• NBA DFS picks for Saturday's 10-game slate.
By James Leer
December 09, 2017

Saturday night’s main slate is, as always, loaded, this week with 10 games. Consider using some of the players below and plugging them into our NBA Lineup Optimizer to help you gain an added edge over your opponents. Let’s take a look at what we have in store in the NBA for FanDuel and DraftKings.


Point Guard

Chris Paul, vs. Trailblazers (FD: $8,700, DK: $7,900)

Projected Points: FD: 42.99, DK: 44.54

The Rockets haven't lost a game with Paul in the lineup, going a smooth 8-0. Last time out against the Jazz, Paul stacked up 18 points, nine rebounds, 13 assists, three steals and a block, all of which translated into a spot in that night’s perfect DFS lineup. The Rockets and Blazers over/under is at 214, the second-highest of the day, suggesting plenty of scoring opportunities for Paul and James Harden. Paul has been nothing but hot since coming back from his knee injury, and there’s no reason to expect that to change on Saturday.

Dennis Schroder, vs. Magic (FD: $8,300, DK: $7,900)

Projected Points: FD: 37.18, DK: 38.58

Schroder could be a great addition to your potential winning lineup Saturday night. He opposes the Orlando Magic, who rank 29th in the NBA in defending the point guard position. The Hawks played the Magic in their last game, and Schroder put up a stat line of 26-5-7 in the matchup. In his last 10 home games, Schroeder has averaged 20.9 PPG and 33.8 FanDuel PPG. With the matchup, Schroder could be your go-to point guard for Saturday, if you're feeling generous enough to cough up the price.

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Shooting Guard

James Harden, vs. Trailblazers (FD: $11,200, DK: $11,300)

Projected Points: FD: 53.27, DK: 55.46

I know what you're thinking. Are there really enough fantasy points to go around for CP3 and Harden? The answer is evidently a resounding yes. They both get their minutes while complimenting one another's games quite well. The tempo of the game should be fast enough for the Rockets to continue blazing, as they are eighth in the league in pace of play, while the Trailblazers are a middling 15th. In his last five games, Harden is averaging a stat line of 33-6-8 with a usage rate of 35%. The beard won't be slowing down anytime soon.

Nicolas Batum, vs. Lakers (FD: $6,400, DK: $6,300)

Projected Points: FD: 29.86 DK: 30.67

Batum’s minutes are starting to increase, leading to better fantasy nights. Over his last three games, he has played eight minutes per game on average compared with his MPG number heading into the stretch. He played 42 minutes in the Hornets overtime loss to the Bulls on Friday, which admittedly could have him a bit tired for Saturday’s meeting with the Lakers. Still, the Hornets are dealing with injuries, so it’ll likely be antother busy night for Batum. The Lakers are giving up 25.57 fantasy points per game to shooting guards, the most in the league.

Small Forward

Giannis Antetokounmpo, vs. Jazz (FD: $12,000, DK: $10,400)

Projected Points: FD: 55.29, DK: 55.79

Giannis is averaging 29 points,10 rebounds and 12 steals plus blocks in his last five games. He’s always going to get his minutes, making him one of the safest, high-ceiling players on the board every night the Bucks have a game. While I expect him to reach value on DraftKings, FanDuel, on the other hand, could be a different story. Even giants need their rest after a 43-minute pounding, as Giannis had in the Bucks last game against the Mavericks.

Robert Covington, vs. Cavaliers (FD: $6,900, DK: $6,000)

Projected Points: FD: 36.46, DK: 36.18

How could you not love the price for Covington on DraftKings? With Embiid out, Covington's usage rate will increase dramatically. Putting up an impressive 39 DraftKings points per game over his last three contests, Covington has been part of the perfect lineup twice in the last week. Covington should be played in all formats, especially on DraftKings.

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Power Forward

Kristaps Porzingis, vs. Bulls (FD: $9,100, DK: $8,400)

Projected Points: FD: 44.25, DK: 44.09

Porzingis said he’s back to 100% after missing three games in the last two weeks. He played 34 minutes in the matchup with the Grizzlies on Wednesday night and has had the last two nights off, so he should be ready for the Bulls on Saturday. The downtrodden Bulls are giving up 47.76 fantasy points per game to the power forward position. Healthy once again, Porzingis should take advantage of a bad team and a 34% usage rate to put up a big game.

Amir Johnson, vs. Cavaliers (FD: $3,500, DK: $3,500)

Projected Points: FD: 23.10, DK: 22.48

This could easily be the value play of the night, especially with Joel Embiid out. Johnson has been quite productive on a per-minute basis, averaging 4.1 points, 5.5 rebounds non 0.9 blocks per game in just 15.1 minutes. He gets a matchup with the Cavaliers on Saturday, a team allowing an average of 47.64 points per game to power forwards.


Nikola Vucevic, vs. Hawks (FD: $8,500, DK: $8,300)

Projected Points: FD: 44.22, DK: 45.24

With Aaron Gordon likely out because of a concussion, and Evan Fournier still on the sidelines because of an ankle injury, Vucevic’s usage rate should take a huge leap. In his last five games, Vucevic has averaged 18.6 points, 12 rebounds and 13 steals plus blocks per game. Having just come off of an explosive Wednesday night against the Hawks where he put up an insane 63 DraftKings points, Vucevic should keep it rolling against a terrible Hawks team. He’s a no-brainer in every format on Saturday.

Want more DFS advice and strategy? Check out Lineup Lab for all your NBA, NFL and MLB DFS lineup needs.


Dwight Howard, vs. Lakers (FD: $7,800, DK: $7,600)

Projected Points: FD: 38.49, DK: 40.19

The Dwight Howard that showed up on Friday reminds me of the individual that adorned a Superman cape in the great dunk contest of 2008. He put up a monstrous line with 25 points, 20 rebounds and two assists. Although his inconsistency makes him a risk, history shows us that his hot streaks typically last a week or two. It also helps that he’ll be facing a Lakers defense that gives up an average of 55.79 fantasy points to centers per 48 minutes.

Eagle (-2)
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