Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

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Joel Bartilotta
·5 min read
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Damian Lillard was the highlight player of my article on Saturday and he produced one of the performances of the season. It would be one thing to provide 44 points, five rebounds and nine assists, but to hit a game-winning three is something we could have never anticipated. More importantly, we got our fades right with Marcus Smart, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon all struggling. Knowing who to avoid is just as important as knowing who to pick, and that's why this Yahoo article can help anyone playing on any site. We're going to look to build off of that momentum here, so let's go ahead and get into it!

Guards 

Bradley Beal, WAS vs. BKN ($49)

This sounds crazy to say with the Wizards carrying one of the NBA's worst records, but Beal should be in the MVP discussion. So far this season, he's leading the league with 34.7 points, providing 5.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals. The thing that makes him so attractive for fantasy is his usage, averaging 36 minutes and 29.4 shots over his last seven games. That's truly absurd, and one has to believe that usage will remain steady with so much lackluster talent in Washington's offense. The matchup against Brooklyn is the icing on the cake, with the Nets ranked 27th in defensive efficiency since acquiring James Harden

Darius Garland, CLE at MIN ($17)

This salary is ridiculous. The only reason it's this low is because Garland struggled in his return from injury. Now that he's back in the starting lineup and had his minutes restriction lifted, he should be a $25 player. We say that because Garland was performing like that early on averaging 34 Yahoo points per game across 34 minutes before getting injured. That's actually worthy of a value above $25. And with his 31 fantasy points on Friday, he appears to be back in form. The matchup against Minnesota is also excellent with the T'Wolves ranked 28th in defensive efficiency. 

Guard to Avoid 

Seth Curry, PHI at IND ($17)

Curry appeared to be in the midst of a breakout season before contracting COVID, but he hasn't looked right since returning. In fact, Curry hasn't cracked 19 Yahoo points in four of his last five games, averaging just 16 fantasy points during that span. The thing that's really disturbing is his usage drop while failing to take more than 11 shots in any of those contests while garnering a 17-percent usage share. That's not good enough for a $17 player, and it really concerns us against a Top-12 Pacers' defense. 

Forwards 

Kevin Durant, BKN at WAS ($49)

The forwards on this slate are downright terrible, so we definitely want to ride a consistency monster like KD. What we really love about Durant is his floor of scoring at least 39 fantasy points in all 15 games this season. That's an astounding floor and it's led to a 51-point average for the year. Many people were worried he wouldn't be right after his Achilles tear, but it's hard to argue with these results. The matchup with the Wizards is wonderful as they come in with the league's worst defense and fastest pace.  

Justin Holiday, IND vs. PHI ($14)

We usually don't like to pick players just because of minutes, but this is hard to overlook. Holiday has seen at least 38 minutes in three of his last four games while averaging 34 minutes a night over his last 13 fixtures. While he's averaging only 22.3 Yahoo points over that stretch, that's really all you can ask for from a player at just $14. He also opens up a ton of salary for expensive guys, and that's necessary on a slate with Durant, Beal, James Harden, and our next recommendation. 

Forward to Avoid 

Cedi Osman, CLE at MIN ($15)

Osman was a great fantasy pick a week ago, but things are different now. Not only has Jarrett Allen joined the team, they've also got many guys back from injury. That has forced Osman back into a bench role and played 17 minutes on Friday. His court time has actually been on a steady decline since acquiring Allen, and that's really scary with Osman failing to crack 14 fantasy points in four of his last five games. 

Centers 

Joel Embiid, PHI at IND ($47)

Embiid is another guy with a monster floor, and it's hard to understand why he remains below $50. The big man has actually scored at least 40 Yahoo points in all but one game this season and was rested in the second half of that one dud. That has led to an average north of 50 fantasy points in those outings while absolutely destroying the Pacers last season with averages of 36.5 points, 16 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals, and 2.0 blocks in two matchups.

DeAndre Jordan, BKN at WAS ($15)

DJ is not a fantasy player we get excited about these days, but he's way too good to be $15. Since the Nets sent off Allen to Cleveland, Jordan has regained the starting center role. In the nine games since, he's averaging 26 Yahoo points per game in 25 minutes a night. That's a tremendous total from a $15 player, and one has to believe a double-double is a near guarantee against a team that plays at the NBA's fastest pace. Not to mention, Washington also surrenders the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers.  

Center to Avoid 

Chris Boucher, TOR vs, ORL ($22)

Boucher appeared to be in the midst of a breakout season only last week, but something has changed since. What's really strange about this whole thing is that Boucher is barely playing, having only picked up 14 minutes on Friday. That extends a rather ugly stretch for Boucher by failing to crack 30 Yahoo points in six straight games while averaging 19 fantasy points across 20 minutes during that stretch. Numbers like that are a horrifying sign from a $22 player, and we definitely don't want to go back to the well against a stingy Magic defense.