We had 28 of the 30 teams in action on Friday, leaving us with a small Saturday slate. We have just four games in total, with three of them making up the main card. What could make it frustrating is the fact that every team on this slate played Friday night. That means we're going to get some resting, with the Spurs, Lakers, Jazz, Suns, Thunder and Rockets all playing the second half of a B2B. Just be sure to keep an eye on injury reports closer to the opening tip.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC at HOU ($49)
We have so much value on this slate that we have to include SGA. This guy's price has skyrocketed throughout the year, but he's truly developed into a superstar player. Gilgeous-Alexander has scored at least 46 Yahoo points in 13 of 18 games this season, generating a 53-point average. That's the second-highest total on this slate, and this is the best matchup in fantasy. Not only does Houston rank 28th in defensive efficiency and 25th in points allowed, but they're also surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing PGs.
Cameron Payne, PHX vs. UTA ($22)
These might be the final games we can use Payne because Chris Paul is expected back in the next week. Payne has been phenomenal filling in for CP3, averaging 34 Yahoo points per game across 33 minutes a night in his eight starts. Those are fantastic totals from a $22 player, but it's no surprise since he posted a 34-point average in his 12 starts last year. Utah is a brilliant matchup, too, ranked 23rd in both points allowed and defensive efficiency ratings.
Collin Sexton, UTA at PHX ($13)
This pricing is insane. Sexton is now the starting point guard in Utah with Mike Conley (Achilles) injured, and he's still being priced like a backup. In the last two starts for Conley, Sexton is averaging 30 Y! points per game, despite playing just 29 minutes a night. That's the stud we saw in Cleveland, with Sexton sporting a 35-point average as a starting point guard in 2020 before his knee surgery. That's the production you usually see from a $25 player, and it's just a matter of time before Sexton creeps closer to that total.
Guard to Avoid
Dennis Schroder, LAL at SAS ($11)
You might be excited to see Schroder start at point guard on Friday night but don't let that fool you. This is still LeBron James and Anthony Davis' offense, leaving Dennis the Menace with a minuscule usage. We saw Russell Westbrook struggle in this role earlier in the season, and there's no chance Schroder is much better. We also hate that he hadn't cracked 23 minutes or a 10-point average before Friday's game. This is also a B2B for Schroder, and he could be rested since he just returned this week!
Jabari Smith, HOU vs. OKC ($14)
With Alperen Sengun likely missing this game, Smith should see plenty of playing time in the frontcourt. In the three games Sengun has sat this season, Smith is averaging 34 Yahoo points per game across 34 minutes a night. Those are the beastly numbers we expected to see from this talented rookie, and we love that paired with his recent form. Jabari has scored at least 23 fantasy points in seven straight outings, generating a 30-point average in that stretch. OKC is an outstanding matchup as well, ranked 29th in points allowed and 22nd in defensive efficiency.
Jalen Williams, OKC at HOU ($12)
The Thunder have a million talented youngsters, and this guy looks like another diamond in the rough. The rookie from Santa Clara has scored at least 18 Yahoo points in six of his last seven games before Friday, posting a 25-point average in those six outings. That might not sound like much, but it's a stellar total from a player who's barely cracking the minimum in terms of pricing. The matchup with the Rockets is ravishing, too, surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing wings. There's also a chance some of these OKC players are rested in a B2B, and if that's the case, Williams' value will rise even more!
Forward to Avoid
Keldon Johnson, SAS vs. LAL ($24)
Johnson is in the worst shooting slump of his career right now. The former Olympian has 19 or fewer fantasy points in four of his last six games, shooting below 30 percent from the field in that span. That horrific shooting is scary because KJ doesn't provide much outside of his scoring. The fact that this is a back-to-back is problematic, too, because he's been in and out of the lineup with some minor ailments. Don't be surprised to see this tanking team rest Johnson or limit his minutes in this spot!
Anthony Davis, LAL at SAS ($51)
We have a ton of cheap players, so the best strategy is to pair those guys with SGA and AD. Davis is leading all players on this slate with 53 Yahoo points per game but has done most of that damage recently. In fact, Davis has scored at least 58 fantasy points in six straight games, averaging 68 Y! points per game in that span. That's one of the best five-game stretches I've ever seen, but it's not surprising since LeBron James missed all of those games. The King did return to action on Friday, but we anticipate him sitting here in a B2B after missing the last 2-3 weeks. San Antonio is a sensational matchup as well, sitting dead last in points allowed and defensive efficiency. AD dropped 65 fantasy points in their last meeting, despite playing just 28 minutes in that blowout. Imagine what he could do in 35-40 minutes against this subpar Spurs defense!
Usman Garuba, HOU vs. OKC ($12)
With Sengun likely sitting, someone needs to play center in Houston. Garuba looks like the best fill-in of the bunch, averaging 17 Y! points per game across 16 minutes for the season. That's an elite rate, and it looks even better when you see that Garuba's role is increasing. He's averaging 22 Yahoo points across 21 minutes over the last six fixtures and could flirt with 25-30 minutes if Sengun is out. We also don't mind that Oklahoma City owns a 27th OPRK against opposing centers this season.
Center to Avoid
Alperen Sengun, HOU vs. OKC ($24)
There's a chance Sengun returns in this spot, but we don't want to use him no matter what. The Turkish center has been struggling with a groin issue, averaging just 22 Y! points per game across his last five outings. That's a shadow of the stud we saw at the beginning of the season, and this rebuilding Houston team has no reason to rush him back from injury.