Saturday’s main NBA slate features seven games. In this column, I generally set $6000 FD/$5000 DK as the bargain threshold, and I try to indicate when I think a position is particularly well-suited--or not--to using the cheap plays given the landscape of the particular slate. DraftKings’ pricing is notably sharper than FanDuel’s tonight, so I tried to provide a couple extra options to consider where it was feasible. Tonight’s slate tips at 7:00 pm EST.
George Hill, Milwaukee Bucks at New York ($4400 both)
I’m not ignoring Donte DiVincenzo here, but because Hill is cheaper and capable of producing the same, if not more, he gets the nod here. While Eric Bledsoe is out, both guys will see a few more minutes, and although New York is a slow-paced team, they rank just 27th in defensive efficiency and give up the ninth-most fantasy points to the PG position.
Tomas Satoransky, Chicago Bulls at Detroit ($5700 FD, $5200 DK)
Satoransky is coming off back-to-back excellent games in which he just filled the stat sheet for over 30 fantasy points per game. One of the few DK values to be found tonight, Satoransky should be able to keep it going vs. a Pistons team that they match up well with.
Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers at San Antonio ($4700 FD, $5200 DK)
After missing two games, Beverley has shot back up the fantasy radar, making a particularly nice salary-saver on FanDuel tonight. The Clippers are medium favorites on the road in a high scoring game, and the Spurs have been notably susceptible to opposing guards again this season (sixth-most fantasy points to PG). Beverley appears to be feeling feisty, and that’s when he’s at his fantasy best.
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Sacramento ($4900 FD, $5200 DK)
For the most part, I’d rather be targeting Kings than Grizzlies in this game, since Sacramento is a big pace downgrade and they are favored by a small amount on the road. However, Sacramento has typically been a good wing matchup for opposing two-guards, and this year is no exception. Brooks is a good three-point shooter, and has generally taken advantage of good matchups like this one with an extra-high shot volume and corresponding big fantasy night.
Bruce Brown, Jr., Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago ($4700 FD, $4900 DK)
Though this game has one of the lower point totals of the evening, it doesn’t lack for positive fantasy opportunity. The Pistons are possibly going to miss Luke Kennard again tonight, which would pave the way for Brown to see upwards of 30 minutes again. He’s scored double-digit points in three of his last four games, and has the high-floor advantage of being able to fill the stat sheet in multiple ways including 10 rebounds and four steals a week ago, or two blocks vs. Washington or five assists last night.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings at Memphis ($4500 FD, $5300 DK)
As noted above, the Grizzlies are a big pace bump for Sacramento, as well as being the fourth-most generous opponent for fantasy overall this season. There aren’t any bad matchups for the Kings tonight, so I’d prioritize spending up on guys like Buddy Hield, but if you want to save a bit, especially on FD, Barnes is an option. I know he can sting you when you least expect it, such as his five-point game last night. That should keep his ownership down, but for the most part, Barnes is having a very productive, consistent season. He’ll bounce back tonight.
Danuel House, Jr., Houston Rockets at Phoenix ($4100 FD, $3800 DK)
House represents one of my favorite ways to save on DK tonight, where it’s just hard to find value. He’s playing over 30 MPG, and his defense is sufficient to keep him there even when he has struggled offensively. He’s coming off a well-rounded game in which he sunk two threes, registered five assists and a steal. His playing time and price are great, but don’t sleep on the awesome fantasy potential of this game, with two Top 10 teams in pace and offensive efficiency, yet in the bottom half of the league in defensive efficiency, Vegas has a 236-point total on this one.
Also consider: Kelly Oubre ($5900 FD)
Dario Saric, Phoenix Suns vs. Houston ($4500 FD, $5000 DK)
Like I was just saying, get on this game. Saric is averaging about 30 fantasy points per game over the last couple weeks, and though he does have a wide range of outcomes, all signs point to a positive one here. Houston ranks in the Top 3 in fantasy points allowed to opposing forwards, and Saric had a nice double-double against them earlier this month.
Markieff Morris, Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago ($4300 FD(SF), $5500 DK)
Morris has had some nice games with Blake Griffin out, so whether he plays tonight is critical to this decision. In three games this week, Morris played over 27 minutes and racked up at least 26 fantasy points in each. Chicago is the best matchup in the league for opposing bigs. Since the Pistons are also lacking Christian Wood, you could also consider Thon Maker ($3500 FD(C), $3200 DK) a significant salary-saver, as Maker was highly effective for the price with 15 points (seven free throws) and seven rebounds last night in a more difficult matchup with Boston.
Skal Labissiere, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota ($3500 FD, $3000 DK)
If Carmelo Anthony were to sit out tonight’s game, I think the Kings would again give Labissiere a bit more run. Last night he posted a balanced line of eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 24 minutes. Minnesota is another great overall fantasy matchup (10th-best), and this game carries a nearly 230-point total as both teams play fast and loose, ranking in the bottom third of the league in defensive efficiency.
Also consider: Robert Covington ($5500 FD)
Ian Mahinmi, Washington Wizards at Philadelphia ($4300 FD, $4400 DK)
Again, the Wizards are down to one man in the front court, and Mahinmi is his name. It’s no wonder they rank dead last in rebounding rate, and facing the best rebounding team in the league will be no easy feat for Mahinmi. Still, as long as everyone else remains sidelined, Mahinmi is probably going to find his way to 20-plus fantasy points.