Yahoo's featured contests Saturday revolve around a five-game slate that commences at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. We'll first look at the $50-plus players available, then move on to some people to target and avoid at each position.
Two $50-plus players are either out or questionable to play, with Joel Embiid out and Anthony Davis set to get an MRI for a groin injury he sustained Friday. While this does open things up a bit for DeMarcus Cousins, the Trail Blazers are one of the league's stingiest defenses. If they are soft anywhere, it is inside, but for my money there is only one center really worth spending up on (more on that later).
Your two top spend-up options both find themselves in games with blow-out potential, with Giannis Antetokounmpo ($58) facing the Kings and LeBron James ($60) facing the faltering Grizzlies. Barring a late scratch for rest, I like them both as the centerpiece of most lineups, but I will give the nod to James as the Grizzlies provide some challenges inside that will keep this game a little closer than the Kings will against the Bucks.
As usual, I'll target two players and fade one player at each position coupled with some other worthy considerations.
Eric Bledsoe, MIL vs. SAC ($32): Bledsoe torched the Kings for 43.5 YFP earlier in the week and there's no reason to think he won't replicate the carnage in Milwaukee. He's averaged 23.5 points and 5.8 assists in the last ten games – he'll be good for that and possibly more.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL at DEN ($22): The prolific shooting guard has had low ownership all season, and while he may have more exposure on this slate, he's under the radar with a lot of big names around him. He dominated with 39.5 YFP in their last meeting, and despite the Jazz's resilience at home, Caldwell-Pope is a great value selection at guard.
Other guards to consider: Ben Simmons, PHI at DET ($48), Damian Lillard, POR vs. NO ($45), Reggie Jackson, DET vs PHI ($22)
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Guard to Avoid:
Tyreke Evans, MEM at CLE ($29): He's shot a full 10 percent less than his average shooting percentage over the last three games, so you can definitely consider him in a bit of a slump despite averaging 14.3 points over that span. Things are also tumultuous in Memphis, which isn't helping morale. The Grizzlies looked dreadful Friday, and I expect more of the same.
This is by far the slimmest position on the slate, which makes LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo so attractive. Kevin Love's lack of eligibility at forward cuts this position down considerably, but there's still some value to be had.
Khris Middleton, MIL vs, SAC ($34): After a shooting slump hindered his value for a couple games, Middleton rediscovered his shot Thursday, going for 41 YFP against a tough Portland team. He seems primed to improve upon his 12-point, four-rebound contribution in his previous meeting with the Kings.
Kenneth Faried, DEN vs. LAL ($11): This is an excellent contrarian pick for GPP tournaments, as most will see too much volatility, but Denver doesn't have many options in the short-term to replace Paul Millsap. If the last few games are any indication, the Nuggets have settled on Faried. The Lakers are strong at the four, and the Nuggets will need a good outing from the seven-year veteran.
Other forwards to consider: Brandon Ingram, LAL at DEN ($26), Dario Saric, PHI vs. DET ($21)
Forward to Avoid:
Robert Covington, PHI vs. DET ($29): I've watched Covington this week to see if he'll finally meet value and it's time to temper those expectations at this price. He's shot a dreadful 31.5 percent from the floor in the last ten days and has fared even worse from beyond the arc, where he's usually dependable for at least a couple threes per game.
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Andre Drummond, DET at PHI ($45): DeMarcus Cousins is a decent expensive play, but Drummond is the one center I really like on Saturday. He'll be highly owned, but I really don't care. Without Joel Embiid to impede him, this rebounding machine will again meet value as he's done all week, and he'll be an anchor in most of my lineups. Amir Johnson will have his hands full; expect a double-double.
Kevin Love, CLE vs. MEM ($35): I'd love to see some PF eligibility for Love, but he has a great matchup against a Memphis team that looks lost in the wake of coach David Fizdale's firing and general discord in the locker room. He's a good candidate for the utility spot.
Other centers to consider: Mason Plumlee, DEN vs, LAL ($10), who will likely start for Nikola Jokic.
Center to Avoid:
Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC at MIL, ($19): Even though I'm giving John Henson a lot of credit, Cauley-Stein simply has to get better defensively to be taken seriously. He's let opposing centers walk all over him this season, and he doesn't get to the other end of the floor quickly enough to make a steady impact. Granted, he'll pop here and there for a big game, but he's too volatile, especially for cash games.