Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Yahoo's featured slate Saturday excludes the early Bulls-Clippers matchup, so we will focus on the eight games later in the day.

The following teams are playing the tail end of back-to-backs: Miami, Philadelphia, Indiana, New Orleans, Sacramento, Golden State, Utah.

The GS-DEN (229) and NO-MIN (220.5) games boast the highest over/unders of the night, and we should be able to extract a few prime targets from these contests. These games also have the widest pace differential on the slate.

The UTA-SA and MIA-DET games have abysmally low O/U lines, so players on those teams will need persuasive arguments to be considered.

As we look at the $50-plus players, the HOU-CLE matchup obviously stands out, as the championship rematch features LeBron James ($57) and James Harden ($56). The Cavs were unable to contain Harden in their last matchup, and even though Chris Paul missed that game, it should still be a huge night for The Beard. The Cavs are now exploitable almost everywhere with Kevin Love (finger) out, so the entire load will fall to LeBron. As a result, he should also post a huge line.

Anthony Davis ($56) will play his first game alongside Nikola Mirotic ($20) and it's interesting to note that Davis underperformed projections in every game against the Timberwolves this season. Without Cousins, Davis will probably fare a bit better, but Karl-Anthony Towns ($43) is the constant in this scenario, and the numbers show he's matched up well against Davis. As a result, AD may not be worth the high price on this slate.

With Stephen Curry's ($48) price falling due to a string of below-average games, Kevin Durant ($50) is the only remaining player at this threshold. Durant played 37 minutes Friday, and although he has the best matchup of the Warriors' starting five against the Nuggets, he put up an average of 41 points in two games against them. That's good, but not great. The Nuggets are going to be a tough test for the Warriors, and I'm actually inclined to pivot to them at a few spots.

Joel Embiid ($49) and Andre Drummond ($48) linger on the cusp of $50. Both centers should see somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 YFP, but overall Embiid has the better matchup against the Pacers.

We'll now target two players at each position, with each spot accompanied by a list of alternatives that hold equal weight in my predictions. When possible, I will provide a cheaper option as one of the targets at each spot. We'll also target a player to avoid at guard, forward and center.

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Harden is my top high spend-up pock. Other options below.

Elfrid Payton, ORL vs. WAS ($28):
Payton's averaged 43 YFP in two games against the Wizards. John Wall (knee) is out, so that will make Payton's job even easier. He'll be a great cash anchor at this cheap price.

Tomas Satoransky, WAS vs. ORL ($11):
Orlando has the upper hand in this game, but Satoransky and Tim Frazier ($11) will get opportunities to fill Wall's shoes the next six weeks. Satoransky, though, is the better play for now. Another Wizard worth going for is Bradley Beal ($39) as he'll try to pick up the slack in the backcourt.

Other guards to consider: Goran Dragic, MIA at DET ($27), Jamal Murray, DEN vs. GS ($26), Isaiah Thomas, CLE vs. HOU ($21) De'Aaron Fox, SAC vs. DAL ($18)

Guard to Avoid

Evan Fournier, ORL vs. WAS ($22): Fournier's history versus the Wizards hasn't been that great, and he'll need to see some time at the wing if he hopes to change that trend. The Wizards are one of the toughest defenses against shooting guards in the league.


I'm still fans of LeBron and Durant; here are some other picks.

Blake Griffin, DET vs. MIA ($43):
It's only been one game and the Pistons are in love with Blake Griffin. Griffin likely will be a frequent DFS target, as long as his price doesn't drift too high. It's a great value now, and while the Heat have been surprisingly tough defensively, the one-two punch of Griffin and Drummond inside won't give Miami many opportunities inside.

Nikola Mirotic, NO at MIN ($20):
Why not? Mirotic will see more minutes than he has all year if all goes as planned, and the Serbian is smart enough to sit in the middle, shoot and rebound. Unlike other positions, new centers don't need a long maturation period. If you go here, you already understand the risk.

Other forwards to consider: Josh Richardson, MIA at DET ($26), Harrison Barnes, DAL at SAC ($26), Thaddeus Young, IND vs. PHI ($22)

Forward to Avoid:

Derrick Favors, UTA at SA ($22): The slow pace and bad matchup are keeping me away from this game, and I don't like Favors or Rudy Gobert against LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. I think Gobert will have the better game of the two, and Favors will have a difficult time meeting value.

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Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. GS ($43): Defending the five is one of the Warriors' softest areas, and unless Draymond Green can slide in to offer assistance, Jokic is primed for a huge game. Past numbers indicate that Jokic excels against their frontcourt and when you consider how well the Nuggets are playing, a lot of Denver's starters are great plays, with Jokic headlining.

Clint Capela, HOU at CLE ($32):
The debilitating loss of Kevin Love is more bad news for the Cavaliers. Capela is part of one of the best assist combos in the league, and Houston will look to take it to Cleveland inside early and often. The potential ceiling for Capela is outrageously high.

Other centers to consider: Drummond and Embiid (see above), Marcin Gortat, WAS at ORL ($16)

Center to Avoid:

Bismack Biyombo, ORL vs. WAS ($22): Biyombo has been a DFS darling at times, but he's run into a rough patch recently. He's only averaged 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds the last week, and those numbers need to come way up if Biyombo can be trusted.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Bleacher Report and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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