There are eleven games ahead of us on Saturday with two early games tipping off between 5pm and 7pm ET and an additional nine game “main” slate at the usual 7pm ET where all the main contests reside. This article will focus on those matchups. One other interesting wrinkle is that twelve of the twenty-two teams playing on Saturday, also played last night.
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Kemba Walker – CHA vs BKN – $8,000 – Kemba’s price has been all over the place this season and he is near his upper range, however, this is a matchup that will be tough to ignore. The Brooklyn Nets rested a couple key players last night in Trevor Booker and Sean Kilpatrick (yet somehow still managed to score 143 points in regulation against New Oreans) and they have been careful this season to give Brook Lopez several rest spots in an effort to keep him healthy. Fun fact with BroLo, he played in all 82 regular season games in his first three seasons in the league and then he averaged just 48.2 games played over the next five seasons with no more than 74 in any one season, and with just 5 and 17 in his worst injury seasons.
Okay, enough about Lopez, that is something for us to file away to consider in future matchups, back to Kemba. Over the last four weeks and on the season, the Brooklyn Nets have allowed the most fantasy points in the league to opposing floor generals and they do not have anyone who can consistently keep up with the lateral quickness of the former Kentucky star who should be poised for a big night at home tonight in the Spectrum Center.
Kyrie Irving – CLE vs SAS – $8,100 – This price point and matchup will have most gamers looking elsewhere, but we have seen Irving have a mega game against the Spurs before and with Tony Parker a year older and Patty Mills dealing with some nagging injuries, this is a matchup that can be exploited for tournaments if one has a medium appetite for risk.
Other Options – Mike Conley ($7,400), Eric Bledsoe ($8,500)
T.J. McConnell – PHI at ATL – $5,400 – McConnell should see close to 30 minutes in this matchup and while his price is creeping up, he is still a fine foundational play against the Hawks who have been very generous to opposing point guards this season, as Dennis Schroder becomes accustomed to the responsibilities of running an offense AND guarding his opponent on a full-time basis.
Other Options – Tyler Johnson ($5,300), Rajon Rondo ($3,900)
Devin Booker – PHO at NYK – $6,700 – The Knicks are a team in disarray, but that is nothing new. They are not passing the “eye test” against opposing swingmen and when we consider that over his last four games, Booker is averaging 19 field goal attempts per outing, this is a very nice price from a cost per shot perspective.
Tony Allen – MEM vs HOU – $4,400 – This is a back-to-back game for both teams, but we know from the two prior meetings this season that Allen will have a prominent role trying to slow down James Harden. In the two matchups this season Allen is averaging just over a point per minute and 27.5 DraftKings points per game and while that is buoyed by a 12 of 15 shooting performance, at this price point we would be thrilled with 20-25 fantasy points which fits with his 22.5 DKPT average.
Marco Belinelli – CHA vs BKN – $3,700 – This is a nice matchup for Belinelli as long as teammate Jeremy Lamb is still on the mend. Both of these teams played last night, but with Belinelli qualifying at both shooting guard and small forward, he is a solid punt option that can be slotted in at the either of the two most pesky positions on our rosters.
Other Options – Manu Ginobili ($3,700), Sean Kilpatrick ($4,100)
Will Barton – DEN vs LAC – $6,500 – As long as Gary Harris is out, we can look to Barton since his elevated price point will likely keep away the average gamer since it has increased 25% over the last four games. He has performed well in the two meetings against the Clippers this season and they are down to understudies at nearly every position. In those contests he averaged 32.2mpg, 22.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg for 39.6 DraftKings points. A forty burger is definitely on the menu tonight in the Pepsi Center.
Jimmy Butler – CHI vs SAC – $9,100 – The Bulls are another team that is a mess and it would seem to be some sort of positive cosmic boomerang effect if they traded Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez to get back Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Alas, that may not come to fruition. In the meantime, we have an outstanding matchup for “Jimmy Buckets” against a depleted Kings team that is likely going to be counting on Garrett Temple to slow him down.
Other Options – Gordon Hayward ($7,200), Carmelo Anthony ($7,900)
Michael Beasley – MIL at MIA – $4,100 – The eight year veteran can be quite infuriating with his attitude and his minutes being doled out by Coach Jason Kidd, but he does have 30+ fantasy point potential when he is motivated and manages to stay on the court.
Other Options – Caris LeVert ($3,400), Anthony Tolliver ($4,300)
DeMarcus Cousins – SAC at CHI – $10,900 – In his last two meetings with Robin Lopez (albeit when he was with the New York Knicks), Cousins has averaged 37.0mpg, 25.5ppg, 15.5rpg, 3.0apg and 2.5 combined blocks/steals for nearly a 65 DraftKings point average per game. Just sayin’ he is worth a look in tournaments.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($7,700)
Wilson Chandler – DEN vs LAC – $5,800 – Chandler was away from the team for personal reasons, but this is a nice matchup for him against the shorthanded Los Angeles Clippers.
Jabari Parker – MIL at MIA – $6,700 – Parker has been solid this season in two meetings with the Miami Heat and is averaging 17.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 2.0apg and 1.5 combined blocks/steals for 31.6 DKPTs which is actually below his season average. Over the last month, the Heat have been in the bottom third of the league against opposing forwards from a fantasy perspective, so this bodes well for Parker’s chances to outperform his very reasonable price tag.
Other Options – James Johnson ($5,800)
Nikola Jokic – DEN vs LAC – $9,300 – Yes, his price tag has reached new highs, but go look at his last four games. Yeah, it looks like Coach Mike Malone may have figured out who his best player is… FINALLY!
Rudy Gobert – UTA vs IND – $6,900 – The Stifle Tower was magnificent last night with 27 points and 25 rebounds on his way to 65.8 DKPTs against the Mavericks in Dallas. The Jazz are back home tonight hosting the Indiana Pacers who are on the third game of their road trip having played in Los Angeles last night against the Lakers and on Wednesday in Sacramento against the Kings. Gobert is a fine pivot away from Nikola Jokic if you need the savings, or he slots in nicely in the UTL position if you want to go with a double center strategy.
Other Options – Marc Gasol ($7,300)
Robin Lopez – CHI vs SAC – $4,400 – The last time RoLo faced DeMarcus Cousins, it was in Madison Square Garden when he was with the Knicks and he tallied 23 points and 20 rebounds. Lightning could strike again, and at this price point, even if he “only” produces his season average of 22.7 DKPTs all is not lost.
Other Options – Cody Zeller ($5,000), Marreese Speights ($4,200)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) 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.