This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
We've been crushing these articles recently, but Saturday was a disappointing performance for yours truly. While we nailed all the fades, some of our picks didn't get the roles we anticipated. Those sort of things can happen at the end of the season and knowing who not to select is just as important. That's why we're going to kick things off with the best player on the board, so let's get into it!
Luka Doncic, DAL vs. SAC ($53)
Doncic is probably the best play no matter what, but he happens to have the best matchup. Let's start things off by talking about that, with the Kings carrying the worst defensive rating in the NBA while surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards. That's truly horrifying against Doncic, who leads every player on this slate with 52 Yahoo points per game. He's been even better recently racking up at least 55 fantasy points in seven of his last nine while dropping 74 Y! points on Saturday. This is the second half of a back-to-back set, so you need to keep an eye on his status. If Doncic gets ruled out, look for Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway, and Josh Richardson to step up.
Tyrese Haliburton, SAC at DAL ($29)
The Kings have been trying to cope without De'Aaron Fox, and the results have not been pretty. The one thing it has done is opened up the door for Hali to run the show while starting at point guard in Fox's absence. That has allowed him to play at least 36 minutes in three of his last four while scoring at least 40 Y! points in each. That's a stellar total from a sub-$30 player and he should get even more usage here with Harrison Barnes also injured. We love all of that in a matchup like this, with TH dropping 40 Yahoo points in this matchup earlier this week.
Guard to Avoid
Fred VanVleet, TOR at LAL ($32)
It's sad how much the Raptors have fallen this year, and FVV looks completely checked out. Going into Saturday, he recorded 25 or fewer fantasy points in three of his previous five contests. A big reason for that is an injury and VanVleet has looked hampered by it in many of those ugly outings. Dealing with something like that is even more worrisome here, with Toronto playing the second half of a B2B set. That means he could sit all together and we certainly don't trust him against a top-5 Lakers' defense.
Jayson Tatum, BOS vs. POR ($46)
Tatum posted the best game of his career on Friday by collecting 60 points, eight rebounds, and five assists en route to 80 Yahoo points. That's one of the biggest games from anyone all year and he's actually been showing flashes of brilliance before that. In fact, Tatum is averaging 51 fantasy points per game across his last 11 outings. A big reason for that is the absence of Kemba Walker, leading to Tatum handling the ball even more. That doesn't even consider this great matchup with Portland ranked 24th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency ratings.
Kenrich Williams, OKC at PHX ($10)
We're not going to say Williams will be one of the highest-scoring players on the slate, but he's way too good to be sitting at the minimum. It's the absences of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Al Horford that have really opened things up, with OKC resting players on a nightly basis. That could definitely be the case here with the Thunder playing the second half of a back-to-back set. That's led to Williams averaging 21 fantasy points per game across 25 minutes a night over his last 44 games. That's all you can ask for from a $10 player and makes for a great pairing with Doncic or Tatum.
Forward to Avoid
Tobias Harris, PHI at SAN ($29)
Something doesn't look right with Toby. He's been dealing with a knee issue for about two weeks and it's hurt his fantasy production. The sharpshooting forward has scored 28 or fewer fantasy points in four of his last five while generating a 30-point average during that span. That's terrible from someone at $29 and it's really worrisome considering it directly correlates with his knee injury. We hate the matchup, with San Antonio ranked as a top-10 defense.
Richaun Holmes, SAC at DAL ($21)
It's hard to understand why Holmes is only $21. The big man has been playing at a $30 level all season and it makes no sense why he remains so affordable. The season-average speaks for itself, with Richaun averaging 32 fantasy points per game for the year. That's even crazier when you see Hassan Whiteside has been removed from this rotation while Barnes and Fox are sidelined. The matchup against Dallas is excellent as the Mavericks surrender the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Khem Birch, TOR at LAL ($15)
Talk about a mistake from Yahoo! Birch has been brilliant ever since he joined the Raptors and his role has been on the rise ever since Chris Boucher went down. He has started in nine straight games and has provided at least 30 fantasy points in each of his last four fixtures. That's tremendous production from a $15 player and it's possible Toronto could be sitting guys like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam in the second half of a back-to-back set. The matchup against Los Angeles is concerning, but Birch will need to play big minutes against all the opposing big men.
Center to Avoid
Deandre Ayton, PHX at OKC ($26)
Ayton has all the talent in the world, but I don't trust him or this situation. Let's start by talking about the game script. Phoenix could easily close this game in three quarters because Oklahoma City has lost 19 of their last 20 and is coming off a 57-point annihilation Saturday. That means the Suns should cruise here and it could keep Ayton below 25 minutes. That's not promising for a guy who's already struggling and has failed to crack 30 Yahoo points in five of his last six.