It’s been a hectic week in the NBA heading into the weekend. The first week of 2021 brought us more chaos in the daily fantasy basketball scene on DraftKings with so many injuries and lineup changes popping up throughout each day. The slate is always evolving from hour to hour and it’s important to stay on top of the injury news and who is going to step up in the lineup. So we’re going to keep an eye on the Twitter feed throughout Saturday and determine which value plays make sense when news drops. For now, we’ll get you start with a few cheap options.
Collin Sexton out vs. Bucks
Sexton has been ruled out again, so the Cavaliers will roll with a short back court. Damyean Dotson ($4,300) and Isaac Okoro ($3,900) will start and both players should get a lot of run. With the Bucks missing Giannis, this game could be low scoring and competitive. The lack of points is concerning, but the value is there. Dotson and Okoro should be locked into 30-plus minutes.
Giannis ruled out vs. Cavs [UPDATE]
The Greek Freak may be held out Saturday due to back spasms. If this is the case, we have two mid-range plays that will open up. Bobby Portis ($5,400) likely starts in place of Giannis, so he’d make for a good cash and GPP play. Donte DiVincenzo ($5,100) wouldn’t be a bad play either as a starter who should play decent minutes and get more looks with Antetokounmpo out.
Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal ruled out for Wizards
With Russ sidelined for the Wizards against the Heat on Saturday, we get a few value options. Raul Neto ($4,100) is going to start in Westbrook’s place. The last time that happened earlier in the season, Neto scored 23 points and played 32 minutes. He’ll be a decent cash-game option and is cheap enough to play in GPPs. Ish Smith ($3,900) hasn’t really been getting much run off the bench. It’s hard to trust him, but if this game gets out of hand, maybe Smith plays around 20 minutes. He’d be more of a risky GPP play.
Jerome Robinson ($3,000) is min-priced and is going to start in place of Beal vs. the Heat. He’s going to be a pretty good value option if you can get him in before lock. Deni Avdija ($3,700) and Rui Hachimura ($4,500) are both good options starting as well.
Duncan Robinson, MIA vs. WAS ($4,700)
The Miami Heat haven’t played a ton of basketball this week like the rest of the League. They’re coming off two days rest after playing Monday and Wednesday. The Wizards are coming off another tough loss, this time to the Boston Celtics, who were without most of their front court. The Wizards are allowing the most points per game in the NBA. The Wizards rank 28th in opponent 3-point percentage (40.0).
This feels like a game Robinson will get a lot of open looks and he’s known to get hot. Robinson is 9-of-21 from beyond the arc in his past two games and is shooting 41.1 percent from downtown on the season. With the Wiz on the second night of a back-to-back, there should be tired legs on an already weak defense. Robinson should get 30-plus minutes and if he doesn’t it’s because the Heat already torched the Wizards in the first half.
Lonnie Walker IV, SAS vs. MIN ($4,300)
There’s a chance the Timberwolves get Karl-Anthony Towns back. That shouldn’t impact how Minny plays defense much. The Wizards are really bad on defense and the T-Wolves are trying to give them a run for their money. Minnesota is second to last in defensive efficiency and points allowed per game. The Spurs just swept a Los Angeles road trip, taking down two title favorites in the Lakers and Clippers.
That type of momentum may carry into this matchup and now we’ll get to Walker. He’s starting and playing around 28 minutes per game. Walker has over 20 DKFP in five games this season, so he’s got a decent floor in this matchup. The ceiling may not quite get us there but we get a lot of leverage in a safe, cheap play. This will be San Antonio’s fourth game in seven days. Maybe anticipating some veterans resting, which could open up more value for Walker.
Gary Trent Jr., POR vs. SAC ($3,700)
At some point Trent is going to go off again and from what we saw from the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, it could be Saturday. The Kings just allowed 144 points to a Raptors team that is middle of the pack on offense and missing Kyle Lowry. So yeah, things are going well currently for SacTown. The Blazers just dropped 135 on the T-Wolves, so we know they’re capable of posting big offensive numbers.
Most of that production is from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but Trent can definitely get hot. He scored 28 points on Dec. 28 against the Lakers at Staples Center. The defending champions are supposed to be a decent defensive team. Knowing that Trent’s ceiling is around 35-40 DKFP makes rolling with him in tournaments an alright play. The upside is there and this game has some blowout potential. If that’s the case, Trent could get around 25-30 minutes.