This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
To say this slate is going to be crazy is a massive understatement. All 30 teams are in action, and it's the final day of the regular season. That means it would be chaotic no matter what, but the amount of news we haven't received yet is troubling. It does leave us with a monster player pool and some absolute gems in terms of value. I do want to thank everyone for reading throughout the year and I appreciate all the good feedback I've received!
Damian Lillard, POR vs. DEN ($41)
The amount of uncertainty on this slate is terrifying, but you better believe Dame will be hungry. Portland is one of the few teams fighting for something as they need a win to avoid the play-in tournament. That means the NBA's most clutch player will be as motivated as ever, especially against the team they might end up facing in the first round of the playoffs. That's big news for someone on a roll with Lillard scoring at least 49 Yahoo points in eight of his last nine games while providing a 52-point average. That makes it hard to believe he's barely cracking $40, as he should be a $50 player in this type of situation.
Killian Hayes, DET vs. MIA ($15)
The Pistons are in full-on rebuild mode, and it should allow Hayes to play all the minutes he can handle. That's certainly been the case of late, with Killian averaging 28.4 Y! points per game across 37 minutes a night over his last three fixtures. That minute total is amazing from a $15 player, and the production is really all you can ask for from a blossoming rookie. We believe both of those things will continue here considering Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Sekou Doumbouya and Frank Jackson are all sitting.
Guard to Avoid
James Harden, BKN vs. CLE ($54)
Harden might be my favorite player in the league right now, but we can't trust him on this slate. He just made his return from a month-long absence because of a hamstring issue and has played limited minutes in his first two games back. In fact, he's seen 26 minutes or fewer in both while dropping a measly 28 Y! points on Saturday. That's a horrifying total from a $54 player, and it's even scarier when you see it was the front end of a back-to-back set. This is pretty much a meaningless game for Brooklyn, and it would be hard to imagine Harden cracking the 30 minutes he needs to provide value at this lofty salary if he doesn't sit all together.
Anthony Davis, LAL at NO ($44)
This is a risky pick because of AD's injury status, but he's recently been crushing. Over the last four games played, he's averaging 56 Y! points per game across 40 minutes a night. That's the stud we saw last season, and it makes this $44 valuation hard to figure. The matchup only makes Davis more intriguing, with the Pelicans sitting 24th in points allowed and 22nd in defensive efficiency. It happens to be AD's former team and he's averaging 57 fantasy points per game in his last four meetings with the Pelicans.
Chimezie Metu, SAC vs, UTA ($10)
The Kings are completely dismantled right now, with De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Marvin Bagley, Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes all expected to miss this contest. That's big news since Metu has been playing a bigger role of late and it'll likely force him to play 30-35 minutes as the starting center. That's excellent since Metu has averaged 27 Y! points per game across 28 minutes a night in his last four fixtures. We can't overlook that with Metu sitting at the minimum salary and likely to face Utah's B-Team squad.
Forward to Avoid
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at CHI ($54)
Milwaukee isn't playing for anything here, and that really scares me with Giannis at $54. You need him to score about 50-60 fantasy points at this number, and that's going to be tough to do. We say that because he posted 33 Yahoo points on Saturday and has failed to crack 38 Y! points twice in the last week. This is also the second half of a B2B set in a meaningless game, and it seems unlikely Antetokounmpo will log a full allotment of minutes.
Mason Plumlee, DET vs. MIA ($21)
It feels bizarre to have Plumlee in here after all the resting he's been subjected to over recent weeks, but this is actually a favorable spot for him. He's already been taken off the injury report and should resume his role as the starting center with Isaiah Stewart sitting. Plumdog has been a beast in that role by averaging 30 fantasy points per game. That's a fantastic total from a $21 player, and he's had to do a lot of that while battling Stewart for minutes. We also talked about how many Pistons will be sitting, which should increase Plumlee's usage even more.
Nicolas Claxton, BKN vs. CLE ($10)
Recommending the same player on back-to-back days is dangerous, but Claxton is obviously a significant value. He's usurped DeAndre Jordan in the Nets rotation, playing at least 23 minutes in three straight games. That's all he needs to be successful, especially when you see Clax has produced at last 26 Y! points in each. That's a good indicator of how Brooklyn wants to use him in the postseason, and it makes the $10 valuation way too low. Not to mention, Cleveland ranks 25th in defensive efficiency ratings.
Center to Avoid
Joel Embiid, PHI vs. ORL ($45)
It feels weird to fade Harden, Giannis, and Embiid, but that's the nature of the final day of the season. We believe all will be limited with nothing to play for, and it makes them impossible to trust north of $40. The Sixers have been extremely cautious with their big man as he's played fewer than 25 minutes in three straight games. Embiid's also averaging just 22 Yahoo points per game over his last two outings, while the blowout potential is worrisome.