Hopefully everyone survived the April Fools Day pranks and is ready for some NBA daily fantasy sports action. The season is winding down and baseball is actually starting tomorrow, my where does the time go?! As a last hurrah, DraftKings has already posted over $800K in guaranteed cash and prizes with the $250K Rainmaker the featured contest tonight. Let’s get into the players you should be targeting on this 5-game slate.
Goran Dragic – MIA at SAC – $6,700 – The Heat played last night in Sacramento and on Saturday they will be in Portland facing the Blazers for the third game of their West Coast road trip. After this they fly back to Miami and do not play again until Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons. The third through sixth seeds are still only separated by two games in the Eastern Conference standings so we should see the Heat trying to win this one. Dwyane Wade will likely be back, but this is such a tasty matchup for Dragic against Damian Lillard that I am good rolling with The Dragon in all formats on Saturday’s five game slate.
Darren Collison – SAC at DEN – $5,400 – Collision continues to be a solid play regardless of if he is starting or if he is coming off the bench. With Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins out (rest), Omri Casspi suffering a hamstring injury last night and Marco Belinelli iffy, he is in a position once again to succeed at this price point in the matchup with Denver. In his last fourteen games, Collisions has been below 24 DraftKings points just once and during that stretch he has averaged 29.3 fantasy points. He is an excellent option in all formats on Saturday.
George Hill – IND at PHI – $4,400 – Hill has been struggling, however, turning the calendar over to a new month should help (particularly since they are playing the 76ers). Philadelphia has been in the bottom three most of the season against opposing facilitators and until we get any additional news, Hill qualifies as a solid discount dandy at the point guard position.
Dwyane Wade – MIA at POR – $7,100 – D-Wade sat out on Friday in Sacramento since the Heat thought they could deal with the DeMarcus Cousins-less Kings without him. He should be a full go on Saturday in Portland in a crucial game with the Eastern Conference playoff seeding still in flux. In his last two games he had 49.5 DraftKings points in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Wednesday and a stellar 52.0 against Brooklyn on Monday. He is dialed in and has made 26 of his last 40 field goal attempts.
UPDATE: Wade is doubtful with a neck issues, so be prepared to utilize DraftKing’s late swap feature and have a backup plan in place such as C.J. McCollumn – $6,600 in this same game.
Monta Ellis – IND at PHI – $5,800 – The Pacers have a slim one game lead on the Chicago Bulls for the last playoff berth in the East. This should be a gimme for them, however, I doubt they will be taking any chances. The 76ers are coming off a game in Charlotte last night and they have been dealing with a lot of injuries. This is a nice spot for Ellis against a squad that has been in the bottom five all season against opposing backcourts from a fantasy perspective.
Will Barton – DEN vs SAC – $5,200 – Barton has been an up-and-down player all season and while his has not seized this opportunity with the injury to Danilo Gallinari, we have to take a long look at him and teammate Gary Harris – $4,200 hosting the Sacramento Kings who in turn hosted Miami Friday night. The Kings have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards over the last three seasons and we can continue to exploit that weakness.
Paul George – IND at PHI – $8,700 – There really are not to many players to spend on, so George is likely to be an extremely popular option in all formats on Saturday. As mentioned previously, the Pacers are in a must win situation so they will do everything in their power to secure the victory in this matchup to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
Kawhi Leonard – SAS vs TOR – $7,600 – The Spurs are still undefeated at home and have a chance to set the NBA record for that amazing milestone. We should see Kawhi Leonard get close to his usual 28-30 minutes as he maintains focus in preparation for the playoffs. The Spurs next play in Utah on Tuesday so we should see little risk with Leonard if he is definitely in the starting lineup.
Rudy Gay – SAC at DEN $6,400 – Rudy Gay has really struggled since the All-Star Break, but we did see flashes of his upside last night when he put 41.3 DraftKings points on the score board against the Miami Heat. While this did take 21 field goal attempts and he played 40 minutes, the Kings really do not have anyone else to take shots away from him with their thinned out roster. This is a volume based play, however, it is a sound one on a night without a lot of clear cut top options.
LaMarcus Aldridge – SAS vs TOR – $7,500 – This is a similar situation as Kawhi Leonard and if LMA is starting he is a solid play on this five game Saturday schedule. There is a chance that Toronto rests some of their players and with the Warriors losing last night at Oracle Arena, the Spurs are now the only team left with a shot at going undefeated on their home court. Monitor the news on this one, but we have to give Aldridge strong consideration.
Miles Turner – IND at PHI – $4,500 – Turner has definitely been scuffling and seems to have hit the rookie wall. This matchup is the perfect remedy for what ails him as there really are no 76ers that are equipped to deal with him. Philly is on a back-to-back after playing in Charlotte last night and Robert Covington and Carl Landry are no match for the strength and quickness of Turner on the blocks.
Patrick Patterson – TOR at SAS – $3,800 – If Patterson is one of the healthy Raptors playing on Saturday, he is an adequate punt option, even in this tough matchup against the Spurs.
Andre Drummond – DET at CHI – $7,500 – Tonight looks like a night to play two centers and the top option is Andre Drummond in a dream matchup against the Chicago Bulls. In three meetings this season he is averaging 22.0ppg, 19.0rpg, 1.7apg and 3.7 combined blocks/steals. Just lock him in your lineups.
Hassan Whiteside – MIA at POR – $8,800 – Yes, this is a lofty price point for Whiteside and he is coming in on a back-to-back after playing in Sacramento last night. His box score last night was not that great, however, he only took four shots on a night where the Heat were in control from the jump. On the season he has taken less than four shots just twice and if he even doubles that tonight, he should be in the mix for forty fantasy points and we have seen his triple double upside, WITH BLOCKS mind you.
Nikola Jokic – DEN vs SAC – $5,600 DeMarcus Cousins has already said he will be sitting out on Saturday after serving his one game suspension on Friday for reaching the NBA’s 16 technical foul threshold. Jusuf Nurkic – $4,300 has missed the last three games with illness and if he is out again both Jokic and Joffrey Lauvergne – $3,000 are in play with Nukic being an excellent option and Lauvergne a minimum price dart throw. If Nurkic is healthy, then whomever is starting will be the play to look at against the Sacramento Kings.
Willie Cauley-Stein – SAC at DEN – $4,700 – Flipping the script, both WCS and Kosta Koufos – $4,300 are options against the less-than-intimidating Nuggets frontcourt. Cauley-Stein carries the upside, but Koufos is back playing his former team, so don’t discount his motivation.