UPDATE – Other values to consider tonight:
Darius Miller & Kenrich Williams (Pelicans)
Corey Brewer (bench) & Furkan Korkmaz starting (76ers)
Monte Morris (Nuggets) – Murray out
We have quite the pre-Super Bowl treat with 11 games on the Saturday slate. Some very fun teams in action and several matchups to salivate over from a DFS perspective. The games that stand out from a GPP game-stack perspective include the 76ers vs. Kings (PHI -3, 234 total), Hawks vs. Suns (PHX -2.5, 235 total), Nuggets vs. Wolves (DEN -1.5, 220.5 total) and the Mavericks vs. Cavs (DAL -7, 209.5 total).
Teams on second game of back-to-back: Hornets (vs. Bulls), Heat (vs. Pacers), Nuggets (vs. Wolves), Hawks (vs. Suns), Jazz vs. Rockets.
Injuries of note:
- MIN – Jeff Teague, Tyus Jones, Robert Covington OUT. Derrick Rose says he will play
- IND – Cory Joseph (groin) and Tyreke Evans (back) will play
- PHI – Wilson Chandler (quad) out 2-3 weeks, JJ Redick (rest) – bump up TJ McConnell and Mike Muscala or Jonah Bolden
- ORL – Jonathan Simmons (abdominal) OUT – bump up Jonathan Isaac/Terrence Ross
- DAL – New guys won’t play (Hardaway/Burke/Lee) – same value guys get bump but Luka Doncic should play
- WAS – Otto Porter questionable (more minutes for Jeff Green)
- PHO – DeAndre Ayton (ankle) listed as probable – if he’s out, bump up Richaun Holmes
- NO – Davis/Mirotic/Randle/Payton/Mirotic OUT – same old value play bumps today with Jrue Holiday soaking up most usage
Today’s article will cover only affordable value plays and you’ll see more detail about overall plays in the 5pm ET NBA NOW: The Shootaround Livestream with Scott Christensen and I, so be sure to tune in.
*Salaries listed for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo!
Derrick White, Spurs ($6,100, $5,700, $22) – White has been truly impressive lately, most recently, dropping 45 DKP in just 25 minutes on 61% shooting against a Nets team that has been great against guards this season. White is averaging 35 DKP over his last 10 and is still reasonably priced.
T.J. McConnell, 76ers ($4,300, $3,500, $10) – TJM may not get the start but should see over 20 minutes today with JJ Redick getting the day off for rest. McConnell averages 0.87 FP/M and consistently hits around 21 points over the last 25 or so games. As consistent as they come and more viable today with the minutes boost.
Devin Harris, Mavs ($3,500, $3,800, $10) – Nailed this one on Thursday as Harris was my preferred backcourt value play over Jalen Brunson ($3,600, $4,200, $12). Harris averages more FP/M than Brunson this season (0.82 to 0.74) and saw a 30 percent usage rate last game compared to Brunson’s 23.6. You can honestly go either way or simply fade both since it’s such a monster slate and we have value plays’a’plenty today.
Alec Burks, Cavs ($5,200, $5,200, $15) – Burks starts every day and has averaged 33 minutes over his last three games. Not a very high total here (209.5) but the opponent and matchup puts this one on the map for a potential 7x return on his salary today. If you want to get sneaky with exposure to this game, you can lean towards Jordan Clarkson but will have to pay more for his services.
Malik Beasley, Nuggets ($4,700, $4,400, $10) – Beasley turned it up with a monster 35-point effort (career-high) en route to 42.9 Y! P at minimum salary against the Rockets last night. Don’t expect the same today, especially with Gary Harris and Jamal Murray possibly returning. But his price didn’t get the chance to increase following yesterday and he should see another 25 minutes today regardless.
Frank Jackson, Pelicans ($3,600, $3,500, $10) – Not a particularly strong play as he is sharing minutes with Tim Frazier while Elf is out, but Jackson has been drawing the starts these last two games and has 10x upside today if he can surpass 25 minutes and Frazier plays a little less. Coach Alvin Gentry loves the kid and he’s been averaging a 23 percent usage rate over his last four.
Muscala starting and Bolden may not get more than 25 minutes so Muscala is the safer cash play: Jonah Bolden, 76ers ($3,600, $3,400, $10) –
IF HE DRAWS START – Someone is going to have to pick up those power forward minutes with Wilson Chandler sidelined for a couple of weeks and that duty will be split between the rookie and Mike Muscala ($3,800, $3,500, $10). The problem with Bolden is that he rarely ever tops 15 minutes on the court, but this may be the opportunity to get him more. Despite limited minutes, he’s swatted eight shots in his last three and wreak havoc against these Kings in a high-paced matchup. Big fan if he starts though note that Muscala is likely the better cash game play.
Marvin Bagley, Kings ($6,300, $5,300, $20) – Going to want some exposure to this game and figuring out which guys are going to exceed value is rather difficult sometimes. Bagley is the King who is priced best to far exceed value today since the 76ers struggle against opposing PFs and Bagley has been a usage monster lately (over 26 percent in his last 10). Bagley dropped 35 fantasy points in 28 minutes last game and is averaging over a fantasy point per minute.
Maxi Kleber, Mavs ($3,800, $4,100, $12) – Kleber drew the start for the short-handed Mavs on Thursday and should do so again. He played 29 minutes though disappointed with just under 20 fantasy points in that game. A better matchup today and likely another 25-plus minutes puts him squarely in play for both cash and tourneys.
Bobby Portis, Bulls ($5,900, $5,700, $15) – Hopefully we start to see a minutes uptick for Portis, especially with old man Robin Lopez failing to offer much upside and rookie Wendell Carter still sidelined. Portis saw a massive 44 percent usage rate against the Heat last game, shooting 10-for-17 for 35.5 DKP the other day. Problem is, he has played just 24 minutes in his last two games. Portis does average over a fantasy point per minute and this matchup could be one where we see him log 30-plus and drop a 40-burger.
Larry Nance, Cavs ($5,400, $5,700, $15) – A GPP play if there ever was one, Nance would certainly be a stronger play today if he found his way into the starting lineup. He did have a nice effort against the Wizards (32.3 Y! P), where he snagged 11 boards, but played just 24 minutes. Listed primarily for a game stack and his upside at a low percentage.
Josh Jackson, Suns ($5,900, $5,600, $21) – The Hawks have to be exhausted after putting in a good effort against the Jazz last night and it’s an opportunity for some of the Suns’ best to drop some ceiling games against the league’s highest-paced team and one of the worst defensive ones. No team on this slate allows more than the 51.4 FDP to power forwards that the Hawks do. Jackson will play some there again with T.J. Warren still sidelined and he’s still very affordable for what he’s capable of producing in this perfect matchup.
Jonathan Isaac, Magic ($5,500, $5,100, $19) – Isaac has dropped 37, 29 and 26.5 DKP in his last three and played 31 minutes against the Pacers on Thursday. With Jonathan Simmons still out, Isaac should see some extra minutes today. I do like the options listed above more than him on this monster slate though.
Dwight Powell, Mavs ($3,700, $4,400, $12) – It doesn’t really matter for us that Powell will likely come off the bench again. DeAndre Jordan is gone and Salah Mejri likely won’t play more than 20 minutes. Mejri will likely draw the start again to match up with Ante Zizic but it will be Powell who plays more minutes at center today. Powell is very effective when on the court with Luka Doncic (22 points-per-36) and we will likely see Doncic in the lineup today.
Alex Len, Hawks ($4,500, $4,300, $12) – I know, I know, I’m a sucker for revenge games. Len played just nine minutes yesterday but something tells me that is because that was the first game of a back-to-back and perhaps coach Lloyd Pierce is resting him up to see 20-minutes plus against his old team today. Len will certainly be up for it and I think he smashes tonight. Len is averaging 1.07 FP/M and is going to go overlooked today despite the narrative because of yesterday’s minutes and because of the bevy of options at the position in an 11-game slate.
Bismack Biyombo, Hornets ($3,600, $3,800, $10) – A very light usage and FP/M guy, but Biyombo played 32 minutes last game while Hernangomez has played five and nine minutes in his last two. Not much upside here if he doesn’t see 25 minutes, but centers against the Bulls is one of our favorite smash spots this season.
Ante Zizic, Cavs ($6,400, $6,000, $18) – Too many Cavs, I know (and we didn’t even mention Cedi Osman who has been balling), but Zizic has been drawing all of the starts and averaging around 30 minutes a game and over nine rebounds. Only played 23 minutes against the Wizards in their last game but should be back to work tonight and give us a nice and safe 5x return in cash.
SPECIAL SPEND-UP: Nikola Vucevic, Magic ($10,000, $9,800, $39) – Promised I’d only list value plays but I thought it important to mention my favorite high-priced guy today. The Nets have been roasted by opposing centers all season (62.3 FDP allowed to position; second worst only to Phoenix).
If for some reason DeAndre Ayton doesn’t play tonight, then Richaun Holmes, Suns ($5,000, $5,300, $15) becomes a strong play. Even so, he will see some minutes tonight with this being Ayton’s first game back and even Dragan Bender questionable.