NBA $15,000+ Saturday Best Buys
There are nine NBA games to kick off the weekend in Australia, with the battle between former teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook a mouth-watering proposition. As two of the most expensive players in the competition, we couldn’t fit either of them in our NBA $15k Saturday Draftstars contest line-up, but which superstar will you lock and load?
Here is a team you may consider for the NBA $15k+ Saturday competition
Lou Williams ($12,150)
The veteran has been on fire of late. Williams has been the beneficiary of the Lakers’ injury woes, with 38 and 40 points in his last two games. Williams has seen more shots and in his last two games has got up 20 or more shots as well as contributing in the assist and rebound columns. Expect his hot hand to continue against a struggling Phoenix team.
Elfrid Payton ($9,900)
Payton has moved to the bench over the last 6 games and the Magic have gone 4-2 over this stretch. The move to the bench hasn’t seemed to affect his minutes though as he is still averaging over 25 minutes. Last game he hit a season-high 25 points as well as 9 assists. Perhaps the move to the bench has paid off as it has allowed Payton to attack the backup defence of opposition teams. Against Charlotte he will get another look at a weak defensive second unit and hopefully continue his upward trend.
Zach LaVine ($10,550)
LaVine has been a bright spot in a disappointing season for the Timberwolves. While the team hasn’t improved as expected it hasn’t affected LaVine who has improved his game dramatically and become the second choice on offence behind Karl Anthony-Towns. As a result LaVine has seen a 6 point increase on his scoring average from last season as well as improving his efficiency on the court. Against Detroit LaVine should again be able to use his freakish athleticism to get to the bucket and score and open up the game for himself.
Avery Bradley ($12,150)
The Celtics shooting guard has been playing great basketball of late, playing as the sidekick to Isaiah Thomas and getting some open shots as teams look to double on the Celtics’ other offensive threats. Bradley has managed to score in double digits every game this season and is averaging a career-high 8 rebounds, which is always valuable in the fantasy format. Against a fast-paced Toronto team, expect lots of shots to be put up – giving Bradley a fantastic opportunity to produce again on both ends of the court.
Harrison Barnes ($11,000)
With the injury to Dirk Nowitzki and the ongoing struggle of the rest of the team, Barnes has become the focal point of the Mavericks offence. Barnes has seen over 37 minutes in each of the last five contests and as a result is averaging just a tick over 21 points a game. Barnes is using his size to his advantage as well, getting to the charity stripe a lot more while also grabbing boards on the defensive end. If he stays on the court, expect a lot of touches for the chance to put up big numbers again.
Marcus Morris ($9,350)
Morris has been an effective weapon this season, taking on more of the load as Detroit battled injuries to starting players. The return of Reggie Jackson will result in fewer touches for Morris, but it may mean more open looks as teams focus on the dangerous Detroit backcourt and leave Morris open on the wing. If he is hot from the start, he can be deadly and he will always be able to contribute with his boards and assists. Against a fast-paced Milwaukee team he will get plenty of looks at the basket as both teams run the floor.
Jabari Parker ($11,350)
The main sidekick to the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, Parker has been great as the second offensive weapon for the Bucks. Parker has dropped below double figures in points only once in his past 10 games and grabs boards at a high rate. Parker has improved his long range game and as teams double team Antetokounmpo, he is finding himself in space to shoot or drive and get to the bucket. The big man is also improving his passing game and is always good for a few assists to bump up his fantasy score.
Jae Crowder ($10,300)
Crowder recorded his first double-double of the season in his previous game against the Magic, putting up 17 points and 10 rebounds. Crowder looks like he is fully recovered from his early season ankle injury and is seeing his usual quota of around 30 minutes per game. Crowder will always see open looks as teams focus on the Celtics’ other stars and he is able to take advantage of this with his outside stroke or get to the bucket. Against Toronto, Crowder will be able to use his hustle and strength on both ends of the court and keep improving his output game by game.
Al Horford ($13,200)
Horford has been great this season for the emerging Celtics, forming a great partnership with point guard Isaiah Thomas. Horford is always going to get the numbers on the defensive end and has been getting more and more involved on the offensive end of the court, putting up a season-high 22 shots against the Rockets a couple of games back. Against Toronto, look for Horford to establish his presence down low in the post as well as setting screens and rolling hard to the bucket as he will look to put up big stat totals on both ends of the court.
The Line Up
PG: Lou Williams ($12,150)
PG: Elfrid Payton ($9,900)
SG: Zach LaVine ($10,550)
SG: Avery Bradley ($12,150)
SF: Harrison Barnes ($11,000)
SF: Marcus Morris ($9,350)
PF: Jabari Parker ($11,350)
PF: Jae Crowder ($10,300)
C: Al Horford ($13,200)
Salary Remaining: $50
NBA SCORING SYSTEM
Point Scored = 1 point
Missed Field Goal = -0.25 points
Missed Free Throw = -0.25 points
Assist = 1.5 points
Rebound = 1.25 points
Turnover = -0.5 points
Steal = 2 point
Block = 2 points
3 Point Made = 1 point
Double-Double = 2 points
Triple-Double = 2 points
Tune into ESPN Channel 508 from midday AEDT for a huge doubleheader. In the first game, arguably the two best players in the league clash head-to-head, when Russell Westbrook’s Thunder host James Harden’s Houston. Following that, watch Lou Williams and his Lakers try take down a plucky Phoenix Suns side at Staples Center.