This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
To say this Sunday slate is a slow one would be an understatement. We only have four games with three making up the night slate. That would usually be very frustrating, but most of the matchups are fascinating. Four of the six teams made a huge move at the trade deadline on Thursday, while the Lakers look like a shell of themselves because of injuries. That means there's going to be plenty of value, so let's get into it!
Dennis Schroder, LAL vs. ORL ($25)
The Lakers are in a tough stretch right now playing without Anthony Davis and LeBron James as that takes out 47.9 points, 16.3 rebounds, 10.9 assists, 2.3 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game. More importantly, it wipes out about 55 percent of the team's usage and 65 minutes between the two. That's the key here for Schroder, who's taking over primary ball-handling duties with LBJ off the floor. This expanded role has less to Dennis the Menace scoring at least 27 Yahoo points in six-straight games while averaging 36 fantasy points during that span. Orlando has been terrible against opposing PGs surrendering the third-most fantasy points to them this season.
Michael Carter-Williams, ORL at LAL ($15)
Trying to figure out who will be fantasy relevant in Orlando is tough, but we have to believe MCW will be one of the main contributors. We say that because Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Cole Anthony, and Markelle Fultz are all out of the picture. That's a ridiculous amount of usage off the board, and it'll likely force Carter-Williams into a similar role we saw in his Philly days when they were in a similar rebuild. He averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals for Philly between 2013-16 and that honestly feels like the player we're going to see for the remainder of the season. Even with those Orlando guys in the lineup, MCW has been solid since taking over starting PG duties a month ago averaging 24 Y! points per game across 28 minutes a night.
Guard to Avoid
Gary Trent Jr, TOR vs. POR ($14)
Trent was a great player for Portland, but his role is not the same in Toronto. To put it simply, this is a different offense. The Trail Blazers loved to run up and down the floor and fire up threes at will, but this Raptors' attack is all about ball movement and steady possessions. That means Trent has to compete with Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby for touches, likely leading to fewer shot attempts. That certainly appeared to be the case in Trent's debut when he collected 10 Yahoo points in one of his worst games of the season.
Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. POR ($32)
Siakam has been far from efficient this season, but he's been a great fantasy producer. We're talking about someone averaging 40 fantasy points per game for the season, reaching that total in four of his last five games. He's actually scored at least 49 Yahoo points in three of those outings displaying the sort of monster upside he presents. The best part about using Siakam here is the matchup with Portland sitting 29th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing PFs. In their one meeting earlier this year, he tallied 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists to notch his first career triple-double. We know Siakam is center eligible on Yahoo, but we're going to cheat here since he's truly a PF.
Khem Birch, ORL at LAL ($14)
Birch has quietly been a solid back-up to Vucevic over the years and now's his time to shine with Vooch being traded to Chicago. In this expanded role on Friday, Birch racked up 14 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, four steals, and two blocks en route to 50 Y! points. That's an absurd total at this valuation and he's going to have to continue to produce like that with so much fantasy production missing from this lineup. The Lakers are far from a scary matchup with one of the worst defensive ratings since LBJ and AD got injured.
Forward to Avoid
De'Andre Hunter, ATL at DEN ($19)
Hunter was a breakout player earlier in the season, but something looks a little off since his return. He's played two games and has only contributed 21 combined fantasy points in those outings. You'd think it would be due to some limited usage, but Hunter got up to 26 minutes in his most recent outing. What's even more terrifying is the knee soreness that affected him in that last matchup. That's bad news for someone who just returned from a long-term injury and it makes Hunter impossible to trust right now.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. ATL ($56)
There's so much value on this short slate that you need to use Jokic with his guaranteed 50 fantasy points in your lineup. We say that because he's hit at least 36 Yahoo points in 35 of 36 games this year, en route to a 57-point average. That happens to be the best mark in the NBA, and it makes Jokic worth it no matter the salary. The matchup isn't too shabby either, with the Hawks sitting 22nd in defensive efficiency.
Montrezl Harrell, LAL vs. ORL ($29)
We already talked about all of the production out of the lineup in LA right now, and Harrell has been one of the go-to guys with James and Davis out of the lineup. In fact, Harrell leads the team with a 28 percent usage rate with those guys off the floor, averaging more than 1.3 Yahoo points per minute. That fantastic rate is on full display when you see Harrell's recent production posting a 37-point average over his last 10 appearances. We're also not worried about him facing a weak Magic lineup.
Center to Avoid
Chris Boucher, TOR vs. POR ($19)
Boucher has been one of the most inconsistent players in fantasy this season and he's currently in one of his ruts. The talented big man has failed to crack 23 Yahoo points in each of his last five games, averaging 17.7 Yahoo points across 17 minutes a night over that span. That's still a decent rate, but only getting 17 minutes isn't promising. He endured a similar eight-game stretch earlier this season, and it looks like his role will continue to decline with everyone fully healthy.