We have an exciting Saturday NBA slate on our hands, featuring an insane 243 implied total in the Wizards T-Wolves game. Spoiler alert, expect to hear about that a lot. Let’s get right to it…
Trae Young (FD $8300, DK $8200) vs BK
After a strong surge of production, Trae Young has now disappointed in three straight games at his increased price. With PG flush with strong middle priced options, it’s tough to trust Trae in cash but because of recency bias and matchup Trae is an elite GPP target. With an implied total of 235 against the Nets, Trae has a real opportunity to smash his price tag at low ownership. The Nets are 17th in Advanced DvP against pass first PGs and have been the seventh paciest team in the NBA over their last 15 games. Simply put, this is an elite spot for Trae to produce.
Jeff Teague (FD $6700, DK $5800) vs WAS
Teague will likely carry high ownership and for good reason. He’s playing 30 minutes a night at a down price and in an elite matchup. Wizards vs T-Wolves has an insane implied total of 243 and Jeff Teague will be a major part of that. He’s a rock solid middle priced option at PG that carries a high floor with appealing upside, not much more needs to be said.
Tomas Satoransky (FD $6300, DK $5600) vs MIN
On the flip side of that matchup we have Tomas Satoransky and for the same reasons as Teague, it’s hard to ignore Sato priced where he is in this matchup. While attacking the T-Wolves at PG has been less successful than attacking the Wizards, Sato has played 36+ minutes in three of his last four games. He’s back to getting elite minutes and a game environment priced as if he was playing between 26-30 minutes. He’s a rock solid safe middle priced PG.
Bonus: FD Free Punt
Tyus Jones (FD $3600) vs WAS
Tyus Jones is probably my favorite GPP dart of the slate. Most will target Teague and perhaps even Rose in this glorious matchup but Jones has actually been playing 15 minutes a game alongside one of the PGs. While playing alongside Derrick Rose isn’t ideal for his point per minute production Jones has legit 20+ point upside in this matchup at minimum price. This isn’t a risk I’d take on DK but on FD he’s an interesting “free punt”.
Bradley Beal (FD $10500, DK $9700) vs MIN
Beal exploded for 53.4 FD points and 51.25 DK points in his previous meeting vs Minnesota and while Beal’s price has jumped a touch, this is still a rock-solid spot for him. On DK, expect Beal to be heavily owned as he’s quite frankly just too cheap based off of how he’s been producing. I’m hoping his $10k+ price tag scares people off on FD. There isn’t a ton to pay up for tonight and Beal is one of the guys I feel comfortable spending on. If this game comes close to its 243 implied total it’s hard to imagine a way Beal doesn’t go for 50+ fantasy points.
D’Angelo Russell (FD $9100, DK $8100) vs ATL
Russell is averaging 44.15 FD and 45.12 DK points in two games vs the Hawks this year. By now, I hope we know that attacking the Hawks in DFS is typically a good thing as I’ve made the argument that they’re the greatest team to attack in the history of DFS. They’re first in pace, 27th in defensive rating, and 30th in turnover percentage – everything you want to attack in DFS. The Hawks give up THE MOST fantasy points to opposing scorers according to advanced DVP. Russell has a chance to be under-owned as his production has taken a slight hit with the Nets a bit healthier. Still, DLo carries legit 50+ point upside; it’s hard to ignore this matchup.
Andrew Wiggins (FD $6600, DK $5900) vs WAS
Wiggins is the route I’d go if looking for a middle priced SG simply because of the matchup. I’d expect a decent amount of people to chase Jeremy Lamb’s 50-burger last night. While I actually quite like Lamb in a pace-up spot vs Milwaukee, I prefer to target Wiggins at lower ownership and in a better game environment. If you had to pick a team to attack would it be the Bucks or the Wizards? Exactly. Surprisingly, there is some risk as Wiggins struggled in his previous matchup vs Washington and the Wizards have help opposing scorers in check however a 243 implied total means Wiggins has legit 40+ upside priced under $7k. That’s something I’m willing to chase in GPPs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (FD $12100, DK $11300) vs CHA
I’m not sure if anyone has been paying attention but the Hornets have been an absolute mess on defense ranking 25th in defensive rating over their last 10 games. He’s not cheap and I wouldn’t consider Giannis a must tonight but he’s the safe bet to be the highest fantasy producer on the night. It’s not even a debate for me deciding on Giannis or LeBron.
Kelly Oubre Jr. (FD $7500, $6200) vs POR
I’m not a fan of targeting Oubre at his FD price tag but on DK Oubre is a rock-solid middle priced option. The Blazers rank 22nd against three-and-D wings, according to Advanced DvP, and Oubre has been over 30 DK points in seven of his last 10 games, including two 50 burgers. Since joining the Suns, Oubre is taking 15+ shots a game which has lowered his DFS volatility as on the Wizards he was a bit of a boom or bust option. He carries a safe floor with appealing upside in a strong matchup.
Jabari Parker (FD $5800, DK $5300) vs MIN
Parker has seemingly taken Oubre’s boom-or-bust DFS wing mentality role on the Wizards and in a 243 implied total, he certainly has a lot of boom potential. Parker has been playing around 22 and 28 minutes and typically has hit his ceiling when he’s over the 25-minute threshold. Some of his risk is mitigated by the fact the T-Wolves have been torched by wings all year and are bottom 10 defense in every “wing” trait listed in Advanced DvP. Parker carries elite upside in an elite matchup.
Bonus: POR DK Punts
Mo Harkless ($4000) + Rodney Hood ($3300) vs PHO
If you’re in need of forward value on DK, this is the route I’d go, especially if Evan Turner is ruled out. Harkless disappointed many on Thursday’s two-game slate, which could ultimately affect his ownership. If Turner is out, he’s still way too cheap on DK and in an elite matchup. I’d consider him an elite value. Hood is more of the GPP punt as his production hasn’t been great but he played 32 minutes last game vs OKC. If Hood is anywhere in the 26+ minute range, he has a real opportunity to smash his DK price in an elite matchup against the 29th ranked defense in the NBA.
John Collins (FD $7900, DK $7200) vs BK
Collins is probably my favorite player on the slate and I’d expect him to carry high ownership. The Hawks will be without Omari Spellman, Alex Poythress, DeWayne Dedmon, and Miles Plumlee. They’re incredibly shorthanded in the frontcourt as it’s just him, Alex Len, and a bunch of wings playing up in position. Besides the fact that Collins will be locked into 34+ minutes those minutes will come in an elite matchup against the Nets who continue to get decimated by opponents bigs. Hopefully, by some miracle, people still consider Collins a risk and don’t target him here. If he’s chalk, I’ll gladly eat the chalk as PF as a whole is not too pretty. He’s an elite target.
Jayson Tatum (FD $6500, DK $6000) vs LAL
I don’t actually love Tatum here as I think the Celtics have a great shot at blowing out the Lakers but if I were to spend up on one Celtics player, it would be Tatum. The Lakers provide fast pace and poor defense of Tatum to exploit and he’s an affordable way to get exposure into this matchup. The Lakers rank 26th in advanced DvP against scorers and 27th against athletic fours. It’s an elite spot for him at a fair price.
Rodions Kurucs (FD $4900, DK $4600) vs ATL
Kurucs continues to be the beneficiary of Treveon Graham’s absence and as a Nets fan, it pains me that Treveon Graham is the reason why Kurucs and guys such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson don’t get enough minutes. In his previous stint of extended playing time earlier in the year, Kurucs flourished and that seems to certainly be happening again as he’s been over 28 fantasy points in back to back games. The Hawks provide Kurucs with an elite matchup to produce and the Hawks pace and propensity for turning the ball over boost Kurucs’ already strong defensive upside. He’s a strong value PF, expect high ownership.
Karl-Anthony Towns (FD $11600, DK $10400) vs WAS
I’ll make this quick. KAT is in a 243 implied total averaging 58+ fantasy points in his last six games. KAT has been an absolute monster since returning from his concussion and this is the perfect game environment to build on his impressive performances. He’s an elite target with elite upside, expect him to be heavily owned.
Alex Len (FD $4700, DK $5000) vs BK
At center, it’s either KAT or Alex Len for most people tonight and I have no exceptions to that. Len is typically a 1.06 FD and DK point per minute producer and that doesn’t factor in the elite nature of the Nets matchup. Say it with me, “always attack the Nets at center!” Len will likely be in the 25+ minute range producing at a 1.1+ point per minute clip priced around $5k. He has legit 40+ point upside and a safe floor as the Hawks really don’t have anyone else. I don’t care if he’s chalk, sign me up.
Bonus: DK Only
Jusuf Nurkic ($7000) vs PHO
Nurk is flat-out too cheap and in too good of a matchup to ignore on DK. My main building strategy includes two centers and Nurkic’s $7k price makes it possible to consider fading KAT on DK. A Nurk – Len stack provides cap relief and elite upside as you get legit 70+ DK point upside at $11700.
Jarrett Allen (FD $5900, DK $4800) + Brook Lopez (FD $6200, DK $5400)
The low-owned GPP pivots off of KAT and Len are Allen and Lopez for me. Allen’s minutes have been excruciating to monitor over the last month of the year as they’ve fluctuated from 17 to 36. One thing that is certain about Allen is that he’s in an elite matchup vs the Hawks and he’s so damn cheap on DK. Allen carries elite upside, with a lot of risk, but will be under 5% owned. That has appeal. Lopez also carries elite upside as he gets a Hornets team that has been absolutely smashed by bigs of late. Lopez has a real shot at 40+ fantasy points at likely 1-2% ownership, that carries GPP appeal.
Stefano Vaccarino is the NBA Product Manager for The Quant Edge. Formerly known as Rotodamus NBA on Twitter, Stefano provides consistently accurate NBA insights and predictions. His perception of the game and understanding of analytics allows him to identify profitable NBA situations.