Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Sunday's slate brings some fantastic matchups for fantasy purposes, but the two best are Houston-Portland and Sacramento-Brooklyn because they are expected to be high paced among poor defensive teams. In fact, all four teams rank in the bottom seven in defensive efficiency and both matchups are expected to have at least 210 points scored. In addition, they are close matchups, which means all the valuable fantasy options should see a full allotment of minutes with limited blowout potential. James Harden, Damian Lillard and DeMarcus Cousins are all fantastic foundational options.

GUARDS

James Harden, HOU at POR ($56): Harden is averaging over 55 fantasy points per game and has scored fewer than 51 only twice since the opening week. What's even better is that he'll face a Portland team that is allowing 113 points per game, the second-most in the league, which should allow for plenty of fantasy production.

Elfrid Payton, ORL vs MIL ($23): Payton has scored at least 24 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game in that stretch. He stuffs the stat sheet and has a solid matchup against a Bucks defense that ranks 15th in defensive efficiency.

Guard to Avoid

Monta Ellis, IND vs. LAC ($21): Ellis has been struggling recently and it's hard to see him getting out of a slump that has seen him reach 27 fantasy points just once in his last seven games. He is getting shots behind Paul George, Jeff Teague and Myles Turner, which doesn't work for a ball-dominant player like Ellis. The matchup is what's most concerning though, with the Clippers allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to shooting guards this season and ranking top-three in nearly every defensive statistic.

Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball contest now | Free NBA Yahoo Cup entry

FORWARDS

Paul Millsap, ATL at LAL ($35): Millsap is now the focal point of the Atlanta offense, and he's a reliable option on any given night. What makes him more enticing than usual is the matchup, as he faces a Lakers defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to power forwards this season. The price is extremely affordable as well, as he is just above Rudy Gay, Jabari Parker and Dirk Nowitzki but in a better position for fantasy points.

Trevor Ariza HOU at POR ($21): Ariza has scored at least 28 fantasy points in eight of his last 10 games, scoring fewer than 21 just once in that span. That 21-point floor at a $21 price is hard to find, and he'll now face off against a Portland defense that is one of the worst in the league.

Forward to Avoid

Harrison Barnes, DAL vs. NOP ($28): Barnes got off to a great start this season, but there's reasons to believe he's going to regress. The biggest reason is the return of Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams, who figure to heavily reduce his usage rate. He scored just 18 fantasy points in Nowitzki and Williams' first game back and that seems more like the average to expect from Barnes. His price is indicative of his recent form, but he's just too expensive with his new role. In addition, many people will want to use Barnes because of the easy matchup and his recent play, but this could be a great fade to get yourself ahead of the field.

CENTERS

DeMarcus Cousins, SAC at BRK ($50): Much like Harden, this is an easy choice in a great matchup. Cousins is averaging 47 fantasy points per game and has scored at least 52 in five of his last six games. The matchup is the best part of this play, with Brooklyn ranking 29th in pace and total defense. In addition, the Nets are allowing the third-most fantasy points to centers this season.

Mason Plumlee, POR vs. HOU ($19): Plumlee is a rare center that provides assists and it makes him especially enticing in this sort of matchup. He gets to face a Houston defense that plays below-average defense, and he should be leaned on to distribute with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum blanketed all game long. His form is great too, as he has at least scored 24 fantasy points in nine-straight games.

Center to Avoid

Greg Monroe, MIL at ORL ($18): Monroe is essentially out of the Bucks' rotation and is surely on his way out of Milwaukee. Over the last five games, Monroe has played 37 minutes, including four times with eight or fewer. While he still has the ability to be an elite center, his role is simply not there in Milwaukee. And even if he does miraculously play 20 minutes, he's in for a tough matchup against a stacked Orlando frontcourt.

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: DraftKings: Joelbartilotta Yahoo: Joelbartilotta.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joel Bartilotta
Joel has 20 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.
NBA Best Bets Today - Free Picks for Friday, December 8
NBA Best Bets Today - Free Picks for Friday, December 8
NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, December 8
NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings Plays and Strategy for Friday, December 8
NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Friday, December 8
NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Friday, December 8
NBA Fantasy Waiver Wire - Who to Add for Week 8
NBA Fantasy Waiver Wire - Who to Add for Week 8
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire - Six Players to Add Ahead of Week 8
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire - Six Players to Add Ahead of Week 8
Fantasy Basketball 2023-24: Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets
Fantasy Basketball 2023-24: Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets