This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Saturday night brings an eight-game slate that features several teams on back-to-backs, as well as a couple of potential high-scoring affairs to close out the evening out west. There are plenty of big stars to pay up for, so identifying productive value options becomes the key to unlocking the salary for some of those pieces that have tournament-winning upside. Without further ado, let's get down to the business of doing just that:
Emmanuel Mudiay, NY at UTA ($5,800): Mudiay's price somehow remains under $6K despite the clear strides he's made as a player this season and the production that's come along as a result. The fourth-year pro has fantasy-point tallies of 28.6, 39.2, 46.2, 29.2, 52.6 and 40.1 over his last eight games along, and he hasn't been under 21.1 fantasy points in any contest during that stretch. Mudiay is seeing solid minutes in the low 30s and up on most nights as well, and his matchup versus the Jazz isn't prohibitive either. Utah comes in allowing 48.2 fantasy points per game to ones, the second-most points (25.2), second-most rebounds (6.9) and fifth-highest shooting percentage (45.3) to the position.
Jeremy Lin, ATL vs. CLE ($4,200): Lin continues to be priced very fairly relative to production and upside. The veteran guard has eclipsed 20 fantasy points in two straight, and he's hit the mark in four of the last five games overall. He also compiled 26.2 fantasy points over 24 minutes in his most recent meeting with the Cavaliers back on Oct. 30, and Cleveland comes in allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to point guards (49.2), along with bottom-five figures in points (24.6) and rebounds (6.5) per contest to the position.
Monte Morris, DEN at PHO ($5,700): Morris has already been providing excellent production off the Nuggets bench while Gary Harris (hip) has been sidelined, and the likely added absence of fellow reserve backcourt mate Malik Beasley (ankle) on Saturday only enhances Morris' appeal as a value play. Morris has logged no fewer than 20 minutes and as many as 37 dating all the way back to Nov. 7. He hasn't dipped under 20 fantasy points in nine straight games either – a stretch that includes four games in which he's eclipsed the 30 mark. It's also worth noting that while the Suns have been fairly strong against shooting guards overall, they do come in allowing the fourth-highest shooting percentage (45.4) to the position.
Alec Burks, CLE at ATL ($4,400): Burks continues to enjoy a solid run as a starter, with the latest example coming Friday night versus the Heat. He compiled 29.7 fantasy points against Miami, making it six straight games over the 20-mark, including one game over 30 during that stretch. However, he remains very affordably priced relative to that production, making him all the more appealing in a highly favorable matchup. The Hawks come in allowing the second-most fantasy points (44.2) per game to two-guards, along with the most points (25.7), most assists (5.3), and second-most made threes (3.3). Atlanta is also yielding the second-highest shooting percentage (46.6) to twos, furthering Burks' case at a discount.
Jeff Green, WAS vs. CHA ($4,400): Markieff Morris has already been ruled out for Saturday's game due to a back injury, which should leave Green in the starting power forward spot once again. The versatile veteran totaled 24.1 fantasy points Friday versus the Bulls and also has a pair of tallies over the 30-mark in the six games prior. The Hornets began the season with impressive metrics versus fours, but they've become increasingly vulnerable to the position. Charlotte is now allowing 46 fantasy points per game to power forwards, along with the most rebounds (12.8), most assists (4.3) and sixth-most blocks (1.6).
Maurice Harkless, POR vs. GS ($4,000): Harkless enjoyed a solid game versus the Warriors in Thursday's upset win, posting 31.6 fantasy points on the strength of an 11-point, eight-rebound effort. The forward has also eclipsed 20 fantasy points in two other games over the last six, so he's certainly not without sufficient upside to justify a modest $4K investment. Golden State has also been vulnerable to the small forward spot, allowing threes to rack up the sixth-most fantasy points (42.7) per game, along with the most points (23.7) and most made threes (3.4) per contest. The Warriors are also allowing the sixth-highest shooting percentage (48.1) to small forwards, while Harkless is shooting a solid 46.8 percent, including 34.1 percent from distance.
Derrick Favors, UTA vs. NY ($5,800): The Knicks are an enticing matchup for power forwards to begin with, but Favors' candidacy is even stronger when considering that Jae Crowder (thumb) will not play Saturday. New York has allowed the third-most fantasy points (50.1) points per game to power forwards, as well as the second-most points in the paint per game (52.5). With respect to the latter figure, it's worth noting that Favors logs just under 70 percent of his scoring (69.8) in that area of the floor. His most recent game against the Sixers notwithstanding, Favors has actually shown some nice upside recently, scoring over 30 fantasy points on two occasions and 29.6 in another game over his last eight contests. In what should be a bit more playing time than what he's been seeing lately, the veteran big man is poised to provide a strong return.
Luke Kornet, NY at UTA ($3,500): Kornet was a revelation in a spot start against the Bucks on Thursday, exploding for 36.1 fantasy points over 33 minutes. While Enes Kanter is likely to return to his starting role Saturday for the matchup against Rudy Gobert, Kornet's minimum price and upside make him worth a roll of the dice in tournaments, even in a bench role. The rookie will likely avoid a lot of Gobert while coming off the bench, and the Jazz come in allowing 56.9 fantasy points per game to centers, ninth most in the NBA. They're also yielding the most assists (4.7) and third-most steals (1.6), giving Kornet additional paths to a solid return on his minuscule salary.
Kevon Looney, GS at POR ($4,000): Looney just compiled 23 fantasy points over 28 minutes against the Blazers on Thursday, eclipsing the 20-mark for the fourth straight game and the sixth time in the last 10 overall. Despite Jusuf Nurkic's formidable presence down low, the Blazers have been relatively generous to fives, allowing centers 52.5 fantasy points per game, along with the second-most blocks (2.9). Looney should be locked into the starting center role once again and see minutes in the low-to-mid-20s, making him a solid bargain at a price that hasn't budged much recently despite his starting role.