On the menu for Saturday night is a six-game slate, and DraftKings continues to offer a plethora of huge tournaments. Below are some of my favorite studs and values at each position.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs vs. Denver Nuggets, $9,900
Murray has been a stud this season and is worth attacking in GPPs tonight. With DeMar DeRozan now in Chicago, Murray is leading the Spurs with a 26.5% usage rate and a 34.5% assist percentage this season, both of which are career highs for the guard.
As a result, Murray is scoring 1.33 DKFP per minute this season. The 25-year-old has eclipsed 50 DKFP in seven of his past 12 starts and has a strong chance to accomplish this feat against this Nuggets’ defense that ranks 20th in efficiency.
Other Options: Donovan Mitchell ($9,000), Kyle Lowry ($7,700)
De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets, $5,100
With Ja Morant (knee) and Dillon Brooks (health protocols) both unavailable Thursday, Melton entered the starting lineup and recorded 30.5 DKFP in 29 minutes against the Lakers. Memphis will remain without Morant and Brooks on Saturday, keeping Melton in a starter’s role. Take these two players off the floor this season, and Melton’s usage and assist rates rise 6.2 and 5.1 percentage points, respectively, lifting him to 1.2 DKFP per minute.
Melton is averaging 31.4 DKFP per game when he has cracked the 25-minute mark this season, and the Rockets rank third in pace. Plus, they are playing their second game in two nights. Without question, Melton is one of the best values on the slate in this plus matchup.
Update: Brooks has surprisingly been upgraded to available, hurting Melton’s fantasy stock for this evening. The guard will likely shift back to a reserve role and should only be considered for large tournaments.
Other Options: Tyus Jones ($6,400), Ricky Rubio ($5,200), Alex Caruso ($5,000, if active)
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Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets, $7,200
Stepping up with Morant and Brooks out of the lineup Thursday, Bane delivered 39.25 DKFP in the win over the Lakers. The 23-year-old is now amassing 34 DKFP per game since Morant went down with the knee injury, and Bane receives a 3.9 percentage point boost to his usage rate with the point guard and Brooks off the court this season.
Facing the fast-paced Rockets, Bane is a viable spend that could come with low ownership, given his season-high price tag.
Update: With Brooks available, Bane’s usage will certainly take a hit, but the wing is still viable for GPPs at this price.
Other Options: Darius Garland ($7,800)
Armoni Brooks, Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies, $4,000
Even in this tough matchup with the Grizzlies, who have been the best defense in the NBA with Morant on the shelf, Brooks has to be considered at this price, assuming Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh) remains inactive.
Jalen Green (hamstring) has been ruled out and with the rookie and Porter Jr. sidelined, Brooks has started and produced 33 DKFP in 31.5 minutes per game in the past two contests. The guard has received a 22% usage rate as a member of the first unit and is providing 24.7 DKFP per game when he has logged at least 20 minutes this season.
Other Options: Derrick White ($6,500), Tyrese Haliburton ($5,800)
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, $9,800
DeMar DeRozan (health protocols) will remain away from the Bulls tonight, putting LaVine in the conversation for large tournaments. The All-Star is generating 45 DKFP per game in these past two sans DeRozan and watches his usage increase by 4.5 percentage points to a team-high 34.4% with the forward off the court.
Overall, LaVine scores 1.25 DKFP per minute in this situation, and while Miami ranks 10th in defensive efficiency for the season, they will be without both Bam Adebayo (thumb) and Jimmy Butler (tailbone). LaVine has 50 DKFP upside in this spot and shouldn’t be a common name in GPPs.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Heat SG/SF Caleb Martin (health protocols) has been ruled out Saturday vs. the Bulls.
Caleb Martin, Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls, $3,500 Instead of giving Tyler Herro another start, coach Erik Spoelstra opted to go with Martin on Wednesday with Butler inactive and the 26-year-old didn’t disappoint. In a season-high 33.5 minutes, Martin went off for a career-best 49 DKFP in the huge upset win over the Bucks. Considering the end result, the 26-year-old should draw another start Saturday and while we can’t expect another explosion, Martin should have no issues beating this near minimum price tag. When Butler and Adebayo have been off the court, Martin has supplied 0.92 DKFP per minute and he is averaging 26.8 DKFP per game for the seven occasions he has surpassed 25 minutes this season.
Other Options: Dillon Brooks ($6,000), Garrison Mathews ($4,400, if Porter Jr. is out), Terence Davis ($3,700)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Grizzlies PF/C Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) has been ruled out Saturday vs. the Rockets.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets, $7,500 Jackson Jr. has excellent upside with Morant and Brooks missing. These two players lead the Grizzlies in usage this season, and when they have been off the floor, Jackson has garnered a team-high 33.9% usage rate, which is a massive 8.3 percentage point upgrade from his season average. The expanded role translates to 1.3 DKFP per minute for Jackson Jr. and he should tally at least 40 DKFP in this up-tempo matchup against the Rockets.
Other Options: Draymond Green ($7,100)
Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings at Cleveland Cavaliers, $3,700
Last night with Richaun Holmes (eye) sidelined, Bagley took full advantage, finishing with a double-double worth 34.5 DKFP in 27 minutes off the bench. The former lottery pick closed the game as the primary big man for the Kings and should be in line for 25-30 minutes tonight with Holmes ruled out. Bagley scores right under 1 DKFP per minute this season and is averaging 28 DKFP since being reinserted back into the Kings’ rotation three games ago.
Albeit in this difficult spot against the Cavs and their top-five defense, Bagley is standing out as a strong punt play.
Other Options: Lauri Markkanen ($5,500)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs, $11,900
Jokic has been a monster against the Spurs this season. Just this past Thursday, the reigning MVP notched his third straight triple-double and finished with 63.75 DKFP against San Antonio. Furthermore, in his first meeting of the season with the Spurs back in October, Jokic erupted for 70 DKFP.
Compared to the Nuggets who rank dead last in pace, the Spurs are the eighth-fastest unit in the league, and Jokic’s dominance over the club should continue Saturday. The center is contributing 60.4 DKFP per game across his last 10 starts and is the undisputed No. 1 overall play for Saturday’s slate.
Other Options: Jarrett Allen ($8,300)
Tristan Thompson, Sacramento Kings at Cleveland Cavaliers, $3,500
Similar to Bagley, Thompson benefits with Holmes absent. In the three tilts the center has sat out this season, Thompson has collected 21.2 DKFP in 21 minutes per game. While this doesn’t seem like much playing time, the veteran scores 1.1 DKFP per minute this season and 23.75 DKFP when he has seen a minimum of 20 minutes.
Going against his original team back in Cleveland, Thompson should top 20 DKFP and will likely come with depressed ownership.
Other Options: Montrezl Harrell ($5,000), Hassan Whiteside ($3,200)
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