NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, January 21

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, January 21

We had a big day Saturday with the San Antonio-Washington stack, and we'll look to build off of that momentum on Sunday. We actually have the Wizards on the card, so we definitely want to use the defending champs against them. With that said, let's get started with the Nuggets' star backcourt performer.


Jamal Murray, DEN at WAS ($33)

Murray goes on these stretches where he looks like one of the NBA's best point guards, and he's currently enjoying one of those runs having scored at least 30 Yahoo points in 15 straight games while posting a 43-point average. He's managed over 40 in 10 of those, and we expect that to be his floor against the woeful Wizards' defense that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency and last in points allowed while surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing PGs.

D'Angelo Russell, LAL vs. POR ($24)

Russell was relegated to the bench last week, but he's responded since being reinserted into the starting lineup. The former All-Star has posted at least 32 Yahoo points from four of his last five matchups while logging at least 35 minutes in all four starts. D-Lo is also averaging 38 Y! points per during that span while showcasing a 61-point ceiling. That's amazing from such an affordable player, especially in a terrific matchup with the Trail Blazers as they sit 23rd in defensive efficiency ratings and Russell has registered a 30-point average against them this year.

Guard to Avoid

Jalen Suggs, ORL vs. MIA ($15)

Suggs is having a breakout season in Orlando, though he's hit a wall of late. What's really hurt him are all of the injury returns with Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter back the last week. That's led to a massive minutes drop for Suggs averaging only 23 to go with 16 Y! points across five fixtures. That's terrifying since Fultz's court time are going in the opposite direction, especially when Cole Anthony also needs his 25 minutes. A matchup with Miami is the clincher as the club is ranked fourth in points allowed and ninth in defensive efficiency. In two meetings with the Heat this year, Suggs is only scoring 13 fantasy points per game.


Kevin Durant, PHX vs. IND ($45)

Everyone talks about Devin Booker's ridiculous showing on Friday, yet Durant continues to give opposing teams nightmares. The Slim Reaper has gone off for at least 33 Yahoo points in all 34 games while averaging 48. That's the floor and consistency we want to see, and those totals should be easy to reach against Indiana. Not only do the Pacers play at the fastest pace, but they also rank 27th in defensive efficiency and 29th in points allowed while giving up the most fantasy points to opposing PFs. That was on full display when KD dropped 59 Y! in each of their last two matchups.

Jabari Walker, POR at LAL ($14)

We weren't so sure Walker would be locked into a prominent role with Deandre Ayton returning, yet he played a career-high 41 minutes in DA's first game back. That alone makes him a tremendous value as he's averaged 27 Yahoo points across his last seven outings. Many of those were in 25-minute region, and Walker would need a $10 bump if he keeps getting 35-40 a night. Facing the Lakers' lackluster defense only adds to his value as they sit 19th in points allowed.

Forward to Avoid

Jabari Smith, HOU vs BOS ($22)

Smith has been all over the map this year, and he's lost right now having produced 22 or fewer Yahoo points in eight of his last 13 games. The emergence of Cam Whitmore has been a primary reason for that, and there's simply not enough usage to go around with Fred VanVleet, Alperen Sengun and Jalen Green being asked to do so much. The matchup with the Celtics makes it even more concerning as they're ranked top-three in points allowed and defensive efficiency. And when they met last week, Smith only registered 17 fantasy points.


Nikola Jokic, DEN at WAS ($59)

Using such an expensive player is difficult, but it's impossible to fade Jokic on this slate. The two-time MVP has been the best player in fantasy for four years having averaged over 60 Yahoo points. Jokic has also established a 50-point floor while scoring at least 49 Y! in 31 games this year. We honestly believe he could drop 70-80 against the league's worst defense as he went off for at least 61 in each of their last four meetings. Joker should be the first player in your lineup, and then you can figure things out from there.

Jusuf Nurkic, PHX vs. IND ($27)

Nurkic doesn't get much credit with Booker, KD and Bradley Beal garnering all of the attention in Phoenix, though he's been a significant factor. The big man has recorded at least 34 Yahoo points in three straight, which matches his season average. We also saw Nurk dish out nine assists in his most recent outing, and it looks like Phoenix wants to run more offense through him with all of their outside sharpshooters. We already talked about how incredible the Indiana matchup is and Nurkic posted 36 and 45 Y! points in their two matchups last year.

Center to Avoid

Goga Bitadze, ORL vs. MIA ($15)

Some of you might see that Bitadze is starting at center for Orlando, but that doesn't mean we want to use him for DFS. He was already being limited to 25 minutes as a starter, and is now playing far less with Carter back in action. Goga's notched 25 or fewer Yahoo points from 14 of his last 17 games and only managed 8.9 Y! in 16 minutes during his most recent outing. That was one of Carter's best games this season, and it wouldn't be shocking to see him reclaim the job for this matchup with Miami. Not to mention, the Heat are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers.