This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Saturday's featured NBA slate consists of four games and begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Of the eight teams in action, four are finishing back-to-back sets. This slate features the league's three worst defensive teams and figures to be played at a blistering pace, but the Pelicans, Warriors, Mavericks and Grizzlies will be dealing with tired legs.
Games to Target
Rockets (-6) at Bulls O/U: 233.5
Houston's offense ranks third with 120.5 points per game, while the Rockets' defense is second-worst with 121.8 points allowed per game. This game will be played at a fast pace — it's the only battle between two fresh opponents — and both sides have scorers ready to capitalize on the lack of defense.
Pelicans (-1) at Hornets O/U: 230.5
These teams lack Houston's star power, but they too should be embroiled in a fast-paced affair. New Orleans gives up the most points per game in the league while Charlotte's among the 10 most generous defenses with 112.9 points allowed per game.
Game to Fade
Mavericks (-3.5) at Grizzlies O/U: 221.5
This game certainly doesn't need to be avoided entirely, but it carries the most uncertainty and lowest upside with both teams finishing back-to-back sets.
This is a rare slate that lacks elite options at center — Kristaps Porzingis is the most expensive one at just $7,500, and he won't play. Most of the spending will come at the guard spots — six of the seven most expensive point guards are also eligible at shooting guard. The front court is tougher to fill, though power forward carries the most variety out of those three positions.
Injury Situations to Monitor
Draymond Green (finger) remains out for the Warriors, but at least they got D'Angelo Russell (ankle) back Friday. Russell dropped 52 points in his return, so he should get plenty of attention at $8,500.
Kristaps Porzingis is out on the second game of a back-to-back set.
The Bulls will be without Otto Porter, who sprained his left foot Wednesday.
Given the lack of elite alternatives in this slate, it's worth it to pay up for James Harden ($11,800) or Russell Westbrook ($9,000), though figuring out which Houston guard will provide better value on a given night is a tough task.
Luka Doncic ($9,600) is the only other player priced at $9,000 or more. He played 35 grueling minutes in Friday's loss to the Knicks, so his tank won't be full coming off an impressive 38-point triple-double.
Brandon Ingram's ($8,000) breakout is proceeding full speed ahead. He's scored at least 25 points in six of the past seven games, and Ingram exited early due to an injury the one time he came up short. The second overall selection from the 2016 draft added 8.0 RPG in those six healthy contests, and he's showing no signs of slowing down heading into this matchup against Charlotte.
Eric Paschall ($6,500) has stepped up with Green out, averaging 22.5 PPG and 6.0 RPG over the past four games. Expect most lineups to feature him at one of the forward spots.
Lauri Markkanen ($6,300) is averaging 15.1 PPG and 7.6 RPG, but he's shooting only 30.4 percent on 6.2 attempted 3-pointers per game after making no fewer than 36.1 percent of attempts from deep and attempting at least 5.9 in each of his first two seasons. This is a buy-low opportunity on Markkanen before he rediscovers his stroke from deep, and the matchup against Houston should present plenty of juicy scoring and rebounding opportunities.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,100) has emerged as the Thunder's go-to scorer with 22.0 PPG, and he's rounding out his line with 5.9 RPG and 3.1 APG. The undermanned Warriors have the league's third-worst defense after the Pelicans and Rockets, so SGA's primed for another offensive outburst.
Some will be reluctant to turn to Terry Rozier ($7,000) after Thursday's dud against his former team, but New Orleans won't come close to matching Boston's defensive intensity. The Hornets' point guard scored at least 35.75 fantasy points in each of the three games leading up to his 9.75-point outing Thursday, making Rozier a prime bounce-back candidate.
If Porzingis sits out, Maxi Kleber ($4,100) should see an uptick in minutes. The affordable big man would become a nice filler against a Grizzlies team that's allowing 117.9 points per game — seventh-most in the league.