The NBA has a full, 11-game schedule on Saturday, including many of the most prolific fantasy producers in the league. FanDuel has five players priced $11,600 or higher, meaning that either you will have to build your roster without any of these high priced monsters or else you’ll have to find some good production at low prices to round out your team. Let’s take a look at things and try to find some of that value.
Stephen Curry, GS vs PHI ($9,500): This was a tough one, because based upon recent performance this slot should go to James Harden ($11,800) rather easily. He is coming off two games in which he has averaged 45.5 points, 13 assists, 6.5 boards and 4.0 combined blocks/steals per game. However, his matchup on Saturday is against the Grizzlies, the second-stingiest defense in the league against point guards that has held him to averages of 21 points, eight assists and 4.5 boards in their two games thus far on the season. Curry, on the other hand, has a consistent expected value in the mid-40s of fantasy points with upside up into the 50s, has a good match-up against a 76ers defense that is middle-of-the-pack against opposing point guards, and is priced $2,300 less than Harden.
Devin Booker, PHO vs MIN ($7,200): There are a lot of worthy mid-priced shooting guards going on Saturday night. Bradley Beal ($7,900), Khris Middleton ($7,500), D’Angelo Russell ($7,200), Klay Thompson ($7,100), Tyreke Evans ($6,700), Andrew Wiggins ($6,500) and Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,300) could all be justified in this slot. Booker gets the call for having an excellent combination of predictor variables: strong upside (five games between 40.9 and 50.2 fantasy points on the season), good matchup (the Timberwolves have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to shooting guards in the last five games), and price point right in the middle of this pack of strong wings.
Emmanuel Mudiay, DEN vs ORL ($4,900): Mudiay is a risky play, but he has found a level of consistency over the last couple of weeks in which he has produced between 21.7 and 33.9 fantasy points in seven of his last eight games. He is coming off his best game of the season, in which he scored 21 points with seven boards and five assists in 29 minutes against the Thunder.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs LAL ($12,200): There are three forwards playing on Saturday that average between 53 and 57 fantasy points per game. Antetokounpo has the highest average of the three, slightly outpacing LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Antetokounmpo also comes in off of consecutive dominant games, averaging 34 points, 10.5 boards, 4.0 assists and 4.0 blocks in his last two games against the Spurs and Cavaliers. And, he has a plus match-up on Saturday against a game but defensively challenged Lakers squad.
Paul Millsap, DEN vs ORL ($7,500): Millsap can be a bit up and down, but of late he’s been much more regularly “up” than “down”. He is coming off his best game of the season, in which he flirted with a quadruple double to the tune of 17 points, seven boards, six blocks, five assists and two steals. He faces a tough Magic defense, but has a diverse enough game to produce even against quality defensive fronts.
Bobby Portis, BKN at UTA ($5,000): Julius Randle ($5,000) has been my go-to guy in this slot of late, and he’ still a good option on Saturday, but Portis has returned from his eight-game suspension with a bang and deserves recognition. In his two games back, Portis has gone 20-10 in both games with averages of 20.5 points, 12 boards and 2.5 assists in 24.5 minutes per game.
DeMarcus Cousins, NO vs LAC ($11,800): Cousins has the highest fantasy production average of any player in the NBA this season. His lowest production to date is still a 12 point, 12 rebound, seven assist, four combined blocks/steals effort that was good for 42.9 fantasy points. He has seven games of 60 or more fantasy points in his 12 outings thus far, and he faces a Clippers defense that is middle-of-the-pack in production allowed to opposing centers.
Marc Gasol, Mem at HOU ($7,800): Gasol has a well-established expected value in the upper 30s of fantasy points, with a season average of 39 and a two-game average against the Rockets of 35 fantasy points. He also has explosive upside, with four games over 40 fantasy points including two between 49 and 56 fantasy points thus far on the season.
Alex Len, PHO vs MIN ($4,400): Tyson Chandler is battling back spasms, which kept him out on Friday. Len responded by dropping 21 points, 13 boards and two blocks against the Magic. Chandler is questionable for Saturday, but Len’s proven upside at this price makes him a strong play if Chandler sits again.