Saturday’s five-game slate begins at 7 p.m. ET with the Bulls against the Pistons and the Suns taking on the Magic. 8 p.m. ET has the Pelicans against the Rockets and the Lakers battling the Grizzlies. The Hornets and Mavericks end the night at 8:30 p.m. ET.
My favorite plays of the day can be found on the following slides in FanSided’s DraftKings daily picks. Each day in order to offer a variety of price points at each position, you can find two slides for each position–one for high-salary options and one for high-value options. Each pick is ranked on a scale of 1-5 stars to indicate the confidence in the pick. The final slide of this post has more detail on what each level means, but in short, more stars means more confidence in the selection on a points-per-dollar basis.
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Important note: Every day the goal of this post is not to give you a copy-and-paste lineup. Instead, each selection is given while highlighting the factors you need to consider when building a customized lineup for yourself. If you want to see an example lineup, you can find it on the final slide of the post, but I suggest you adjust your lineup to fit your personal taste.
To keep up with all of FanSided’s DFS NBA coverage head over to the fantasy basketball hub where each day you can find a post like this tailored for DraftKings as well as one specifically designed for usage on FanDuel. In this post, all salary and “fantasy points” references are to DraftKings scoring system and salaries. If you have any additional questions or thoughts or are looking for updates as we approach tipoff, follow @FanSidedFantasy on Twitter or you can follow my account @jeremylambert88.
Let’s take a look at your best options for both studs and value players at each position.
High Salary PG
Kemba Walker, CHA at DAL ($8,500): Walker had 61.75 fantasy points in 28 minutes against the Grizzlies on Thursday. It’s unlikely that he’ll be that hot from the field again, but there is no denying how good he’s played since Nicolas Batum went down with an injury. Walker posted 59.75 fantasy points against the Mavericks on Jan. 10. He needs 38.3 fantasy points to reach value in this one and should be over 40 fantasy points. ****
Jrue Holiday, NO at HOU ($8,200): After missing value in two straight and dealing with an illness, Holiday bounced back with 41.25 fantasy points against the Lakers on Thursday. He had 46 fantasy points against the Rockets a week ago and needs 37 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. Aside from that two game hiccup recently, he’s been great alongside Anthony Davis. He should be over 40 fantasy points in this contest. ****
Eric Gordon, HOU vs NO ($6,800): No Chris Paul meant extra run for Gordon on Thursday. He responded with 36.75 fantasy points. Paul is currently listed as doubtful and if he’s out once again, Gordon will benefit. He managed only 13.75 fantasy points against the Pelicans on Mar. 17, but he’s been great as a starter this season, averaging over 32 fantasy points. As long as Paul is out, you can bank on Gordon getting you 30-plus fantasy points. ****
High Value PG
Dennis Smith Jr., DAL vs CHA ($5,900): Smith Jr. says he’s playing on Saturday and I’ll take his word for it. He had been great prior to the injury, going over value in seven of his last eight. Due to the injury, his salary has dropped to where he needs 26.6 fantasy points to reach value. If he’s unable to play, J.J Barea and Yogi Ferrell will be strong options once again. But as long as Smith Jr. plays with no restrictions, he’ll be over 30 fantasy points. ****
Elfrid Payton, PHO at ORL ($5,800): J.J. Barea and D.J. Augustin are more reliable players than Payton on Saturday. But the Magic are 23rd against point guards in their last 15 games and Payton will be out for revenge against the team that traded him at the deadline. But given Payton’s recent performances, that extra boost might not be enough. If he’s ever going to look like the guy he was when he first came over to Phoenix, it would be this game. But he’s a risk and you may not believe in the “revenge game” factor the way I do. **
Ish Smith, DET vs CHI ($4,900): Reggie Jackson is back, but he’s still being limited coming off the knee injury. Smith had 34.5 fantasy points against the Rockets on Thursday. He’s still logging more minutes than Jackson and looks to be more comfortable coming off the bench. The Pistons has been inconsistent all season, but the matchup is good for Smith and he’s played very well in his last three games. He should be around 25 fantasy points in this one. ***
High Salary SG
James Harden, HOU vs NO ($11,700): Harden is listed as probable, so I’ll assume that he’s going to play on Saturday. Check his status before making any final decisions. Assuming he plays and Chris Paul doesn’t, he should be in for a big night. He was disappointing against the Pistons, collecting on 45 fantasy points, but this is a much better matchup. He had 64.25 fantasy points against the Pelicans a week ago. Given the Pelicans lack of three-point defense, expect Harden to push 60 fantasy points once again. *****
Tyreke Evans, MEM vs LAL ($7,900): It was a rough night for the Grizzlies on Thursday, but Evans still put himself around value, finishing with 32.25 fantasy points. The return of Marc Gasol should have the Grizzlies looking more competitive on Saturday, but they are the worst team in the league for a reason. Still, Evans has been a bright spot for them. He’s been over 45 fantasy points in two games against the Lakers this season and should end up around that number on Saturday. ****
Jeremy Lamb, CHA at DAL ($6,300): Lamb had 33.75 fantasy points against the Grizzlies on Thursday, continuing his strong play as a starter. Once again, as long as he starts, you can expect at least 30 fantasy points from him. He’s been very consistent alongside Kemba Walker in the starters role all season and there is no reason to think he’ll slow down now. He needs 27.6 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. ****
High Value SG
Cameron Payne, CHI at DET ($5,500): Payne has been over value in all four games since taking over the starting role and over value in eight straight. As long as Kris Dunn is out of the lineup, Payne is a solid value play every night given his role and usage rate on the Bulls. He’s coming off a strong 33.5 fantasy point performance against the Bucks on Friday. Expect him to push 30 fantasy points once again on Saturday. ***
Reggie Bullock, DET vs CHI ($5,100): After missing value in two straight, Bullock posted 33.5 fantasy points against the Rockets on Thursday. He had 27.25 fantasy points against the Bulls on Mar. 9 and needs 22.4 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. The matchup is a good one for the Pistons guard and he should find himself contributing at least 25 fantasy points. ***
E’Twaun Moore, NO at HOU ($4,300): Moore was down to 18.75 fantasy points against the Lakers on Thursday. Prior to that, he had been over 20 fantasy points in six straight. That includes a 23.75 fantasy point effort against the Rockets on a week ago. He needs 18.8 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. The Pelicans have played a lot of basketball this past week, but Moore has been a consistent play as a low-cost option. ***
High Salary SF
Aaron Gordon, ORL vs PHO ($7,500): Gordon had 33.75 fantasy points in 28 minutes against the Sixers on Thursday. That number would put him right at value on Saturday. Expect him to be well over that number, assuming he plays for than 30 minutes. The Suns are a great matchup for anyone and they are on a back-to-back. Gordon had 39.75 fantasy points against the Suns earlier this season. Expect him to push 40 fantasy points once again. ****
Josh Jackson, PHO at ORL ($7,000): The statuses of Devin Booker and T.J. Warren are uncertain at the moment and will likely come down to game time before a decision is made. Assuming one of them is out, Jackson will be in a good position. If both play, it could significantly cut into his value. He did have 31.5 fantasy points in 22 minutes against the Magic back in November, which was one of his best games early in the season. He’ll be over 30 fantasy points as long as one of Booker or Warren is out. He could just miss if both play. ***
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL at MEM ($6,500): With the way the Grizzlies looked on Thursday, you should just grab everyone on the Lakers. Of course, the Grizzlies won’t look quite that bad on Saturday, but the Lakers have plenty of proven fantasy talent. Caldwell-Pope leads the way and is coming off a 39.5 fantasy point effort against the Pelicans on Thursday. He had 45.75 fantasy points against the Grizzlies on Jan. 15. He should be in for another big night on Saturday given the state of the Grizzlies. ****
High Value SF
Harrison Barnes, DAL vs CHA ($6,200): Barnes had 33 fantasy points against the Jazz on Thursday. He’s killed the Hornets in the past two seasons, averaging 41.4 fantasy points in his last three games against them. That included a 46.75 fantasy point effort against them on Jan. 10. The return of Dennis Smith Jr. could cut into his value a bit, but he should find himself over 30 fantasy points on Saturday. ****
Denzel Valentine, CHI at DET ($6,100): Valentine has been over value in four of his last five and is coming off a 36.25 fantasy point performance against the Bucks on Friday. He posted 25.5 fantasy points against the Pistons on Mar. 9 and needs 26.7 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. The Pistons are 20th against the position in their last 15 games. Valentine should turn in a solid performance with a chance he goes over 30 fantasy points once again. ***
Luke Kennard, DET vs CHI ($4,300): Kennard had 25 fantasy points against the Rockets on Thursday. He’s been over value in three of his last four. More importantly, he’s playing a lot of minutes off the Detroit bench right now. He needs 18.8 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. He’s done well in two games against the Bulls this season, averaging 23.8 fantasy points. He’s a nice low-cost option who should get you at least 20 fantasy points. ***
High Salary PF
Blake Griffin, DET vs CHI ($9,500): Griffin has found his role in the Pistons system over the last couple of weeks. He’s been over 50 fantasy points in four of his last five. After a long west coast road trip, the Pistons finally return home and they come up against a good matchup. The Bulls are 25th against power forwards in their last 15 games and on a back-to-back. With the way Griffin is playing right now, you should expect him to be around 50 fantasy points once again. ****
Julius Randle, LAL at MEM ($8,300): Randle had 41 fantasy points against the Pelicans, bouncing back after barely missing value against the Pacers. He needs 38.1 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. He did struggle in the Jan. 15 meeting against the Grizzlies, finishing with 24 fantasy points in 22 minutes. He’s unlikely to shoot as poorly as he did in that contest, especially with the way the Grizzlies have played over the last month. ****
Kyle Kuzma, LAL at MEM ($6,600): Kuzma has been over value in four of his last five and is coming off a 34.75 fantasy point performance against the Pelicans on Thursday. There is a chance that Brandon Ingram plays on Saturday, and if he does, Kuzma will head back to the bench. In that case, at this salary, he’s not worth the risk and you may find value in Ingram ($5,900) instead. Assuming Kuzma starts, he should be over 30 fantasy points given the matchup. ****
High Value PF
Dirk Nowitzki, DAL vs CHA ($4,800): Nowitzki was miserable against the Jazz, finishing with 8.25 fantasy points. It was a rare off-night for the usually reliable veteran. The good news is that the Hornets are a much better matchup. They rank 30th against power forwards in their last 15 games. He had 30 fantasy points against the Hornets on Jan. 10. Look for a bounce back performance from the future Hall of Famer on Saturday. ***
Trevor Ariza, HOU vs NO ($4,700): Ariza had 21.75 fantasy points against the Pistons on Thursday, putting himself right at value. He posted 27 fantasy points against the Pelicans a week ago. Without Chris Paul, he’ll have more opportunities like he did on Thursday. He didn’t shoot well against the Pistons, but expect a rebound performance from the veteran in this one. ***
Noah Vonleh, CHI at DET ($4,500): Vonleh managed just 11.5 fantasy points in 20 minutes against the Bucks on Friday. Lauri Markkanen made his return in that one, which cut into Vonleh’s minutes and production. Markkanen has already been ruled out of Saturday’s game in order to give his back a rest on the back-to-back. That means Vonleh’s minutes and usage should go back up. He had been over value in six straight prior to Friday’s game. He’ll have a bounce back performance against the Pistons. ***
High Salary C
Andre Drummond, DET vs CHI ($9,300): Drummond had 47.5 fantasy points against the Rockets on Thursday. After going 10-plus fantasy points under value in games against the Kings and Suns, it was a strong bounce back against an elite team. The Bulls are 29th against centers in their last 15 games, but given Drummond’s performances against the Suns and Kings, that may not matter much. We know he’s capable of 50-plus fantasy points on any given night and the matchup is certainly good, but his recent play is concerning. ***
Dwight Howard, CHA at DAL ($8,000): Howard had 69.5 fantasy points against the Nets on Wednesday. He had to sit out Thursday’s contest due to his number of technical fouls. He’s been very consistent against the Mavericks over the past couple of seasons, averaging 43.3 fantasy points in three games. He needs 37.6 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. The rest may have done him some good and he should post 40-plus fantasy points once again. ****
Clint Capela, HOU vs NO ($6,700): Capela had 32 fantasy points against the Pistons on Thursday. With Chris Paul out of the lineup, he gets more opportunities around the basket due to his chemistry with James Harden. He posted 33.75 fantasy points against the Pelicans a week ago. New Orleans has played a lot of basketball over the past week and at some point, it’s going to show. The Rockets have a way of making good teams look very mediocre and Capela benefits from it. ****
High Value C
Jarell Martin, MEM vs LAL ($4,600): The Lakers are 26th against power forwards in their last 15 games. With Marc Gasol back in the lineup, Martin and the Grizzlies should not look as bad as they did on Thursday. Despite Thursday’s rout, Martin did manage to contribute 20 fantasy points. He needs 21.1 fantasy points to reach value on Saturday. He should get you at least 20 fantasy points and can produce 30-plus fantasy points on a good day. ***
Marquese Chriss, PHO at ORL ($3,600): Chriss drew the start on Friday as the Suns are moving away from Alex Len amidst reports that he’s going to enter free agency. He finished with 43.5 fantasy points in 35 minutes against Cleveland. He should continue to see big minutes moving forward as the Suns give him a chance to showcase himself heading into next season. The matchup is good and he’ll log plenty of minutes to make an impact. ****
Cristiano Felicio, CHI at DET ($4,300): Felicio had 30.25 fantasy points against the Bucks on Friday. Even with Lauri Markkanen back in the lineup, Felicio played 32 minutes in that contest. If he continues to log 30-plus minutes a game, he’s going to be a value player down the stretch given his ability to score and pick up rebounds. He’ll never have a monster game, but he’s a double-double threat every night and logs enough minutes to make an impact. ***
Example DraftKings Daily Picks Lineup
PG: Cameron Payne
SG: E’Twaun Moore
SF: Aaron Gordon
PF: Marquese Chriss
C: Clint Capela
G: James Harden
F: Dirk Nowitzki
U: Dennis Smith Jr.
Explanation of the stars after each pick:
Each one of my picks is ranked on a scale of one to five stars. Picks that I give five stars (∗∗∗∗∗) are players that you almost have to own and I have no reservations about owning at their price. Players that get four stars (∗∗∗∗) are players that I think are strong picks to build your roster around.
Three-star players (∗∗∗) are middle-of-the-road solid picks who are fairly reliable to produce a good game. Picks receiving two stars (∗∗) are high-risk, high-reward players who do offer enough upside to be in my picks, but also have a significant risk factor that makes them dangerous.
One star (∗) players are picks that are the best option around that price point, but who I don’t think are great options. I would take any one-star player over any option not in my picks, but they aren’t picks to build your roster around.