DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

We'll be excluding the early CHA/BKN and focus on the seven remaining evening games to mirror the featured slate today. While every slate has its share of complications, today's DFs play boils down to two burning questions: To Beard, or not to Beard? And, does a Butler come with this contest?

Pundits are calling Harden everything from an MYP to a cheat code, and it's easy to see why. No one in the league can even come close to the kind of output he's mustering while Chris Paul and Eric Gordon are sidelined, and despite his 12K-plus price, he's going to widely -owned, without a doubt.

So, you're probably giving him his due in a cash game, but lest we forget, there are guys like Giannis, the Brow, Embiid, Curry and Durant on this slate as well. In a GPP, can we replicate Harden's output with elites that will have shockingly-low ownership? I think we can if you can resist sticking Harden in there. One player I think gets a significant boost is Joel Embiid ($10,800), but only if Jimmy Butler (illness) sits tonight. As usual, it's anybody's guess as to what will happen with Butler, but the displeasure with his role in Philly is now well-documented after the shouting match with his coach.

Beyond that potential against the Mavericks, I don't think you can get there with anyone else. These guys are close enough In price that you're still going to be targeting the same mid-range and low-cost guys.

So, let's move forward in our calculations knowing that we might go with Harden or Embiid, and work from there. I'll still provide alternatives at all price points, however. Aside from the Butler question, there's no real fluctuation on the injury side of things, so let's get to it!

GUARDS

Stephen Curry, GS at SAC ($9,700): So, you want to move off Harden? Look no further than Curry, who's got a plum matchup against the Kings. He posted a casual 60 DKFP when he last tangled with De'Aaron Fox and Co, and the All-Star has only delivered one clunker recently, which was against the Lakers on Christmas Day. I'm going to need some antacid as I avoid Harden with every click, but In GPP-land, I think it's a necessity.

Elfrid Payton, NO at CLE ($5,700): I slid through most of the 6K range without batting an eye, but Payton is attractive due to what I think will still be a low ownership percentage and a high likelihood that he'll be dropping dimes left and right. It only took a one-game warm-up to get Payton back into the swing of things, as he posted a 37 DKFP in his second game back from injury. Cleveland will be a good spot for him to let loose, as the chances are good that he'll have Davis open under the basket early and often.

Derrick White, SA vs. MEM ($4,800): If you're down this low at guard, you aren't expecting much, but White has demonstrated the ability to post a 30-plus DKFP score regularly. His output is tied to DeMar DeRozan's dominance more than anything else. While DeRozan had a field day against his former team earlier in the week, I think we'll see a bit of a course correction for him, giving White a few extra opportunities to score.

Other guards to consider: Klay Thompson, GS at SAC ($6,600), Eric Bledsoe, MIL vs. TOR ($6,300), Austin Rivers, HOU at POR ($4,900)

FORWARDS

Julius Randle, NO at CLE ($8,200): As I worked on my Harden roster, Randle kept coming up as the best target that still carried a high cost, but was also worth the price. The Pels have yet to play Cleveland, but I have a hard time seeing the Cavs stop this freight train, who will once again see a lot of time with Nikola Mirotic still sidelined. He's also coming off a few days of rest, which gives me a lot of confidence in pairing him with any elite I elect to stack with him (except perhaps Davis, as I'd prefer to spread my risk).

Buddy Hield, SAC vs. GS ($6,700): It's difficult to believe, but over their past five games, the Warriors have ranked dead-last against opposing shooting guards. Hield is a bit more of a hybrid guard-forward in their offense, but if you look at how Golden State allowed Devin Booker and C.J. McCollum (and of course, Harden) light them up, you have to give a little consideration to Hield's upside in this game. 30 or more DKFP is a possibility on any given night here.

Pascal Siakam, TOR at MIL ($6,200): Giannis or no Giannis, the Bucks have a defensive soft spot at the four. The numbers bear it out. It doesn't seem like they're particularly weak in the frontcourt, but surprisingly enough they rank 28th versus Siakam's position. The forward is getting buzz for Most Improved Player honors, and he could be a shoo-in if he keeps his output humming. He's getting better looks and more opportunity with a Leonard-led attack, and I think the Raptors will be on high -alert in this potential playoff preview game.

Other forwards to consider: Kevin Durant, GS at SAC ($9,400), Nemanja Bjelica, SAC vs. GS ($5,400), J.J. Redick, PHI vs. DAL ($5,500)

CENTERS

So, I've given you my thoughts about Embiid here. I like him without Butler in, but if you're fading Harden, you've got one other guy to consider.

Anthony Davis, NO at CLE ($11,600): You can't really argue with a 61.5 DKFP average, right? It'll be fun to watch Davis dismantle Cleveland, and I'm actually a bit amazed at the line on this game. It's moved a bit overnight, but I'm giving Cleveland six points all day in this spot, and I'm also willing to bet Davis will hit his average to compete with Harden as the top point-getter. It's rare that you'll ever say that you can save money with Davis, but that's the case in this spot.

Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC vs. GS ($6,000): I'm sliding way, way down to value-town with this pick. Until DeMarcus Cousins suits up, the Warriors are going to remain their typical selves at the five, and Cauley-Stein had a great game versus that soft spot when they last met. I would never expect more than 35 DKFP from the youngster on any given night, but I'll gladly play the situation if I'm running out of cash.

Other centers to consider: Clint Capela, HOU at POR ($7,800), Draymond Green, GS at SAC ($6,800)

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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