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FantasyDraft NBA: Sunday Picks

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

Sunday brings a typically modest six-game slate that doesn’t have many elite options, but plenty of options at the lower price tiers. There’s a number of particularly appealing individual matchups for big men, as well as underpriced value options that will allow you to fit in some of the studs. Without further ado, let’s break down some of the strongest options Sunday:

GUARDS:

Premium Option

Stephen Curry, GS at BKN ($18,100): Curry bounced back from an atypical nine-point effort against the Celtics on Thursday to score a team-high 35 points in 35 minutes against the Sixers on Saturday. He’ll be in prime position for another explosion Sunday, as the Nets have given up the seventh most fantasy points (50.7) to point guards over the last 10 games, along with the second highest field-goal percentage (45.0) to the position on the season. Curry had scored between 42.75 and 55.25 fantasy points in 11 of the 12 games prior to the aforementioned modest effort versus Boston and should be firing away again versus the Nets’ vulnerable defense.

Mid-Tier

Victor Oladipo, IND at MIA ($15,900): Oladipo has scored between 40.00 and 51.75 fantasy points in three of his last four contests, and he’s shot a blistering 46.7 percent from long distance in the last five games overall. The Heat could very well facilitate more superior production from the sharpshooter Sunday, considering they’ve allowed the sixth most fantasy points (56.3) per game to shooting guards on the season, including the fourth most (66.3) over the last five. They’ve also surrendered bottom-10 figures in points (32.1), rebounds (9.5) and steals (2.7) to twos, while Oladipo boasts a team-high 30.7 percent usage rate and is averaging 1.17 fantasy points per minute.

Affordable

Kris Dunn, CHI at PHO ($10,300): Dunn has started to unlock his potential on a rebuilding Bulls squad, and he’s coming off a career-high 45.25 fantasy points against the Hornets on Friday night. Dunn is seeing plenty of playing time as well, as he’s averaged a solid 26.0 minutes off the bench. He’ll be in a good position to build on his spectacular performance Sunday, as the Suns are tied with the Mavericks for most fantasy points allowed to point guards on the season (53.0) while also surrendering bottom-five figures in points (25.1), rebounds (7.7), steals (2.6) and shooting percentage (44.0) to the position. While he’s somewhat difficult to trust for cash games, Dunn has shown enough upside for tournaments with four games of between 25.75 and 32.50 fantasy points in addition to Friday’s aforementioned career game.

FORWARDS/CENTERS:

Premium

Kevin Durant, GS at BKN ($19,900): Durant bounced back from a modest (by his lofty standards) 37.75 fantasy points versus the Celtics on Thursday to drain 11 of 20 shots on his way to 27 points against the Sixers on Saturday. As with Curry, he’ll be poised to build on the performance against the Nets, who’ve allowed 40.2 fantasy points per game to threes, along with the second highest field-goal percentage (49.0). Durant has been virtually automatic for a minimum of 40-45 fantasy points per game thus far this season, making him a top play for cash or GPPs on a relatively short slate.

Mid-Tier

Hassan Whiteside, MIA vs. IND ($14,900): Whiteside has been impressively consistent in his own right, scoring between 42.25 and 48.00 fantasy points in the last five games, and he’s also eclipsed the 50-mark on two occasions thus far this season. He’s posted double-doubles in four of the last five, and he could accomplish that feat once again against a Pacers team that’s been laying out the red carpet for centers as of late. Indiana has allowed the most fantasy points (52.3) over the last five games, while Whiteside notably steamrolled them for averages of 24.7 points, 20.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks across three games last season.


Affordable

Lance Stephenson, IND at MIA ($6,900): Stephenson is bargain-priced for a player that’s scored between 23.25 and 25.50 fantasy points in the last three games, and that’s also posted totals of 25.75 and 29.00 fantasy points in two other contests this season. He’s boasting a 22.1 percent usage rate and averaging 1.16 fantasy points per minute over the aforementioned trio of contests and has gone 9-for-15 from the field over the last two games. The Heat’s vulnerabilities to two-guards were detailed previously, and Stephenson can return solid value on his price with a similar tally to the one he’s provided in the last three contests.

UTILITY:

Nikola Jokic, DEN at LAL ($16,700): Jokic has already reached or eclipsed 50 fantasy points on five occasions this season and has racked up four double-doubles in his last five games. He’s also posting career highs in rebounds (11.6) and three-point shooting (41.5 percent), while the Lakers check into Sunday allowing the fourth most fantasy points (42.5) to centers on the season and over the last five (47.3). They’re also surrendering bottom-five figures in points (17.5) and rebounds (13.2) to the position and haven’t shown the prowess to consistently slow down a force like Jokic down low.

Will Barton, DEN at LAL ($11,700): Barton had an uncharacteristic four-point effort against the Pelicans on Friday night, a contest in which he took a season-low five shots. However, he’d posted between 21.75 and 50.25 fantasy points in 13 of his other 14 contests, making him one of the most prolific sixth men in the NBA. The Lakers have been vulnerable to two-guards all season, as they’ve yielded 49.9 fantasy points per game to the position, along with 3.8 made three-pointers and a 43.0 percent success rate from the field. They’re also a team that Barton thrived against last season, as he averaged 24.0 points (on 57.1 percent shooting, including 81.8 percent from three-point range), 7.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds versus Los Angeles in two games.

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.