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By Benjamin Zweiman
RotoWire Basketball Writer
We're now almost two weeks into the season, which provides us with a bigger sample size to base lineup decisions. Plenty of teams have surprised and disappointed, but the two constants are as follows: the Warriors are very good and the Sixers are very bad. But what these two teams have in common are plenty of quality fantasy contributors. It doesn't matter if you're paying up for Steph Curry or paying down for Jahlil Okafor, chances are you'll find value in Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball.
Damian Lillard, POR at DEN ($40) - Lillard is shooting lights out lately, hitting 12 of 22 triples the last two games. The Nuggets allow 9.5 three-pointers per game while ranking in the lower half of the league in defensive efficiency. Rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay is still adjusting, so you can bank on Lillard taking advantage. If you aren't willing to pay up for Curry, Lillard offers a cheaper option with plenty of upside.
Austin Rivers, LAC vs. MEM ($10) - With Chris Paul out Saturday against the Rockets, Rivers started at point guard and logged 31 minutes. He only scored 10 points, but he attempted 12 shots (five three-pointers), so if a few more of those fall he should have no problem posting a high points/dollar ratio. With such a low salary, Rivers provides a lot of roster flexibility if you want to ride a couple of high-priced players. Will Barton ($14) and Nik Stauskas ($13) are also tempting options.
Guard to Avoid:
George Hill, IND vs. ORL ($29) - Hill is dealing with a sore hand and should see a lot of young guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton all night. He went 0 for 5 from long distance in Sunday's loss to the Cavs and is beginning to regress back to his career average from beyond the arc (37 percent). Hill's fantasy output is reliant on his scoring, as he doesn't provide much in the assist and rebounding categories, so another off night shooting would make it hard for him to reach value.
Paul George, IND vs. ORL ($38) - The Pacers went with a small-ball lineup Sunday against the Cavs and George scored 32 points with 11 rebounds in 39 minutes. It was his third straight double-double as George's November averages sit at 26 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. A favorable matchup against the Magic and the ability to fill up the stat sheet makes George a no-brainer at less than $40.
Doug McDermott, CHI at PHI ($10) - After starting the season on the bench, McDermott forced his way into the starting rotation after five games. He ranks second in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage at 59 percent and should have no problem against a Sixers squad that allows opponents to should nearly 40 percent from distance. The Bulls are coming off a tough loss at home against the T-Wolves, so a bounce-back performance seems likely, which means a high point total. McDermott is a bargain and should get his.
Forward to Avoid:
DeMarcus Cousins, SAC vs. SA ($43) - It's never easy going up against the Spurs, and Cousins is returning from an Achilles' tendon injury, so to invest this much salary would be risky. You'd only have to pay up two dollars for Blake Griffin, who has an easier matchup and will get more touches with Chris Paul sidelined.
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at ATL ($26) - Towns posted four blocks for the third time in four games and ranks fifth in the NBA with three per game. Against Atlanta, Towns should have an easy time matching that average, as the Hawks are being blocked six times per contest. The Hawks are also weak on the glass, so Towns shouldn't have trouble posting a double-double. Mason Plumlee and Ian Mahinmi also have plus matchups if you're chasing blocks.
Center to Avoid: Marc Gasol, MEM at LAC, ($29) - Gasol is battling a neck injury, and it's greatly affected his offensive efficiency. His 14.18 PER ranks 33rd in the league among centers and that number likely will take a hit with Gasol matched up against DeAndre Jordan down low. The Grizz wrap up a five-game road trip Monday and will be eager to get back to Memphis after the Clippers are done with them.
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