Saturday night NBA consists of seven games. Portland at Atlanta offers a ton of fantasy potential, while Houston at Boston should be a fun one to watch. LeBron James, Andre Drummond, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Eric Gordon and Danny Green are some degree of questionable tonight, while Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kemba Walker, Clint Capela, Jaren Jackson, Dewayne Dedmon, Brandon Clarke, and Ky Bowman will be out. 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.
Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers at Cleveland ($5900 FD only)
Brogdon is as close to a must-play guy on FanDuel as it gets. His salary remains crazy low there, despite his continuing to play strong ball in any matchup. Against Cleveland, however, he is averaging 50 fantasy points a game in two meetings so far. The Cavs are the league-best PG matchup, with Cleveland ranking 30th in defensive efficiency overall and turning the ball over at the highest rate in the league.
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn ($5600 FD, $5500 DK)
The price differential between Dragic and Kendrick Nunn ($5000 FD, $5700 FD) is interesting, but my clear choice tonight is Dragic. Not only has he been seeing more consistent minutes, he’s been quietly solid in the three main categories. He’s averaging about five more fantasy points at home than on the road and about 32 fantasy points vs. Brooklyn this season (two games).
Also consider: Rajon Rondo ($4200 both)
Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers at Cleveland ($4800 FD, $5800 DK)
Oladipo is coming off his best game of the season, a 15-point, 7-rebound, 2-assist and 1-steal effort good for 28 fantasy points. The matchup goodness of the Cavaliers extends to shooting guards, as they also rank No. 1 for fantasy to this position. I won’t be writing up all the Pacers here, but I could. Oladipo looks like the better option than either Holiday brother going forward, barring any other injuries. His salary on DK is higher than I want to spend, but love him on FanDuel.
Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic at San Antonio ($6000 FD, $6500 DK)
Fournier is coming off a bad game vs. Minnesota, and hopefully that, along with his salary (not even in bargain range on DK), keeps his ownership down a bit. That said, overall Fournier has been worth this price, and against the Spurs earlier this season he posted a 26-point, 4-rebound, 3-assist, 1-steal line. He’s a nice high floor cash game option with upside in a plus matchup overall and for guards specifically. Terrence Ross ($4900 FD, $5400 DK) is also in play if you need to save a bit more.
Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors at Phoenix ($5800 FD, $5300 DK)
The Warriors might have to re-think bringing Stephen Curry back for tomorrow’s game given the recent injuries to Bowman and Poole and unleash him tonight. Barring that, Lee is another near-must play for me tonight at these prices. Phoenix isn’t the defensive pushover they used to be, but they are no powerhouse shut-down defense either. Lee is going to play plenty of minutes in one of the fastest paced games of the night; he should hold steady around 30ish fantasy points again tonight.
Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks vs. Portland ($4700 FD, $4300 DK)
Reddish has been benefitting a bit from the injuries to the Hawks’ frontcourt and in the last two games he’s scored 40 real points and put up marks in each and every statistical category. Portland plays fast and loose too and this game carries the highest point total of the night (234.5 points) with a one-point spread. They rank 26th in defensive efficiency and are a generous fantasy matchup for opposing forwards.
Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers at Atlanta ($5700 FD, $5700 DK(PF))
I don’t love Melo, but I can’t ignore this matchup, for all the reasons I just gave for Reddish. Atlanta is the No. 1 SF and PF matchup for fantasy, and although Anthony has had his ups and downs, I feel like he’s going to show the higher end of his range in this one.
Juan Toscano-Anderson, Golden State Warriors at Phoenix ($3900 FD, $3700 DK)
If Poole doesn’t play tonight, I’d expect to see more of Toscano-Anderson. He wasn’t great Thursday, even with Draymond Green getting ejected, but this team is seriously short-handed. He’s a tournament only play, with a wide range of outcomes, and this isn’t a cake matchup for him. Still, it’s better than the Lakers, and if he approaches 30 minutes, he has a good chance to get back in the 30-fantasy point range.
Also consider: T.J. Warren ($5400 FD, $5900 DK)
Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics vs. Houston ($5200 FD, $4900 DK(C))
Despite concerns about the Rockets’ small-ball rotation, I still think Theis is worth a look tonight. He’s been playing high-level ball very consistently since before the break, and this game should be a high-scoring and competitive one. Houston ranks seventh-overall in fantasy points allowed, and Theis put up a decent, 26-fantasy point effort against them earlier in the season. He’s one possible answer to a cheap center on DK.
Kyle Kuzma, LA Lakers at Memphis ($4200 FD, $4600 DK)
If James is out tonight, we’d expect to see another good Kuzma game. Memphis ranks sixth-overall in fantasy points allowed, and plays at a faster pace than the Lakers, both good omens for the best team in the league. Kuzma took 17 shots from the field against the Warriors Thursday night, scoring 18 points to go along with a few peripherals. A similar line is well within his range tonight.
Bruno Fernando, Atlanta Hawks vs. Portland ($3700 FD, $3500 DK)
For deep savings in a stars and scrubs lineup, I’m looking at Fernando. With some trepidation, I can’t help but notice his last two games, both very near double-doubles and against far better defensive opponents for 25-27 fantasy points. As long as Capela and Dedmon are out, he should be in line for 20-plus minutes and the opportunity to show what he can do. Against Portland, a Top 6 center matchup, I’m rooting for Fernando to get that double-double.
My strong preference is to pay up for center tonight (Hassan Whiteside, Deandre Ayton), but if you’re inclined to save the guys I would look at include Kuzma, Theis and Fernando on DraftKings; as well as Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Tristan Thompson, and Myles Turner on FanDuel.