DVP against SF. He’s averaging over 35 MPG and given the tempo boost, he should be in line to out produce his cheap salary.
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers, $5,300 - There is some value on Cleveland today as both Mo Williams and Timofey Mozgov will be out. Anderson Varejao could draw the start in place of Mozgov, but Thompson is the much-preferred play. He doesn’t get high offensive usage but he’s a beast on the glass and the Hawks are dead last in rebounding differential this season and also last in DVP against opposing centers.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks, $6,000 - As mentioned the Knicks draw an elite matchup with the awful defense of the Rockets. The Rockets are 28th in DVP against PF, and they’ll also be without Dwight Howard so they’ll be forced to play small and Porzingis should have a big afternoon on the glass. The primary concern with him is minutes/foul trouble, but his minutes have been trending up and he’s flashed 40 FD point upside.
Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat, $8,500 - The Heat blowing the 76ers out is a legitimate concern (the Heat are 14-point favorites), so Whiteside is better suited as a tournament play today. However, he carries GPP-winning upside in this matchup against Jahlil Okafor and terrible 76ers interior. Okafor is getting blocked at an astounding rate and even a non-shot blocker like Al Jefferson recorded five blocks last night. On the season, opposing centers are averaging 4.5 blocks per game against Philly, so this is a game where an elite shot blocker like Whiteside could pile up ten blocks.
Greg Monroe, Milwaukee Bucks, $7,600 - Monroe has been held down over his few games, but those have come against solid interior defenses. As a result, his price has dipped back down below $8,000. This is a nice bounce back spot as the Pacers are 18th in rebounding differential and 17th in DVP against centers.