Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

Mike Barner

We have eight games on the NBA schedule Saturday, seven of which will make up the main slate on Yahoo. If you like to pay up for stars, there will be no shortage of them with the Bucks, Rockets, Timberwolves and Mavericks all in action. Let's take a look across the entire price scale and discuss some players to target, as well as a few to avoid.


James Harden, HOU at MIN ($57): This has the makings of a monster performance from Harden. Clint Capela (concussion) and Eric Gordon (knee) have already been ruled out and Russell Westbrook is expected to sit for what is the second game of a back-to-back set for the Rockets. To top it off, both the Rockets and the Timberwolves are ranked inside the top four in the league in pace of play. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Derrick White, SA vs. POR ($12): The Spurs will also be playing the second game of a back-to-back set, which means Dejounte Murray is not expected to play. That should open up a starting spot for White, who checks in at only two dollars more than the minimum price. He could be worth taking a chance on since the Blazers are tied for the eighth-most points allowed per game in the league. Patty Mills ($10) is also worth considering. He scored 38.6 Yahoo points in the last game that Murray missed.

Guard to Avoid

Frank Ntilikina, NY vs. CHA ($14): Ntilikina is dealing with some abdominal and groin soreness, but he is listed as probable for this matchup. The Knicks really needed him to step up when Elfrid Payton (hamstring) and Dennis Smith Jr. were both out and he didn't disappoint, scoring at least 27.6 Yahoo points in four of five games at one point. However, with Smith back the last two games, Ntilikina has scored 17.2 and 14.6 Yahoo points, respectively. With a heavy dose of playing time no longer in hand, his upside will once again be limited for this matchup.


Jimmy Butler, MIA vs. NO ($41): In a bit of a strange occurrence, Butler failed to make his way to the charity stripe in his last game Thursday against the Cavaliers. He had attempted at least eight free-throws in four straight games heading into that matchup. Still, he finished with 36.4 Yahoo points, logging at least 38 minutes for his third consecutive contest. With his secure playing time and heavy usage rate, this is a great spot to deploy him against a Pelicans team that plays at the third-fastest pace.

Jarrett Culver, MIN vs. HOU ($11): The key here will be the status of Andrew Wiggins, who missed Friday's game due to the death of his grandmother. That allowed Culver to once again start, marking his fifth start in the Timberwolves' last six games. He scored at least 26.1 Yahoo points in four of those contests, so he would be an excellent cheap target if Wiggins sits out.

Forward to Avoid

Rudy Gay, SA vs. POR ($16): Simply put, Gay just doesn't have enough upside. He's only averaging 22 minutes a game and has a 20.3 percent usage rate, which is on pace to be the lowest mark of his career. As a result, he's only scored at least 30 Yahoo points in a game two times. This isn't a small slate, so look elsewhere to try and find some value.


Bam Adebayo, MIA vs. NO ($30): There was no shortage of hype surrounding Adebayo heading into this season with Hassan Whiteside no longer in the picture. He's done nothing to disappoint through 11 games, averaging 13.5 points, 10.3 rebound, 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks. The only real negative is his 61.1 percent shooting from the charity stripe, but that doesn't really mean anything for DFS. With the Pelicans playing at such a fast pace, Adebayo could be in line for one of his better performances of the early going.

Tyson Chandler, HOU at MIN ($10): The good news is that Chandler started and played 25 minutes in place of Capela on Friday. The bad news is he only finished with 14.2 Yahoo points. He chipped in six rebounds, a steal and a block, but scored only two points on two shot attempts. Don't expect him to all of a sudden garner a lot of shot attempts in this game, but his ability to contribute with rebounds and defensive stats when combined with added playing time still makes him a tournament option.

Center to Avoid

Mitchell Robinson, NY vs. CHA ($19): Knicks' coach David Fizdale is at it again. Despite Robinson scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds against the Mavericks on Thursday, he will continue to bring him off the bench for this matchup with the Hornets. The Knicks are clearly a rebuilding team, yet he's decided to start Taj Gibson for this matchup. Robinson hasn't played more than 25 minutes in a game this season, making it difficult to justify paying this much to add him to your entry.