A 7-game NBA slate for a Saturday night offers you the opportunity to enjoy some daily fantasy basketball before heading out for the evening. The marquee match-ups are few and far between here (Portland @ Dallas is the only one that stands out), but luckily for daily fantasy you just need to spot the marquee one on one match-ups to have a big night!
John Wall ($8,800) vs. BKN – I’m only going to list one stud PG because I think this is the deepest position of the night and spending up at PG might be more of a tournament move on Saturday. There are strong values across the board at PG and the opportunity cost you give up by paying here is steeper than other positions. With that said, Wall sits in a great spot tonight with a deflated price point and a positive matchup. The Nets have struggled against PGs this year and you can also bump Wall up for averaging 5 more FPPG at home than on the road in 2014-15.
J.J. Barea ($4,400) vs. POR – Barea continues to get the starting nod in Rondo’s absence and has played 29, 28 and 32 minutes in three contests without Rajon in the lineup. In those three games he’s scored no fewer than 23 fantasy points, which is solid but bear in mind that his upside has been limited as well. He hasn’t tallied over 30 fantasy points either. He seems like the safe cheap PG option tonight but maybe not the best play for tournaments since the Mavs have better offensive options at every other position in the starting lineup and he has Harris and Felton seeing solid minutes behind him at the point.
Tim Frazier ($3,000) vs. CHA – Assuming Michael Carter-Williams is once again out (he’s listed as doubtful), Frazier becomes an intriguing punt option at point guard. Frazier didn’t start the game last night, but his play in the first half led to him getting the nod to start the 2nd half. He ended his night with 35 minutes played at about a 1 FP/min average. There’s a ton of risk associated with a guy who has only played 1 NBA game, but given the min-price tag some of that risk is mitigated.
Other PG Options: Ramon Sessions ($3000), Steph Curry ($10400), Trey Burke ($4700), Brandon Knight ($7200), Brian Roberts ($4600)
Tyreke Evans ($7900) vs. CHI – On a night where top tier SGs are relatively thin, Evans seems to fit nicely. He is listed at SG but as long as Jrue Holiday is out he’ll remain the Pelicans primary ball-handler, which has led to a really nice uptick in production for Evans. The splits all lineup here for Evans, who is averaging 35.9 FPPG without Jrue in the lineup this season. He’s also averaging almost 6 FPPG more at home than on the road (Pelicans are home tonight) and had a 44.3 FP output in the only other meeting between these two teams this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($6000) vs. BOS – Giannis dropped a monster game last night against the Rockets and while there’s some concern with how popular he’ll be tonight, I don’t necessarily think that’s a reason to avoid him. Alphabet will start at the 3 and primarily matchup against either Evan Turner or Avery Bradley. Both are solid defenders but Antetokounmpo’s reach and length gives him a huge advantage over both of those Celtics. Also keep in mind that he’s had at least 30 fantasy points in each of his last 5 games, including the 53.75 point effort he threw together on Friday.
Tim Hardaway Jr ($4,400) vs. GSW – Hardaway is averaging around 28 minutes in the 10 games where Carmelo Anthony has sat and Hardaway has been healthy. That’s about 6 minutes more than his yearly average, but his production has also seen a spike as well. He’s averaging 14.5 points and 5 rebounds + assists in those games as well while sporting a 2.2 3-pointers made per game average as well. Point being, with Anthony doubtful tonight Hardaway becomes a nice salary saver option at SG.
Other SG Options: Wes Matthews ($6000), Jimmy Butler ($7700), O.J. Mayo ($4500), Gerald Henderson ($4500)
Gordon Hayward ($7800) vs. SAC – Hayward tops the list of SFs tonight in, again, another position that’s thin with stud opportunities. Hayward tends to be more boom or bust, so I’d recommend going cheaper at SF in head to head or 50/50 games while utilizing Hayward in some of the large field contests. In his last 10 games, Hayward has 4 40+ fantasy point efforts with 5 under 30 FP efforts. The reason he’s intriguing tonight specifically is a plus matchup with the Kings who he torched for 19 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 42 fantasy points in the only other game this season between these teams.
Chandler Parsons ($5700) vs. POR – I was torn between Parsons and Batum as the 2nd best SF option for tonight, but Parsons gets the slight nod given the slightly better matchup. Portland is ranking just below the league average in FPPG allowed to SFs over the last 15 days and have also been below the league average in defensive efficiency this season. On the flip side, the Mavericks have been one of the league’s best defenses over the last month or two, which leads to Parsons getting the edge tonight.
Hollis Thompson ($3800 vs. CHA) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute ($4300 vs. CHA) – Either play seems like a reasonable SF punt tonight, but if I had to choose I’d give the slight nod to Hollis Thompson. He’s a little bit cheaper and he’s been really solid over the last couple games. He also averages almost 30 minutes per game when Michael Carter-Williams has been out of the lineup this season. Mbah a Moute is intriguing as well though, since his minutes are likely a little more secure and he’s not nearly as dependent on scoring to post fantasy points. Overall, the ceiling on Thompson is a little higher and the consistency on Mbah a Moute is a touch better. Both are strong plays tonight though at a thin position.
Other SF Options: Rudy Gay ($7400), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($5700), Khris Middleton ($6100), Nicolas Batum ($5300)
Anthony Davis ($10,800) vs. CHI – Davis is the top play on the board tonight and while the Bulls can scare some off because of their defensive prowess in years past, this year’s team has been relatively soft on the defensive end. They’re about 5% below the league average in FPPG allowed to PFs this season and a big reason for that are the defensive holes in Pau Gasol’s game. Obviously Davis won’t see him the entire game, but he’s talented enough that it shouldn’t really matter who the Bulls throw at him.
Lance Thomas ($3,000) vs. GSW – The Carmelo Anthony absence obviously spreads widely across the Knicks offensive game plan, but Thomas might have been in a good position regardless of Melo’s status tonight. For $3K you’re looking for about 18 fantasy points out of Lance and he’s averaged above that in his last two games while playing 27 minutes per game in that span. Add in the absence of Melo, and the 16 point, 8 rebound, 3 assist line he posted in his only game without Melo as a Knick this year, and it’s easy to see why Thomas is a strong min-priced option tonight.
Other PF Options: LaMarcus Aldridge ($9500), Jared Sullinger ($6500), Robert Covington ($5700), Cody Zeller ($5200), Derrick Favors ($7000)
Al Jefferson ($7600) vs. PHI – Big Al has been slowly coming back from his injury but he’s now had at least 30 fantasy points in 6 consecutive games with 3 40+ fantasy point games in that span. Tonight he gets to feast on Nerlens Noel down low, whose athleticism likely won’t be able to contain the size, strength and footwork advantages that Jefferson brings. You’d like to ideally see them closer to the 34 minute per game range lately, but still the matchup against Philly (bottom third of the NBA in Defense vs. Centers on the season and over the last 15 days) make him the elite Center play tonight.
Rudy Gobert ($5000) vs. SAC – Gobert flies under the radar because he got moved back to the bench when Kanter returned, but that’s only led to a deflated price tag despite a relatively small drop in fantasy production. At this price, he needs between 25 and 30 FPs to reach value and he’s accomplished that feat in each of his last four games. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see DeMarcus Cousins get Favors and Kanter in some early foul trouble, which would lead to a nice uptick in minutes for Gobert.
Other C Options: Omer Asik ($4300), Tyler Zeller ($4400), Enes Kanter ($5900), Robin Lopez ($4600), DeMarcus Cousins ($10500)