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FanDuel NBA: Saturday Value Plays

SLATE OVERVIEW

UTA (-4.5) @ WAS O/U: 219

CLE (-6) vs. SAC O/U: 217

MEM (-8) vs. HOU O/U: 221.5

MIA (-1) vs. CHI O/U: 211.5

GSW (-1.5) @ PHI O/U: 214.5

DEN (-1.5) @ SAS O/U: 217


The slate is shaping into a spot where budget guards will take precedence over more expensive backcourt players. You'll risk being off the pace by going cheap with big men, so spending up on the available elites there is the most +EV approach.

INJURIES

SAC Richaun Holmes (eye) - OUT

Alex Len ($4,000) drew the start in Friday's game, but Tristan Thompson ($5,200) ran with the second unit and had a better game. Ultimately, Marvin Bagley ($4,400) saw the most improvement, making him the preferred pivot in this spot.

HOU Kevin Porter (thigh) - OUT

HOU Jalen Green (hamstring) - OUT

Armoni Brooks ($4,400) took a big step up the charts with 35 FP in the last game. Eric Gordon($5,300) and Garrison Mathews ($4,900) will continue to make a significant impact as well.

MEM Dillon Brooks (COVID-18 Protocols)

De'Anthony Melton ($5,800) will start again in Brooks' place, but Kyle Anderson ($4,700) returns to action tonight and could also benefit.

CHI DeMar DeRozan (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

CHI Alex Caruso (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE

CHI Derrick Jones (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

CHI Javonte Green (COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT

Aside from DeRozan, this rash of COVID cases affects Chicago's second unit. Ayo Dosunmu($4,800) will likely start, and if Caruso makes it, he'll be a big help while short-handed. Troy Brown($4,000) saw 27 minutes in his last outing and has a shot at beating value at his low salary.

MIA Jimmy Butler (back) - OUT

MIA Bam Adebayo (thumb) - OUT

Butler's back on the sidelines. Dewayne Dedmon ($5,600) continues to be the pivot for Adebayo, and you should continue to see good totals from Tyler Herro ($6,600) in this spot. Caleb Martin($4,900) has also come alive for the team, with a whopping 49 FP against the Bucks in the last game. He's my favorite budget pick of the evening.

ELITE PLAYERS

Continuing with the script we outlined above, going with Nikola Jokic ($11,200), Joel Embiid($10,600) or Rudy Gobert ($9,100) is a great way to begin your build. Of that group, I really like Gobert against Washington's frontcourt, and Joel Embiid also isn't bad against the small-ball Warriors. While Jokic's matchup is also acceptable, you have an excellent opportunity to shave some dollars off at the center position by going with Embiid or Gobert. The Bulls are leaning on Nikola Vucevic ($8,900) amidst their COVID worries, so he is another viable big man candidate.

While there's nothing wrong with Stephen Curry ($10,500) tonight, there are too many value guards out there to offset the center purchase. I would give a bit more consideration to Dejounte Murray ($9,700), Donovan Mitchell ($8,300) or Zach LaVine ($9,200), but again, spending up in the backcourt isn't our first priority.

EXPECTED CHALK AND CORE TARGETS

Christian Wood, HOU ($8,400) @ MEM

The great thing about Wood is his dual eligibility at power forward, allowing you to have more than one bonafide big man in your lineups. Although the Grizzlies are the favorite, Wood is coming off two consecutive double-doubles and is keen to improve on his last tangle with Memphis, where he faded down the stretch.

Darius Garland, CLE ($7,600) vs. SAC

This is a good salary point for Garland in a soft home matchup. The last time Garland DIDN'T put up 10 or more shot attempts was way back in early November, so the volume is there for Garand to put up a big number. He also has a pretty sound floor, although it isn't a value-beating number. We need a glimpse of his upside to be worthwhile at this salary level, but he's up against one of the worst scoring defenses in the league. Getting to 40 FP is a definite possibility.

Draymond Green, GSW ($7,000) @ PHI

I am typically a bit gun-shy about rostering Green, but he came very close to matching value in an earlier game against the Sixers, and his defensive talents will certainly be needed again on the road. It's all about the ancillary numbers for Green, who is rarely going to give you more than a few points. The encouraging stat in his last game against Philly was his ability to grab nine rebounds, which is sometimes challenging against Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.

Jae'Sean Tate, HOU ($6,700) @ MEM

Tate had the best game of his career last week, and although his previous three games since have lacked the same kind of pop, I still like his chances against the Grizzlies as the underdog. He only needs a little more than 30 FP to be worthwhile in this spot, and his multi-positional eligibility makes him very useful in lineup construction.

Also consider: Jarrett Allen, CLE ($8,500) vs. SAC, Jaren Jackson, MEM ($6,400) vs. HOU,

VALUE PLAYS

The injury section is incredibly packed with the best value options for tonight's slate, but here are a few more plays below FanDuel's median price worth mentioning.

Kyle Kuzma, WAS ($6,100) vs. UTA

Kuzma will be integral to the Wizards' fortunes in this home game. He has enhanced opportunity at a position where Utah is weakest. The former Laker is running hot after an excellent 41 FP performance against Detroit, so riding the hot hand isn't a bad idea.

Tyus Jones, MEM ($5,800) vs. HOU

Melton and Jackson are the best plays tonight for Memphis, but we need to pay attention to Jones' recent totals and consider giving him a couple extra in our projections against Houston. He has matched his salary value perfectly over the past two games, and if the Grizzlies can move the ball around effectively, Jones' assist totals should make him a worthy budget candidate.

KZ Okpala, MIA ($4,400) vs. CHI

Although Miami's elites are out, the Bulls are reeling from COVID issues, and if the Heat can get a guy like Okpala rolling, they'll be able to exploit the diminished interior support. We have very little evidence to support a roster spot, but FanDuel raised Okpala's salary $900 after an excellent 31 Fp performance against the Bucks. If he can rip off that kind of total against Milwaukee, there's an opportunity for him to continue as one of the primary placeholders for Jimmy Butler against this Chicago team.




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