Saturday’s NBA slate is on the smaller side. There are just five games on the main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top options to consider at each position.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets vs. San Antonio Spurs ($8,500) – Saturday’s contest between the Hornets and Spurs should be one of the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. It leads the slate with a total of 237.0 points, and the Hornets are just four-point favorites.
Ball has struggled a bit recently, which has caused his salary to dip to just $8,500. That makes him a nice buy-low option. He’s still averaged 1.35 DKFP per minute for the year, and he’s averaged 43.68 DKFP in 19 games with a comparable salary this season.
Other Options – Dejounte Murray ($10,800), D’Angelo Russell ($7,900)
De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Orlando Magic ($4,500) – Melton doesn’t typically see a ton of minutes for the Grizzlies, but he makes the most of them. He’s a high-impact player off the bench, and he’s averaged 1.13 DKFP per minute this season. The Grizzlies are also in an excellent spot vs. the Magic, who rank just 20th in defensive efficiency. The Grizzlies are currently implied for 122.75 points, which ranks second on the slate.
Other Options – Jordan Poole ($4,800)
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers ($6,500) – As usual, shooting guard is one of the weakest positions on Saturday’s slate. However, Thompson does have some appeal vs. the Lakers. They’ve struggled on the defensive end recently, ranking 20th in defensive efficiency over their past 10 games, and Thompson is slightly cheaper than usual at $6,500. He shot the ball poorly in his last game, but he’s averaged 1.15 DKFP per minute this season.
Other Options – Desmond Bane ($5,800)
Keon Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves ($3,200) – The Blazers are an interesting team on Saturday. They’re massive 14.5-point underdogs, so there are obviously some blowout concerns vs. the Timberwolves. However, they’re also going to be extremely thin on Saturday. Josh Hart and Justise Winslow have been ruled out, and the team was already playing without Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic and Nassir Little.
With that in mind, the Blazers stand out as one of the best sources of value on Saturday’s slate. Johnson is priced near the minimum at $3,200, but he’s expected to see around 25 minutes in this matchup. Johnson has been a low-impact player this season – he’s averaged just 0.70 DKFP per minute – but he should be able to pay off his salary with that much playing time.
Other Options – Malik Monk ($5,000)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors ($11,200) – It has gone from surprising to disappointing to downright sad with the Lakers. They’ve lost seven of their past eight games, including a 21-point drubbing by the Clippers in their last outing. At this point, it’s possible that they fall out of the play-in tournament entirely.
That’s a shame since LeBron is still playing at an extremely high level. He’s averaged 1.46 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s been even better in 23 games without Anthony Davis. He’s increased his usage rate by +1.8% in those contests, resulting in an average of 1.52 DKFP per minute. He’ll face a tough test Saturday vs. the Warriors, but LeBron is still capable of putting massive fantasy performances in his 19th NBA season.
Other Options – Miles Bridges ($7,600)
Elijah Hughes, Portland Trail Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves ($3,100) – Hughes is in a very similar situation as Johnson for the Blazers. He’s also expected to see around 25 minutes on Saturday, and he’s also a mediocre producer on a per-minute basis. Still, it’s hard to find players with as much playing time upside as Hughes at just $3,100.
Other Options – C.J. Elleby ($4,100)
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies vs. Orlando Magic ($6,100) – Ja Morant ($10,400) has grabbed all the attention for the Grizzlies recently, which has been deserved based on his recent play. However, Jackson stands out as the more appealing fantasy target on Saturday. His price has dipped by $1,000 recently, and he’s currently priced at just $6,100 vs. the Magic. Jackson has averaged 1.16 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s coming off more than 35.5 minutes in his last outing. If he sees that much playing time again on Saturday, he has the potential to destroy his current salary.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($8,700)
Trendon Watford, Portland Trail Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,200) – Watford is the next man up for the Blazers, and he’s someone who is a bit easier to get behind. He’s a bit better than his other value teammates on a per-minute basis, averaging 0.90 DKFP per minute for the year. He also racked up more than 30 minutes in his last outing, and he responded with 33.75 DKFP. He now has two performances with at least 30.5 DKFP over his past five games, giving him nice upside at just $4,200.
Other Options – P.J. Washington ($5,100), Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,400)
Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs @ Charlotte Hornets ($7,700) – Poeltl has quietly had a really nice season for the Spurs. He’s averaged 13.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, all of which represent new career highs. He’s been even better recently, increasing his production to 1.24 DKFP per minute over the past month. Poeltl has scored at least 35.5 DKFP in four straight games, and he’s scored at least 52.75 DKFP in two of them. It’s weird seeing Poeltl priced this expensively, but I would argue he’s underpriced in this matchup.
Other Options – Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,200)
Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,600) – Our final stop on the tour of the Blazers’ value options is Eubanks. He signed with the Blazers recently and has stepped right into a starting role. He’s taken full advantage, averaging 1.17 DKFP per minute over the past month. He was limited to just 17.9 minutes in his last outing, but the Blazers lost that game by 30 points. Eubanks should see more playing time if Saturday’s game is more competitive, making him one of the better values at the position.
Other Options – Kevon Looney ($4,300), Greg Brown ($3,900)
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