This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
FanDuel rolls out a five-game main slate for Saturday that kicks off at 7:00 p,m. ET. The Kings-Rockets game is excluded from these contests.
Teams/Games to Target in BOLD
Teams/Games to Fade in ITALIC
NYK @ IND (-9), O/U: 213.5
OKC @ ORL (-7), O/U: 218
CHA @ PHI (-9.5), O/U: 213.5
CLE @ ATL (-6.5), O/U: 233
TOR @ NOR (+1.5), O/U: 213.5
(odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook and are subject to change)
Back-to-back teams: ATL, CHA
Despite the lower total, we found a lot to like from the Pacers and Knicks, especially from a value perspective. The Sixers are also in a great spot against the Hornets, and the Cavs-Hawks game has some value opportunities as well. Aside from a couple of spots, the Thunder-Magic game didn't yield much exposure in our builds today.
Evan Fournier (back) - QUESTIONABLE
Fournier left the game with back spasms but returned and played through the injury. Cole Anthony ($4,000) would get a boost in usage if he can't go.
Danilo Gallinari (ankle) - OUT
Gallinari is probably out for one more game, and with De'Andre Hunter ($4,600) off the injury report, he should be available to pick up the slack here.
ELITE PLAYERS ($9.000-plus)
Only two players break the 10k barrier today, and they are Joel Embiid ($10,500) and Andre Drummond ($10,000). Nikola Vucevic ($8,400) is the next highest-ranked center, and then there is a precipitous drop in salary and player quality after that. As a result, going with one of these big men is going to be a priority, as you'll sacrifice much-needed output by going lower. Both situations are favorable for Embiid and Drummond, but I would much rather play Embiid against the Hornets frontcourt. Drummond should also have a good game, but he'll line up against Clint Capela, which provides a bit more resistance than the motley crew that Charlotte can offer at the position. I'm a bit less enamored with Vucevic, but all three of these centers should perform within 10-15 FDFP of each other, so I can also see spending down here.
The Hawks are on a back-to-back against Cleveland, so I'm not particularly high on spending up for Trae Young ($9,700), especially when I can find value elsewhere. Domantas Sabonis ($9,400) is a bit overpriced, and I see a lot of value at least 1k below him. At small forward, there is a $1,400 salary drop after Brandon Ingram ($9,000), but he's now failed to hit 5x value in two straight games. I'm afraid that Zion Williamson ($8,100) is siphoning too much potential from Ingram, but neither has played particularly well over the past week.
Ben Simmons, PHI ($8,600) vs. CHA
This game presents a great opportunity for the Sixers. I've already endorsed Embiid, and I've been happy with what Simmons has done so far. He actually shot and made a three-pointer the other day, and for Simmons, that's a feat unto itself. Seriously, if you've ever played Simmons, you know he doesn't take those shots, but maybe – just maybe, he might be on the verge of expanding his repertoire a bit. A blowout is a legitimate fear, especially with Charlotte on the tail-end of a back-to-back on the road, but Simmons should do sufficient damage with 30 minutes on the floor.
Julius Randle, NYK ($8,000) vs. IND
Randle started extremely slow against the Raptors, but eventually picked it up and salvaged his line with a double-double. Despite getting only 4.4x value, his salary remained steady, and I think the public will still like him against the Pacers. Indiana currently ranks 21st against his position, and Randle's upside is potent. His floor hovers around 30 FDFP, but his ceiling could come close to 55-60 FDFP in the right matchup.
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($7,800) @ NOR
Siakam burned many managers with a late scratch the other day. The team cited a rules violation after Siakam walked out on his team before the game ended. His salary actually inched up in the wake of this incident. It appears that he will only be penalized one game, so I like him tonight with the additional day of rest. Intangible situations like this one can be tough to predict, but it can be a great way to leverage a player who might take a dip in ownership. He makes the chalk section because there may be an inverse effect to his absence, which could drive up his popularity.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($7,500) vs. NYK
Brogdon is humming on all cylinders to begin the season. He's averaging a solid 35 minutes per game and has a decent 23.5% usage rate. His floor is very steady, and it hovers just around 5x value at his current salary. I don't expect the Knicks to give the Pacers much trouble, and even in a blowout, Brogdon will still see at least 30 minutes.
VALUE PLAYS ($6,677 and below)
Steven Adams, NOR ($6,000) vs. TOR
I said that there is a drop after the top three at this position, but Adams is a diamond in the rough below the FanDuel median price. After an excellent evening against his former team, the newly-minted Pelican saw his salary go up $600, but if he can replicate the output against the Thunder, he'll still beat value. Chris Boucher has been fine but not spectacular at center for the Raptors, and I expect Adams to convert some assists for his talented backcourt without too much trouble from the Toronto frontcourt.
Elfrid Payton, NYK ($5,000) @ IND
As long as he sees 30 minutes or more, I expect Payton to continue producing at a high level for the Knicks. After a rough beginning, he's been on fire over the past three games, averaging 18.3 points, six assists and 4.7 rebounds over that span. He also boasts the second-best usage rate (24.3) behind Julius Randle. On rosters with Randle, I'm ok with a stack here as well.
Eric Bledsoe, NOR ($4,600) vs. TOR
Bledsoe's horrific shooting slump came to an end against the Thunder on New Year's Eve. His salary took a huge tumble during this cold streak, and it's now at a level that's hard to argue against. Considering his $5,600 initial salary, you're getting a tremendous deal here. The Pelicans have a liberal rotation in the backcourt, but Bledsoe is a lock for 25 minutes and can probably see a few more minutes if he's playing well. Looking at his metrics to this point won't excite you, but his game on Thursday could be the beginning of an upward trend.
Doug McDermott, IND ($4,000) vs. NYK
I'll usually conclude these articles with a bit of a punt play, but I think there's an argument to be made for McDermott, who should be in line for more playing time with T.J. Warren out for a considerable length of time. He made the most out of 25 minutes on Thursday with 26 FDFP. Anyone at this salary point that can generate more than one FDFP per minute is a great value. I added him in my deep seasonal league, and I'm cautiously optimistic that he's the Pacer who will benefit the most in this injury scenario.