Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Saturday, March 4

We only have five games making up this Saturday’s slate, but there’s one matchup we really want to exploit. The Rockets and Spurs face off in San Antonio, and that could be a shootout against two of the worst teams in the NBA. What makes them so bad are their defenses, and it’s a game we really want to exploit behind the sky-high 232-point total. That’s not the only matchup we love, so let’s start with our second favorite matchup of the day!


Donovan Mitchell, CLE vs. DET ($37)

Mitchell has been all over the map regarding consistency but is scorching right now. The sharpshooter has scored at least 54 Yahoo points in five of his last seven games. That’s extremely rare to see from a sub-$40 player, especially since DM is averaging a career-high 43 fantasy points per game. That hot stretch should continue against Detroit’s disastrous defense, with the Pistons allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing guards. That’s on full display when you see that Donovan has dropped at least 40 Y! points in each of their last three meetings.

Kevin Porter Jr, HOU at SAS ($26)

This is a risky recommendation since KPJ just returned from an injury, but this guy was unstoppable before getting injured. Porter averaged 36 Yahoo points per game through the opening 39 games of the year. That’s the stud we saw last season, and it makes KPJ a good value below $30. The matchup with San Antonio is the best part of this, though, with the Spurs sitting last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. In their last three matchups, Porter has provided a 35-point average against this dastardly defense.

Guard to Avoid

Tre Jones, SAS vs. HOU ($20)

Jones has been a solid fantasy option all season, but we’re horrified by what we saw on Thursday. The former starter came off the bench in his return from an injury, dropping 14 Y! points across 21 minutes of play. He was really struggling before going down, too, failing to crack 30 Yahoo points in each of his previous 10 games. The matchup with Houston looks fantastic, but it really doesn’t matter if Jones is going to be an ancillary piece off the bench who’s being held to just 20 minutes in a complementary role.


Evan Mobley, CLE vs. DET ($32)

The Rookie of the Year runner-up from last year looks like the best player out of that draft. The big man has scored at least 27 Yahoo points in 25 of his last 26 games, averaging nearly 40 Y! points per game in that span. He’s been doing that damage with limited usage and subpar shooting, which means his ceiling could be even higher. Facing the Pistons is phenomenal, with Detroit ranked 28th in defensive efficiency and 29th in points allowed. Mobley has matched up with them seven times since being drafted last year and has at least 30 Yahoo points in all of those!

Keita Bates-Diop, SAS vs. HOU ($11)

It’s hard to believe that KBD remains at just $11. He’s not the most exciting fantasy option, but he’s going to be nearly impossible to take off the floor in this game. San Antonio traded away Jakob Poeltl at the deadline and could be without Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Isaiah Roby, Doug McDermott and Malaki Branham in this magical matchup. That’s awesome since Bates-Diop has played at least 28 minutes in seven of his last eight games while playing 32 minutes a night in that span. His 24-point average is plenty from an $11 player, and that should be his floor with the Rockets allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing forwards.

Forward to Avoid

Tobias HarrisPHI at MIL ($20)

Harris is a great real-life basketball player, but he’s been horrible in fantasy. It’s not his fault, though, because there are simply too many cooks in Philly’s kitchen. James Harden and Joel Embiid swallow up all of the usage, but that becomes even tougher with Tyrese Maxey dominating the touches in the second unit. That has regularly kept Toby’s usage below 15 percent, averaging just 23 Y! points per game across his last 18 outings. He’s also cracked 32 Yahoo points just once in that span, and that was a game where Embiid was rested. Facing Milwaukee’s mauling defense makes this even scarier, with the Bucks ranked third in defensive efficiency and fifth in points allowed.


Rudy GobertMIN at SAC ($24)

Why is Rudy still so affordable? The big man struggled early in the year, but he’s been rolling since Karl-Anthony Towns got injured. That’s led to Gobert scoring at least 36 Yahoo points in four of his last five games, generating a 41-point average in that stretch. That’s absurd from a $24 player, and we’ve seen Gobert sit above $30 for most of his career. Squaring off with Sacramento is sensational, with the Kings ranked 25th in defensive efficiency and 26th in points allowed. That’s allowed Gobert to score at least 33 fantasy points in each of their last seven meetings.

Zach Collins, SAS vs. HOU ($20)

Collins has always been a great fantasy producer when he’s been able to stay on the floor, and that’s exciting since he’s stepped in as the Spurs’ starting center. The Poeltl trade moved him into this prominent role, scoring at least 28 Yahoo points in seven of his eight starts. He’s also posting a 34-point average in that span, and that could be his floor with how shorthanded the Spurs are right now. ZC should hound this rubbish Rockets defense, with Houston sitting 28th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency.

Center to Avoid

Bobby Portis, MIL vs. PHI ($19)

Portis has been one of the frontrunners for Sixth Man of the Year, but his recent form has killed his momentum. BP hasn’t played more than 22 minutes in any of the four games since returning from a knee injury, scoring 17 or fewer fantasy points in three of those. That’s no surprise since Khris Middleton returned from an injury himself, limiting Portis’ usage coming off the bench. Facing Philly is frightening, too, with the Sixers sitting third in points allowed and sixth in defensive efficiency.

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