Saturday’s NBA slate is an important one for several teams as they continue to chase playoff spots or battle for a better seed in the postseason. There are seven games to choose from starting at 7:00 p.m. ET, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs ($10,100) – The Blazers and Spurs both picked up needed wins last night against the Lakers and Kings, respectively. Lillard and the Blazers moved up into the sixth spot in the Western Conference, which would keep them out of the play-in tournament. Lillard has been excellent lately with at least 53 DKFP in five straight games while averaging 32.2 points, 9.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game. His usage rate has been up to 30.1% over that stretch and he has an impressive .713 effective field goal percentage. He has helped the Blazers be one of the most effective offenses in the NBA over that stretch as a whole and should be able to keep them rolling against the Spurs. He had 35 points and 50.75 DKFP in his earlier matchup this season against San Antonio and should again be a good option to build around in this rematch.
Other Options – Kyrie Irving ($10,000), Ben Simmons ($7,500)
Armoni Brooks, Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz ($4,600) – With the Rockets down to just eight available players on Friday, Brooks played 34 minutes and produced 19 points, six assists, three steals and 40.75 DKFP in 34 minutes against the Bucks. Brooks has averaged 0.91 DKFP per minute over his three most recent games in which he played at least 30 minutes, and he could be set for another big workload as the Rockets finish their back-to-back in Utah.
D.J. Augustin ($3,700) also played a lot of minutes and is also a solid punt play, but the veteran is just coming back from an ankle issue so the back-to-back may limit his production. For as long as Kevin Porter Jr. ($8,200; ankle) is out, Brooks should get a long look while the Rockets evaluate the 22-year-old’s role in their future.
Other Options – Ty Jerome ($4,500), Aaron Holiday ($4,300), D.J. Augustin ($3,700)
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets ($7,600) – While filling in for Mike Conley (hamstring) and Donovan Mitchell (ankle), Clarkson hasn’t always been the most efficient producer but has not lacked for volume. Over his past 11 games, Clarkson has averaged 18 field goal attempts per contest and scored 19.6 points to go with 3.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals. During that stretch, Clarkson has had a 30.2% usage rate and produced 1.09 DKFP per minute. He gets a great matchup against the short-handed Rockets and the only real danger is that the game turns into a blowout since the Jazz are 14.5-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. Even if that’s the case, though, Clarkson should be a big part of the reason Utah runs away, so I think he’ll be a solid play at under $8K.
Other Options – Caris LeVert ($9,100), Facundo Campazzo ($5,600)
Mychal Mulder, Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($3,800) – In another potentially lopsided game, the Warriors are 14.5-point favorites against the Thunder as they play them for a second straight game. In their first meeting, Mulder played 20 minutes off the bench and went off for 25 points and 30 DKFP by hitting seven 3-pointers in a 21-point win. He could help soak up some garbage time production again in this one and brings a very high ceiling for a player under $4K. He has played at least 20 minutes in six straight games producing 0.91 DKFP per minute and 22.25 DKFP per game.
Other Options – Seth Curry ($4,700), Desmond Bane ($4,100), DaQuan Jeffries ($3,900)
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets ($8,700) – The Nuggets continue to battle for playoff positioning coming into this marquee matchup against the Nets in Denver. Porter has been a huge part of their continued success since the loss of Jamal Murray (knee) for the season. MPJ has scored over 20 points and posted over 39 DKFP in seven of his past nine contests, including his most recent game when he had 31 points and 45.5 DKFP in 38 minutes against the Jazz on Friday night. Porter has had a 25.5% usage rate over those nine games and should carry a heavy workload in this contest as long as the Nuggets stay aggressive with their rotation on the second night of the back-to-back.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,300), Andrew Wiggins ($7,300)
Anthony Lamb, Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz ($4,100) – On Friday, Lamb played 35 minutes in his first career start, totaling 14 points and 27.0 DKFP against the Bucks. He should be very involved again in this game and could get another start depending on exactly who’s in and who’s out. Lamb had a 16.1% usage rate in that contest after a 22.1% usage rate in his previous game against the 76ers. In that game, he finished with 34.25 DKFP on 22 points, so he comes into this contest with good momentum and another golden opportunity.
Other Options – Gabriel Deck ($4,200), Desmond Bane ($4,100)
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards ($10,500) – Exactly how much usage Sabonis will carry is still to be determined by the availability of his teammates since Malcolm Brogdon ($9,300; hamstring) and Jeremy Lamb ($3,600; knee) are questionable but Myles Turner (toe) will remain sidelined. Sabonis has been a beast since returning from his own injury with over 48 DKFP in four straight contests while averaging 26.3 points, 14.8 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 1.8 steals. He has averaged a ridiculous 1.68 DKFP per minute since returning and totally dominated Washington in the game against them during that stretch. He had 32 points, 19 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and 74.25 DKFP before fouling out in that game. Indiana will look to avenge that defeat in this game that has massive playoff implications for both teams who are currently No. 9 and No. 10 and appear bound for the play-in tournament.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($10,200), Darius Bazley ($6,600)
KJ Martin Jr., Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz ($5,300) – As much as I don’t want to highlight three players from the Rockets, Martin is just playing too well to pass up at this salary just over $5K. With so few players available, any Rockets playing will likely get lots of minutes, but Martin has definitely been making the most of his chances with 50 DKFP and 47.25 DKFP in his past two contests. He has played over 30 minutes in four straight games, averaging 1.00 DKFP per minute. He took a career-high 21 shots on Friday and should be ready for another busy night in Utah. He isn’t the bargain-basement play like his teammates listed above but also brings a higher ceiling and a real shot to get to 50 DKFP, which would be almost 10x value.
Other Options – Juan Toscano-Anderson ($5,100), Josh Hall ($3,300)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets ($10,900) – The choice between Jokic and Joel Embiid ($10,700) is a tough one, but Jokic just offers more varied production across the board and should be in a competitive game against the Nets, who rank in the top 10 in DKFP allowed to opposing centers this season.
Jokic fell just one rebound short of a triple-double on Friday night against the Jazz, producing 56.75 DKFP on 24 points, 13 assists, nine rebounds and a block in 35 minutes. He has posted over 55 DKFP in four straight games with an eye-popping average of 1.80 DKFP per minute. The only concern with Jokic is that he’s playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but that concern also exists for Embiid, which is why I’m going with the Joker as my favorite top-tier center.
Other Options – Rudy Gobert ($8,800), Kelly Olynyk ($8,600)
Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,300) – Center doesn’t have any elite value plays on this slate, but Looney is a relatively safe option since he has been getting so many minutes for the Warriors since James Wiseman (knee) was lost for the season. Looney logged 27 minutes against the Thunder on Thursday and had 10 boards to help him post 19.5 DKFP despite scoring only two points. He has over 17 DKFP in 13 of his past 15 contests, so he’s a very reliable play even though his ceiling isn’t extremely high since he doesn’t take a lot of shots.
Other Options – Khem Birch ($6,100), Robin Lopez ($3,500)
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