After a whirlwind of trade activity just before the deadline on Thursday, the NBA is filled with fresh intrigue and new DraftKings options. Many of the new moves have created potential fantasy studs and duds. As you put the final touches on your lineups for Saturday, I've got five players on all three salary levels who are primed to do big things.
High Rollers ($9,000 and up)
Russell Westbrook ($10,700) at Charlotte Hornets
Right now, Russell Westbrook is perhaps the most automatic fantasy performer in the NBA. You simply can't have an optimal lineup without him. Per DraftKings, Westbrook is averaging 49.5 fantasy points per game.
Over the last 10 games, Westbrook is averaging 53.25 per contest. His ability to stuff a stat sheet makes his fantasy total immune to poor shooting nights. Despite shooting less than 40 percent from the field in four of his last 10 games, he's been able to maintain his torrid pace.
On Saturday, the Thunder could be without Kevin Durant, per Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman, which will make Westbrook all the more valuable:
Pau Gasol ($9,600) vs. Phoenix Suns
The Chicago Bulls' certified double-double machine didn't have his best game on Friday against the Detroit Pistons, but he had to bang with two physical and young frontcourt studs in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
Gasol still managed 12 points and eight rebounds in one of his weaker efforts of the season. That performance snapped Gasol's string of 15 straight games with a double-double.
On Saturday night, the going figures to be much easier against the Phoenix Suns. After the Goran Dragic trade, the Suns figure to be a team in transition. Aside from that, the Suns lack the depth and size upfront to slow Gasol. That's one reason the Suns are ranked 29th in the league in points allowed in the paint, and 27th in opponent's offensive and total rebounds per game.
In a January 13 meeting with the Suns, Gasol had 10 points and 19 rebounds. Bet on an even bigger game this time following a loss for the Bulls in Detroit.
Happy Mediums ($8,900 to $6,000)
Derrick Rose ($7,900) vs. Suns
After a humbling loss on Friday to the Pistons, and a missed practice that prompted an apology to his teammates, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com, there's every reason to believe Derrick Rose will come on like gangbusters against the Suns on Saturday night.
The Bulls' superstar has been too erratic to trust as much as Westbrook, but he's proved that when motivated and challenged, he can still deliver a great performance. After scoring just eight points, dishing two assists and committing six turnovers, Rose will definitely play with an edge against the Suns.
Before the All-Star break, Rose was playing his best basketball of the season. In the three games before the intermission, Rose was averaging 21 points, 8.3 assists and just 1.6 turnovers per game.
He was playing a solid floor game through the first half before the wheels came off for he and his team in the third quarter against the Pistons. Rose will come back strong against a defense ranked 28th in the NBA in points allowed per game.
Diamonds in the Rough ($5,900 and below)
Enes Kanter ($4,900) at Charlotte Hornets
Per Slater, Enes Kanter and the rest of the players the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired at the trade deadline will be available for Saturday's game at the Charlotte Hornets:
That's good news with Durant possibly out for the game. Of all the newcomers, Kanter probably has the best chance of making an impact in his first game. He's a banger who comes in averaging 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds during his time with the Utah Jazz.
Because of his big, active body near the basket, he doesn't need plays run for him or an expert understanding of the offense to be effective. With a salary just under $5,000, Kanter will be a worthy investment.
J.J. Redick ($3,800) vs. Sacramento Kings
J.J. Redick's DK salary is on the rise, and you better get in for cheap while you can. For the last three games, Redick has put up at least 23 fantasy points. His salary dipped as low as $3,000 for the Feb. 9 tilt against the Dallas Mavericks.
Despite the low cost, Redick has produced at a clip that is a cut above his salary slot. Heading into Saturday's game against the Sacramento Kings, Redick is primed to shine again. The Kings are ranked just 27th in opponent's points allowed per game.
Seemingly healthy, Redick should continue to be a bargain for cost-conscious DK players.
All advanced stats per TeamRankings.com
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