Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

Joel Bartilotta
·6 min read

The four games on Saturday were clearly an appetizer for today. We have 10 games in total, with nine making up the night slate. There are definitely some headline games, with the Los Angeles-Denver and Portland-Dallas matchups looking like great battles. Many people will be using Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard in that matchup, so we're going to do our best to find some value to build around those two studs. With that in mind, let's get into it! 


Ja Morant, MEM at SAC ($31) 

Sacramento allows the opponent's best player to go crazy seemingly every night, so we have to love Ja Dropper. Over the last five games, the Kings have surrendered nearly 60 Yahoo points per game to their opposition's star player. That includes Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid and Nikola Vucevic, with four of them scoring at least 55 Yahoo points. That's really no surprise when you see Sacramento comes in with the league's worst defensive rating. Morant should have no problem capitalizing on this stupendous matchup as he's averaged 36 fantasy points in his 12 healthy outings. The fact Memphis carries so many injuries only opens up more minutes and usage for Morant, and we'll discuss those absences more later on.  

Ricky Rubio, MIN at TOR ($16) 

We all know Ricky can stuff the stat sheet and should be at least $20 as long as D'Angelo Russell is out. We say that because he's made nine starts this season and is averaging 21 Yahoo points per game. That doesn't sound great, but it looks better when you consider Rubio has maintained a 25-point average over his last eight contests which directly correlates with this role increase. That means he's starting to figure out this offense and getting Karl-Anthony Towns back should open up more assists. Toronto is not the scary defense we remember as they're ranked 10th in pace and 19th in points allowed. (And if the Magic are missing Evan Fournier and Cole Anthony again, don't forget about a $12 Michael Carter-Williams.)

Guard to Avoid 

Jamal Murray, DEN vs. LAL ($24) 

As someone who lives in Denver and watches the Nuggets more than I'd like to admit, something is up with Murray. He's always grabbing his ankle or elbow or something seemingly every game, and it's clear he's not 100 percent healthy. The eye test is one thing, but it's also evident in the numbers. Murray has failed to crack 31 Yahoo points in six of his last eight games and has scored 22 or fewer fantasy points on eight occasions this season. That's a horrifying floor and it wouldn't be a shock to see another one of those against the NBA's best defense.  


Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. MIN ($36) 

Many people in the fantasy industry called Siakam a bust only a few weeks ago, but you don't hear too much chatter about that anymore. The reason for that is because he's performing like an All-Star by scoring at least 28 Yahoo points in 10 of his last 11 games while averaging 41 fantasy points over that span. Siakam has also scored 52-plus in three of those, thus showing his tremendous upside. The matchup might be the best part though, with Minnesota ranked 26th in points allowed and 25th in defensive efficiency.  

Grayson Allen, MEM at SAC ($11) 

Allen has gotten a lot of flack for some of his antics, but making him just $11 is downright insulting. He's played at a $20 level for two weeks now and his role continues to grow. The reason for the role increase is due to all the injuries in Memphis with Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr, De'Anthony Melton, and Brandon Clarke all sidelined. That has forced Allen to play 27 minutes a night over his last seven outings, scoring at least 27 Yahoo points in five. Getting 27 fantasy points out of an $11 player is an absolute godsend, and he should have no problem duplicating that against the worst defense in the NBA.  

Forward to Avoid 

Gordon Hayward, CHA vs. SAS ($32) 

Hayward is definitely the veteran leader of this young Hornets' team, but there's a lot of mouths to feed right now. Not only is LaMelo Ball a blossoming superstar, we also have Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier taking plenty of shots, assists and minutes out of the backcourt. That's taking a lot of usage away from Hayward, leading to his worst stretch of the season. In fact, Hayward has scored 30 or fewer Yahoo points in three-straight games, seeing his usage rate dip below 25 percent. San Antonio is not really a team we want to mess with either, as they're ranked 10th in defensive efficiency this year.   


Jonas Valanciunas, MEM at SAC ($29) 

DFS fanatics have waited years for JV to play big minutes and it appears we're finally getting our wish. The big man is averaging 32 minutes a night over his last three fixtures, and it's clear he's going to play more with Jackson and Clarke both sidelined. He's been a monster in the increased role by averaging 44 Yahoo points per game. Valanciunas has been a per-minute beast throughout his career, and 40 fantasy points should be expected if he's going to regularly see 30 minutes. That makes him hard to fade below $30, especially against a Sacramento team surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers.   

Jakob Poeltl, SAN at CHA ($20) 

With LaMarcus Aldridge out for another game here, Poeltl should get another start. In his five starts for LA this season, Poeltl has produced at least 34 Yahoo points in three. Getting 34 fantasy points from a $20 player represents incredible value, and it could be even better if the last two games weren't blowouts. It's certainly no fluke when you see Poeltl's per-minute averages with him averaging 1.1 Yahoo points per minute this season. All of that is terrible news for a Hornets' side ranking 17th in defensive efficiency while giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers.  

Center to Avoid 

Andre Drummond, CLE at LAC ($34) 

This one could come back to bite us, but a lot is going against Drummond here. The biggest is his role having playing fewer than 20 minutes in back-to-back games. Part of that has to do with the Jarrett Allen addition, which has made it difficult for Drummond to play more than 30 minutes. He's also been playing poorly by scoring fewer than 20 fantasy points in three of his last six. The matchup makes that all the more likely, with LA surrendering the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing centers this season while boasting one of the league's best defenses.