Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Saturday brings a packed schedule in the NBA with 10 games, eight of which make up the main evening contest on Yahoo. With so many options to wade through, let's get right down to business and highlight some players to target and avoid while filling out your entry.

GUARDS

James Harden, HOU vs. LAL ($61): To spend this much on any one player is a tough pill to swallow. However, Harden's worth it. With Chris Paul (hamstring) and Clint Capela (thumb) out, Harden has been getting all of the shots that he can handle. He's stuffed the stat sheet across the board, helping him score at least 74.8 Yahoo points in four straight games. The Lakers play at the third-fastest pace (104 possessions per game) in the league, which should afford Harden with even more opportunities to shine.

Austin Rivers, HOU vs. LAL ($18): The Rockets addition of Rivers has proven to be crucial. With all of the injuries to their backcourt, he's averaged 38 minutes across his first 12 games with the team. He's been firing away from behind the arc, averaging 2.7 three-pointers per contest. He's scored at least 28 Yahoo points in three straight games and should also benefit from the up-tempo pace at which this game will likely to be played.

Guard to Avoid

Gary Harris, DEN vs. CLE ($19): Harris had missed five straight games before returning Thursday against the Bulls. He only played 19 minutes, but the Nuggets didn't exactly need to play him much since they won by 30 points. Injuries have been a problem for Harris throughout the season, so it wouldn't be surprising if he sees limited minutes Saturday, as well. This game also has the potential to be a blowout at home against a Cavaliers team that has been decimated by injuries.

FORWARDS

Bobby Portis, CHI vs. MIA ($20): The Bulls just can't stay healthy. Just as it looked like the core of their team was healthy, Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb) is now out for at least eight weeks. With Carter on the shelf, Portis is likely going to get an extended look as the Bulls' starting center. He played 28 minutes as a starter Thursday against the Nuggets and scored 30.6 Yahoo points. Despite his lack of defensive contributions, Portis still have some upside based on his new role.

Jabari Parker, CHI vs. MIA ($13): Now that Portis will be starting at center, there are available minutes at backup power forward. Parker had fallen out of the rotation recently, but he's logged at least 17 minutes in three straight games and should see at least that much time on the floor moving forward. He scored at least 22.4 Yahoo points in all three of those contests and might be worth the risk in tournament play Saturday.

Forward to Avoid

Nemanja Bjelica, SAC at DET ($15): Bjelica has seen his playing time drop off lately, resulting in him logging 22 minutes or fewer in five of his last six games. He ended up scoring 19.2 Yahoo points or fewer in each of those five contests. Now that Marvin Bagley is healthy, Bjelica no longer has a clear path to significant play time, making him an unappealing option in DFS.

CENTERS

Hassan Whiteside, MIA at CHI ($24): Whiteside isn't exactly rolling right now having scored 27 Yahoo points or fewer in six of his last nine games. He doesn't always receive consistent playing time, which can make him a bit of a risky option. However, deploying him in DFS for this matchup against the Bulls might be a risk worth taking. The Bulls have allowed the third-most Yahoo points per game (55.7) to opposing centers and are now without their best rim protector in Carter.

Ante Zizic, CLE at DEN ($11): Zizic received the starting nod Friday against the Jazz with Tristan Thompson (foot) on the sidelines. He got off to a slow start, but came on during garbage time to help him finish with 33 Yahoo points. The key is that he logged 34 minutes and should once again receive a heavy workload in this game if Thompson is unable to play. Even if Thompson does return, this game has plenty of blowout potential, so it makes little sense for the Cavaliers to push Thompson to play a lot if he's not completely healthy. Zizic is someone to target in tournament play.

Center to Avoid

DeAndre Jordan, DAL at IND ($26): Jordan has never been a huge offensive force, but his 14.3 percent usage rate this year is his lowest mark since the 2014-15 season. He's only averaging 10.9 points per game, as a result, and has even seen his rebounding decrease slightly at 13.9 boards per game. The Pacers allow the second-fewest Yahoo points per game (40.8) to opposing centers, so it might be best to pass on Jordan since there are so many other viable options on this busy night.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. He currently focuses on the NBA. Before RotoWire, Mike wrote for KFFL.com.
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