DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

We have a compact five-game slate Friday night, one that definitely tilts toward the lower-scoring side as far as projected totals go. There are quite a bit of question marks as far as COVID-19/injuries in the Jazz-Pacers game in particular, making it a spot where there could be a number of value plays that rise to the forefront once more certainty is gleaned.

Slate Overview

Milwaukee Bucks at Charlotte Hornets (-1) (O/U: 233.5 points) 

Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons (-2) (O/U: 212.5 points) 

Utah Jazz (-3.5) at Indiana Pacers (O/U: 221.0 points) 

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics (-7) (O/U: 208.5 points) 

Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns (-8.5) (O/U: 216.0 points) 

The narrow point spreads in three of the evening's five games are encouraging from a DFS perspective, and there's also a chance the Heat-Suns tilt is closer than projected if Jimmy Butler is available to Miami. Meanwhile, the Jazz and Pacers game could see its line/prospectus also shift considerably depending on the availability of multiple big-name players on either side that are currently on the injury report (more detail in next section).

Injury Situations to Monitor  

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren't listed in this section. 

Jimmy Butler, MIA (ankle): QUESTIONABLE 

If Butler sits out a second straight game, the likes of Max Strus, Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson should see some extra run, while the usage for the likes of Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro should see a nice bump.

Cole Anthony, ORL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE 

If Anthony were to sit out, Tim Frazier and R.J. Hampton would see extra opportunity.

Malcolm Brogdon, IND (conditioning/Achilles): QUESTIONABLE 

If Brogdon's absence were to continue Saturday, Keifer Sykes would likely continue his starting run at point guard. 

Donovan Mitchell, UTA (back): GTD 

If Mitchell remains sidelined, Jared Butler could draw another start.

Other notable injuries: 

Caris LeVert, IND (COVID-19 protocols): GTD 

Jrue Holiday, MIL (COVID-19 protocols): GTD 

Rudy Gobert, UTA (COVID-19 protocols): GTD 

Franz Wagner, ORL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE 

Chris Duarte, IND (conditioning): QUESTIONABLE 

Evan Fournier, NYK (thigh): QUESTIONABLE 

Kemba Walker, NYK (knee): OUT 

Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA (finger): GTD 

Mike Conley, UTA (knee): GTD 

Jordan Clarkson, UTA (back): GTD 

Elite Players

We have four players with five-figure salaries on Saturday's slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,600), Jayson Tatum ($10,400), Domantas Sabonis ($10,200) and Julius Randle ($10,100). 

Antetokounmpo has scored over 50 DK points in four straight, and although he's on the second game of a back-to-back set Saturday, he had three full days of rest before Friday's contest. He also scored 69.5 DK points against the Hornets in the first meeting between the teams.

Tatum just scored 65 DK points against the Knicks on Thursday night, which should keep him highly viable and popular in the rematch Saturday. He's averaging 49.7 DK points in three games against New York overall this season.

Sabonis could once again take the floor without Brogdon and Caris LeVert in terms of fellow starters, and he's scored over 53 DK points in four of the last five, including over 60 in two of the last three.

Randle scored 40 DK points against the Celtics on Wednesday and is averaging 48.3 over three games versus Boston this season, but his salary may be just a few hundred higher than ideal given he's only shot 39.4 percent from the floor overall against the Celts.

Expected Chalk

In addition to the players just mentioned in the prior section, other likely chalk plays include:

LaMelo Ball, CHA ($9,500) 

Ball bounced back from a pair of sub-30-DK-point tallies in his most recent contest, scoring 45.0 over 30 minutes against Detroit. With the Bucks a marquee opponent and the game having the highest total of the night, Ball should be in plenty of lineups.

Jaylen Brown, BOS ($9,100) 

Brown's haul of 76.3 DK points three games ago is likely still in some DFS players' minds, and although that performance came with Jayson Tatum unavailable, Brown's typical floor of 40 DK points should keep him very popular.

Khris Middleton, MIL ($8,200) 

Middleton's usage rate without Jrue Holiday on the floor stands at a robust 31.4 percent, and he's scored over 40 DK points in the last two games, the most recent without his teammate. He's also part of that Bucks-Hornets tilt that's likely to get plenty of DFS attention.

Omer Yurtseven, MIA ($6,600) 

Yurtseven has been consistently overdelivering on investment and has over 43 DK points in two of his last three games, which should keep him firmly in play at a highly appealing salary Saturday.

Key Values 

Bobby Portis, MIL at CHA ($6,500)

Portis' salary has plummeted from a recent high point of $8.5K, yet he checks into Saturday's contest having scored 32 and 47 DK points in two of his last three games. Charlotte checks in allowing Eastern Conference-high 35.5 percent offensive efficiency to centers, along with the most DK points per game to the position on the season (62.4). Portis has already delivered over 5x his current salary in half his 32 games this season, and given how much of a sieve the Hornets' frontcourt defense has been – not to mention they're giving up the seventh-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.1) while Portis is shooting an elite 43.5 percent from distance – he's a bargain even at a slightly higher salary than my usual value suggestions.

Terrence Ross, ORL at DET ($4,800) 

Ross continues to rather quietly toil away on a very poor Magic team, and he checks into Saturday's contest against the equally hapless Pistons having scored 26 to 46.8 DK points in seven straight games. The veteran's efficiency is down overall this season as far as his shooting is concerned, but a Detroit squad yielding the fourth-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.7), Eastern Conference-high 45.8 percent offensive efficiency to second-unit players and an NBA-high 45.8 DK points per contest to small forward could certainly help him to another fruitful return.

Eric Paschall, UTA at IND ($3,100) 

The status of all five members of the Jazz's starting five remains in limbo as of late morning Saturday, but there's almost a guarantee at least multiple members of the first unit will be out again. Paschall thrived under such conditions Friday night versus the Raptors, producing 36.8 DK points across 37 minutes. His salary has actually dropped $400 overnight, and with Royce O'Neale very possibly out again with a knee injury, Paschall could draw another start at power forward. Indiana has been generous to power forwards of late as well, allowing 48.5 DK points per contest to the position in the last seven games.

ALSO CONSIDER: Keifer Sykes, IND vs. UTA ($4,200); Elijah Hughes, UTA at IND ($3,000) 

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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