NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, December 16

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, December 16

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

The NBA In-Season Tournament was fun, but it was messing with my DFS routine! I'm sure that was the case for many of DFS players because it led to some of the most bizarre scheduling I've ever seen. The good news is that we're back to normal now, with nine games making up this Saturday slate! There's plenty to discuss, so let's get started with one of the frontrunners for MVP. 

GUARD

Luka Doncic, DAL at POR ($59)

Luka has been a great DFS option since he was drafted, but he's nearly impossible to fade as long as Kyrie Irving is out. That's leaving one of the highest usage players with an even larger workload, posting a 36.4 percent usage rate with Irving off of the floor. He's also averaging 1.7 Y! points per minute in these circumstances, which would equate to 68 Yahoo points if he plays 40 minutes! That's not far from what we've seen, with Doncic dropping at least 63 fantasy points in six of his last seven outings! 

Collin Sexton, UTA at SAC ($15)

It's hard to believe that Sexton remains so affordable. The talented guard has stepped into a prominent role for the Jazz, stepping up in the absence of Jordan Clarkson and Keyonte George. That makes Sexton the only true ball-handler left, and it's allowed him to run the show. He's scored at least 33 Yahoo points in three straight games without those two, posting a 37-point average across 30 minutes a night. That's typically what you see from a $30 player, not someone with a salary half of that! Sacramento is a sensational matchup, too, sitting 22nd in points allowed. 

We also love Anfernee Simons ($24) and Caris LeVert ($17) in expanded roles as well. 

Guard to Avoid

Reggie Jackson, DEN vs. OKC ($20)

Reggie has been a revelation for this team when he's filled in for Jamal Murray, but those upside games have made his salary way too high. This is still the backup point guard when Murray is healthy, and it looks like Jamal will be ready to return here. In his 12 games coming off the bench, R-Jax is averaging 19 Y! points per game across 22 minutes a night. That's obviously a terrible total from a $20 player because we can only use Jackson when Murray is out. 

FORWARD

Tobias Harris, PHI at CHA ($25)

Harris has been an underrated player throughout his career, and that's happening again this season! Toby has been asked to do more with James Harden out of town, averaging over 30 Yahoo points per game. That's what we've become accustomed to for Harris, scoring at least 27 Y! points in 18 of 23 games! That should be easy to reach against Charlotte, surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing forwards while ranked 29th in defensive efficiency! There's also a chance Joel Embiid could be rested in this B2B, and Toby would be an even better value in that situation. 

Jonathan Kuminga, GSW vs. BKN ($10)

How is Kuminga sitting at the minimum? This guy has been growing this season, and he actually got a start for Draymond Green in his most recent outing. The 21-year-old has scored at least 24 Yahoo points in three straight fixtures, showcasing a 37-point upside in that span. He's going to be locked into 25-30 minutes with Green sidelined, and JK has always been a stud in that type of role. He's played at least 25 minutes in 31 games since last year, averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game in that expanded role. Good luck finding that from another $10 player. 

Forward to Avoid

Andrew Wiggins, GSW vs. BKN ($18)

It's unbelievable that Kuminga is a minimum-priced player, and Wiggins is still $18. We do realize that Wig has been a $20 player throughout his career, but something's not right with him. The former All-Star was relegated to the bench in his most recent game, averaging fewer than 19 Yahoo points per outing. Amazingly, he's only cracked 25 Yahoo points twice all season! That's a remarkable statistic, and it's unlikely that he gets things going against elite defensive wings like Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale

CENTER

Rudy Gobert, MIN vs. IND ($27)

Gobert has returned to the defensive stud we saw in the past, and it's hard to believe he's still below $30. The Frenchman has scored at least 25 Yahoo points in all but three games this year, generating a 37-point average. That's the floor and average you're striving for from a sub-$30 player, and this couldn't be a better matchup. Indiana is playing at the fastest pace in the NBA while ranked 28th in defensive efficiency. That means Gobert could gobble up 15-20 rebounds in a high-paced matchup while scoring some easy buckets as well. In their last matchup, Rudy picked up 16 points and 21 rebounds! 

Isaiah Hartenstein, NYK at LAC ($12)

Hartenstein has always been an elite per-minute producer, and he should be looking at a major workload with Mitchell Robinson out for the foreseeable future. That's led to Hartenstein playing at least 27 minutes in four straight games. He's also averaging 29 Yahoo points per game in that span, but he's been a 30-point player when given a 25-minute role throughout his career. A revenge game against LA is a great chance for him to build off of that momentum because he had 28 Y! points across 32 minutes against them last year! 

Don't forget about Nick Richards ($12) if P.J. Washington and Mark Williams are out again. 

Center to Avoid

Jarrett Allen, CLE vs. ATL ($25)

Allen should be better with Evan Mobley sidelined, but something is off with this guy. The Fro has 22 or fewer fantasy points in four of his last five games, despite playing 36 and 39 minutes in his two most recent outings. This guy should have 30-40 Yahoo points if he's going to play 35-40 minutes, but his 29-point season average indicates that he's in a season-long slump right now. He'll eventually get out of it at some point, but we can't use him in DFS until we see some signs. Not to mention, JA has 29 or fewer fantasy points in seven of his last eight matchups with Atlanta.

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: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 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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