DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings NBA: Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Saturday's featured NBA slate begins at 7:30 PM Eastern time and includes four games. While each of the four games has a clear favorite, one is projected to be played at a much faster pace than the other three.

Slate Overview

Game to Target

Rockets (-10) vs. Suns, O/U: 240.5

This is the game that will define most lineups, as it has by far the highest over/under and the three most expensive healthy players in this slate. Houston ranks second with 120.8 points per game while Phoenix is fifth at 115.6.

Game to Fade

Pacers (-6) at Knicks O/U: 207.5

While it's tempting to stack against the 4-18 Knicks, the Pacers are no offensive juggernaut, sitting right around league average with 109.5 points per game. New York's problem has been a league-worst offense, as the Knicks are actually middle of the pack defensively at 111.3 points allowed per game.

Positional Breakdown

The four most expensive healthy players in this slate are all point guard eligible, followed by two centers. Power forward is especially devoid of top-end talent, with nobody priced over $7,500. Only four shooting guards and three small forwards are priced at $7,500 or more. Expect most lineups to revolve around expensive point guards, while the forward spots will be used primarily to find affordable fillers.

Injury Situations to Monitor

Joel Embiid will miss Philadelphia's game against the Cavaliers due to a bruised hip, opening up opportunities for some of his more high-profile teammates to step up. Teammate Josh Richardson (hamstring) will also sit.

Ja Morant of the Grizzlies remains week-to-week due to back spasms.

Mike Conley missed Wednesday's game due to a hamstring injury and is questionable for this one, so both teams could be without their starting point guards in Utah.

Kevin Love missed Friday's game due to illness, leaving him questionable to make his return one day later for the Cavaliers.

Elite Players

Clearing out cap space for James Harden ($11,700) won't be easy, but he has the ability to singlehandedly lead you to victory, having scored at least 78.25 fantasy points in two of his last three games.

Using Russell Westbrook ($9,400) alongside or instead of Harden should pay off against a Phoenix team that's allowing 114.1 points per game. Westbrook is coming off consecutive games in which he recorded a triple double and at least 55.0 fantasy points, as he's regained form after a stretch of five consecutive games with fewer than 50 fantasy points.

Coming off a 44-point, 71.5-fantasy point game, Devin Booker ($8,600) will need to deliver a similar performance for his Suns to keep up with the high-flying Rockets. A Houston defense that's surrendering 115.2 points per game won't offer much resistance.

Finally leaving the Rockets-Suns game, Ben Simmons ($8,200) has scored at least 44 fantasy points in each of his past three games and should see more shot volume with Embiid unavailable.

Expected Chalk

Donovan Mitchell ($7,600) stepped up in a difficult matchup against the Lakers on Wednesday, delivering 29 points, four rebounds and five assists with Conley out. It's up to the Jazz's star player to get the team out of its recent rut, and Mitchell should see extra volume if Conley sits again. Expect him to carve up a bottom-five Grizzlies defense that's allowing 116.5 points per game.

Al Horford ($6,700) has been tremendous in the four previous games Embiid has missed this season, averaging 23.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 4.5 APG. He should once again operate as Philadelphia's featured big man in Embiid's absence against a Cleveland team that's struggled to defend down low.

Even with Danuel House back from injury, Ben McLemore ($4,900) has earned himself a prominent spot in the rotation thanks to his continued scoring outbursts. McLemore doesn't offer much besides points — though he did contribute a 13-rebound effort Nov. 30 against the Hawks — but he could still be worth locking in at just $4,900 considering he's poured in 24 points and 28 points among his last three games.

Ricky Rubio ($6,800) has been a game-changing force for the Suns on both ends over the past four games, averaging 11.8 PPG, 11.5 APG and 2.3 steals per game. He should dish out dimes at a high rate in a fast-paced affair against Houston, and Rubio's quick hands on the defensive end should pay off against a Harden-Westbrook backcourt that averages 9.6 turnovers per game between the two of them.

Key Values

Frank Kaminsky's ($5,600) floor stretching will be key for the Suns against a Rockets team that surrenders 13.0 made 3-pointers per game — tied with Memphis for sixth-most in the league. He's on a nice scoring run with 21.5 PPG in the last two, and Kaminsky is 5-for-7 from deep in that stretch.

De'Anthony Melton ($5,200) is getting a chance to shine for Memphis with Morant out, and Melton's well-rounded game has translated into fantasy success. Even in a tough matchup against the Jazz, Melton should outplay his $5,200 valuation after averaging 11.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 6.3 APG in 26 minutes per game over the past three.

While you shouldn't build your lineup around the Pacers-Knicks game, this contest should still feature some strong individual performances. Domantas Sabonis ($7,500) could emerge as the player to own from this one, as he's averaging a robust 18.4 PPG, 13.1 RPG and 3.8 APG, while the Knicks have struggled to defend power forwards.

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. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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