14 Jan

Stacking Pacers against Celtics stands out as strong fantasy strategy for Saturday

Saturday’s main NBA slate will only consist of four games, and fantasy managers can take advantage of stacking by picking out a group of productive players from the same team when the pool of options is smaller. The Indiana Pacers are the team that stands out from the limited pack ahead of their 7 p.m. ET matchup with the Boston Celtics. Both teams boast top-five scoring offenses, but Indiana is struggling with injuries and could have a significantly shorter rotation.

Here’s the full breakdown of the three players you may want to pair together for your lineups on Saturday:

Pacers stack
Tyrese Haliburton
Myles Turner
TJ McConnell

The Pacers dusted off the Atlanta Hawks 150-116 on Friday and will face the Celtics in the second half of a back-to-back on Saturday. While each side will be playing for the second night in a row, both secured blowout victories in their previous contest. As a result, the stars should be well-rested for this one.

Haliburton is averaging 22.3 points, 13.7 assists, and 6.3 rebounds despite logging a mere 25 minutes against Atlanta. His premier playmaking already helped him post a 26-point triple-double when Indiana hosted Boston earlier this season. He’s averaged 20 points, 15 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game at home since the start of last December. Pairing him with one of his favorite targets makes too much sense here.

Turner scored on 40 more Haliburton assists than any of his teammates this season. He’s thrived during Haliburton’s hot run, with averages of 21.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks at home since last December. He was a dud in his first matchup with the new-look Celtics, but averaged 20.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in three head-to-head matchups with Kristaps Porzingis last season.

McConnell is more of a dart throw, as his ceiling will likely be determined by Andrew Nembhard’s availability. The reserve point guard racked up 10 points and 10 assists in 23 minutes against the Hawks. He’s thrived as the primary ball handler off the bench with averages of 8.0 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game in the pair of games Nembhard has missed with a back injury. The Gonzaga product is questionable for Saturday and few value players will be able to match McConnell’s potential in this small slate. He could play significant minutes in a close game or blowout, given Indiana’s lack of depth at point guard.

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