This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Defense to Avoid
San Antonio Spurs vs. Sacramento Kings
The Spurs have been on a historic defensive pace all season, fielding a squad that is seventh in the NBA against point guards, first against shooting guards, first against small forwards, 11th against power forwards and ninth against centers. Plus, there is also the potential blowout factor, which could limit the time that Kings players have on the court.
Offense to Use
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets
This was a close category, as the Bulls vs. Rockets and Spurs vs. Kings are both great matchups, as well. Ultimately, the Timberwolves earned this slot on the dint of the Nets not having any strong defensive categories. While the Rockets are solid against centers, neither the Nets nor the Kings are good against any position. But the Kings could conceivably get blown out in San Antonio and limit the Spurs' minutes, while the Timberwolves and Nets seem like a competitive matchup where the Wolves should have plenty of opportunity against a porous Nets defense.
Teams on Back-to-Backs
First game: Pistons, Rockets
Second game: Hawks, Nets, Celtics, Cavaliers, Pacers, Timberwolves, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards
Shelvin Mack, UTA at NO ($4,100): Mack has been either starting or getting starter minutes for the last several games, to mixed results. He's a risky play, with two single-digit fantasy scoring efforts in his last seven games. However, he also has four games with more than 20 fantasy points in that span, including 26 and 33.75 in two of his last three outings. He has a good matchup Saturday against a Pelicans defense that is 26th in the NBA at limiting production to point guards.
Jimmy Butler, CHI vs. HOU ($8,300): Butler is expected to return to the court Saturday after missing 11 games with a knee injury. It's always risky to play someone in his return, but last Saturday Eric Gordon showed that it's not unusual for players to return with a bang. Butler was on a tear when he got injured, making his price a bargain if he's able to go full speed. And he'll face a Rockets defense that is terrible at defending shooting guards.
Kawhi Leonard, SA vs. SAC ($7,900): Leonard has been zoning lately, with eight consecutive games of 40 to 59.75 fantasy points. That level of production is value at his price, and Saturday he faces a less-than-stellar Kings defense. The only risk is the Spurs might blow out the Kings, which might not give Leonard enough minutes, but otherwise he projects as a big play.
Bobby Portis, CHI vs. HOU ($5,200): Portis has shown all season that he can produce when given the opportunity, and in his last few games he is averaging 27 minutes/game, which has translated to almost 26 fantasy points/game. Taj Gibson sat out the last game with a hamstring injury and is questionable for Saturday. If he sits Portis would have more opportunity than usual against a Rockets defense that ranks 21st against power forwards.
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. BKN ($8,200): There are a bunch of high-level centers with good matchups Saturday, including Towns. He "only" scored 21 points with seven boards and two assists Friday ... but he only played 22 minutes due to a blowout. He was clearly on pace for a monster effort, which would fit right in with the tear he has been on for the last month. On Saturday, he'll face a mobility-challenged Brook Lopez, and a Nets defense that is 23rd vs. centers.
Other Options: Dwight Howard, HOU at CHI ($7,900), Andre Drummon, DET at NY ($7,700)
Kelly Olynyk, BOS (shoulder)
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, BKN (ankle)
Nikola Mirotic, CHI (appendix)
Mo Williams, CLE (knee)
Stanley Johnson, DET (shoulder)
Terrence Jones, HOU (illness)
Blake Griffin, LAC (hand/suspension)
Kevin Garnett, MIN (knee)
Nikola Pekovic, MIN (foot)
Cleanthony Early, NY (knee)
Alec Burks, UTA (ankle)
James Young, BOS (calf)
Derrick Rose, CHI (hamstring)
Taj Gibson, CHI (hamstring)
Jodie Meeks, DET (foot)
C.J. Miles, IND (calf)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, LAC (eye)
Nemanja Bjelica, MIN (foot)
Omer Asik, NO (ankle)
Manu Ginobili, SA (groin)
Gary Neal, WAS (thigh)