This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
We've had some big slates this weekend, but the NBA is scaling it back today with just five games - with four making up this DFS card. It was a tough slate to decipher due to many of these clubs struggling. The good news is that there's a decent balance between expensive studs and cheap bargains, making it a fun slate to break down. With that in mind, let's get into it!
Russell Westbrook, LAL vs. HOU ($45)
Russ is another player who hasn't found his footing in the opening week, but recent results are encouraging. The former MVP has at least 40 Y! points in four of his last five games, averaging 20 points, 9.6 rebounds, 9.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game over that span. That's the triple-double machine we remember from the past, and we believe Westbrook continue this for the remainder of the season. He should rip right through the Rockets with Houston ranked 20th in total defense.
Damian Lillard, POR at CHA ($41)
There's no doubt Dame is struggling with his shot, but it's lowered his salary a bit too much. This is one of the best players in the NBA, and it's only a matter of time before his shot starts falling. Even with the recent struggles, Lillard still has produced over 31 Yahoo points in four of five this season. That's a far cry from his 40-point average last year, but he'll definitely start ripping off 50-burgers at ease to approach his career average. A matchup with Charlotte is an excellent way to get Lillard there, with the Hornets ranking 21st in defensive efficiency ratings. He's also dropped at least 46 Yahoo points in their last two meetings.
Guard to Avoid
LaMelo Ball, CHA vs. POR ($35)
We've mentioned some struggling studs in the recommendation section, but we can't trust all of them. When watching LaMelo play, something is just off. He's failed to crack 24 Yahoo points in each of his last two outings while averaging 6.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. Ball shot is also busted going 5-of-28 from the field and 1-of-10 from three-point range. We believe he'll have plenty of All-Star performances from here on out, but he's impossible to trust when playing like this. That's even more concerning since Terry Rozier has yet to play, and there's talk he could return today.
Miles Bridges, CHA vs. POR ($30)
I never thought Bridges would become this sort of player, yet he's developed into the team's primary scorer. In fact, he's averaging 25 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game while notching at least 34 Yahoo points in all six appearances. That 34-point floor is genuinely absurd, and it's clear Bridges' value hasn't gotten to where it should be yet. The best part of this play might be the matchup against Portland, with the Blazers allowing the most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing SFs this season.
Saddiq Bey, DET at BKN ($24)
Detroit is doing some funky things with their rotations, but Bey has proven to be one of the only players getting consistent court time leading the team with a 34-minute average while scoring at least 29 Yahoo points in all four contests. That floor has led to an impressive 35-point average while attempting at least 14 shots in every game. That's quite the role from a player in this salary range, especially with Bey expected to play big minutes opposite James Harden. Brooklyn isn't worrisome either ranked 15th in defensive efficiency ratings.
Forward to Avoid
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. UTA ($56)
This is an extremely risky fade, but bear with me. The Bucks just went on an epic run to grab their first championship, and they're going to be cautious with their stars. That's certainly been the case with Jrue Holiday, and they'll try to spare Giannis whenever possible. That's concerning here with Milwaukee playing the second half of a back-to-back, making Antetokounmpo a prime candidate for limited minutes or a rest night altogether. It's tough to predict that, but Giannis will have to match up against the NBA's top D even if he plays. That makes it challenging to trust him at this ginormous salary, especially with other studs in more favorable spots.
Christian Wood, HOU at LAL ($36)
The Rockets are in a dark stage right now, but they've stumbled into a star with Wood. The big man was one of the favorites for Most Improved Player last season and looked to have put in more work this past offseason. Wood has accumulated at least 31 Yahoo points in all five fixtures, despite Houston dealing with numerous blowouts. That's quite the floor despite the club's lack of success, making him a safe option on every slate. The matchup with LA isn't too shabby either, with the Lakers sitting 29th in defensive ratings while surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Jusuf Nurkic, POR at CHA ($30)
Big Nurk has been doing work this season averaging 12.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. That even includes a massive blowout, with him dropping at least 30 Y! points in the other four games. It's nice to see Nurkic do that sort of damage despite playing only 25 minutes a night. Those minutes are mainly because every Portland contest has been lopsided one way or another, but we believe this is a 30-minute player. Charlotte won't be able to slow Nurkic down either with the Hornets carrying one of the NBA's worst center rotations.
Center to Avoid
Isaiah Stewart, DET at BKN ($20)
Many people were hopping on the Beef Stew hype train in the offseason, but many of them have jumped ship. The Pistons have really mixed up their rotation, and Stewart has one of the biggest victims. The big man is barely averaging 24 minutes while scoring 22 or fewer fantasy points in three of four games. That's scary no matter what, but it's even more concerning since they play a Brooklyn side that forces their opponents into small-ball games. All of that makes Stewart impossible to trust in this salary range, especially with so much blowout potential.