For Saturday night, there are seven NBA games on tap, and DraftKings continues to offer huge tournaments for DFS players. Below are some of my favorite targets at each position.
James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $11,000
Before his subpar 43.25 DKFP showing against the Magic on Wednesday, Harden was scorching hot, posting 65.9 DKFP per game in his previous six. Kevin Durant (hamstring) will miss his seventh straight game tonight and Harden has handled a 29.7% usage and 43.1% assist percentage without the superstar since joining the Nets. With the Mavs and their struggling defense coming to town Saturday night, Harden should bounce back in a big way.
Over their past 10 games, Dallas has rated as the fifth-worst defense in basketball and during this time, Brooklyn has been the third-most potent offense. The Nets are going to produce a huge amount of points and Harden should lead the way with nothing less than 60 DKFP. The NBA’s assist leader is the unanimous top overall play tonight and a worthwhile spend if you can squeeze him in.
Other Options: Luka Doncic ($10,800), Russell Westbrook ($9,900)
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers, $5,300
Elfrid Payton ($4,800; hamstring) missed his first game of the season Thursday and Rose took over as the Knicks’ starting point guard, recording 30.25 DKFP across 28 minutes in a win against the Kings. Listed as doubtful, Payton isn’t expected to suit up again tonight and Rose should smash value vs. the Pacers. He is supplying 1.1 DKFP per minute in 2020-21 and 25-30 minutes is a safe projection with the starting role.
While the Pacers do rank 10th in defensive efficiency this season, they are playing their second game in two nights, and Rose is just too cheap for his expected workload. In the seven contests in which he has cracked 25 minutes this year, the former MVP has generated 29.4 DKFP.
Other Options: Lonzo Ball ($6,700), Mike Conley ($6,300), Immanuel Quickley ($4,800)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $9,200
Plain and simple, Beal has been a star this season and the Wizards are rolling right now. They have won six of their past seven contests with the shooting guard providing 51.4 DKFP per game, and there’s no chance the Wolves slow down Beal tonight.
In their past 10 games, Minnesota’s defense rates as the seventh-weakest in the NBA, and they have given up the third-most DKFP per game to opposing shooting guards. This tilt’s total is at 235 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and when Beal has been active for a game with a total of 230 points or more this season, he is averaging 49.6 DKFP.
Kyrie Irving ($9,300)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nets PG Kyrie Irving (injury recovery) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Mavericks.
Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Washington Wizards, $6,300
On the other side of ball in this high-scoring affair, Edwards is an interesting GPP target tonight. Starting SG Malik Beasley has been suspended for 12 games, and his absence should lead to more responsibilities for Edwards. When Beasley has been off the floor, Edwards’ usage increased a notable 5.3%.
Even with Beasley active and logging 37 minutes on Wednesday, Edwards erupted for 45.25 DKFP against the Bulls. The rookie’s floor isn’t safe enough for cash games, but his ceiling is well above 40 DKFP in this friendly spot vs. the Wizards. So far this season, Washington ranks first in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency.
Other Options: Joe Harris ($5,600), Raul Neto ($4,500, better if Davis Bertans is out)
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $6,500
PJ Dozier ($3,000; hamstring, questionable) may return, but Paul Millsap (knee), Gary Harris (thigh) and JaMychal Green (shoulder) have all been confirmed out. With these four all missing, Porter has logged over 40 minutes in back-to-back games. Unsurprisingly, the forward has been successful with 34 DKFP per game, and even if Dozier is available, Porter Jr. should stay above 35 minutes for Saturday’s date with the Thunder.
This Western Conference matchup’s total is currently sitting at a solid 225.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook and Porter Jr. is amassing 33.8 DKFP per game when given 35 minutes or more this year.
Other Options: DeMar DeRozan ($8,000, if active)
Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks, $4,900
Jeff Green ($4,800; shoulder, questionable) has missed the past two games, and if he is sidelined again, Brown has to be considered in this elite setting vs. the Mavs. The Nets have deployed more small-ball lineups with Green absent and Brown has benefited greatly, producing 33.75 DKFP with 25.5 minutes per game. Albeit a small sample, the 24-year-old has been lights out in his past three, shooting an elite 72% from the field, which has translated to 1.1 DKFP per minute.
Obviously, this shooting efficiency is hard to maintain, but if Green is unable to give it a go tonight, Brown should be able to return over five-times value against this soft Mavs defense.
Other Options: Lonnie Walker IV ($4,300), Jaden McDaniels ($3,400)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers, $9,400
Thursday night, Randle’s impressive All-Star season continued, with a 46.5 DKFP outing vs. the Kings. The forward has been dominating, supplying 48.7 DKFP per game across his past three, and his production is at 1.32 DKFP per minute sans Payton and Mitchell Robinson (out, hand) this season.
The Knicks will be at home in Madison Square Garden tonight, which has been a big boost for Randle during his second year in New York. So far in 2020-21, the Kentucky product has scored 49.5 DKFP per game on his home floor, which is 4.2 DKFP more than when he is on the road. Over 50 DKFP isn’t out of the question for Randle tonight and I doubt he will be a very popular option.
Other Options: Domantas Sabonis ($10,600), Zion Williamson ($8,900)
Trey Lyles, San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $3,800
Listed as questionable, DeMar DeRozan ($8,000; personal) seems likely to return, but Devin Vassell, Rudy Gay, Derrick White and Keldon Johnson have all been ruled out for the second consecutive game due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,100; wrist, questionable) could also miss Saturday night, but even if he and DeRozan are available, I expect Lyles to handle a sizable role.
With the Spurs depleted Wednesday, Lyles picked up the start and chipped in with 19.25 DKFP in 26 minutes vs. the Thunder. Right around 25 minutes is a reasonable expectation again and Lyles is averaging 20.9 DKFP when he has topped 25 minutes this season. Last, but not least, this Pelicans defense Lyles is going against ranks third-to-last in defensive efficiency. The upside is lackluster, but Lyles is a decent full punt that could obtain 20 DKFP.
Other Options: Royce O’Neale ($4,700)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,900
Jokic has been feasting, averaging 56.6 DKFP per game over his past 10 contests. Furthermore, the center has posted at least 56 DKFP in eight of his past 10, and the Nuggets will continue to rely on Jokic heavily tonight, with Millsap, Green and Harris still out. With these players absent in the past three games, Jokic’s usage has been up to 30.2%, which is a slight bump from his average for the season.
The Thunder are a solid defensive team (12th in efficiency), but Jokic has had no issues in this matchup this season, averaging 56.6 DKFP in a pair of meetings.
Other Options: Joel Embiid ($10,300), Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,100)
Steven Adams, New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs, $5,300
Following a two-game absence due to a sprained ankle, Adams has been very effective, with 39.75 DKFP per game in his past two. The ankle issue is clearly in the past, considering the center has logged 29.5 minutes per game since returning and with this type of workload, Adams should easily beat his price tag against the beat-up Spurs.
For the season, they are surrendering the 12th-most DKFP per game to opposing centers and should be even worse tonight given their lack of depth. In his first meeting with San Antonio this season, Adams recorded 25.8 DKFP over 30.5 minutes.
Other Options: Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,100), Boban Marjanovic ($3,800, if Kristaps Porzingis is out)
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