Saturday Night NBA DFS features a solid slate this weekend. It’s a good one and you’re going to need a lot of screens. Let’s dig into some research and make some picks, as we gear up for the six-game main slate that starts at 7 p.m. ET.
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers, $11,400 — The 76ers are gearing up for a playoff run. They’re also making a push for the No. 2 seed in the East, and the No. 1 seed is not out of reach. Saturday night is the second night of a back-to-back and a major trap game. The first-place Milwaukee Bucks thought nothing of the Pacers on Thursday and lost 139-123. The Pacers hit 22-of-46 3-pointers (46.7%). Mess around and find out. Harden better play hard, and he has been — he earned his 74th triple-double on Friday in 31 minutes. Also, the 76ers got a little bit of rest last night in the blowout win over Charlotte.
Mike Conley, Minnesota Timberwolves at Toronto Raptors, $5,600 — Anthony Edwards rarely misses games, but it doesn’t seem like he will be able to power through on Saturday. He exited Friday’s game early and was unable to return. After the game he was spotted in a walking boot. This opens up a lot of minutes and usage for the rest of the T-wolves. Conley played 46 minutes in Friday’s loss, so there is a good chance that the veteran rests on the back-to-back. If that’s the case, then there will be plenty of value in the Minnesota backcourt. If Conley plays, and they need him to, then he should continue his hot run. He’s scored over 34 DKFP in four of his last six with a season-high 53 DKFP on Friday.
Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors, $3,400 — The current Grizzlies lineup is not very good on paper but they’re grinding out wins. The Warriors look pretty good on paper but they cannot win on the road (7-28). This game features two of the fastest teams in the NBA. There will be a lot of shots and that’s a benefit to one of the best shooters in the NBA — 63.5% True Shooting. Kennard has returned 5x value or better in five of the last seven games, and he played a season-high 32 minutes on Friday night.
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz, $9,300 — This is the Celtics’ third game in four nights and Jayson Tatum is banged up. He was listed questionable for Saturday before the Celtics’ Friday night contest began. Friday was one of Browns’ worst games in the last eight, but it was the sixth time he scored 45 or more DKFP in the last eight games. Jaylen Brown is projected to play 36 minutes and averages a 31.3% usage rate. He’ll surpass both of those numbers if Tatum sits. The Jazz present a favorable matchup with a 113.5 Def. Eff. Rating (24th) and a golden 102.8 in Pace (6th).
Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota Timberwolves at Toronto Raptors, $5,300 — Anthony Edwards and Mike Conley could be out on Saturday. Don’t forget that Rudy Gobert is a game-time decision every night and this is the second night of a back-to-back for Minnesota. McDaniels could receive a massive minutes and usage boost. Even without the boost, McDaniels has been a solid contributor over the last 12 games averaging 27.1 DKFP across 32.9 MPG for a return of 5.9x.
Aaron Nesmith, Indiana Pacers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $5,300 — The Pacers couldn’t miss on Thursday. Nesmith was 8-for-11 from the field — 6-of-9 3PA. This was a rare outburst, but leading up to that game he was heating up behind the arc. He has a decent rebounding and assists floor, but it all depends on the three. Nesmith has scored over 33 DKFP in back-to-back games. Pacers SF/PF Jordan Nwora ($5,400) will likely carry more ownership and rightfully so, he’s returned 5.5x or better value in eight of the last nine.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Indiana Pacers, $11,400 — Tell the 76ers that regular season games don’t matter. Say injury management to Joel Embiid. He wants to be MVP. He wants the No. 2 seed in the East. Very few players give their all every night. Even fewer stars follow that creed. This is a paced-up game (the Pacers have a 103.5 in Pace — third) and can’t play defense — 114.3 Defensive Efficiency Rating (26th). Embiid could drop 80 DKFP in 30 minutes.
Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings at Washington Wizards, $10,200 — The Kings look good but the West is tight. This is no time to take it easy. Embiid is giving eveything and will be in everyone’s lineups. Sabonis is the pivot. The 76ers could blow out the Pacers and Embiid’s DKFP could be limited by his own success. Sabonis is on a heater. In his last six games, he’s scored 55, 60, 36, 71, 58 and 65 DKFP.
Mike Muscala, Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz, $3,000 — This is game two of the back-to-back for Boston, so it is unlikely that Al Horford suits up. Muscala should get at least 20 minutes in this matchup. That’s not a lot of time, but for this type of player in this type of matchup it could work. Muscala fires threes and the Jazz are weak defensively (24th) and are a fast-paced team (sixth).
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.