DraftKings NBA: Value Plays for the Weekend

DraftKings NBA: Value Plays for the Weekend

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

We've mostly focused on the Friday games thus far, but the first DraftKings NBA Weekend Value Plays of 2015 will examine the somewhat smaller Saturday and Sunday slates.

Saturday will actually look like a weekday, with all eight NBA games starting at 7 p.m. ET or later. That's good for GPPs, though the tournaments will still be smaller than what we typically see during the week, as NFL wild-card weekend is a major distraction.

Sunday features six games, with the Cavs facing the Mavs at 1 p.m. ET, followed by five games at 6 p.m. ET or later. For Sunday, I'm looking closely at the Bucks-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, as the Bucks have been a consistent source of value this season, while the Knicks are once again hobbled by a slew of injuries.

But first, let's get back to Saturday, which is looking a bit short on obvious plays.

The Bobcats are one team of interest, with Al Jefferson (groin) sidelined for at least the month of January. I initially had high hopes for both Marvin Williams ($4300) and Cody Zeller ($4800), but a lot of Big Al's minutes have been going to Bismack Biyombo ($4300) and Jaxon Maxiell ($3000).

I still think Williams and Zeller make for solid GPP plays Saturday against the Magic, though I wouldn't recommend using both in the same lineup. Zeller actually put together a huge first half in Friday's game against the Cavs, but he was then benched in the second half due to his struggles guarding Kevin Love. Orlando's Kyle O'Quinn and Channing Frye are, of course, significantly less threatening.

Lastly, as much as I initially liked Kemba Walker's ($9900) prospects in a Jefferson-free world, it hasn't really happened the last two games, and his price is a bit out of control at the moment. I'll still concede that he's a decent GPP option for Saturday, but only because of the fantastic matchup.

The Bulls have an interesting situation Saturday, with Jimmy Butler (bereavement) and Mike Dunleavy (ankle) sidelined for a matchup with the Celtics. Wing depth is the Bulls' primary/only weakness, so the team may try out a combination of unusually small and unusually large lineups.

Tony Snell ($3000) is worth a look in GPPs, but he does very little on a per-minute basis, and I wouldn't be surprised if he still fails to crack 25 minutes. Kirk Hinrich ($3500) is a more interesting option, as he could conceivably log 40 minutes, though he also doesn't do much with his time on the court. My favorite GPP play is power forward Nikola Mirotic ($4200), who could see heavy run at small forward. That's no sure thing, but the upside is definitely worth taking a stab at, with the rookie forward averaging 18.5 DraftKings points over 17.5 minutes per game this season.

I also like Derrick Rose ($6900) in Butler's absence, as he figures to take more shots than usual, even in the wake of an ugly 7-for-25 performance on Thursday. Rose has been gunning away over the last week or two, and he hasn't let a lack of success discourage him from that approach. With Butler sidelined, it's fair to expect more of the same, especially in this favorable matchup.

Moving on to Sunday, New York's Cole Aldrich ($6300) and J.R. Smith ($5900) should again make for fantastic options, in the likely event that all (or most) of Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani are unable to play. Those prices may seem high for players of this quality, but the Knicks simply have nobody else to turn to. Smith and Aldrich both played 36 minutes in Friday's blowout loss to the Pistons. Also keep an eye on Tim Hardaway ($4900), who should be a candidate for 30-35 minutes, if he can return from a concussion. Hardaway may actually be the best option of the bunch.

On the Milwaukee side, the value plays have finally dried up a bit, but I still love Khris Middleton ($4700), who has topped 30 minutes in four consecutive games. He's averaging 19.5 DK points over 24.1 minutes this season, after topping 29 points in three of his last four games.

That's all I've got for now. Here are some of the top choices for the upcoming weekend (Sat.-Sun.) on DraftKings…

Point Guard

Jeff Teague, ATL (Sat. vs. POR), $7400 – Teague is averaging 4.66 DraftKings points per $1000 of Saturday salary, after exploding for 47 or more DK points in each of his last three games. He probably won't make it four in a row, but with the hot streak yet to be priced in, the Hawks' point guard is an excellent option. Further helping matters, counterpart Damian Lillard isn't known for his defensive prowess, and the Blazers rank 20th in preventing DK points to opposing point guards. Teague will be a popular option, and while I often try to steer clear of heavily-rostered players in the middle of hot streaks, the expected ROI here is just too good to pass up.

Other options:Derrick Rose, CHI (Sat. vs. BOS), $6900; Trey Burke, UTA (Sat. at MIN), $5800; Patrick Beverley, HOU (Sat. vs. MIA), $5100

Shooting Guard

Victor Oladipo, ORL (Sat. vs CHA), $5600 – Oladipo seems to be consistently underpriced, as he'll cost less than $6000 for a fifth consecutive contest, even though he's averaging 27.3 DraftKings point per game. That works out to 4.88 points per $1000 of Saturday salary, and while that isn't all that incredible for a player in his price range, Oladipo is a regular threat to top 35 minutes and 40 points. He's also remarkably consistent, with 25 or more DK points in each of his last seven games. In a fantastic matchup, he'll surely be one of the most popular options, and there isn't much benefit to be had from fading such a consistent player.

Other options:Dwyane Wade, MIA (Sat. at HOU, Sun. vs. BKN), $8800, $9100; Kyle Korver, ATL (Sat. at POR), $5200; Kirk Hinrich, CHI (Sat. vs. BOS,), $3500; J.R. Smith, NY (Sun. vs. MIL), $5900; Lou Williams, TOR (Sun. at PHO), $4300

Small Forward

Andrew Wiggins, MIN (Sat. vs UTA), $6300 – Outside of Milwaukee's Khris Middleton, the small forward options appear rather shaky this weekend, as has been the case for much of the season. A red-hot Wiggins thus holds quite a bit of appeal, even though the price tag seems like a better reflection of his recent play than of what we can expect moving forward. Despite my initial skepticism, it's hard not to like the upside here, as Wiggins is a nightly candidate to log 40 minutes for a team that lacks other scoring options. Averaging 16.2 field-goal attempts and 21.4 points over his last five games, Wiggins will likely take an aggressive approach Saturday against the Jazz. I'm not confident that he'll be successful, but it's certainly worth a shot in GPPs.

Other options:Shabazz Muhammad, MIN (Sat. vs UTA), $6600; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PHI (Sat. at LAC), $4300; Khris Middleton, MIL (Sun. at NY), $4700

Power Forward

Nikola Mirotic, CHI (Sat. vs. BOS), $4200 – I already talked about Mirotic above, and while it's hard to project his minutes for Saturday's game, the Bulls would be wise to give him significant run at small forward. It's something the team has already experimented with over the last few games, and the combination of injuries and a weak opponent makes Saturday the perfect time to really give this an extended look. I don't actually think Mirotic has much of a future as a three, but neither does Tony Snell, Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Brooks or E'Twaun Moore. As previously mentioned, Mirotic is averaging 1.06 DraftKings points per minute, giving him enormous upside in the event that he logs 30-plus minutes, even if it's out of position.

Other options:Derrick Favors, UTA (Sat. at MIN), $7800; Robert Covington, PHI (Sat. at LAC), $5500; Ed Davis, LAL (Sun. vs. IND), $5400


Joel Freeland, POR (Sat. vs. ATL), $3800 – Freeland has emerged as a consistent part of the Portland rotation, logging 23 or more minutes in each of the last five games, with about 20 DraftKings points per contest over that stretch. He'll likely fall right around 25 minutes Saturday night, which means you can again expect DK points in the low-20s. It's not all that exciting at his price, but with the other center options looking shaky, Freeland offers some stability without eating up much of the budget.

Other options:Chris Bosh, MIA (Sat. at HOU, Sun. vs. BKN), $8300, $8800; Marcin Gortat, WAS (Sat. at SA), $6300; Cole Aldrich, NY (Sun. vs. MIL), $6200; Lavoy Allen, IND (Sun. at LAL), $4300

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. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.
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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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