This weekend is the end of the NBA regular season, and Saturday presents a very interesting DFS slate, as there are five games on the main slate, all of which tip off in the early afternoon. Teams will surely be resting players, which should open up enough value to play whoever you want on this slate.
For the first time in forever, Brooklyn will have all three members of their Big Three available for Saturday’s game, as Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving will all be active against Chicago. There have only been 186.4 minutes where all three superstars have been on the floor together this season. In that stretch, Durant leads the team with a strong 28.6% usage rate, while averaging 1.21 fantasy points per minute. And we’ve seen Harden become the facilitator and primary ball-handler for this team, sporting a massive 33% assist rate to go along with a solid 20% rebounding rate. He probably has the best individual matchup here, as the Bulls are coughing up the most points per game to opposing ball handlers out of the pick and roll this season (21.9). Chicago also ranks 24th against both superstars and crafty finishers and 26th against scorers, per advanced DvP, and even if the Nets limit his minutes to 28-30, he still has upside, especially in this matchup. Durant, meanwhile, is perfectly viable at $10,000 on DraftKings, while Irving is probably my least favorite of the three.
For Chicago, I really liked Nikola Vucevic when these teams last met Tuesday but he underwhelmed, scoring just 38 fantasy points in 36 minutes. Still, I do think you can go back to him here, as the Nets are coughing up the second-most points per game to the post on the season (7.0). That bodes well for Vucevic, who is averaging 5.8 post-up points per game since joining the Bulls, good for the third-most in the league. Meanwhile, Zach LaVine is in play at his price tag, though he has been a bit up-and-down since returning to the lineup, while Coby White has carved out a consistent role as of late, keeping him in consideration at a fair $6,500 price tag on DK.
Lakers @ Pacers preview
LAL -7, total: 228
The Pacers remain banged up, as Malcolm Brogdon remains out with a hamstring injury, while Domantas Sabonis is listed as questionable with a knee injury. He left Thursday’s game early and did not return. This would be massive, as Sabonis is second in the NBA in touches per game and is averaging a gaudy 104.3 per game in the eight games since Brogdon has been out of the lineup. If Sabonis is out, we could return to playing Oshae Brissett, who was fantastic a week or so ago with both Sabonis and Myles Turner out of the lineup. In a six-game stretch from April 21 to May 1, Brissett posted a strong 28% rebounding rate, while averaging over a fantasy point per minute. During that same span, Brissett also averaged a healthy 18.8 rebounding chances per game and would become an elite mid-range option if Sabonis is ruled out. Meanwhile, Caris LeVert (knee) is also questionable after missing the team’s last game. The Pacers started T.J. McConnell along with Justin Holiday, Doug McDermott, Brissett and Sabonis last game but if Sabonis is out, we likely see Goga Bitadze enter the starting lineup. If Sabonis and LeVert both sit, any of these Indiana players are honestly in play due to the massive uptick in touches and usage that will need to be replaced.
Anthony Davis, meanwhile, has been downgraded from probable to questionable ahead of this game. LeBron James is also questionable, as is Dennis Schroder, so we’ll absolutely have to monitor this Lakers injury report Saturday morning. The Lakers have two games left and could potentially climb out of the play-in round but having their star players 100 percent healthy is also important so we’ll have to keep an eye on the injury report. If James or Davis play, they are strong options, especially against a depleted Pacers defense that has been struggling as of late. I don’t believe James would see his minutes limited too much with the Lakers still having plenty to play for. If Davis and James both sit, Kyle Kuzma makes for a strong mid-range play, as he’s sporting a solid 22% rebounding rate and 23% usage rate with both players off the floor this season, while averaging just under a fantasy point per minute in the split. Meanwhile, Talen Horton-Tucker would also see a huge bump and log a ton of minutes, while Montrezl Harrell would be worth a look at just $4,200 on DK.
Hornets @ Knicks preview
NYK -6, total: 212
New York has clinched their playoff spot, so it is likely that Derrick Rose, who is questionable to play with an ankle injury, rests. He missed Thursday’s game and while Elfrid Payton drew the start, he only logged 13 minutes, while Immanuel Quickley played just 11 minutes. Instead, it was Alec Burks who benefited, scoring 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds in 34 minutes. Burks shot the lights out and had an outlier rebounding game but at $3,900, he’d become a strong value play if Rose is indeed ruled out, as he’s sporting a solid 24.1% usage rate and averaging a fantasy point per minute with Rose off the floor this season. Of course, you have to love Julius Randle, especially at $9,700 on DK. His 83.3 touches per game rank 10th-most in basketball, while his 16.5 rebounding chances per game are good for the 12th-most in the league. I also don’t hate taking a shot on Nerlens Noel, especially with this being a smaller slate. He should play 26-28 minutes and faces a Charlotte team that is coughing up the second-most rebounds per game to opposing centers this season (16.79).
For Charlotte, no one really stands out as fantastic plays. LaMelo Ball should present a very strong floor due to his peripherals, while he’s posted a fairly high usage rate since returning from his wrist injury. Miles Bridges isn’t expected to return this afternoon, which should lead to more minutes from someone like Jalen McDaniels, who has logged at least 32 minutes in four of his last six contests. I also just don’t want to pay $7,400 for P.J. Washington in a slow-paced matchup.
Suns @ Spurs preview
PHX -10.5, total: 223.5
The Spurs have clinched the 10 seed in the Western Conference, which means they will rest DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl, while Dejounte Murray is questionable due to back tightness. If Murray plays, you have to like him here, as Derrick White is already out, which should lead to terrific usage from Murray. And he’s been among the team leaders in rebounding chances per game over the course of the season and with DeRozan and Poeltl off the court this season, Murray’s rebounding rate jumps up to 24%, while he’s also averaging 1.06 fantasy points per minute in the split. Lonnie Walker is in play regardless of Murray’s status but if he sits, it is all systems go, while Keldon Johnson would be tough to ignore at just $4,300, especially since we’ve seen him have some huge rebounding games over the course of the season.
For Phoenix, Deandre Ayton is questionable to play with a knee injury. He missed the Suns last game with the injury and Phoenix went with a small starting lineup of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and Dario Saric. Saric played 31 minutes in the game and is just $3,100 on DK but more importantly, while he is center eligible, he is also eligible at power forward, meaning you wouldn’t have to use a center spot on him. Crowder, meanwhile, logged 40 minutes, as Cam Johnson has remained out of the lineup, too. Bridges also saw a rebounding bump with the Suns not having a true center on the floor very often, as Frank Kaminsky only played 14 minutes.
Celtics @ Timberwolves preview
MIN -4.5, total: 230.5
Essentially the entire Boston lineup is out, y’all. Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson have all been ruled out. Last game against Cleveland, the Celtics started Tremont Waters and Aaron Nesmith in the backcourt, so if the two remain in the starting five, Boston’s unit could be: Waters, Nesmith, Evan Fournier, Jayson Tatum and Luke Kornet. Kornet is minimum salary and will have to play plenty of minutes here, while Tatum is going to take 30-plus shots in this game, as he’s sporting a 36% usage rate with Walker, Smart and Brown off the floor this season. Fournier is also a very strong option, as he’ll attempt a ton of shots and faces a Minnesota team that is coughing up the third-most points per possession to opposing shooters off screens this season (1.07).
Meanwhile, Minnesota is fine but not my favorite team from this slate, mainly because everyone is seemingly priced appropriately. Karl-Anthony Towns should be able to do whatever he wants against a depleted Boston frontcourt that already surrenders the sixth-most post-up points per game on the year (5.7).
Adam Pfeifer has been covering fantasy football, baseball and basketball since 2012. He has been featured in the Football Diehards fantasy magazine for four years now, while also making multiple appearances on Sirius XM Fantasy. You can follow him on Twitter @APfeifer24.