DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Saturday's featured NBA slate is a large one, with 13 games on tap after 7:00 PM Eastern time. With a number of significant injuries and exploitable defenses here, there are many sources of value to be found.

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Rockets (-9.5) vs. Nets

 O/U: 232.5

Both teams like to push the pace, as Houston averages 119.7 points per game and allows 114.5 while Brooklyn scores 110.9 and gives up 111.1. As a result, this game should have enticing options from all around the price spectrum.

Bulls (-9.5) vs. Hawks

O/U: 217.5

Atlanta's defense struggles in normal circumstances, allowing the second-most points per game in the league. With the Hawks traveling from Atlanta to Chicago to complete a grueling back-to-back set, the sky's the limit offensively for a fresh Bulls team that last took the court Monday.

Games to Fade

Heat (-2) vs. 76ers

O/U: 213

Both teams are finishing up back-to-backs and rank among the 11 stingiest defenses. In a slate with so many alternatives, this slower-paced game doesn't offer much value.

Celtics (-6) vs. Raptors

O/U: 216

This game features even better defense than the one above, as Boston allows the second-fewest points per game (103.7) and Toronto gives up the eighth-fewest (106.8). While the Celtics rank a little above league average with 112.0 points per game, road scoring has been a major issue for the Raptors, who average a mere 106.5 points per game away from home.

Positional Breakdown

Scarcity isn't an issue in this massive slate, even with the enormous number of injuries that have piled up. Every position still has 10-plus healthy options priced over $7,000, though point guard has the most general appeal when it comes to favorable matchups for some of the top players.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Giannis Antetokounmpo sat out Friday with back soreness, so there's a good chance the Greek Freak fails to make his return one day later.

Trae Young sprained his ankle Friday and will sit out against the Bulls. Kevin Huerter started the second half Friday after Young got hurt.

Karl-Anthony Towns is questionable to make his return for Minnesota after missing the past five games.

LeBron James (ribs/groin) is questionable while Anthony Davis (knee) is probable for the Lakers in Portland.

Bradley Beal (lower leg) is questionable for Washington against the Knicks.

Clint Capela has a right heel contusion. He's been playing through it but is listed as doubtful for this one against the Nets.

Malcolm Brogdon has missed the last two games with a groin injury. Considering the latter missed contest was Friday, chances are the Pacers guard won't be ready to play in New Orleans.

Elite Players

Luka Doncic ($11,700) has a favorable matchup against a Warriors team that's finishing up a back-to-back set, but the possibility of Dallas getting up big and limiting his minutes could make it tough for this slate's most expensive player to live up to his lofty valuation.

The Nets have been much stingier against shooting guards than point guards, so Russell Westbrook ($9,200) is likely to provide better bang for the buck than James Harden ($11,200) for the Rockets.

Many elite players have injury-related question marks in this one, but Damian Lillard ($8,700) isn't among them. Portland's point guard would become even more enticing against the Lakers if one or both of Los Angeles' superstars can't go.

Expected Chalk

Zach LaVine ($8,200) is Chicago's top weapon, pouring in 23.6 PPG overall and 30.6 in his last five games. He'll usually throw in a serviceable number of rebounds and assists (4.6 RPG, 3.8 APG this season), but LaVine's known for his scoring, and he should do plenty of it against a tired and ineffective Hawks defense. LaVine is probable due to a shoulder strain, but this injury has been present for a while without impacting his performance.

Aaron Holiday ($5,700) has been fantastic in a starting role with Brogdon out the past two games, delivering 18.0 PPG and 9.5 APG. He should excel against brother Jrue and a Pelicans defense that has been the league's third-most generous with 117.2 points allowed per game.

Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,000) continues to thrive as Brooklyn's main offensive weapon, and he's picked his game up another notch in the past four games, averaging 34.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG and 5.3 APG. He should stay hot in what's expected to be this slate's highest-scoring affair against the Rockets.

John Collins ($8,400) takes over as Atlanta's primary offensive weapon with Young sidelined, and he should thrive against a Bulls team that's struggled against big men. As long as he stays out of foul trouble, Collins should easily eclipse his averages of 17.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG.

Julius Randle ($7,200) has been a dominant force in the last two games, following up a 35-point game against the Wizards on Monday with a 33-point performance Thursday in Brooklyn. With season averages of 8.6 RPG and 3.2 APG, Randle does more than just score, but his offensive ability is what should make the surging big man a popular pick against Washington's league-worst defense (122.0 points allowed per game).

Key Values

The Knicks had no answer for Washington's Troy Brown ($5,800) when these teams last met Monday, as Brown finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Brown has scored in double digits in each of his last seven games while averaging 15.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG over that span, and he has a good chance of exceeding those recent averages in this rematch with New York. His value would climb even higher if Beal sits.

While LaVine is the clear go-to guy for Chicago, stacking the Bulls' back court against Atlanta should be an effective strategy. Fellow Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky ($6,000) has been rolling recently, seeing at least 33 minutes of floor time in each of the past four games and making the most of it with 16.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 5.0 APG over that span.

While the Raptors-Celtics game isn't likely to provide as much value as some others in this slate, it's hard to ignore the recent success of Boston's Jaylen Brown ($7,000). Brown poured in 30 points against the Raptors on Christmas and backed up that performance with a 34-point effort Friday against the Cavaliers, giving him four games with at least 26 points in his past five.

Gary Clark ($3,000) should get extended run if Capela sits against the Nets. The affordable big man is worth a shot in the dark given his $3,000 valuation.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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