Defense to Avoid
Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The Jazz are second in the NBA in defensive rating (94.5 points allowed per 100 possessions) and plays the slowest pace in the league (91.2 possessions/game). Put that together and opponents have trouble scoring each possession, and they donít play many possessions. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies struggle on offense (98.4 points/100 possessions) and also play a slow pace (94.3 possessions/game, fourth slowest in the league). Put it together, and this is not a recipe for fantasy success.
Offense to Use
Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans are one of the worst defenses in the NBA, allowing 112.2 points/100 possessions (28th in the NBA) and play at a fast pace (102.5 possessions/game, 2nd fastest). The Mavericks should have every opportunity to max out their production on Saturday, and since the Mavs donít tend to have high-priced players, there should be some solid production for modest prices.
Teams on Back-to-Backs:
First game: None
Second game: Hawks, Nets, Warriors, Rockets, Bucks, Pelicans, Magic, 76ers, Kings, Wizards
Deron Williams vs. NO ($5,900): Not only are the Pelicans one of the worst defenses in general, but specifically they are dead last in the NBA in production allowed to opposing point guards. Williams had some injury concerns, but heís been playing solid basketball for a week now and has a good chance to produce well at a modest price tag Saturday.
Other suggestions: Toney Douglas at DAL ($3,800), T.J. McConnell vs. ORL ($5,000)
Eric Gordon at DAL ($5,600): The Mavericks/Pelicans game shapes up to be very fantasy-friendly. The Mavericks are currently 25th in the NBA in fantasy points allowed to opposing shooting guards, and Gordon remains a key part of the Pelicansí offense. He has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four games, and since Jrue Holiday tends to not play both halves of back-to-backs, thereís a good chance that Gordon is pulling heavier duty Saturday.
Other suggestions: Klay Thompson at Sac ($6,900), Bradley Beal at ATL ($6,800)
Evan Fournier at PHI ($5,800): Fournier had been one of the hottest players in the league entering Friday night, averaging 39.6 FPts/G over his previous four and 46.4 points over his previous two games. On Friday, he came back to Earth with just 13 fantasy points, but that was just one bad game. On Saturday, he is set to bounce back against a 76ers defense that is 29th in the NBA in points allowed to opposing small forwards.
Other suggestions: Kawhi Leonard vs. CHA ($7,900), Nicolas Batum at SA ($6,100)
Draymond Green at Sac ($7,100): The Kings are 25th in fantasy points allowed to opposing power forwards, and with DeMarcus Cousins sitting out Saturday, that ranking is likely to get worse. The biggest risk here is that if the Warriors blow the Kings out too badly that Green may not play as many minutes as usual, but he should produce very well in the time that heís on the court.
Other suggestions: Marvin Williams at SA ($5,400), Dirk Nowitzki vs. NO ($6,600)
Rudy Gobert vs. MEM ($7,200): Gobert has scored more than 36 FPts in three of his last four games, and Saturday he will be facing a Grizzlies defense that uncharacteristically has struggled to the tune of a 26th ranking in production allowed to opposing centers. The Grizzlies' offense isnít very talented and doesnít have a lot of outside shooting, which means that Gobert should get the chance to block plenty of shots and grab lots of rebounds.
Other suggestions: Al Horford vs WAS ($7,300), Dwight Howard at LAC ($7,000).
Thabo Sefolosha (rehab)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (shoulder)
JaVale McGee (leg)
Andrew Bogut (concussion)
Patrick Beverley (concussion)
Terrence Jones (eye)
Donatas Motiejunas (back)
O.J. Mayo (hamstring)
Tyreke Evans (knee)
Norris Cole (ankle)
Quincy Pondexter (knee)
Omer Asik (calf)
Kendrick Perkins (chest)
Jrue Holiday (rest)
Robert Covington (knee)
Kendall Marshall (knee)
Tony Wroten (knee)
Carl Landry (wrist)
DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles)
Alan Anderson (ankle)
Martell Webster (hip)
Jeff Teague (finger)
Kyle Korver (ankle)
Corey Brewer (thigh)
Chris Paul (groin)
Michael Carter-Williams (ankle)
Nikola Vucevic (knee)
Derrick Favors (illness)