WATCH: IS PAUL MILLSAP A STRONG VALUE PLAY TONIGHT?
Happy Saturday, folks! We have a small, four-game slate this evening, but plenty of star power to choose from and some potential high scoring games. There is not much from an injury standpoint that should affect this slate, but as usual, it is very important to keep a close eye on news all the way up to lock. With that said, let’s jump right into some players to target tonight.
Jrue Holiday ($6,700) – Holiday plays big minutes for the Pelicans, averaging 37.1 minutes per game. His usage is at 19.6 percent due to the two big men exhausting the majority of the team’s usage, but Holiday’s peripherals keep him as a productive point guard. He is averaging 13.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season and has topped 30 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, while not scoring fewer than 28 fantasy points during that stretch. Tonight he draws a matchup against a Bulls defense that has allowed +2.48 points above expectations to opposing point guards.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($9,500), Jeff Teague ($6,300)
Dennis Smith Jr. ($5,100) – Smith Jr. is averaging 28.1 minutes per game this season and has a healthy 27.9 percent usage rate. He draws a good matchup against the Timberwolves who rank 29th in defensive rating and have allowed +3.45 points above expectations to opposing point guards. Smith Jr. does not offer the highest of ceilings, but he has topped 30 fantasy points twice this season, which would be a good return on investment at this price tag, and he also offers a safe floor, so rostering him makes sense in all formats for salary relief. He is shooting guard eligible as well, which seems like the best position to roster him at.
Other Options – Jerian Grant ($5,000)
Jimmy Butler ($7,500) – Butler has not displayed the upside we saw out of him in his Chicago days, but he is still a quality player, scoring over 30 fantasy points in all but one game this season. His usage is down this year, but it is still at a solid 21.5 percent. The Mavs rank 27th in defensive rating and have allowed the eighth most fantasy points per game to shooting guards. Going cheaper at this position may be the way to go tonight, but if you are trying to pay up, Butler makes the most sense as he is a good combination of consistency and high-upside.
Other Options – Klay Thompson ($7,000)
David Nwaba ($3,900) – Nwaba has started in each of the last two games at small forward for the Bulls, but he is only guard eligible so makes for a viable shooting guard value option. In each of his last two games, he has played at least 29 minutes and has scored over 25 fantasy points. In fact, he has played over 20 minutes in three games this season and has averaged 28.4 fantasy points in those contests. The Pelicans play at the sixth fastest pace in the league, so there should be plenty of touch opportunities for Nwaba in this paced up matchup. His price also allows you to fit in some of the high-priced players in great spots.
Other Options – Gary Harris ($5,300), J.J. Barea ($4,300)
Kevin Durant ($10,300) – Generally, I like targeting Durant when he is under $10K, but he is the best small forward talent-wise on this slate. He is averaging 1.32 fantasy points per minute and sports a healthy 27.2 percent usage rate. He faces off against a Nuggets defense that ranks 18th in defensive rating, so the matchup is a nice one for Durant. He is always in play and could be less popular than the other top salaried players, making him intriguing in tournaments. That said, considering my roster construction for tonight, I will likely not have many shares of Durant.
Harrison Barnes ($5,800) – Barnes plays big minutes for the Mavs, averaging 35.2 minutes per game and is third on the team with a 23.9 percent usage rate. He is coming off of his best game of the season and draws a favorable matchup against the Timberwolves who rank 29th in defensive rating. They have also allowed +2.06 points above expectations to the position. Barnes has exceeded expectations 70 percent of the time this season by an average of 3.72 points. He comes at a reasonable price and should have no trouble providing nice returns tonight.
Other Options – Justin Holiday ($5,900), Wilson Chandler ($4,500), Stanley Johnson ($3,900)
DeMarcus Cousins ($11,600) – Boogie is averaging 37.8 minutes per game and 1.7 fantasy points per minute. He accounts for 27.6 percent of the Pelicans assists and 20.4 percent of their rebounds while sporting a 33.1 percent usage rate. He has topped 60 fantasy points five times this season, including three 70+ fantasy point games, while scoring fewer than 50 fantasy points just once. He has exceeded expectations 89 percent of the time by an average of 10.6 points. This a matchup that he should take advantage of against a Bulls frontcourt that has allowed +3.42 points above expectations to opposing centers and are giving up 45.4 rebounds per game. He can be played in both the C and PF position, but I’d rather roster him at PF.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($11,200), Draymond Green ($7,200), Paul Millsap ($6,800)
Dirk Nowitzki ($4,600) – Nowitzki is not playing a ton of minutes, but he still sports a healthy 22.1 usage rate and averages close to a fantasy point per minute. His ceiling is nowhere near what it once was, but 28-30 fantasy points is in the realm of possibilities which would be a great return on investment at this price. The Timberwolves are allowing +9.08 points above expectations to power forwards and rank 29th in defensive rating. If you plan on going stars and scrubs tonight, Nowitzki provides a safe floor at a cheap price.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,800) – Towns comes at a reasonable price and draws a nice matchup against the Mavericks who rank 27th in defensive rating and are yielding 47.2 rebounds per game with a -6.4 differential. In addition, they have allowed 4.06 points above expectations to centers. Towns got into early foul trouble last game, limiting him to just 23 minutes but is in a good spot to bounce back nicely tonight. He offers 60+ fantasy point upside like some of the higher priced players but comes at a discounted price. He will likely be the staple of my lineups tonight.
Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($8,500), Andre Drummond ($8,100)
Robin Lopez ($5,400) – Lopez has exceeded expectations 71 percent of the time this season by an average of 2.98 points. This is a good matchup against a Pelicans team that has allowed +2.44 points above expectations to opposing centers this season. They also play up in pace creating extra touch and rebound opportunities. The Pelicans also allow the 10th most rebounds per game (44.8). Lopez is averaging 29 fantasy points per game and nearly a fantasy point per minute while playing 30.5 minutes per game. He is reasonably priced and offers the upside to smash value here. The one concern I have for him is potential foul trouble, but on a four-game slate, you can’t be too concerned about that.
Other Options – Kosta Koufos ($3,500)
Note: Keep a close eye on news prior to lock as this could open up some value plays that were not considered early in the day.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Armando28) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.