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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Sunday's six-game NBA slate begins at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Some players are primed to find success in their respective matchups while others are set up for failure. Read on to find out which guys to target and whom to avoid.


Justin Holiday, CHI at PHO ($20):
Holiday racked up 40.6 fantasy points Friday thanks to a season-high 27 points and is primed to keep the good times rolling against a Suns team that allows a league-high 116.6 points per game. The 31.1 PPG scored by shooting guards against Phoenix is the third-highest total by the position against any team, so look for Chicago's leading scorer at 15.3 PPG to see all the volume he can handle offensively.

Tim Frazier, WAS at TOR ($10):
Frazier has been a quality backup to John Wall this season, but he's expected to slide into the starting point guard role if Wall does not suit up because of a sore left knee after being limited to eight points by the injury Friday. While Toronto's defense against the position has been better than average, Frazier will have no trouble vastly outperforming his minimum price even if Wall is on a minutes restriction rather than out altogether. Frazier averages 13.4 fantasy points in 15:39 per game as the backup, so his fantasy potential in a greater role is tremendous.

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Guard to Avoid:

Jimmy Butler, MIN vs. DET ($31):
Butler has played well lately, but his scoring output remains extremely inconsistent, and that low floor is likely to come into play against Avery Bradley and the Pistons. The former Celtics guard's stellar defense at the two-guard position has allowed Detroit to limit shooting guards to a total of 40.1 fantasy points per game and 22.7 PPG, ranking fourth lowest and third lowest in the league, respectively. Detroit also allows just 101.5 points per game overall, sixth lowest in the league and lowest among all teams in this slate.


Domantas Sabonis, IND at MIA ($18):
Sabonis has routinely outplayed his $18 price tag, scoring a sustainable 28.0 fantasy points per game. He's a daily double-double threat with averages of 13.2 PPG and 9.5 RPG, plus Sabonis has dished out at least three assists in six of his last 11 games. A Miami defense that's been middling against power forwards is unlikely to hold down the only player in this slate who's priced above $11 while scoring at least 10 more fantasy points per game compared to his cost in dollars.

Paul Millsap, DEN at LAL ($34):
Despite playing nearly four minutes fewer than his season average of 30:45, Millsap came away with 46.7 fantasy points in Friday's win over New Orleans, topping 45.0 for the third time in four games. Now that Millsap's gotten used to his new environment, he should continue to routinely outperform his $34 price. With averages greater than 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists along with more than 1.0 in steals, blocks and made 3-pointers, the veteran's well-rounded stat line allows him to contribute even when his shot isn't falling. But that's unlikely to be an issue against a Lakers team that allows 107.4 points per game.

Forward to Avoid:

Kevin Durant, GS at BKN ($50):
Durant surely will be effective during against the lowly Nets, but he's likely to see limited minutes with Golden State expected to get up big before long. Considering the Warriors are coming off a loss to Boston, expect the team to come out more focused and pull away early. Durant hasn't been held to less than 28 minutes this season, but he's averaging just 41.7 fantasy points per game in four appearances in which he sees fewer than 31 minutes. At Durant's $50 price, the risk of depleted playing time is enough to stay away.

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Alex Len, PHO vs. CHI ($15):
With a 17-point, 18-rebound game and 21-point, 13-rebound performance among his past five appearances, Len has flashed incredible upside. At just $15, the 2013 fifth overall pick is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward play, especially against an awful Bulls team that's allowed 108.6 points per game on the road while starting the season 3-10.

Hassan Whiteside, MIA vs. IND ($39):
Whiteside has piled up gaudy lines this season, topping 39.0 fantasy points in five consecutive games while scoring at least 46.7 five times through his first 10 appearances. His averages of 16.3 points, 14.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks give Whiteside three categories to rely on for strong production, which is why he's the most expensive player averaging more fantasy points than his monetary cost. Another above-average performance should be in the cards against a Pacers team that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to centers.

Center to Avoid:

Nikola Jokic, DEN at LAL ($45):
Jokic could easily outplay his $45 valuation given Los Angeles' shoddy defense, but he's been consistently below that threshold with fewer than 45.0 fantasy points in 10 of 15 appearances. He's been especially disappointing the last four games, scoring more than 36.2 fantasy points only once in that span. Given how well some similarly priced alternatives at his position have been playing, it's tough to justify picking Jokic over them given his recent form.

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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. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.