Welcome back, everybody. For Saturday night, we get a seven-game slate to attack, barring any postponements, and DraftKings continues to offer huge tournaments for DFS players. Below are some of my favorite targets at each position.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets, $10,700
Last night, the Mavs picked up their second straight win, beating the Spurs, 122-117, and now, they will face their other in-state rival, the Rockets on Saturday night. In Friday’s victory, Doncic was one rebound shy of his sixth triple-double of the season and is now supplying 64.6 DKFP per game over his past nine.
This Rockets team he will match up against is dealing with a few major injuries and they are giving up the 10th-most DKFP per game to opposing point guards in 2020-21. This will be Doncic’s second meeting with Houston already this year and he went off for 71.5 DKFP against them back on Jan. 4. As per usual, Doncic is the top overall play on the slate and an attractive spend if looking to pay up.
Other Options: James Harden ($10,500, better if Kevin Durant is out), Kyrie Irving ($8,900, better if Durant is out), Victor Oladipo ($7,900)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kevin Durant (Achilles) will be available to play in tonight’s game vs. the Heat.
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets, $7,100
Following their 130-126 loss to the Nuggets on Friday, Suns head coach Monty Williams said Devin Booker (hamstring) most likely won’t be available for Saturday’s rematch against Denver. The shooting guard is leading the Suns in usage (30.1) and minutes per game (35.3) this season, and his absence will create a huge void in this offense. Paul should be one of the main beneficiaries with the 35-year-old seeing a 9.3% boost to his assist rate when Booker is off the floor this season.
Even on the second leg of a back-to-back, Paul should crack 30 minutes on Saturday and this Denver defense has been weak this season, currently sitting at 23rd in efficiency. Even with Booker in the lineup, Paul tallied 40.5 DKFP vs. Denver last night, and the 10-time All-Star should have no issues exceeding five times value again on Saturday.
Other Options: Mike Conley ($6,600), Kendrick Nunn ($5,600), Cameron Payne ($3,900)
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz vs. Golden State Warriors, $7,800
Mitchell has caught fire in his past two games, shooting 55% from the field and 66% from three, lifting him to 48.75 DKFP per game. Tonight, he will look to stay hot in an uptempo matchup against the Warriors. Utah has been extremely slow this season, ranking 27th in pace, compared to Golden State, who is the third-fastest club in the NBA.
Playing at a faster speed is optimal for Mitchell, and this contest carries a healthy O/U game total of 228 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Since the NBA restart this past June, the 24-year-old is generating 41.3 DKFP per game when playing in a total of 220 points or more.
Other Options: D’Angelo Russell ($8,600)
Sterling Brown, Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $3,800
The Rockets were without the services of Christian Wood ($8,300; ankle, doubtful) and John Wall (knee, out) on Friday, and these two starters are expected to be inactive again on Saturday. In this situation, Rockets head coach Stephen Silas had no choice but to use more small-ball lineups, which resulted in 25.4 minutes off of the bench for Brown.
The 25-year-old made the most of the opportunity, scoring 28.5 DKFP vs. the Pistons, which should have earned him 25-30 minutes for Saturday’s date with the Mavericks. Brown lacks true upside, but he is a solid punt that could get us over 20 DKFP tonight.
Other Options: Eric Gordon ($6,000), Jalen Brunson ($4,800, if the Mavs remain without Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls, $9,400
James was brilliant in the win against the Bucks on Thursday night, recording 59 DKFP. His price on DraftKings has only increased $200 since that showing and he should effortlessly out-produce his $9,400 salary tonight vs. the Bulls, who are the fourth-worst defense in the league.
The Lakers will be traveling to the United Center in Chicago and James is averaging 60.6 DKFP in his past five visits to the Windy City. Plus, the future hall-of-famer has been far more productive on the road in 2020-21, averaging 51.3 DKFP per game. At his current salary, this would be a 5.4 times value return for the King.
Other Options: Brandon Ingram ($8,100)
Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $5,000
Tate impressed in Friday’s win vs. the Pistons, collecting 30.75 DKFP across 32 minutes. The Rockets will be shorthanded once again tonight and the 25-year-old will continue to start at small forward for Houston and log 30-35 minutes.
The Mavs have been stout on the defensive end (sixth in efficiency), but Tate’s expected volume trumps the matchups concerns tonight. He should provide over five times value and is a friendly mid-tier option that can be utilized as a guard or forward.
Other Options: Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,800, if the Mavs remain without Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson), Joe Ingles ($4,200)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $7,600
Williamson is in a beautiful spot tonight against the Wolves. For the season, they rank 26th in defensive efficiency, seventh in pace and are surrendering the second-most points in the paint per game. Opposing frontcourts have been destroying them with Karl-Anthony Towns (COVID-19) away from the team and Williamson should expose them for at least 40 DKFP.
The 2019 first overall pick is producing 41 DKFP per game over his past seven and is a very strong option for all formats on Saturday.
Other Options: Jerami Grant ($7,800), Tobias Harris ($7,100)
Kelly Oubre Jr., Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz, $6,100
Oubre has vastly improved after a cold start and he shouldn’t be a popular name in this difficult matchup vs. the Jazz. In his past six games, the Kansas product has amassed 29 DKFP per game, which is a notable upgrade from the 18.8 DKFP per game he contributed in his first nine games of the season.
Yes, Utah is a top-10 defense, but Vegas is expecting a high amount of points in this Western Conference showdown (228 O/U game total on DraftKings Sportsbook), and we just saw Oubre post a season-best 37 DKFP in an even tougher matchup against the Lakers (first in defensive efficiency) on Monday. The upside will always be there for this versatile player and Oubre is one of my favorite GPP plays of the night.
Other Options: Draymond Green ($5,500), Cam Johnson ($4,400)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons, $10,000
Embiid just exposed the Celtics for 60.6 DKFP per game in two straight against the club, and he now gets the best possible matchup for a center on Saturday night. Fifteen tilts into their season, the Pistons are allowing the most DKFP per game to opposing centers. We have seen some massive outbursts from centers against them recently, most notably 76 DKFP from Clint Capela this past Wednesday night.
The only cause for concern is that this is Embiid’s second game in two nights, and he will be on the road. He’s had some staggering splits away from Philly this season, averaging 11.9 DKFP per game less than when he is on his home floor, but quite frankly, this matchup is just too strong to overlook. This is a potential eruption spot for Embiid, and we need to embrace his volatility on the road in GPPs.
Other Options: Anthony Davis ($9,300), Bam Adebayo ($8,500), Kristaps Porzingis ($8,200), Rudy Gobert ($7,300)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kristaps Porzingis (injury management) is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game vs. the Rockets.
DeMarcus Cousins, Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $5,100
With Wood missing on Friday, Cousins stepped as the Rockets’ interim starting center, delivering 36.25 DKFP across 33 minutes in a one-point win over the Pistons. This is easily the largest amount of playing time the 30-year-old has received this season, and while it’s hard to imagine he approaches 30 minutes again with this being his second game in two nights, Cousins only needs 20-25 minutes to beat his current price tag.
So far in 2020-21, the former Kings All-Star is scoring 1.3 DKFP per minute and 38 DKFP when Wood has been out of the lineup. For Saturday, Cousins faces a Mavs defense that is giving up the fifth-most DKFP per game to opposing centers. Assuming he isn’t rested, Cousins is a difficult fade at only $5,100.
Other Options: P.J. Tucker ($3,900), Daniel Gafford ($3,200)
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