This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Sunday slates always tend to be a bit lighter, and that's certainly the case here. There are only five games on the main slate, thus limiting the player pool to 10 teams. That actually makes things easier for us because there's less information to keep track of. Crazy things still happen every day with injuries, resting and COVID protocols, so it's imperative to keep an eye on updates all the way up to first tip. With that in mind, let's get into this Sunday slate!
Damian Lillard, POR at GS ($45)
If you don't already know, Lillard balls out whenever he faces the Warriors. The big reason for that is because he grew up in Oakland and even wears the number 0 to represent the O. That motivation has led Dame averaging 29.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 25 games against them. More importantly, he's at a 30 percent usage rate in those contests while averaging over 21 shots and 37 minutes played. That was certainly the case on Friday, when Logo Lillard collected 34 points, four rebounds and eight assists against what's become one of the NBA's worst defenses.
Lonnie Walker IV, SAN vs. UTA ($11)
Yahoo seems to forget about some role players when it comes to pricing, and Walker is certainly one of those guys. We're talking about a starter who's averaging 22 fantasy points per game across 30 minutes of action. That doesn't sound special, but it's incredible output from an $11 player. That looks even better when you consider Utah's weakest defensive position is at shooting guard, where they've surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to that position this season.
Guard to Avoid
Devin Booker, PHX vs. LAC ($37)
Booker is obviously an amazing player, but this salary is just too high. While he was definitely worth this last season, it's a different story with Chris Paul. In fact, Booker hasn't reached 40 Yahoo points in any game this season and is now averaging fewer than 30 fantasy points per game. That's an ugly mark from a $37 player, especially when you consider seven guards below Booker are averaging over the 30-point mark. That doesn't even consider the scariest part about using him, where he'd be matched up with elite defenders like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Otto Porter, CHI vs. DAL ($21)
As long as Lauri Markkanen remains out, we have to use Otto. Not only does that put Porter in the starting lineup, it also makes him one of the focal points of their offense. That's really evident when you see Porter is averaging 38 Yahoo points per game over his last two starts. That's a ridiculous total from a $21 player and Porter has proven in the past he can play at a $30 level. All of that pairs beautifully with this matchup, with the Mavs allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season.
Nicolas Batum, LAC at PHX ($12)
Some of the Clippers' numbers look strange with all the blowout games and it's definitely done funny things to Batum's averages. If you look at the three competitive contests Los Angeles has played, he's averaging 25.4 Yahoo points across 33 minutes of action. While it's hard to predict whether a game will be close, this 2.5-point spread paints a good picture for Batum to succeed. If we get 33 minutes out of him, it will be nearly impossible for him not to provide great value.
Forward to Avoid
LaMarcus Aldridge, SAN vs. UTA ($26)
While there's some belief Aldridge will return from his knee issue here, there's no way you can use him even if he does. In his first three games of the season, LA averaged 23 fantasy points over 26 minutes of action. Those are obviously terrible averages and it's not like he's dealt with foul trouble or anything like that by picking up a max of three fouls in each of those three fixtures. That poor form and injury designation make Aldridge even scarier against a defense like this, with Utah allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing power forwards while ranked top-10 in total defense.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at MIN ($48)
Jokic very well might be the best option in fantasy basketball right now. He's actually fallen a rebound shy of a triple-double twice this season, which is truly incredible considering he recorded one in the other three games. That's led to averages of 23 points, 11.2 rebounds, 13 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. That equates to 57.5 Yahoo points per game, which is obviously the highest total on this slate. All of that makes Jokic impossible to avoid against the T'Wolves as they're ranked 26th in points allowed and 28th in defensive efficiency.
Wendell Carter Jr, CHI at DAL ($19)
WCJ endured a terrible outing in the opener, but has been really good since. In fact, the Bulls' big man has recorded at least 24 Yahoo points in the subsequent five games, en route to a 29-point average. A 24-point floor is really good from a player south of $20 and a 29-point average is nearly impossible to find. Carter has done that damage without adding too much in terms of defensive statistics, so it's only a matter of time before he starts adding a steal and a block to his already impressive tally. Center is also one of Dallas's weakest positions, as they're missing Kristaps Porzingis due to injury.
Center to Avoid
Jusuf Nurkic, POR at GS ($27)
We all love Nurk as a player, but he just doesn't look right. Whether it's foul trouble or endurance, Nurkic is averaging just 24 minutes a game. That has led to him with only 25 Yahoo points per game, which looks even worse when you consider his highest total of the season was 34. Those 34 Yahoo points are actually below what Nurkic averaged in the bubble two months ago, and it's a wonder what's happened to him since. We really don't like the matchup against the Warriors either, with Golden State running more small-ball than almost any other team. That was evident when Nurk managed just 22.6 fantasy points across 18 minutes of action on Friday night against them.