Saturday features a six-game NBA main slate, and the action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $8,100 — Spoiler alert: there are a lot of Jazz mentioned in Saturday’s article. They are underpriced and are facing a poor defense, and the game has on of the highest projected totals on the slate (217). This is the back-end of the rare same team back-to-back, so Mike Conley will likely sit. Basically, take last night’s stats and give everyone a boost. Mitchell has a 1.3 FPPM and 32.2 % usage rate this season, so bump those a tad for over 34 minutes of action, and he should be very popular at this price.
Other Options: James Harden ($11,400)
Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets, $5,800 — As per usual, the DFS NBA value search is heavily influenced by who is in and who is out. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2021 NBA Draft is out, so minutes and usage will be up for grabs in Houston. Let the guessing game begin for the cheap options on the bench, but playing the bench players for a two-win team is risky to say the least. Porter has not taken the developmental step that the team expected this season, but no one is developing for Houston and at least he’s on the court. Porter should get 30 minutes and 15-20 shots in a paced-up game against a bad defense.
Other Options: Cameron Payne ($3,800)
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets, $10,200 — The 2-16 Rockets are terrible (20th in defensive efficiency) and they play at a faster pace than the Hornets — the Rockets are the fastest team in the NBA, while the Hornets are third. Even when the matchup is tough, Ball stuffs the stat sheet. He has been an elite source of fantasy points scoring 1.3 FPPM and he should get his full allotment of minutes with the Hornets only -5.5 favorites on the road on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Other Options: Terry Rozier ($6,700)
Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $5,300 — He is too cheap tonight, and he should easily return value. The Jazz will be a very popular team on Saturday with an implied team total of 115 points. The wing has a great chance of ending up in the winning lineup with a GPP projection of 40.6 points. He scored 32.5 DKFP in 31 minutes against the Pelicans’ poor defense last night (27th in defensive efficiency) and that was with Mike Conley in the lineup.
Other Options: Garrison Matthews ($3,400)
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Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls, $9,700 — Is this a revenge game? Regardless of the motivation, Butler checks every box tonight. The following stats all rank inside the 85th percentile on tonight’s slate — Minutes: 34 projected minutes; Points Per Minute: 1.3 FPPM; True Shooting Percentage: 62.5%; Usage Rate: 27.1%; Player Efficiency Rating: 28.4 PER. The Bulls have the fifth-best defense in the league, so this will be a challenging game. However, these are the types of games were the stars step up, and Miami has an offense that can win this matchup — Miami ranks seventh in offensive efficiency.
Other Options: Miles Bridges ($7,900)
Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $3,900 — It’s not a fun play, but this is a matchup where Ingles can work (e.g. 6x last night). There is expected to be a 2.4 minute increase above his season average on this back-to-back and this game projects to be one of most exciting on the slate (217 point total) — despite both teams failing too eclipse the century mark on Friday in round one of this matchup. If Ingles’ shots fall, then he works, and his shots should fall against this defense.
Other Options: Lauri Markkanen ($5,600)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks, $10,200 — The big man spends a lot of time on the court and that’s half the battle in NBA DFS — 34 projected minutes. A key DFS NBA statistical category is points per minute (FPPM), and he’s near the top of the slate in that category — 1.3 FPPM. His 10K price tag is scary, especially after a poor showing last night, but that’s a normal price point for a high usage rate player on a Tom Thibodeau team before he has been run into the ground. We know Randle will get work, and he’s getting work against a poor defense (107.9 defensive efficiency). His ownership should be low based on his price and disappointing performance last night, but that was against the third-best defense in the league.
Other Options: Kevin Durant ($10,800)
Rudy Gay, Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $3,400 — This is a copy and paste from yesterday because the Jazz are playing the Pelicans again. Gay is still cheap and the Pelicans are still bad (109.3 defensive efficiency) — not much changes in 24 hours. The veteran was disappointing last night with 14.8 DKFP in 16 minutes, but he continues to be a 1.1 FPPM player. He just needs minutes, but even that’s not necessary. He hit 8x vs. the Raptors and 7x vs the Thunder, but he has yet to play more than 18 minutes in a game.
Other Options: Jae’Sean Tate ($4,600)
Christian Wood, Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets, $7,200 — There are plenty of pay-up options that deserve to be mentioned, but Wood is a significantly cheaper elite option on Saturday night. Jalen Green’s absence should not directly affect Wood’s role, but it should lock him in for at least 30 minutes and a 20% usage rate in a very winnable game. The Hornets rank third in pace, 21st in defense and the boost the fantasy production of opposing centers by 9% — Charlotte has allowed the second-most DKFP per game to centers.
Other Options: Rudy Gobert ($8,900)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Orlando Magic, $5,100 — What year is it? Love hasn’t quit yet — his minutes limit says otherwise — and the Cavs can’t get rid of him, so they might as well use him. Cleveland will need his help on Saturday to stop a five game skid that has seen them fall from the top of the division. A matchup with Orlando (110.2 defensive efficiency) is a great chance to turn things around, and Love can easily be a part of that. He’s averaging 1.4 FPPM over his last five games. If Cleveland gives him the minutes, then they can win and Love should easily flirt with 7x or higher.
Other Options: Herbert Jones ($3,400)
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