Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks vs. Sacramento Kings, $9,800
The Kings will visit the Hawks tonight and this contest’s O/U game total sits at a mammoth 240.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. Having exposure to this tilt is a necessity and Young is obviously one of the top targets. The point guard has posted back-to-back performances of over 50 DKFP and should exceed this threshold against the defensively-challenged Kings.
Up until this point of the season, Sacramento easily ranks dead last in defensive efficiency and rating, and when Young has found himself in a total of 235 points or greater in 2020-21, the 22-year-old has generated 54.3 DKFP per game.
Other Options: Damian Lillard ($10,700), Luka Doncic ($10,600), Russell Westbrook ($10,200), De’Aaron Fox ($9,200), Kyle Lowry ($8,700)
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, $6,500
Holiday was only needed for 25 minutes in Thursday’s 33-point blowout win vs. the Knicks snd posted 23.25 DKFP, but the important note here is that the point guard didn’t carry a minutes limit in his first game following the All-Star break. After having COVID-19, the Bucks were easing Holiday back into action before the layoff, but the minutes restriction was lifted prior to Thursday night, and he would have seen over 30 minutes if this contest was competitive.
Saturday night’s road matchup against the Wizards should present a better game environment, and we should see Holiday get back into form in this juicy spot. Not only is Washington the fastest offense in the NBA, but they rank fourth-to-last in defensive efficiency and this is the cheapest Holiday has been since the fifth game of the season. I wouldn’t trust him in cash games, but the point guard was amassing 38 DKFP per game in his previous 10 before he got hit with COVID-19, and this feels like an ideal time to buy-low.
Other Options: Ricky Rubio ($5,700), Jaylen Nowell ($4,600)
Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets, $7,300
There is no denying it right now, Powell is an absolute stud. With Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw all missing the past three for the Raptors because of the NBA’s health protocols, Powell has stepped up with 43.5 DKFP per game. To fill the void of all these key players, the 27-year-old has taken on a team-high 26.7% usage rate and 38 minutes per game. None of those previously mentioned Raptors will be able to return tonight, so we can expect another heavy dose of Powell vs. the Hornets, who are giving up the sixth-most DKFP per game to opposing shooting guards this season.
His impressive run isn’t stopping tonight and I will be rostering Powell with full confidence in both cash-games and GPPs.
Other Options: Kyrie Irving ($9,700)
Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks, $6,600
Hield opened the second half of the season with a bang Thursday night, providing 46 DKFP in 38 minutes vs. the Rockets. His playing time has increased to 39 minutes per game over his past four and the large role has helped Hield score 44.5 DKFP per game during this span on 50% shooting from beyond the arc.
The Kings clearly want the sharpshooter more involved right now, and this elite setting against the Hawks is the perfect spot for him to maintain his improved play. Hield never sees high ownership and is an excellent way to differentiate yourself in GPPs tonight.
Other Options: Kevin Huerter ($5,700), Bogdan Bogdanovic ($3,800), Landry Shamet ($3,600)
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets at Toronto Raptors, $7,200
With the Raptors so depleted in their past three, they have been a mess defensively, rating as the third-worst unit in basketball during this stretch. They have yielded an average of 127.3 points per game and rightfully so, Saturday night’s matchup between the Raptors and Hornets is up to 229.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Hayward recorded 37.8 DKFP in his first meeting with Toronto this season and the former Celtic is averaging 37.9 DKFP per game in 2020-21 when the total is 225 points or greater. Furthermore, the Raptors are surrendering the second-most DKFP per game to opposing small forwards across their past five. All signs are pointing to a strong night from Hayward and his $7,200 salary is very reasonable.
Other Options: Khris Middleton ($8,000), Jerami Grant ($7,700)
Jake Layman, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $3,500
Under new head coach Chris Finch, Layman has seen a much bigger role, playing 26.3 minutes per game in his past three. This has led to 20.6 DKFP per game and the 27-year-old has been a member of the Wolves’ starting five in back-to-back contests.
Assuming he keeps his starting job tonight, Layman is a decent flier for over 20 DKFP against a soft Blazers defense, that ranks 28th in efficiency. He lacks true upside, but Layman is a cheap way to access one of the better game settings of this slate.
Other Options: Will Barton ($5,200), Deni Avdija ($4,000)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, $11,000
Sometimes, the best values on the slate are the studs, and that is exactly the case tonight with Antetokounmpo. At only $11,000, the two-time MVP needs 55 DKFP to reach 5x value, which is something he has accomplished in 24 of 36 starts this season. Antetokounmpo just exposed a stout Knicks defense for 59 DKFP on Thursday night and is now contributing 62.7 DKFP per game in his past 10.
As noted above, the Wizards are one of the worst defenses in the NBA and their league-high pace is optimal for Antetokounmpo, who is one of the best transition players in basketball. His ceiling is north of 70 DKFP tonight and you can’t go wrong with Antetokounmpo at this price.
Other Options: Kristaps Porzingis ($8,300)
Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $5,600
Per usual, Covington is an appealing mid-tier option that carries better upside than his salary suggests. In his past four, the forward has supplied 36.2 DKFP per game, while averaging 4.5 defensive stats a night. The Wolves get blocked at the third-highest clip in the league this season and opposing power forwards have exposed them for the sixth-most DKFP per game over their past five.
Since the start of February, Covington has topped 30 DKFP in 55% of his games, and his DraftKings’ main GPP ownership hasn’t cracked double-digits in 16 games. A sub 10% ownership for Covington is almost guaranteed, and I love playing contrarian with the defensive specialist Saturday.
Other Options: Harrison Barnes ($6,800), PJ Washington ($6,700), Danilo Gallinari ($5,700)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $10,800
In last night’s victory against the Grizzlies, Jokic was stellar, producing 62.75 DKFP in 36 minutes of work. This brings his average for his past 10 starts up to 59.8 DKFP, and Saturday presents an appetizing spot against the Mavs. Currently, Dallas ranks 25th in defensive efficiency and Jokic has a 63.75 DKFP showing against them this season.
No player on this Mavs roster has even a prayer of containing the big man, and the Nuggets will be on their home floor, where Jokic is amassing 59.8 DKFP per game this year. This is a 4.4 differential from when on the road and the superstar is right behind Antetokounmpo in terms of raw projection tonight.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jokic (ankle) is listed as questionable for tonight’s game vs. the Mavericks.
Other Options: Clint Capela ($7,500), Enes Kanter ($7,200)
Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets, $6,600
In these past three with the Raptors down many key pieces, Boucher has improved in every game, scoring 34.5, 38.25 and 50.25 DKFP, in that order. His playing time has exceeded the 30-minute mark in two consecutive games and he should reach this height again tonight, with the Raptors having no choice but to use a very tight rotation.
This season, Boucher has collected 1.3 DKFP per minute and 41.9 DKFP per game when he has cracked 30 minutes. Going against a Hornets defense that is most vulnerable in the paint (eighth-most DKFP to centers), Boucher has to be on your radar tonight at only $6,600.
Other Options: Aron Baynes ($4,500), Isaiah Stewart ($3,600)
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