Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Saturday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Friday's slate was a lot of fun, and we have another exciting Saturday slate here. We have seven games in total, beginning at 7ET. What's fascinating is that we have some of the worst defenses in the NBA on display. That's definitely going to be a theme in this article, so let's kick things off with one of those.  


Dejounte Murray, SAN vs. NOP ($35) 

The Spurs just had a COVID breakout in their locker room, and it's leaving Murray to feast. They're currently without DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson, Rudy Gay and Derrick White. That forced Murray into 20 shots and a 31.4 percent usage rate on Wednesday, and he responded with 51 Yahoo points. That's his second-straight game with at least 50, and it's becoming clear that Murray is in full-on breakout mode. That increased role paired with his growth makes him worth it no matter the price, and we haven't even discussed that he faces a New Orleans team that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency.  

Ricky Rubio, MIN at WAS ($18) 

Now that Minnesota is without D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley, Rubio should be asked to do even more than he already was. The Spaniard was actually reinserted into the starting lineup a few weeks back, averaging 28 Yahoo points per game across his last 10 outings since then. That's the guy we saw early in his Minnesota career, and one has to believe that'll only rise with those two guards out for the next month. The matchup is the icing on the cake, though, with Washington ranked 28th in defensive efficiency while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA.   

Guard to Avoid 

Terrence Ross, ORL vs. UTH ($22) 

Ross was awesome when filling-in for the short-handed Magic, but now that Evan Fournier is back, he's hard to trust. What's really worrisome is his shooting stroke, combining for just 18 points 5-of-22 from the field over the last two games. That is obviously a small sample size, but it's hard to imagine it getting any better against one of the NBA's best defenses. That's really scary for a $22 player, and he's one of the easiest fades out there.  


Michael Porter Jr, DEN at OKC ($24) 

MPJ has been all over the map this season but playing at least 39 minutes in back-to-back games is an extremely encouraging sign. He recorded double-doubles in both of those games as well, and as long as he keeps playing 35-plus, he's going to remain a good value at just $24. He's also scored at least 28 Yahoo points in four of his last five games, and he's going to continue to get big minutes with Paul MillsapJaMychal Green and Gary Harris all sidelined. Oklahoma City is a good matchup, too, with the Thunder surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing PFs.  

Jarred Vanderbilt, MIN at WAS ($11) 

This is another risky play, but it's crazy that he's flirting with the minimum on Yahoo. We already mentioned all of Minnesota's absences, and it's pushed Vanderbilt into the starting lineup. He provided 32 Yahoo points across 34 minutes in the last start and has been a beast whenever he gets the minutes. In the 14 games Vanderbilt has played at least 20 minutes, he's averaging 28 fantasy points per game. The matchup is tasty, too, with Washington playing at the fastest pace while sitting bottom-five in nearly every defensive metric.  

Forward to Avoid 

Joe Ingles, UTA at ORL ($15) 

Ingles is incredible when he fills in for guys like Mike Conley or Donovan Mitchell, but he's not the same when both guys are in the lineup. In fact, Ingles is averaging 29 Yahoo points per game as a starter but has a 20-point average when coming off the bench. That directly correlates with Conley and DM both being in the lineup, and he loses a ton of ball-handling opportunities when they're both in there as well. That scares us but facing a Top-10 Orlando defense makes him impossible to trust.  


Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at WAS ($43) 

KAT is the best play of the day! It's difficult to say that with James Harden, Nikola Jokic, and Luka Doncic on the board, but we'd rather save a few bucks and ride Towns. The main reason is his increased role, playing a ball-handling role with the new coach. That was on full display when he had 11 assists on Monday, and that should continue with Russell and Beasley both out of the lineup. With those two off the floor, KAT has a 35 percent usage rate while averaging 1.5 Yahoo points per minute. That's big news with his 53-point average over the last three games, and we haven't even discussed the best part of this play! That happens to be the matchup, with Washington surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA. 

Steven Adams, NOP at SAS ($17) 

I truly don't understand why Yahoo had made Adams just $17. He's been a $25 player when healthy and has been even better recently. In fact, he's scored at least 29 fantasy points in four of his last five games, and the one he didn't was shortened because of an injury. That's right on par with his 26-point average for the season, making him look like one of the biggest discounts on the board. The matchup against San Antonio isn't too bad either, with the Spurs missing about half of their roster.  

Center to Avoid 

Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. UTA ($49) 

Don't get me wrong, Vooch is an absolute beast, but he won't be in any of my lineups today. The main reason why is the other options available, with Towns, Jokic, Jakob Poeltl, Al Horford, and Joel Embiid all in great spots. Vucevic has obviously been special this season, but a date with Utah could definitely prevent him from having a big night. In fact, the Jazz ranks second in defensive efficiency while surrendering the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers. That's also scary with the blowout potential, particularly with Vucevic averaging fewer than 40 fantasy points per game in his two meetings with the Jazz last season.  

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. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 15 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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