Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

Mike Barner
With Rajon Rondo out, Lonzo Ball is set to step back into a larger role.

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

With Rajon Rondo out, Lonzo Ball is set to step back into a larger role.

Get ready for a busy Saturday with 10 games in the NBA, nine of which will make up the main evening slate on Yahoo. Several teams will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set, so make sure to keep an eye on the news leading up to lock for players possibly sitting out for rest. Here are some players to target and avoid as you create your entry.


Kemba Walker, CHA vs. PHI ($38):

Walker is coming off of one of his worst performances of the season after scoring 28.8 Yahoo points against the Cavaliers on Tuesday. The only time he scored fewer than 30 Yahoo points in a game this season was also a matchup against the Cavaliers. It’s no coincidence that both games were decided by a least 24 points. Walker normally has a high floor based on his 30.8 percent usage rate and has played well in his first two games against the Sixers this year, scoring 60.2 and 54.9 Yahoo points , respectively. His price has actually come down a couple of dollars, leaving him with even more upside Saturday.

Lonzo Ball, LAL at ORL ($16): The Lakers point guard situation has been a mess this year, but the starting job clearly belongs to Ball now with Rajon Rondo (hand) out. Across three games that Rondo missed earlier this season, Ball averaged 36.3 Yahoo points. His price has been reduced significantly, so take advantage while you still can. With Rondo out for at least a month, Ball won’t be priced this low for much longer.

Guard to Avoid

Eric Gordon, HOU vs. SAC ($19):

This is not a bad matchup against a Kings team that plays at the second-fastest pace (106.3 possessions per game) in the league. However, with James Harden and Chris Paul both healthy, Gordon’s scoring potential is limited. He doesn’t provide much in other categories, either, which has resulted in him scoring 22.7 Yahoo points or fewer in seven of his last eight games. Since he doesn’t come at much of a discount, it might be better to stay away from him in this contest.


Aaron Gordon, ORL vs. LAL ($31):

The Magic have had trouble scoring points, but this is an opportunity for them to thrive against a Lakers team that plays at the third-fastest pace (105.5) and allows the fourth-most points per game (115.7). Gordon -- who is listed as questionable -- is not only one of the top offensive options on the Magic, but he’s also averaging 8.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest. After scoring at least 34.4 Yahoo points in six straight games, Gordon could be in line for another very productive performance.

Pascal Siakam, TOR at CHI ($25): The Raptors could be shorthanded Saturday. This is the second game of a back-to-back after they went into overtime against the Celtics on Friday. Kawhi Leonard logged 43 minutes in that contest and already hasn’t been playing in both games of back-to-backs, so he very well could sit this one out. Norman Powell (shoulder) and C.J. Miles (groin) will both be out and it’s unclear if OG Anunoby (wrist) will be able to take the floor after getting injured Friday. Siakam should be in line for all the minutes he can handle, making him a great option at this reasonable price.

Forward to Avoid

Nicolas Batum, CHA vs. PHI ($21):

Batum has been almost nonexistent offensively for the Hornets with his 14.4 percent usage rate being his lowest mark since his rookie season. His assists are down significantly, as well, leaving him to score 25.6 Yahoo points or fewer in eight of his last 12 games. Even though he’s still receiving plenty of minutes, there’s not a lot of upside with Batum at this time.


Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. LAL ($34):

Vucevic might not get a lot of headlines, but he’s been fantastic, averaging 18.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks. His 25.5 percent usage rate is second-highest on the team and he’s shooting a stellar 53.8 percent from the field. The Lakers allow the sixth-most Yahoo points per game (51.1) to opposing centers, leaving Vucevic with another excellent opportunity to thrive.

Domantas Sabonis, IND vs. ATL ($19): Sabonis is only averaging 24 minutes a game, but that hasn’t prevented him from averaging 14.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.5 assist a night. He’s scored at least 29.3 Yahoo points in five of his last six games, but his price has only increased by a dollar during that stretch. The Hawks play at the fastest pace (107) and allow the most points per game (119.1) in the league, making Sabonis a great cost-effective option to consider.

Center to Avoid

Deandre Ayton, PHO vs. OKC ($26):

Ayton started off his career strong with at least 44.1 Yahoo points in four of his first five contests. He’s cooled off a bit lately, scoring 31.1 Yahoo points or fewer in three of his last five. One of those was a matchup against these same Thunder when he scored 23.4 Yahoo points. The Thunder allow the fourth-fewest Yahoo points per game (40.6) to opposing centers, so it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Ayton struggles again in their rematch.

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