This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
As usual on the weekend, DraftKings will exclude the earlier games for their featured slate, so our article will leave out the DET/LAC and MEM/MIA contests. There are still plenty of interesting spots to work with on this six-game slate, so let's dive right in!
First, some injury news:
Questionable: Karl-Anthony Towns (ankle): Towns headed to the locker room on Friday with this injury, but got back out on the floor on the way to another excellent stat line. The outlook for him playing in this back-to-back game isn't very good, however. If he can't go, Gorgui Dieng ($3,100) would get the start and a considerable bump, but I believe Taj Gibson ($4,400) and Dario Saric ($4,600) would pick up the majority of the slack here.
Questionable: Devin Booker (back): I doubt Booker takes the floor tonight. He's missed enough games to make our pivot crystal clear, and it's Josh Jackson ($5,600), who has put up three consecutive 30-plus DKFP outings.
Questionable: Gary Harris (hamstring), Will Barton (groin), Trey Lyles (hand): Denver enters this game versus the Suns a little banged up. Both Monte Morris ($4,300) and Malik Beasley ($4,400) will see extended runs, but I favor Beasley, as he won the minutes battle in their last game.
Out: Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Dante Exum (ankle), Raul Neto (groin): As expected, Donovan Mitchell took over the game with a 58 DKFP masterpiece, and despite the back-to-back, I think we'll see similar totals against the Bulls. If you want to go for value, Royce O'Neale ($3,900) woke up with 32 DKFP in this scenario and could be one of the best low-cost options today.
As we look for a solid cash game anchor, we're presented with Russell Westbrook ($11,800) and Anthony Davis ($11,700) at the elite level. Davis may have a wide-open lane with Towns potentially out, so he is my obvious favorite of the two. That being said, Westbrook beat down the Spurs with an 83 DKFP blitz when they met earlier in the week. You could go with both of these guys, but you'd only be left with $4,416 per player. With one of them, your flexibility increases with an average in the $5,400 range. Then, the question is whether or not you can replicate the excluded player's output with that slight increase in salary availability. I think this stack is doable, but I will give you other options to consider as we go position-by-position.
Jamal Murray, DEN at PHO ($7,400): Murray has enjoyed playing the Suns as he's averaged a whopping 56.4 DKFP over two matchups. Factor in Devin Booker's potential absence and you have a prime opportunity for the point guard, who can aptly fill up a stat line with output in multiple categories. While not as plum of a situation as Mitchell, Murray has rest on his side and a slightly softer opponent.
Derrick Rose, MIN vs. NO ($6,100): The potential absence of Towns leads me to think that a host of Timberwolves will have to pick up the slack. I like Jeff Teague ($6,600) and Andrew Wiggins ($7,000) tonight too, and if they choose to sit Rose on this back-to-back, I would immediately pivot to either of these guys.
Derrick White, SA at OKC ($5,400): Let's not forget about the low-cost guards in injury spots that I mentioned above, but White is a great play to find in this range. As the Spurs suit up to take on the Thunder for a second-straight game, White's 46.75 DKFP performance is one that might fly under the radar. While his five-game average of 18 points and 3.2 rebounds is serviceable, we'd need White to turn up the dial in the assist column if we want to see a repeat game.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($8,100) vs. Paul George ($9,500): Round two here, as they meet again in consecutive games. Aldridge won the day in the first game with a career night, while George couldn't meet value for his price. Though I think Steven Adams will suit up, he could be hampered with the injury he sustained on Thursday, which could put added pressure on George to put up a more significant number. Still, I think I have to lean toward Aldridge here – we are bound to see similar output, and I'd much rather spend $1,400 less to get it.
Nikola Mirotic, NO at MIN ($5,900): Mirotic is back, and the Wolves could have a compromised interior tonight. As expected, Mirotic's return has resulted in a down-tick for Julius Randle, so Mirotic becomes a more favorable angle at a lower price. You are exposing yourself to a bit of volatility here, but there isn't much to reach for in this range. You could do a lot worse!
Marvin Bagley III, SAC vs. CHA ($5,000): Could this be the night where we start to see the real Marvin Bagley? If you take a closer look at Nemanja Bjelica against Bagley, you'll see that the rookie is slowly siphoning minutes away as he nears 100 percent. The problem is that these guys are similarly priced, so you can't exactly justify one over the other with that metric. Both players have a decent matchup against the un-rested Hornets, so this boils down to a pick 'em, with Bagley getting the nod in GPP formats.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at PHO ($10,800): While a lot of the focus is on AD tonight, how about Jokic? He put up a ho-hum average of 66 DKFP over two games against the Suns, and you can expect the Murray-Jokic assist train to roar down the tracks once again. His last five games have yielded similar results, so the Jokic effect isn't just specific to Phoenix. It's a stretch to call the big man a discount, but he is against The Brow.
Derrick Favors, UTA vs. CHI ($5,100): While it should be a decent game for Rudy Gobert, I'm a bit perplexed about his recent numbers. With the various injuries afoot, I'd expect the big man to absorb some output. If the game gets out of hand, I can see Derrick Favors get involved a bit more, and it gives me an opportunity to get in on this game without spending up on Gobert.
Richaun Holmes, PHO vs. DEN ($3,900): You've got to keep rolling with Holmes at this price as he keeps churning out numbers. He's on a two-game stretch of scoring 30 or more DKFP, and he'll play a sizeable role once again against the Nuggets.
Additional centers to consider: Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC vs. CHA ($6,900)
On a final note, I think employing plays like Royce O'Neale and Richaun Holmes are great ways to drive you per-player costs down, which would make a tandem play of Davis and Westbrook eminently affordable. You can't leave Jokic out of the conversation though, as he could give you Davis-like results if Towns suits up against the Pels.