POR CJ McCollum (foot) - OUT
POR Robert Covington (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE
POR Derrick Jones (foot) - OUT
We'll discuss Damian Lillard in a moment, but upon first glance, we still have to like Carmelo Anthony's ($5,200) potential at this salary despite an underwhelming set of games. With Convington on the sideline, the upside is still there in what should be the fastest-paced game on the slate. We also can't ignore Gary Trent's ($5,000) impressive run of games. If he starts, it's hard to get away from a guy who will notch 30 minutes in a speedy matchup. Keep an eye on the starting lineups, but Trent is a reliable budget option if he starts again.
CHI Wendell Carter (quad) - OUT
Carter remains out, and while Daniel Gafford continues to start in his place, I'm not going anywhere near him despite the up-tempo matchup. If you're looking for a frontcourt pivot, Thaddeus Young ($4,200) is the cheap guy with the upside. He's coming off a 16/9/9 line against the Celtics.
MIA Jimmy Butler (COVID-19) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Tyler Herro (neck) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Goran Dragic (groin) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Andre Iguodala (neck) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Gabe Vincent (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
If none of these guys play, you might see a cancellation here because Miami wouldn't have eight healthy players. The best thing I can say about this game is that it's early. Depending on how this shakes down, we could make some adjustments and get some guys in, especially Jimmy Butler($8,600), who could easily dominate against the Kings if he ended up as the only healthy playmaker in the backcourt.
MEM Jonas Valanciunas (COVID-19) - OUT
MEM Jaren Jackson (knee) - OUT
The Grizzlies haven't played in 11 days, so there's a limit to what you can expect here. Rather than wait for another section, we'll lay out the value right now for Memphis. Ja Morant ($7,900) would easily hold a higher salary if Memphis had continued to play, and the ability for him to pay off this number could be too good to pass up. He may be showing some rust, but these guys are itching to play, and I'm sure Morant will play many minutes in this matchup. Finally, I recall being ready to fire up Xavier Tillman ($4,600) in almost all of my lineups before a game postponement a week ago, and I feel equally strong about him in place of JoVal tonight. He's going to start, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him soar above 6x value. He's easily the best budget call to consider on this slate.
PHO Devin Booker (hamstring) - OUT
With Booker still out, falling back to Chris Paul ($7,200) is still going to be your best option. He's logging significant backcourt minutes with Booker out, and you can rely on a substantial assist number to boost his scoring.
DAL Kristaps Porzingis (possible rest)
There's no current designation here, but if Dallas follows their usual pattern, Porzingis will sit on this back-to-back. Watch for the release of this lineup, although I think there are other pivots to make in better games.
We have four players above the 10k threshold on Saturday, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo($11,300). To not have Giannis as a nightly consideration would be a foolish proposition, although he's usually the most likely elite to disappear in a blowout. The Hornets could be one of those nights, but I think Gordon Hayward ($7,200) will be able to make things difficult for the Bucks, and if he can keep up with the Greek Freak, this could be a more interesting game. Also, if Cody Zeller ($4,900) can stay out of flour trouble, Anteotkounmpo might be called upon to play more minutes than expected. He's expensive, but he can meet value here.
Luka Doncic's ($11,000) value skyrockets if Porzingis sits, but that might be the only way I give Doncic high exposure. There are too many viable point guard options on the slate, thus limiting my ability to include him. Damian Lillard ($9,700) is my favorite point-guard option. The pace-up scenario against Chicago couldn't set up any better for Dame, and he'll keep carrying Portland on his shoulders with McCollum out.
As usual, LeBron James ($10,500) and Anthony Davis ($10,200) are up here as well. Davis rested the last game, so I like him a little bit better than LeBron against the Celtics. Since this will be the big televised game today, I expect them both to play and put on a show. I'm just not sure if we will be able to afford them. I think there's an argument for one of them, but there's no real reason for a Lakers stack today.
As we move into the 9k range, Christian Wood ($9,400) is the player that stands out. When he's healthy, he's as productive as they come, and he roared back from injury with a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double against Portland. This game's pace against the Pelicans is favorable, and the Rockets are fully healthy and beginning to feel their potential. I'm not keen to game stack any game usually, but Zach LaVine ($9.000) sets up well as a way to play the other side of my favorite game on the slate. He only managed a little over 40 FDFP in his last matchup against Portland, but that game occurred without McCollum's defensive assistance. 45 FDFP is what he needs to reach value, and he could go north of that tonight.
Also consider: Bam Adebayo. MIA ($9,200) vs. SAC
Zion Williamson, NOR ($8,400) vs. HOU
Zion and Brandon Ingram ($8,300) are right next to each other in the player pool with similar salaries, and as usual, it's a tough call. The Rockets struggle against both positions, but if you look at Zion's recent numbers, his baseline is simply higher. Unlike Ingram, he doesn't rely solely on a hot shooting night to reach a high number, as his 7.6 rebounds per game only rival Steven Adamson the squad. His prowess in that department is enough of a reason to lean Zion's way.
John Wall, HOU ($7,300) @ NOR
This isn't a misclick, but I think the site has Wall's salary wrong. I doubt anyone will be writing them to complain, however. We've yet to see what Wall can do on a nightly basis, but his numbers have trended back up since his return from his lingering knee injury. Right now, his upside FD numbers are capped in the mid 30's, but it's only a matter of time before he breaks through that ceiling alongside Victor Oladipo ($8,500), who is more expensive but also worth considering.
Enes Kanter, POR ($7,000) @ CHI
As we go back to this game yet again, Kanter emerges as one of the better values. His production is stellar since earning the job in Jusuf Nurkic's absence. Over five games in the starting lineup, he's averaging double-double numbers and showing up with blocks and steals on an almost-nighly basis. He has an excellent opportunity to beat 5x value and go north of 35 FDFP tonight.
Terry Rozier, CHA ($6,800) vs. MIL
I don't call Rozier's number very often, but he's quietly racked up numbers north of 30 FDFP over the last three games, and at a slightly depressed salary, he's a sneaky way to get a little unique. The Bucks defense isn't stellar at the moment, and they are currently one of the league's worst teams in defending three-pointers and rank 20th in total defense. While Hayward and Devonte' Graham ($5,900) could also see good numbers, Rozier will be less popular.
Also consider: De'Aaron Fox, SAC ($8,000) @ MIA
VALUE PLAYS ($6,667 and under)
Lonzo Ball, NO ($5,400) vs. HOU
The back-to-back is of some concern, but his 21-point, eight-assist game against the Bucks on Friday is ample evidence that his game is back on track. For a point guard, he's an excellent all-around contributor who can pop in almost any category. His ankle injury was the likely cause of his minute reduction over the last two weeks, and barring the desire to give that ankle a rest, I expect another great game. If Ball did take a seat, a pivot over to Nickeil Alexander-Walker($4,300) would be a decent value call.
Tyrese Haliburton, SAC ($4,900) @ MIA
I went back and forth between Haliburton and Cameron Johnson ($4,600) as an endorsement at this prize level, but I opted to give Haliburton the mention for a couple of reasons. For starters, Miami's backcourt will be a jumble tonight, and the Kings' ability to keep fresh players rotating in should be a considerable advantage. Also, Johnson's fantasy value is limited almost solely to his shooting ability, while Haliburton has shown a propensity to rack up numbers in virtually every category. Granted, the small forward position does need more help tonight, but going to someone like Haliburton would allow you more flexibility.
James Wiseman, GS ($4,400) vs. DET
The rookie took a noticeable dip in the back-to-back against Phoenix, but he should be back in form after a day of rest. It goes without saying that FanDuel's center position is highly valuable and always tricky, but if you trust Wiseman's ability to get the better of Jerami Grant and a healthy Blake Griffin, he could be a decent way to go. We have some recent game history here, as Wiseman only registered four points and six rebounds against the Pistons a month ago. He only saw 22 minutes in that matchup, and let's remember that he's only played 19 games as a pro. He's learning valuable lessons in every game, and a rematch might be a great way for the Memphis product to re-assess his skills.
Anfernee Simons, POR ($3,600) @ CHI
We've already given Gary Trent a mention, but we've called Simons' number a couple of times in this injury scenario. He tends to get a tremendous amount of run in the second half. In fact, he was on the floor for the entire fourth quarter in their narrow loss to Houston, as did Trent. So, the correlation between Simons and Trent isn't as bad as you might think. I like the fast pace of this matchup, and Simons only needs 18 FDFP to be worthwhile. He could go well north of that number if the game stays close.