Saturday brings a six-game main slate, featuring some of the best and some of the worst teams in the league. Look out for a potential blowout as Miami hosts Cleveland, but I won’t be surprised if Milwaukee vs. Philadelphia is closer than the spread suggests (Bucks minus-8). The best fantasy matchups go to Dallas, Miami and Utah, while defense will be on display in Milwaukee. Ben Simmons is probable tonight, while we’ll wait to hear more about Mike Conley, Eric Gordon, and Luke Kornet. Clint Capela, Kris Dunn, Wendell Carter, Otto Porter, Chandler Hutchison, Tyler Herro and De’Andre Hunter remain out tonight. 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. Tonight’s slate tips at 7:00 pm EST.
Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn ($5300 both)
Rozier is a player that it’s easy to overlook, especially as he hasn’t been playing amazing lately. Still, he’s a high floor, high ceiling option averaging 30ish fantasy points per game vs. the Nets this season. He gets a big pace bump, and the sixth-best PG matchup.
Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat vs. Cleveland ($4000 FD, $4500 DK)
We’ll always pick on the low-hanging fruit of an easy matchup here, and Cleveland checks in at No. 2 vs. point guards in fantasy points allowed. The Heat are home, where Goran Dragic ($4900 FD, $5400 DK) has been significantly better, and will be retiring Dwyane Wade’s jersey tonight. Nunn headlines this blurb thanks to his lower salary and excellent numbers vs. the Cavaliers this season (he’s averaging 17 points, seven assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game against them). Nunn might be more boom/bust whereas Dragic is the steadier, safer option if you can afford him.
Delon Wright, Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta ($3800 both)
I’m happy with 20 fantasy points at this price, and the Hawks are the team to give it up. In fact, Wright was significantly better than that the first time these teams met. With Luka Doncic sure to be a popular option tonight, consider adding Wright to lineups at much lower ownership and huge savings. He could be key to fitting that one extra star you want. Extra bonus if Seth Curry doesn't play, with Luka Doncic now ruled out too!
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz vs. Houston ($5300 both)
If you’re building lineups with a more middle-of-the-road approach, Clarkson might be a good fit. The Rockets rank third in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards, and Clarkson was on fire before the break. He wasn’t great vs. the Spurs, but on the positive side did see 35 minutes Friday night.
Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn ($5100 both)
Monk is another guy who entered the All-Star break hot hot hot. It was nice to see that continue as he racked up another 25 points, six rebounds and three assists Thursday night. Given that he seems locked into about 30 MPG, Monk is a very reasonable option at SG/SF tonight.
Josh Richardson, Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee ($5000 FD(SG), $4400 DK(SG))
Sorry, not sorry. As long as this is his salary, he’s here. As I said above, I think this game could be closer than Vegas, and Philly gets the pace bump. Both teams rank highly in defensive efficiency, but obviously, points will be scored here (it carries a 226.5 point total). Richardson has been outstanding for the price in his last two games and earlier in the season, when he was costing you about $7K, he put up 36 fantasy points on the Bucks.
Jae Crowder, Miami Heat vs. Cleveland ($4600 FD, $4800 DK)
Crowder played his fewest minutes yet with the Heat Thursday night (23), but still managed more than a fantasy point per minute in an efficient night that included two blocks. He’s not someone I’m forcing into lineups, but if he fits, I think he’s good for another 25-30 fantasy point effort tonight.
Dario Saric, Phoenix Suns at Chicago ($3900 FD, $3000 DK)
Look, Saric is the kind of player I hate to write about. Capable of great things and nothings, he can be frustrating to roster. His salary has been all over the place this season and the fact that it’s right about rock bottom is the main reason I’m including him today. That, and the fact that Chicago just hemorrhages fantasy points to opposing bigs is enough to roll the dice on Saric, who played 20 minutes Friday night and put up 18.5 fantasy points against Toronto.
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets vs. Brooklyn ($4800 FD, $4700 DK)
Washington is a good example of what a PF can do vs. Chicago, as he just put up 17 points and a full stat sheet against them Thursday night. Brooklyn is a decent frontcourt matchup as well, and I like Washington to continue to provide solid numbers for the price. The fact that he can contribute in every category every night provides a bit of insurance for when he has a bad night from the field.
DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte ($5500 both)
I find it’s more comfortable to hedge any Jordan lineups with a Jarrett Allen lineup, just in case… But Jordan has been dominating lately, has been better on the road this season, and played well against the Hornets, fantasy’s second-best center matchup (behind Chicago), this season with an average of 31.5 fantasy points against them.
Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks vs. Dallas ($4900 FD, $4700 DK)
It won’t be easy to go back to the Dedmon well, but there aren’t many cheap center options getting his kind of opportunity. He was abysmal Thursday night in another difficult matchup, but before the break he was fine, even good. I honestly don’t see how you stay away from Deandre Ayton tonight, but if you do, Dedmon should bounce back.