Defense to avoid: Utah Jazz, at MIN. The Jazz are first in the NBA in production allowed to opposing guards, first against opposing small forwards and fourth against opposing centers over the last 10 games according to the DraftKings scoring system. They have some vulnerability to opposing PFs, which could bring Karl-Anthony Towns (who often plays power forward on offense) into contention to have a good game.
Offenses to Use: OKC Thunder, vs. DEN. The Nuggets are the opposite of the Jazz, ranking 26th against opposing centers, 29th against opposing power forwards, ad 26th against opposing guards over the past 10 games. Russell Wesbrook, Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo could be in for strong games.
Teams on Back-to-Backs:
First game: Raptors, Jazz
Second game: Celtics, Timberwolves, Knicks
Kyle Lowry, TOR at CHI ($8,400): Lowry bounced back from a horrid game against the Spurs by dominating the Jazz to the tune of 33 points, six boards, five assists and three steals with four made treys. He’s one of the most consistently explosive non-Westbrook/Harden players in the league right now, and on Saturday faces a Bulls defense that ranks 27th against opposing point guards over the past 10 games.
Reggie Jackson, DET at POR ($7,000): Jackson has arrived, averaging 22.5 points and 8.75 assists over his last four games. He is coming off of back-to-back points/assists double-doubles, and came three rebounds short of a triple-double earlier this week. On Saturday, he could very easily get into a shootout with the explosive Trail Blazers backcourt.
Buddy Hield, NO at BOS ($4,300): Hield has awakened and is in the mist of his second extended period of double-digit scoring efforts. This one has lasted five games, and in that stretch he is averaging 15.6 points, 4.4 boards, 1.8 assists, 3.0 treys and 0.6 steals per game.
Anthony Davis, NO at BOS ($10,600): Davis is Davis. When healthy, he’s the most explosive fantasy scoring forward/center in the league. He has produced at least 20 points and 16 boards in five of his last six games, which comes on the heels of back to back huge double-doubles. On Saturday, he locks horns with a Celtics defense that struggles against both opposing power forwards and centers.
Carmelo Anthony, NY at IND ($7,600): Kristaps Porzingis ($7,000) and LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,100) both make sense for this space, but by convention a small forward gets this slot. And Anthony has been on fire lately, averaging 28 points with 8.5 boards and 8.5 assists over his last two games. The Pacers are middling at defending small forwards, ranking 17th in production allowed to the position.
Marvin Williams, CHA at SA ($4,600): Williams seemed to be the forward that most picked up the slack for Nicolas Batum, when he was injured on Wednesday, finishing with 19 points and seven boards. Batum will be out Saturday, giving Williams increased opportunity to produce even against a strong Spurs defense. Marcus Morris was also under strong consideration for this spot as a productive small forward facing a Trail Blazers defense that struggles against small forwards.
Myles Turner, IND vs NY ($7,200): Turner is in the midst of yet another hot streak this season, averaging 21.7 points, 11.3 boards, 2.7 blocks, 1.7 treys, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists over his last three games. On Saturday he faces a Knicks defense that is next-to-last in the NBA against opposing centers over the last 10 games.
Steven Adams, OKC vs DEN ($5,700): Adams has become a nightly double-double threat with reasonable scoring potential while playing next to Russell Westbrook. Over his last seven games he has averaged 14.3 points, 8.7 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals. On Saturday, he faces a Nuggets defense that ranks 27th in the NBA in production allowed to opposing centers over its last 10 games.
Jusuf Nurkic, DEN at OKC ($3,600): Nurkic has gotten more playing time of late, and has responded by averaging 12.7 points, 6.0 boards, 2.7 assists and 1.3 combined steals/blocks over the last three games. Nikola Jokic is questionable with an illness, and if he has to sit then Nurkic would likely be a primary beneficiary. Plus, he faces a Thunder defense that ranks 25th in production allowed to opposing centers over the last five games.