Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

Mike Barner

There are only five games in the NBA on Saturday, four of which will make up the main evening slate on Yahoo. We have the potential for some blowouts, which might make this even trickier to navigate. With that being said, here are some players to consider for your entry, as well as a few to avoid.


James Harden, HOU vs. PHO ($58): With his average of 59.6 Yahoo points per game, no player in the league has as high of a floor as Harden. His ceiling is also off the charts, evident by the fact that he has scored at least 77.8 Yahoo points in two of his last three games. This is a great matchup for him considering the Suns have allowed an average of 120.3 points per game when Aron Baynes (calf), who is listed as doubtful, has been unable to play. If you fade him on a small slate like this and he goes off, it's going to be difficult to finish in the money.

De'Anthony Melton, MEM at UTA ($12): Has Melton surpassed Tyus Jones on the Grizzlies' depth chart? Jones has been starting with Ja Morant (back) out, but Melton started the second half of their last game against the Bulls, not Jones. Melton has been productive in the three games since Morant went down, scoring at least 29.5 Yahoo points in each contest. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he should see enough playing time to be able to provide value at such a cheap price.

Guard to Avoid

Elfrid Payton, NY vs. IND ($20): The Knicks finally pulled the plug on coach David Fizdale, who was fired Friday. His rotations were extremely inconsistent, which made players difficult to project in fantasy. It will be interesting to see how interim coach Mike Miller plans to deploy their oddly-constructed roster. As far as Payton goes, the Knicks are finally healthy at point guard with him, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. all available for this matchup. Since this is a fluid situation and Payton could see limited playing time, deploying him at this price might not be wise.


Tobias Harris, PHI vs. CLE ($30): The Sixers will be playing this game without Joel Embiid (hip) and Josh Richardson (hamstring), so they are going to need Harris, Al Horford and Ben Simmons to play increased roles. Harris has already scored at least 30.8 Yahoo points in six of his last eight games and scored 50 Yahoo points the last time these two teams met. At this reasonable price, he will be difficult to resist.

Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA vs. MEM ($22): Bogdanovic has provided the Jazz with an infusion of scoring, averaging 21 points and 3.2 three-pointers a game. That could lead him to a big night against the Grizzlies, who have played at the sixth-fastest pace and allowed the fourth-most points per game in the league. He took advantage of this matchup when these two teams faced off last week, scoring 33 points and pulling down eight rebounds on his way to 46.6 Yahoo points.

Forward to Avoid

Julius Randle, NY vs. IND ($26): One player on the Knicks whose role is still probably safe despite their coaching change is Randle. The problem is that he's struggling right now, scoring 28.6 Yahoo points or fewer in five of his last seven games. His lack of defensive contributions limit his upside and he's struggled with his efficiency for most of the season by shooting 44.2 percent from the field. He doesn't come cheap, so it might be best to allocate your funds elsewhere.


Clint Capela, HOU vs. PHO ($35): Capela finally had an off night in his last game against the Raptors, scoring just six points to go along with 13 rebounds. However, it's important to note that he was facing one of the best defensive centers in the league in Marc Gasol. In this game, Frank Kaminsky will be charged with trying to slow him down. That's a huge mismatch. Building around him and Harden will be pricey, but they could both be well worth it.

Mitchell Robinson, NY vs. IND ($15): Will Robinson finally be unleashed with Fizdale no longer in town? Some of his reduced playing time has been due to foul trouble, but the fact that they have been starting Taj Gibson over someone who they should be developing to be a part of their future is crazy. The Pacers were torched by Andre Drummond on Friday and have allowed the fourth-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers, so Robinson might be worth the risk in tournament play.

Center to Avoid

Myles Turner, IND at NY ($19): Turner not only couldn't slow down Drummond on Friday, but he finished with just four points and three rebounds. He can provide blocks in bunches, but his averages of 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds are less than ideal. He also played 35 minutes Friday, so if the Pacers race out to a big lead against a bad Knicks team, he could spend some extra time on the bench in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of other viable center options despite the limited slate, so steering clear of Turner could prove to be a wise decision.