Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

That Friday-Saturday schedule was wild. It felt like we had every team playing back-to-backs after an off-day Thursday, and it gave us a chance to take a breath for a light card with only four games beginning at 7 p.m. ET and one standalone matchup at 9:30 p.m. That means figuring out late swap will be critical on this slate, with numerous superstars in the final contest. We're going to go ahead and fade that one for now, though, so let's get into the other three.

Guards

De'Aaron Fox, SAC at MEM ($33)

Fox has struggled by his standards, but the Luke Walton firing might be the thing to get him going. Coach loved to slow down the pace, and it makes no sense why with the fastest point guard in the NBA. The first two games have been telling without with Fox averaging 41.3 Yahoo points. That's the guard who carried us in the final two months last season, and we have to believe he'll return to that $40 player sooner rather than later. It's not like Fox has been terrible since he's averaged over 35 fantasy points in a "down" year. This matchup is an excellent way to keep him rolling, with Memphis ranked last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. 

De'Anthony Melton, MEM vs. SAC ($15)

With Ja Morant expected to miss tonight, there's a lot of opportunities on Memphis. It's unclear who the primary ball-handler will be, but Melton is a good bet to see a boost in usage, minutes and production. We love that with his per-minute averages and DM averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.9 blocks per-36 minutes played. None of those numbers jump off the page, but that stat-stuffing equates to over 35 fantasy points a game. Melton has shown that ability when given the opportunity producing 33 Yahoo points per game in the eight he's seen at least 26 minutes this year. Facing Sacramento isn't too shabby either, and we'll go over that a little later.

Guard to Avoid

Jrue Holiday, MIL at IND ($27)

Jrue is honestly one of my favorite players in the league, but he's got too limited of a DFS ceiling to trust right now. The Finals stud has been limited because of injury, barely cracking 30 minutes a night this season. That has obliterated Holiday's upside having scoring 32 or fewer fantasy points in 10 of 14 contests this season. That's the minimum you'd need from a $27 player, and it's clear he's ceding touches to Giannis, Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis. Facing Indiana as a guard is no picnic either dealing with Malcolm Brogdon and his elite defense. 

Forwards

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at IND ($58)

It was tough to find forwards I liked on this slate, but Giannis is always a solid choice. The reason we can ride him is there's so much value out there, leaving plenty of salary for the superstar. Giannis is worth every penny having lead all players with 56.2 Y! points per game. He's been even more ridiculous of late with at least 52 Yahoo points in eight of his last 10 en route to a 58-point average. We also don't mind Giannis has posted at least 51 fantasy points in each of his previous six meetings with the Pacers. Stacking him with a couple reasonable Grizzlies projects as the best strategy on this slate.

Dillon Brooks, MEM vs. SAC ($23)

Speaking of stacking Grizzlies, let's get into another one. Many people expect Brooks to be the focal point of the offense with Morant on the mend. With Ja off the floor this season, Brooks leads the club with a 36.6 percent usage rate while averaging 1.2 Y! points per minute. That usage would actually be the highest of any NBA player, with Brooks attempting nearly a shot per minute. That means 25 shots and 35 minutes could be in play here, which is scary since he's already racking up 27 Y! points per game across only 25 minutes. The matchup with Sacramento is sensational with the Kings ranked 27th in both points allowed and defensive efficiency ratings. 

Forward to Avoid

Talen Horton-Tucker, LAL vs. DET ($17)

THT was fantastic when he had to fill in for LeBron James, but is impossible to trust with LBJ, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis all healthy. His usage drops below 20 percent with those names on the floor, scoring 22 or fewer fantasy points in each of his last five appearances. That directly correlates with the full health of this roster, leading to an ugly 17-point average over that span. That simply won't get it done no matter the salary, and we're going to keep fading Horton-Tucker until one of them gets injured. 

Centers

Myles Turner, IND vs. MIL ($23)

Turner has been inconsistent throughout the year, but he's been way too good to be just $23. We're talking about someone averaging 33 Yahoo points per game, dropping at least 29 Y! points in 13 of his last 16 games. A 29-point average would be impressive from a $23 player, but a floor of 29 is amazing. Milwaukee represents a tough matchup for most, but their primary weakness is at center with Brook Lopez sidelined. We also like that they rank ninth in pace to add more opportunities for Turner.

Alex Len, SAC at MEM ($10)

I hate myself for recommending Len, but coaching changes always lead to rotational adjustments. The biggest one is the insertion of Len into the starting lineup, getting the nod for an injured Richaun Holmes. That has allowed him to score at least 17 Y! points in four of his last five while compiling 44 combined Yahoo points across his two most recent starts. That might not sound like a lot, but getting 20-plus fantasy points from a minimum-salary player is really helpful. Len has always been reliable when given the opportunity averaging 31.3 Y! points in the 10 outings he logged at least 23 minutes last season. He also played 37 minutes on Friday and looks guaranteed to reach at least 20-25 tonight. 

Center to Avoid

Steven Adams, MEM vs. SAC ($14)

It's sad the Big Kiwi has found himself in a bad spot, but it looks like things might not work in Memphis. The team has chosen to play a lot of small-ball, forcing Adams to the bench for most of the game. In fact, he's averaging just 14 Y! points across 20 minutes a night over the last four fixtures. That's a far cry from the 30-minute stud we saw in OKC, and it's troubling he hasn't surpassed 20 Y! points in 11 of 19 appearances this season. We do believe Adams will get out of this slump, but he's off-limits until then. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 15 years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season in his inaugural fantasy year. He covers NBA, NFL, daily fantasy, EPL, and MLB for RotoWire.
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