NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, January 14

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, January 14

This week has been wild. The injuries have run rampant through the league, and it's caused some chaos in DFS circles. Injuries help us build lineups, but watching essential players go down night after night is frustrating. We want to see the best players suiting up, and it sucks to watch so many teams play shorthanded. In any case, we have some recommendations due to those injuries, so let's start there!

Guards

Malcolm Brogdon, BOS at CHA ($18)

Brogdon has always been an elite fantasy producer when given the opportunity, and he should have plenty of chances here with Jaylen Brown missing this game. With JB off the floor this season., Brogdon is second on the team with a 26 percent usage rate. He's also averaging nearly 1.3 Y! points per minute in those circumstances, which is huge since he should be looking at an uptick in minutes, shot attempts and usage. Getting to face Charlotte is sensational, too, with the Hornets ranked 27th in defensive efficiency and 28th in points allowed.

Bennedict Mathurin, IND vs. MEM ($14)

Mathurin looks like one of the best rookies in the NBA. This 20-year-old is averaging 25 Yahoo points per game in a reserve role but should be starting here in the absence of Tyrese Haliburton. That was the case on Friday, with Benny collecting 37 fantasy points across 39 minutes in a rare start. This guy is a safe bet for 35-40 minutes, 15-20 shots and a 30 percent usage rate, which would make Mathurin a $25 guy with Indiana's best player sidelined. Mathurin has maintained a 31 percent usage rate with Haliburton off the floor this year and is the best value play on the board. Don't forget about Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell in expanded roles too!

Guard to Avoid

De'Anthony Melton, PHI at UTA ($18)

Melton has been a superb fantasy option at times this season, but his price needs to drop now that this roster is at full health. Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and James Harden are all healthy for the first time all season, relegating Melton to bench duties. In the last three games with those guys available, Melton hasn't played more than 23 minutes. He's also averaging fewer than 15 Yahoo points per game, which is a disastrous number from an $18 player. Melton might be a good value when some players are rested, but he's impossible to trust when everyone is ready to go!

Forwards

Jayson Tatum, BOS at CHA ($47)

It will be tough to fade Tatum with Brown missing this game. Those two have been running this offense all year, but JT will be the man as long as JB remains sidelined. With Brown off the floor this year, Tatum has a 36 percent usage rate while averaging 1.4 Y! points per minute. That's scary when you consider his recent form, with Tatum averaging 51 Yahoo points per game across his last five fixtures. The icing on the cake is squaring off with Charlotte, with JT posting a 58-point average in their previous two matchups.

OG Anunoby, TOR vs. ATL ($27)

Anunoby doesn't have a huge upside, but he has one of the best floors from a sub-$30 player. The defensive stud has scored at least 30 Yahoo points in eight straight games, generating a 35-point average for the year. Those are outstanding totals from a $27 player, and we certainly don't mind that Anunoby ranks third in the NBA with 37 minutes a night. A matchup with Atlanta is fantastic, too, with OG scoring 37 and 42 Yahoo points in their two meetings this year. They also rank 21st in total defense, and it'll be tough for OG not to produce in his typical 40-minute role!

Forward to Avoid

Jarred Vanderbilt, UTA vs. PHI ($)

Vanderbilt has had a breakout season in Utah, but they've forced him into bench duties over the last week. In the last two games since the relegation, Vandy is averaging 16 Yahoo points per game across 19 minutes a night. This guy needs to play 30 minutes to provide from a fantasy perspective, and it's even scarier since the relegation correlates with the Kelly Olynyk injury. One would think his role would rise with Oly out, but the drop-off is even more concerning! Facing Philly is frightening, too, with the Sixers sitting third in defensive efficiency ratings.

Centers

Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. DAL ($27)

Why is Nurk still below $30? The Bosnian center is averaging 34 Yahoo points per game this season, scoring at least 31 Y! points in 16 of his last 23 games. Two of those duds were shortened because of an injury, with Nurkic averaging nearly 40 fantasy points per game in the other 21 outings. Facing Dallas might be a daunting task for most, but Jusuf has a 29-point average in their two meetings since the start of last year. We love that this per-minute beast is playing 30-35 minutes because he needs to be a $30 player in that sort of role.

Isaiah Jackson, IND vs. MEM ($10)

This depends on whether Myles Turner suits up, but if Turner can't go, Jackson is the best minimum-priced player on the board. The big man got a start at center for him on Friday, tallying 41 Yahoo points across 28 minutes. All this guy needs is playing time to be successful, scoring at least 31 fantasy points in seven of the eight games he's played at least 25 minutes since the start of last year. He's also averaging 37 Y! points per game in those outings, establishing himself as one of the best per-minute producers in the NBA.

Center to Avoid

Robert Williams, BOS at CHA ($19)

Williams will sometimes be a recommendation this season, but we need to see more to use him. The big man did play a season-high 29 minutes in his most recent outing but dropped just 18 Yahoo points in one of the most disappointing performances of the year. The boost in playing time was solely due to Al Horford being rested, but with Big Al back, Rob-Will will return to his usual 20-minute role. That's simply not enough playing time to produce for a $20 player, especially since he's got 22 or fewer fantasy points in four of his last five games. Williams will be a stud sooner rather than later, but we need to see it first!