Saturday night brings an eight-game NBA slate, and DraftKings continues to offer huge tournaments for DFS players. Below are some of my favorite targets at each position.
Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [100K to 1st]
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Dallas Mavericks, $11,000
Bradley Beal ($9,100; hip) is questionable tonight after missing the past three games. If the shooting guard gets another night off, Westbrook will be a building block for all formats. The athletic guard has generated a whopping 69.1 DKFP per game in the five he has been solo without Beal this year. On the other hand, Westbrook is still a viable lucrative target even if Beal is able to make his return.
Even before this recent stretch without his backcourt mate, Westbrook was playing at a high level with Beal in the lineup, amassing 62.25 DKFP per game in his previous five. Plus, the Wizards will be at home, where Westbrook has produced a significant 11.9 DKFP more per game compared to when the team is on the road. Obviously, I am way more interested in the point guard if Beal is out, but Westbrook still has a strong chance of beating this price tag no matter what, and the ownership will be much lower if Beal is back.
Other Options: De’Aaron Fox ($8,900), Jrue Holiday ($7,700), Dejounte Murray ($7,200)
Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $6,000
With the Thunder down many key pieces, Maledon has seen big minutes. With Darius Bazley (shoulder), Lu Dort (concussion) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot) all out in these past three, Maledon has played 30.6 minutes per game. The large volume has helped him score 33.3 DKFP per game, including 45.75 DKFP against the Suns last night, thanks to a massive 36.8% usage rate.
That was the largest usage rate the rookie has received this season, and while it’s unlikely he gets up to the same level again tonight, the minutes are going to be over 30 for Maledon, in this plus spot vs. the Blazers. Up until this point of the season, opposing point guards are exposing this Portland defense for DKFP at the fourth-highest clip in the league.
Other Options: T.J. McConnell ($5,000, if Malcolm Brogdon is out), Cory Joseph ($4,300), Jordan McLaughlin
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Sacramento Kings, $7,700
Finally, Holiday is really starting to gel with the Bucks. After taking one game off for an issue with his knee last week, Holiday has been terrific with 50.3 DKFP per game across his past three. Last night, he posted a double-double worth 47 DKFP in the convincing win over the Blazers.
Following this victory, Holiday and company head to Sacramento, where they will meet the worst-ranked defense in the Association. Point guards have exposed the Kings for DKFP at the fifth-highest rate in the league across their past 10. The Bucks are going to produce a ton of points in this matchup and Holiday is a great way to gain exposure that most likely won’t be very chalky.
Other Options: CJ McCollum ($8,100), Caris LeVert ($7,200, if Malcolm Brogdon is out),
Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks vs. Washington Wizards, $4,800
Brunson is becoming a very reliable sixth man for the Mavs. Even with Luka Doncic active, Brunson has supplied over 30 DKFP in back-to-back games, helping Dallas secure wins over the Celtics and Knicks. His playing time has been at a healthy 29 minutes per game off the bench, and assuming he maintains that role, Brunson should beat his soft salary in this prime matchup against the Wizards tonight.
The Wizards are allowing the third-most DKFP to opposing point guards right now, and as a reserve, Brunson should come with little to no ownership in GPPs.
Other Options: Derrick Rose ($4,700), Raul Neto ($3,500, if Bradley Beal is out)
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Washington Wizards, $10,600
By his standards, Doncic posted a modest stat line last night (47.5 DKFP), but this was a slow and difficult matchup vs. the Knicks, who rank dead last in pace and fourth in defensive efficiency. Tonight’s matchup is the polar opposite, taking on the Wizards, who rank 27th in defensive efficiency and first in pace. Westbrook may be making the headlines for all his triple-doubles, but the former MVP has been terrible as a defender this season, ranking No. 87 of 89 eligible point guards in real defensive plus/minus.
As noted above, Washington ranks third in DKFP allowed to opposing point guards, and there is also a chance that Kristaps Porzingis ($8,300) is rested by the Mavs with this being the second leg of a back-to-back. Doncic would enter must-play territory if this ends up being the case but is still a worthwhile investment regardless, especially with his small forward eligibility on DraftKings.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kristaps Porzingis (injury management) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Wizards.
Other Options: DeMar DeRozan ($8,000)
Hamidou Diallo, Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks, $4,900
With Killian Hayes ($3,000; hip) returning Saturday and Dennis Smith Jr. ($4,700; back) also healthy, the Pistons are all of a sudden near full strength. Still, as one of their most promising young talents, Diallo should receive a prominent role for the rest of the season. Before being rested Thursday night, Diallo was impressing this Detroit coaching staff with 39.6 DKFP per game in his previous two.
The former Kentucky Wildcat didn’t start on either occasion but did see 26.5 minutes per game off the bench. Even with more healthy bodies for the Pistons now, this is the type of workload I am expecting Diallo to gain Saturday. The matchup is far from ideal vs. the Knicks (fourth in defensive efficiency), but Diallo should still outproduce his current price point if the minutes are there. So far in 2020-21, the 22-year-old has collected 1.05 DKFP per minute and 33.8 DKFP per game when given at least 25 minutes of action.
Other Options: Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,600, if Kristaps Porzingis is out), Deni Avdija ($4,400, if Bradley Beal is out), Doug McDermott ($4,000)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) has been ruled out tonight vs. the Kings.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Sacramento Kings, $10,900 After recording less than 50 DKFP in four straight starts, Antetokounmpo finally reminded us why he owns back-to-back MVP awards, destroying the Blazers for 72.5 DKFP last night. Based on efficiency, the Blazers are the second weakest defense in the NBA, and now Antetokounmpo gets his chance to bully the only defense that ranks worse, the Kings. The Greek Freak does most of his damage inside, and currently, no team in the NBA is surrendering more points in the paint than Sacramento. Giannis exploded for 67.5 DKFP the first time these two clubs battled this season, and Antetokounmpo is an immense value at his sub $11,000 salary.
Other Options: Richaun Holmes ($7,400, better if Hassan Whiteside is out), Rui Hachimura ($7,000, if Bradley Beal is out)
Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat, $4,800
Filling in for the injured Jarrett Allen (concussion), Wade has started the past two games for the Cavs, supplying 26.6 DKFP per game. Even with Cleveland getting absolutely walloped by an average of 29.5 points in these contests, Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has played Wade 36 minutes per game. The DraftKings Sportsbook is predicting another blowout loss for the Cavs on Saturday, favoring Miami by 12.5 points, but Wade should still see over 30 minutes with his team thin up front.
This type of opportunity certainly brings him into the value conversation tonight at his $4,800 price, even in this tough matchup with the Heat (sixth in defensive efficiency). When Wade has logged 30 minutes or higher this year, the second-year big man is averaging 28.2 DKFP per game, which would be a 5.8 times value return at his salary for Saturday.
Other Options: Aleksej Pokusevski ($5,100), Maxi Kleber ($4,100, if Kristaps Porzingis is out)
Moses Brown, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $7,300
In a 37-point loss to the Suns last night, Brown struggled in the tough road matchup, only earning 13.25 DKFP. With this dud sitting in his game log as his most recent start, Brown should come with depressed ownership in GPPs, as he finds himself in a perfect bounce-back spot vs. the Blazers.
In addition to ranking second-to-last in defensive efficiency, Portland has been dreadful at guarding centers this year, giving up the third-most DKFP per game to the position. They should also be more susceptible than usual with this being their second contest in two nights, and the O/U game total for this Northwest division matchup is at 227.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. If we disregard last night’s embarrassment, Brown is contributing 36.25 DKFP per game when starting this season.
Other Options: Julius Randle ($9,400)
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers vs. San Antonio Spurs, $5,900
Power forward Domantas Sabonis ($9,200) exited last night’s loss to the Hornets early with a sprained ankle, and considering that he was questionable heading into the game with a quad injury, it seems likely that the Pacers sit the All-Star on Saturday. At his $5,900 price, this would vault Turner up the value rankings against the Spurs. Sabonis has yet to miss a full game this season, but when Turner hasn’t had to share the paint with the forward this season, the 25-year-old has watched his usage increase over seven percentage points and his rebound and assist rates both have seen boosts of over three percentage points.
This equates to an elite 1.38 DKFP per minute, which is a huge 0.4 DKFP upgrade from Turner’s average production this season. As the final cherry on top, this San Antonio defense has been terrible at slowing down centers, giving up the second-most DKFP per game to the position this year. Be on the lookout for Sabonis’ status, because if he is inactive like I am expecting, Turner will be one of the top values plays on the board.
Other Options: Dwight Howard ($5,800, if Joel Embiid is out), Isaiah Hartenstein ($4,300), Boban Marjanovic ($3,100, if Kristaps Porzingis is out, and he is starting)
Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [100K to 1st]
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