DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Saturday's NBA main slate begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time and features nine games. Many of the teams involved are completing back-to-back sets, but fatigue shouldn't be much of a factor so early in the season, so much more weight goes to players' early results. Certain matchups below stand out for their fantasy-friendly conditions, while some individuals are thriving in increased roles.

Slate Overview

Games to Target

Rockets (-10.5) vs. Pelicans O/U: 237

Both of these teams play fast, and the visiting Pelicans don't offer much resistance on the defensive end. In other words, plow right ahead with James Harden and/or Russell Westbrook for the home side.

Clippers (-9) at Suns O/U: 229.5

The Clippers have looked like a well-oiled offensive machine, while the Suns like to play fast and are playing their second game in as many nights. There's some risk of Los Angeles' top players sitting out if the Clippers' lead gets too big, but other than that, this game figures to be a fantasy goldmine.

Games to Fade

Pacers (-5) at Cavaliers O/U: 213.5

This game doesn't feature much offensive talent, nor does either team want to push the pace.

Celtics (-5) at Knicks O/U: 215

Both of these teams are finishing back-to-back sets and hang their hats on defense, though the Celtics have been more successful at embracing that identity. Still, tired legs, a slow pace and an emphasis on getting stops doesn't add up to a fantasy-friendly environment.

Positional Breakdown

Both guard spots are flush with talent, while the small forward position remains the toughest to fill. Center has a massive logjam of above-average players, with 10 different options available between $7,400 and $8,500. Most lineups will likely be looking at either a point guard or center in their UTIL spot.

Injury Situations to Monitor

It took all of one game for the injury bug to bite Joel Embiid, as he'll sit out against the Pistons due to an ankle sprain. Luckily, the 76ers invested in some quality Embiid insurance this offseason by acquiring Al Horford ($5,800).

Enes Kanter (knee) will sit out a second straight game for Boston, missing out on a chance to face one of his former teams in the Knicks.

Most of this slate's other injuries are old news, but they include Paul George (shoulder), Zion Williamson (knee), Blake Griffin (hamstring/knee) and Marvin Bagley (thumb).

Elite Players

Westbrook ($9,100) comes in $1,100 cheaper than Harden for their favorable matchup against the Pelicans, and he scored 62.0 fantasy points in his Rockets debut to Harden's 51.3. The points and assists can keep coming, and Westbrook proved he can rebound exceptionally even outside the Thunder's system by grabbing 16 boards.

Trae Young ($8,800) looked like the second coming of Stephen Curry with 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the first game of his second season. The matchup doesn't look great against the defensive-minded Magic, but this will be Atlanta's home opener and there's a chance that Young could be incredibly underpriced at his current valuation given his tremendous mix of shooting and passing ability.

Pascal Siakam ($8,500) has embraced his new role as Toronto's go-to-guy, with 33.5 PPG, 13.0 RPG and 3.5 APG through two games. Last season's Most Improved Player is making yet another leap, and he's unlikely to slow down against the Bulls, who have allowed 114 points per game despite facing the Hornets and Grizzlies.

Expected Chalk

Dejounte Murray ($5,700) filled up the box score against the Knicks in the season opener, with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. San Antonio's point guard should get plenty of love here against a Wizards team that surrendered 116.9 points per game last season — second-most in the league.

Brandon Ingram ($6,900) will need to deliver a strong performance if the Pelicans are going to hang with the Rockets. He's shown a nice mix of all-around ability and scoring touch with 23.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG and 4.0 APG in his first two games with New Orleans.

Derrick Rose ($4,900) has gotten his Pistons tenure off to a hot start, with 22.5 PPG and 6.0 APG through two games. Given his notoriety and affordability, Rose should be a popular pick, even against the stingy Sixers.

Key Values

Fred VanVleet ($6,200) is another Raptor who has taken on an increased role and run with it. He's delivered 21.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 6.5 APG while averaging a massive 43 minutes of court time through his team's first three games. Facing the vulnerable Bulls defense should more than make up for a slight reduction in minutes.

Markelle Fultz ($4,400) is a solid low-cost option at either guard spot. He'll take on the porous Atlanta defense that allowed a league-worst 119.4 points per game last season, and Fultz was one of three Magic players to score more than 10 points with a 12-point, six-assist effort in the team's opener.

Ivica Zubac ($4,200) needed just 18 minutes of court time to post 16 points and 10 rebounds in Thursday's win over the Warriors. That performance could earn him more court time against the Deandre Ayton-less Suns, making Zubac an enticing option at his affordable price.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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