NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, January 15

After a successful Saturday slate, we're back in action for this Sunday card! While we do have eight games in total, only five take place at night. We do have some big-name injuries in these games, and that'll play a huge factor in our decisions. With that in mind, let's get started with one of those primary beneficiaries!


Kyrie Irving, BKN vs. OKC ($38)

Irving is one of the most exciting players in the NBA and will be one of the best fantasy options with Kevin Durant sidelined for the next month. With KD off the floor this year, Kyrie has compiled a 36 percent usage rate while averaging 1.5 Y! points per minute. That's no surprise when you look at his recent form, scoring at least 36 Yahoo points in 17 straight games en route to a 44-point average. Those numbers should be easy to reach against Oklahoma City, with the Thunder ranked 23rd in total defense.

Tre Jones, SAS vs. SAC ($23)

Jones has barely hovered above $20 all season, and it's hard to understand why. The former Blue Devil has scored at least 28 Yahoo points in nine of his last 10 games, generating a 34-point average in that span. The boost in production is no surprise since Jones is being asked to do more in the absence of Devin Vassell. The only thing holding him back has been blowouts, but a matchup with the Kings could keep things close. Sacramento sits 25th in both points allowed and defensive efficiency.

Guard to Avoid

Cole Anthony, ORL at DEN ($16)

Anthony is a talented player, but there are too many cooks in the kitchen in Orlando right now. The frontcourt is packed with big men, but the point guard position has been a nightmare. Markelle Fultz has taken over as the starting point guard, so Anthony has to battle Jalen Suggs as the backup off the bench. That's led to him scoring just 13 Yahoo points in back-to-back games, playing just 22 minutes a night in those outings. Anthony has always been an inefficient shooter, and it will be challenging for him to produce in such limited minutes. It's also worrisome that Denver has had a top-5 defense over the last two weeks, especially since Orlando is expected to get blown out in this game.


Keldon Johnson, SAS vs. SAC ($25)

We just discussed how the absence of Vassell has been huge for Jones, but it's been even more vital for Johnson. That's made KJ the focal point of the offense, and he's posted a 31 percent usage rate with Vassell off the floor this year. More importantly, he's averaging about 35 minutes and 20 shots a game when he's out. That sort of role has helped Johnson average 32 Yahoo points per game this year. We already talked about how sensational it is to face a 25th-ranked Sacramento defense, but it looks even better since they surrender the most fantasy points to small forwards as well.

Tim Hardaway, DAL at POR ($18)

The Mavericks don't have much outside of Luka Doncic, but Hardaway is doing his best to help the future MVP. What's made him valuable recently is his robust role, as he's averaging 14 shots and 37.6 minutes over his last 14 games played. That's unbelievable from a sub-$20 player, especially since Hardaway is averaging over 25 fantasy points per game in that span. Facing the Trail Blazers is far from terrifying, with the 30-year-old averaging 27 Yahoo points in their two matchups this year. If he gets 35-40 minutes and 15-20 shots against this weak defense, Hardaway is a safe bet for 25-30 Yahoo points.

Forward to Avoid

Tobias Harris, PHI at LAL ($25)

We love Toby as a player, but he's risky with the Sixers roster at full health. We've only seen a handful of games with Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey all healthy, but that's just what we have right now. When these four guys are on the floor together, Harris has a team-low 14 percent usage rate while averaging 0.8 Yahoo points per minute. Those are terrifying rates, especially since Harris has failed to crack 25 Yahoo points in each of the last three games with those guys. We're also scared that Harris is dealing with a knee issue, missing the most recent game Saturday.


Domantas Sabonis, SAC at SAS ($45)

It's hard to believe the way Sabonis is playing despite a torn ligament in his hand. There was some thought he'd be out for months when that injury happened, but he's been kept right on playing since then. In fact, Sabonis has at least 47 Yahoo points in 12 of his last 14 games, averaging 21.7 points, 14.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in that span. That'd make him tough to avoid against anyone, but San Antonio is the best matchup in DFS. The Spurs sit dead last in points allowed and defensive efficiency while surrendering the second-most fantasy points to big men.

Nic Claxton, BKN vs. OKC ($25)

The Durant injury will help everyone in Brooklyn from a fantasy perspective because it leaves so much on the table. We expect Claxton to see a boost in shot attempts and rebounds, which is amazing since he's been balling out in a minuscule role. The big man has scored at least 29 Yahoo points in 16 of his last 21 games, tallying a 36-point average in that span. That's a tantalizing total from a player in this price range, and we obviously don't mind that Oklahoma City allows the fifth-most fantasy points to centers.

Center to Avoid

Montrezl Harrell, PHI at LAL ($10)

Harrell has been great when filling in for Joel Embiid this year, but he's useless when the MVP candidate is starting and playing his usual 35 minutes a night. In the two games since Embiid's return, Harrell has 10.2 combined Yahoo points across 21 minutes of play. He's also averaging just 9.9 Yahoo points in his 31 games coming off the bench, barely playing 11 minutes a night. That's a nightmare for any player, and he likely won't crack 15 minutes as long as Embiid is healthy.