Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

This has been the craziest season of NBA basketball I can remember, with postponements happening seemingly every night. We've already had two here, with the Houston-Indiana and San Antonio-New York matchups being called off. That leaves us with just five games, but it should be fun with some terrible defenses on display. Without further ado, let's go ahead and talk about it!

Guards

Damian Lillard, POR vs. WAS ($49)

Lillard would be the play of the day on an 11-game slate, but he's easily the top option on this five-gamer. We say that because he's running things with CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic both sidelined. In fact, Dame is posting a 35 percent usage rate with those guys off the floor, averaging 1.4 Yahoo points per minute. That's huge for a guy who's scored at least 46 Yahoo points in 13 of his last 15 games, averaging 51 fantasy points across 36 minutes a night in that span. That'd put him in play against anyone, but this happens to be the best matchup in basketball. Washington plays at the fastest pace in the NBA while ranking dead-last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. That was on display when Lillard had 32 points and eight assists against them two weeks ago. 

Duncan Robinson, MIA at LAL ($10)

How is Duncan Robinson sitting at just $10? That happens to be the minimum on Yahoo, and while he's struggled with his shot, that should never be the case. We're talking about a sharpshooter who's averaging 33 minutes a night. That means he can go crazy in any given game, which was evident by a 30-spot on Thursday. If you get 30 fantasy points from a player at the minimum, you're way ahead of the pack. The Lakers defense has not been the same recently with Anthony Davis out either, allowing 113.5 points per game across their last seven outings. 

Guard to Avoid

Devonte' Graham, CHA vs. GS ($17)

Graham was one of the favorites for Most Improved Player last season, but it appears he might have hit his ceiling. What's been hurting him this season is the fact that Charlotte has so many new weapons. It would be one thing to have Terry Rozier breaking out, but it's another to add LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward into the mix. That has taken a ton of shots and usage out of Graham's profile which is scary considering he's shooting just 35 percent from the field. That means efficiency will be needed, and that's hard to imagine with a field goal percentage like that. All of that has led to him scoring 15 or fewer fantasy points in each of his last three games. Not to mention, Graham is dealing with knee soreness, if you needed any more reason to fade him.  

Forwards

Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. MIA ($18)

With AD out for the next three weeks, Kuzma should be starting regularly and playing 30 minutes a night. That doesn't include Dennis Schroder's absence, opening up a ton of minutes and shots for Kuz as well. If you look at the last six games that Davis has missed, Kuzma has scored at least 28 fantasy points in five of those, averaging 33 Yahoo points per game. That's all you can hope for from a sub-$20 player, especially with Miami surrendering the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing PFs. 

Davis Bertans, WAS at POR ($14)

Bertans has earned every bit of this $14 number Yahoo has given him, but it appears he's starting to find his stroke. In fact, Bertans is 14-of-17 from three-point range over the last two games, averaging 39 Yahoo points per game in those outings. That's the sharpshooter we've been waiting for all year long, and now's the time to hop on the train before he inevitably gets closer to $20. The matchup only adds to his value, with Portland ranked 29th in defensive efficiency and 24th in field goal percentage defense. 

Forward to Avoid

P.J. Washington, CHA vs. GS ($18)

While this young kid has shown some flashes this season, recent results are not encouraging at all. He's scored 18 or fewer fantasy points in each of his last three games and then hit the COVID list after that stretch. That means his minutes could be limited in his return to action, and that's already been the case with guys like Cody Zeller, Ball, Rozier, and Miles Bridges all breaking out. Golden State has a good defense, too, ranking fifth in defensive efficiency. 

Centers

Enes Kanter, POR vs. WAS ($26)

We already mentioned how good a play Lillard is, and all the same things go for Kanter. He's stepped into the starting center role for Nurkic, averaging 30 minutes a game since taking over that job. Getting 30 minutes from a per-minute guy like this is huge, and he's averaging about 1.3 Yahoo points per minute for his career. He's also averaging 12.6 points and 12.7 rebounds per game in that 16-game stretch, providing 33 Yahoo points per game. That makes him hard to fade against the NBA's worst defense, especially with the Wizards surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers. 

Deandre Ayton, PHX at MEM ($24)

It's hard to understand why Ayton remains at just $24. This guy has been performing at a $30 level for a month now. After providing 16 points and 16 rebounds on Friday, Ayton is currently averaging 35 fantasy points per game across his last 17 outings. We're not concerned about him facing Memphis either, with the Grizzlies ranked 18th in defensive efficiency and 13th in pace. 

Center to Avoid

Montrezl Harrell, LAL vs. MIA ($17)

Fantasy managers were excited about Harrell's prospects with Anthony Davis out of the lineup, but getting 15 minutes of playing time in the first game without him is a really discouraging sign. He's now failed to crack 20 minutes in three of his last four games, and it's becoming clear they don't trust this guy to play big minutes. That makes him hard to trust with so many other good center options, particularly against a Miami team that surrenders the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers. 

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. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 15 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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