Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

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·6 min read
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We had mixed results last weekend with one great article and one poor one, but I feel like we have an excellent grasp on this slate. We've already had some critical injury news drop, and that's big 24 hours in advance. That will definitely play a huge factor in this article, so let's kick things off with a couple of guards that benefit from some absences. 

Guards

Ricky Rubio, CLE vs. BOS ($24)

Now that Collin Sexton (knee) is out of the picture for the next 6-8 weeks, this is Rubio's show. He's not the only one missing, though, with Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen sitting games as well. With those three off the floor, Rubio leads the team with a 30 percent usage rate while averaging over 1.4 Y! points per minute. That's an incredible rate, and it'd equate to 42 Yahoo points if he plays 30 minutes. That's close to the guy we've seen recently, with Ricky scoring 124 combined fantasy points in the three games without Sexton. Boston is a brilliant matchup, too, with the Celtics sitting 19th in total defense this year. 

Spencer Dinwiddie WAS at ORL ($22)

We just mentioned how Rubio is a beneficiary of Sexton's absence, and we have the same situation here for Dinwiddie. Bradley Beal is the one missing for the Wizards here, leaving Dinwiddie to feast. In the one game that Beal missed earlier this season, Spencer sliced Indiana for 34 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. That led to a season-high 58 Yahoo points, but he's still been good outside of that. In fact, Dinwiddie has at least 26 fantasy points in eight of 10 games this season en route to a 30-point average. You can't ask for any more from a $22 player, especially when you see that Dinwiddie has a 33 percent usage rate with Beal off the floor while averaging over 1.3 Y! points per minute. Not to mention, Orlando ranks 25th in defensive efficiency ratings. 

Guard to Avoid

Chris Duarte, IND vs. PHI ($17)

In the first few weeks, Duarte was superb with Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert nicked up, but he hasn't been the same since those guys returned to the lineup. The rookie hasn't surpassed 29 fantasy points in any game since the opener, scoring 21 or fewer Y! points in four of his last five games. That equates to an 18-point average in that span, which simply won't get it done from a $17 player. We certainly don't expect that to get any easier in a matchup like this, with Philly ranked Top-10 in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. 

Forwards

Tobias Harris, PHI at IND ($31)

Here we are with another guy stepping up because of injuries. Philly was already missing Ben Simmons, but Toby becomes one of the best plays out there with Joel Embiid out as well. With Joel off the floor last season, Harris led the team with a 31 percent usage rate while averaging 1.3 Y! points per minute. In the 20 games without Embiid last year, Harris averaged 41 Yahoo points per game, scoring 43-plus in eight of those. That's an unbelievable rate from a guy barely cracking $30, and we certainly don't expect a 21st-ranked Pacers defense to slow him down. 

Franz Wagner, ORL vs. WAS ($16)

This is one of the strangest prices on this slate. Wagner has been a breakout rookie for the Magic this season, and he's being priced like some random bench player. The youngster has scored at least 18 Yahoo points in all but one game this season, providing a 26-point average. That's all you can ask for from a $16 player, particularly with Wagner attempting 13 shots a night in that stretch. Washington has improved defensively this season, but they still ranked dead-last in almost every defensive category last year. 

Forward to Avoid

Al Horford, BOS at CLE ($29)

Big Al got off to an unbelievable start this season, but it inflated his price a bit too much. He was actually just $20 to start the year, and it's rare to see a guy climb over $10 in a three-week span. Horford hit a $31 ceiling in the last outing, but Yahoo has wised up a bit since then. A reason for this is his recent struggles, scoring 26 or fewer fantasy points in three straight games. You need at least 30 fantasy points from a $29 player, and it's tough when he has to battle Robert Williams for rebounds and defensive statistics. Cleveland isn't an easy matchup either, ranked ninth in total defense this year. In addition, this is the second half of a back-to-back for Boston, grinding an overtime win on Friday. Horford has been notorious for resting in B2Bs in the past. 

Centers

Andre Drummond, PHI at IND ($35)

Drummond is the direct beneficiary of Embiid being out of the lineup. He's started in the last four games Joel has missed, scoring at least 50 Yahoo points in three of those. His floor has been 35 fantasy points in this expanded role, and it's far from surprising when you see that Drum is averaging nearly 1.5 Y! points per minute for his career. It's rare to have 20-20 potential from a $35 player, and it makes Drummond one of the easiest plays on the board. We already mentioned how poor Indiana's defense has been, and Drum should be asked to play big minutes to oppose guys like Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. 

Mo Bamba, ORL vs. WAS ($26)

I wasn't sure what to expect from Bamba this season, but the Wendell Carter-Bamba experiment has worked wonders. It's been perfect for Bamba, scoring at least 25 Y! points in 11 of 12 games this year. Mo is also averaging 33 Yahoo! points per game, a tremendous total from a $26 player. Washington isn't too bad of a matchup either, sending out small centers like Montrezl Harrell and Daniel Gafford. 

Center to Avoid

Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. DET ($37)

Siakam will be a recommendation at some point this season, but we simply can't use him until we know he's a full-time player. He's played just two games since his return, failing to crack 30 minutes in both. That has led to some limited fantasy production, scoring just 27 Y! points per game through his first two outings. That's horrible from a $37 player, and we'll just stay away until he's back to full-boar.