If you're playing DraftKings on Saturday night, Damian Lillard is a solid pick to anchor your lineup. The Portland Trail Blazers star hasn't been scoring much in his last two games, but he's been finding other ways to contribute. Against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 5, Lillard scored just five points, but grabbed 18 rebounds. Most recently, Lillard scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds, dished five assists and had two steals against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
By Lillard's lofty standards, those are down games. In fact, the last two games equate to his worst stretch of the season thus far. On Saturday night he'll be matched against Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves and Rubio aren't exactly defensive stalwarts.
Minnesota is 29th in the NBA in points allowed and opponent's three-point percentage. In two games against Minnesota this season, Lillard is averaging 42 fantasy points. After two sub-par performances, Lillard has the perfect matchup to break out. He'll cost you $8,000 in salary, but it'll be worth it.
Here's the rest of my picks for an optimal DraftKings lineup for Saturday night. Below the table is a look at two other studs and low-cost, high-value picks.
|Optimal DraftKings Lineup for Saturday, March 7|
|PG||Damian Lillard||Minnesota Timberwolves||$8,000|
|SG||Kyle Korver||Philadelphia 76ers||$5,200|
|SF||Rudy Gay||Miami Heat||$7,200|
|PF||Kenneth Faried||Houston Rockets||$6,100|
|C||Timofey Mozgov||Phoenix Suns||$4,900|
|G||Tyreke Evans||Memphis Grizzlies||$7,200|
|F||Andrea Bargnani||Indiana Pacers||$5,000|
|UTIL||Josh Smith||Denver Nuggets||$6,400|
|Salaries per DraftKings|
The Other Studs
Rudy Gay ($7,200) at Miami Heat
Consistency is a great thing in the DraftKings world. While we can sometimes get enamored with players who are on crazy hot streaks, there's something to be said for the guy who you can pencil in 35-plus fantasy points for every night.
Rudy Gay is one of those guys.
He's averaging 35.9 fantasy points per game and he has only had less than 35 fantasy points in three of his last 10 games. Gay and the Kings take on the Miami Heat on Saturday. Miami could be without starting small forward and top perimeter defender Luol Deng.
He missed Friday's game against the Washington Wizards. Even if he plays, he may not be 100 percent, and Gay is good enough to still get his expected production in either case.
Tyreke Evans ($7,200) vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The point guard role has been good for Tyreke Evans' fantasy production. Evans has played so well as the New Orleans Pelicans' lead guard that many, such as Jimmy Smith of The Times Picayune, suggest he should remain in the role even after Jrue Holiday returns from injury.
Evans has been a stat-sheet stuffer and hasn't had less than 30 fantasy points in his last nine contests. Furthermore, he's lit up the Memphis Grizzlies in two previous games this season.
He has scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds per game against Memphis. With that type of production, his $7,200 price tag will be virtual money well spent.
High-Value, Low-Cost Options
Timofey Mozgov ($4,900) vs. Phoenix Suns
Predicting Timofey Mozgov's big games can be tricky. With LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on the same team, Mozgov is rarely going to do a lot of damage as a scorer. As a rebounder, he can make hay against the right opponent.
He has a favorable matchup on Saturday when the Cleveland Cavaliers takes on the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are 28th in opponent's rebounding and 26th in rebounding differential. They also lack the overall size in the middle to keep Mozgov off the glass.
Most DK players would gladly drop $4,900 in salary on a player who produces 25 fantasy points. That's a strong possibility for Mozgov on Saturday night.
Andrea Bargnani ($5,000) vs. Indiana Pacers
Over the last 4 games, Andrea Bargnani has reminded the world that he can still score. He has scored at least 19 points in three of those contests with an inexplicable three-point performance mixed in on March 3 against the Sacramento Kings.
He and the New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night. Indiana is a good defensive team, but there's reason to believe Bargnani and the Knicks might find a little success.
The Pacers got a hard-fought win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. In the back end of a back-to-back, the team's perimeter defense may not be hitting on all cylinders. Secondly, the Pacers and Knicks just met in Indiana on March 4.
Bargnani went for 25 points, four rebounds and four assists in that game. He totaled 41 fantasy points. With that combination of recent history, Bargnani looks like a solid pick for $5,000.
All fantasy stats per DraftKings.
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