We’ve got an unusually full nine-game featured NBA slate this evening on DraftKings, as the schedule bends in the wake of tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Unfortunately, with so many teams taking the court tonight, that means there’s going to be some tough exclusions in your DFS lineups. So, if you want to just start all your builds with Bradley Beal ($9,900) to avoid an angry call by his girlfriend or agent, I completely understand. I mean, who has the time to deal with that?
For everyone else, let’s break down Saturday’s action position-by-position.
StudDamian Lillard, POR vs. UTA, $10,200 – Lillard has been the definition of insanity across his past five starts, averaging 48.4 points per game with a pristine .738 true shooting percentage. He’s also exceeded the 70.0 DKFP plateau in all five of these opportunities and is scoring a jaw-dropping 1.49 points per possession used. Generally, I might shy away from the All-Star due to ownership concerns, yet I do think that Kyrie Irving ($9,100) will command an equal amount of attention coming off a 54-point performance and blessed with a contest against the lowly Wizards. It’s not like Lillard has a bad matchup, either. Utah has seen its defense slip over the course of 2019-20 and the team has conceded over 110 points per 100 possessions in its past 10 games. Other Option: Kyrie Irving ($9,100)
ValueJ.J. Barea, DAL vs. ATL, $4,600 – Barea drew the start with Luka Doncic (ankle) out on Friday and the veteran guard did what he’s done for essentially the past decade. Barea only actually logged 21 minutes of action in the 128-121 loss to Houston, but in that span, he scored 11 points, took 10 field goal attempts and dished out nine assists. That’s efficiency. Really, none of this should be all that shocking a twist. Barea’s shooting a career-best 45.7% from 3-point range this season, while his assist rate has been well above 40.0% dating back to the beginning of 2016-17. He should thrive in an uptempo matchup against a Hawks squad averaging almost 106 possessions per 48 minutes.
Other Option: Dennis Smith Jr. ($3,100)
StudBradley Beal, WAS vs. BRK, $9,900 – I was half-joking about Beal off the top, but it’s difficult to ignore the (former) All-Star in a tilt between two teams that rank inside the Top-10 in pace of the NBA season as a whole. The highest implied total on the slate doesn’t exactly make things less tantalizing, either. Honestly, if not for Lillard’s superhuman performances in recent weeks, we’d likely be talking more about what Beal’s doing in Washington. He’s scored 50-plus DKFP in five straight contests and is averaging an eye-popping 39.0 points with a 38.2% usage rate in the process. His minutes workload has also rebounded from an injury-plagued dip in early January. He’s simply at steal below $10K. Other Option: Jimmy Butler ($7,900)
ValueCam Reddish, ATL at DAL, $4,200 – Reddish is still far from a consistent NBA product, but he’s at least shown some signs of life in 2020. The rookie is averaging 11.9 points and shot a respectable 40.3% from 3-point range in January, finishing out the month by scoring in double-figures for six consecutive games. In fact, since Jan. 10, Reddish has managed a decent 24.9 DKFP per night. Specific to Saturday, the lottery pick could also be looking at some increased minutes, with De’Andre Hunter (ankle) doubtful and DeAndre’ Bembry (hand) already ruled out.
Other Option: Victor Oladipo ($6,000)
StudJayson Tatum, BOS vs. PHI, $7,100 – I understand there might be some hesitation about Tatum’s minutes, but I doubt we see another restriction this evening in his second game back from a short absence. With that being the case, this is simply too inexpensive a price point for the first-time All-Star. To wit, Tatum’s had a price tag of equal or lesser value on 10 prior occasions in 2019-20, and in those opportunities, he’s exceeded 5x value nine times. It’s also worth noting some trends with the 76ers’ recent pace. In the two games since Joel Embiid ($9,600) has returned from injury, Philadelphia has actually sped up, averaging 106.8 possessions per 48 minutes. They probably won’t continue to run at quite that level, but it’s an extra bonus for their opponents in the meantime. Other Option: DeMar DeRozan ($8,700)
ValueCaris LeVert, BRK at WAS, $4,200 – This is all about game script. LeVert has been pretty bad in his past four appearances on the court, shooting a putrid 29.4% (10-for-34) from the field. However, his usage rate was an inviting 26.7% in the month of January and if there was ever an opponent designed to break people out of slumps, it’s the Wizards. Somehow, Washington is allowing teams to score 125.0 points per 100 possessions over its last five contests. Said teams have a staggering 50.5% shooting rate in that same span. LeVert’s a cheap piece with upside in an obvious game stack.
Other Option: Draymond Green ($5,700)
StudEDITOR’S NOTE: KRISTAPS PORZINGIS (INJURY RECOVERY) IS OUT TONIGHT
Other Option: Domantas Sabonis ($9,500)
Kristaps Porzingis, DAL vs. ATL, $7,200 – I’d imagine Porzingis is going to be one of the chalkier plays on this evening’s slate, but I can’t say I care too much at his easily digestible price point. The former Knick collected 35 points and 12 rebounds in his 35 minutes of work on Friday, finishing the contest with a 33.8% usage rate. This lines up with all the prior data we had on Porzingis without Doncic from earlier in the season, as the Latvian is averaging a well-above average 1.32 DKFP per minute logged with his All-Star teammate on the sideline. Combine all that with Atlanta’s uptempo pace, and the fact that the team concedes 6.0 blocks per 100 possessions, and you’ve got a premium matchup for the big man.
ValueThomas Bryant, WAS vs. BRK, $5,600 – Let’s keep attacking this ridiculous total. Bryant might be in danger of losing a few minutes at the four to the returning Rui Hachimura ($5,300); however, the rookie will have his workload capped and Bryant has certainly earned some leash from Scott Brooks. Frankly, the Indiana product has just been phenomenal in his past two games, averaging 19.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. If that doesn’t guarantee Bryant some run, I’m not sure what the Wizards are doing.
Other Option: Larry Nance Jr. ($5,500)
StudAnthony Davis, LAL at SAC, $9,300 – This really doesn’t need to get overly complex. In short, if you ever see a healthy Davis sitting below $10K on DraftKings, you have to at least consider playing him. It’s truly that clear-cut. However, if you need more convincing, allow me to show you Exhibit B. The Kings’ interior defense has taken a huge hit without Richaun Holmes (shoulder) and a big part of that equation is rebounding. Across its past 10 contests, Sacramento owns the second-worst total rebounding rate in the NBA at 48.0%. Davis is going to feast on the glass this evening. Other Option: Rudy Gobert ($8,400)
ValueDamian Jones, ATL at DAL, $4,000 – In a very similar vein to his teammate Reddish, Jones might be in a situation where his most viable ability is availability. Alex Len (hip) has been ruled out of tonight’s contest with Dallas and Bruno Fernando (calf) is currently listed as questionable. If the latter joins Len on the sideline, Jones should have all the minutes he can handle barring any foul issues.
Other Option: Marquese Chriss ($4,700)
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