Saturday’s main NBA slate features only four games, but it could be a really fun one. Sorry James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but Luca Doncic is the star of tonight’s action. There are a bunch of second-tier guys of interest too, but ample bargains to sprinkle in around them. In this column, I generally set $6000 FD/$5000 DK as the bargain threshold, and I try to indicate when I think a position is particularly well-suited--or not--to using the cheap plays given the landscape of the particular slate. DraftKings’ pricing is notably sharper than FanDuel’s tonight, so I tried to provide a couple extra options to consider where it was feasible. Tonight’s slate tips at 7:00 pm EST.
Tomas Satoransky, Chicago Bulls vs. Houston ($5100 FD, $5700 DK)
Satoransky is coming off a fantastic game, no doubt, but he’s here for his high floor as much as his ability to boost a lineup’s ceiling. Even if he doesn’t take as many shots tonight, he can benefit from Houston’s fast pace of play and 29th rank in defensive efficiency. Being a great passer with lots of shooters around him makes Satoransky’s high assist totals every night an especially nice match on FanDuel, where he is the better bargain tonight.
Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas ($4400 FD, $3900 DK)
Jones is a better salary-saver at PG, but with a lower ceiling than Satoransky. He’s been the model of consistency over his past four games, in minutes (about 22 MPG), shot attempts (about seven), assists (about five per game), steals (two per game) and points (around nine per game). Such a well-rounded stat line for this price makes him one of the safest guard bargains of the slate.
Hamidou Diallo, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State ($4600 FD, $4100 DK)
Diallo is playing plenty of minutes and returning steady value every night. He’s not going to skyrocket a lineup to the top of your GPP, but for a consistent 20-24 fantasy points, he’s the play. It’s worth noting how terrible Golden State’s defensive efficiency is this year (30th in the league), and that their positional value (DvP) for shooting guards is second in the league.
Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors at OKC ($4200 FD, $4600 DK)
So far this season, Oklahoma City has been better on defense than offense, in terms of efficiency ranks. The Warriors are coming off an overtime loss and are substantial underdogs tonight, but a young player like Lee, who is seeing about 25-27 MPG, should be expected to maintain his normal role regardless of game flow. Lee does a little bit of everything, providing a relatively stable presence in your lineup for the price.
Danuel House, Houston Rockets at Chicago ($5200 FD, $5200 DK)
House is turning into a regular here, given that he’s almost always above 30 MPG and tends to do well in friendly matchups. He’s scored double-digit points in each of the Rockets’ last five games, and is capable of multi-steal and multi-block efforts any given night. House is yet another high floor guy, but with a bit more upside than Lee or Diallo.
Alec Burks, Golden State Warriors at OKC ($5100 FD, $4500 DK (PG/SG))
May the fantasy gods strike me down for writing up Burks after surely promising myself more than once that it would never happen again. He’s certainly not without risk, but played 31 minutes in the Warriors last two games and at least 24 minutes in the last four. In just that tiny span, Burks has scored zero points and 28 points. He’s got three good games in a row under his belt, and I can’t fault his peripherals, but know that Burks is not the safest bargain tonight.
Chandler Hutchison, Chicago Bulls vs. Houston ($3600 FD, $3200 DK)
I’m more inclined to roll with Hutchinson, who gets the start tonight for the injured Otto Porter, Jr. vs. Houston. I mentioned the defensive woes already, but Houston allows the most overall fantasy points to opponents, including the most to shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards. We should expect 20-25 fantasy points in a breakout game for Hutchinson tonight.
Also consider: Tim Hardaway
Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Dallas ($5500 FD, $5100 DK)
You should know the deal with Clarke; he’s reasonably priced for a high floor and some upside due to his ability to post multiple blocks and steals, as well as the occasional double-double.
Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets vs. New Orleans ($3600 FD, $3300 DK)
No one wants to play Williams, but if you’re looking to spend up on guards, I don’t hate saving a bunch here. He’s going to get you about 4-5X value, but if that allows you to lock in another star on this slate, I don’t think it’s a bad trade off. The Pelicans are another bad defensive team, that is particularly generous to power forwards (third-most fantasy points allowed).
Willie Cauley-Stein, Golden State Warriors at OKC ($5000 FD, $3900 DK)
The RotoWorld DFS optimizer loves WCS tonight and it’s hard not to remember the days when he was a lock for 40 fantasy points a game. He’s here as a big salary-saver at C, and as long as Kevon Looney is out should be getting 24-ish minutes. It’s not the greatest matchup but there’s no must have center that you have to pay up for either.