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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

Joel Bartilotta

Joel has 13-plus years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season. He covers EPL Soccer, MLB, NBA and Daily Fantasy sports for RotoWire. He's active with EPL, NFL, MLB and NBA fantasy games.

Sunday's eight-game slate includes four inter-conference matchups, as well as five games with a playoff contender facing a team completely out of the post-season picture. The latter presents some quirks, as the blowout potential could make stacking an unsuccessful strategy given the minutes reduction for many high-producing players.


Goran Dragic, MIA vs. POR ($33):
Dragic is averaging 35 fantasy points per game this season, including at least 43 in three of his last four games. Sunday's matchup is solid as well, with Portland ranking 27th in defensive efficiency, and Dragic's usage should be higher than usual with Dion Waiters out.

Tyler Ulis, PHX at DET ($11): Ulis has taken over for Eric Bledsoe (rest) in Phoenix and it's done wonders for his fantasy value. In his two games as the starter, Ulis has piled up 74 fantasy points in 79 minutes. Those are numbers from a $35 player and we get to use Ulis at an unbelievable $11 because he just fell into this role. Sunday's matchup is great as well, with Detroit allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to point guards this season.

Guard to Avoid

D'Angelo Russell, LAL vs. CLE ($29):
Russell has been relegated to bench duties recently and he hasnít scored more than 24 fantasy points in four straight games (he is averaging just 17 per game in that span). That's terrible production for a $29 player, especially since he is playing fewer than 25 minutes per game since the demotion.

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Paul George, IND at TOR ($38):
George has taken over the Indiana offense recently and his price should be well above $40 with the way he's playing. Not only has he surpassed 32 fantasy points in nine straight games, he's scored at least 43 five times in his last seven games. His high production should continue, as he has a 35 percent usage rate of his last seven games, one of the highest marks in the league over that span.

Marquese Chriss, PHX at DET ($11): Chriss has been great since taking over as the starting power forward, scoring at least 29 fantasy points four times in his last seven games. His floor has been solid too, scoring fewer than 16 fantasy points only once in his last 13 games.

Forward to Avoid

Kevin Love, CLE at LAL ($40):
Love was rested Saturday against the Clippers and is just one game removed from a knee injury. He played just 20 minutes in his first game back, so he's likely looking at a max of 25 minutes Sunday, which means he'll have to score about two fantasy points per minute to be a value at this price. To put that in perspective, Russell Westbrook and James Harden score about 1.5 fantasy points per minute. While the matchup Sunday is spectacular, let others make the mistake.


Al Horford, BOS at PHI ($23):
Horford was mired in a slump over the past 30 days, but his last three games make it look like he's crawling out of it. He's averaging 40 fantasy points per game in that span and is still holding an impressive average of 32 per game for the season. That alone makes Horford a great value at just $23, but it doesnít even consider the tasty matchup, as the 76ers are allowing the most fantasy points per game (54.0) to centers this season.

Jahlil Okafor, PHI vs. BOS ($12): Okafor was fortunate to see Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova leave town, but he became the go-to post player when Joel Embiid got hurt. His usage rate was over 30 percent in his last 10 games, and he has scored at least 26 fantasy points in four of his last five. Additionally, Boston is allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to centers this season.

Center to Avoid

DeMarcus Cousins, NOP vs. MIN ($52): Cousins has been fine for the Pelicans, but he's not the $50 player he was for the Kings, as his 32 percent usage rate with New Orleans is far less than his 37 percent with Sacramento. He is averaging fewer than 34 fantasy points per game over his last five, which is terrible value for a player priced over $50. Additionally, Cousins is dealing with hip and knee issues, which make using him even riskier.
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 DraftKings: Joelbartilotta.