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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, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

Sunday offers a typically abbreviated four-game slate in which the majority of value lies in the mid-tier and below, as only LeBron James is priced above $20K. That leaves plenty of flexibility for the rest of your lineup, so without further ado, let’s examine how to best make use of your dollars:


Premium Option

Victor Oladipo, IND at BKN ($17,400): Oladipo is averaging an impressive 42.8 fantasy points per game, a figure that’s partly comprised of tallies of between 45.50 and 71.75 fantasy points in four of his last five contests. He’s also averaging career highs across the stat sheet through his first 28 games in Indiana, including in shot attempts, which are up to 18.6 per game. With the offense running through him, he’ll be in an excellent spot Sunday versus a Nets squad that’s allowed the sixth-most fantasy points (52.3), third-most points (29.5), third-most rebounds (8.1) and second-most steals (2.5) to shooting guards on the season.


Bradley Beal, WAS vs. CLE ($15,900): Beal has scored no fewer than 36.00 and as many as 59.25 fantasy points in his last six games, including tallies of 36.50 and 47.75 in his last two contests despite the return of John Wall from a knee injury. He’s posting a 31.4 percent usage rate and 1.15 fantasy points per minute during that stretch, and his matchup Sunday could leave him poised for more of the same. The Cavaliers come in allowing the second-most fantasy points (53.8) to two-guards, along with the sixth-most points (28.8), fourth-most rebounds (7.8), most assists (7.3) and second-most made three-pointers (4.4) to the position.


Luke Kennard, DET vs. ORL ($7,000): Avery Bradley appears to be heading toward a game-time decision with the groin injury that already cost him Friday’s game versus the Pacers, meaning that Kennard could receive another start. The 2017 first-round pick acquitted himself well in that contest, compiling 23.75 fantasy points in just 18 minutes. He’ll draw a favorable matchup again Sunday, as the Magic have allowed the third-most fantasy points (61.1) to shooting guards over the last five games, a notably higher figure than the 52.5 they’ve surrendered to the position on the season. They’re also allowing the third-highest shooting percentage (45.0) to twos, and Kennard doesn’t need an overly explosive output to provide a strong return on his bargain price.



LeBron James, CLE at WAS ($21,900): James tore through the Wizards for 57 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks across 43 minutes on Nov. 3, and Washington continues to be highly susceptible to small forwards. They’ve allowed the eighth-most fantasy points (42.4) and sixth-highest shooting percentage (45.0) to threes, while James has scored between 60.00 and 72.75 in the last five games on the strength of two double-doubles and two triple-doubles.


Nikola Vucevic, ORL at DET ($17,500): Vucevic has taken his play to another level this month, as he’s scored between 46.00 and 70.25 fantasy points in the last five games, and also posted 59.00 fantasy points in another December contest prior to that stretch. The Pistons have allowed 37.6 fantasy points per game to centers, and Vucevic has had success versus this same Detroit frontcourt before, averaging 14.3 points (on 49.1 percent shooting), 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals across 27.0 minutes in four games against them last season.


Jahlil Okafor, BKN vs. IND ($7,400): Okafor made his Nets debut Friday, scoring 16.00 fantasy points over 22 minutes. He’s bound for at least a slight bump in minutes Sunday and draws the most favorable fantasy matchup for centers to boot. The Pacers have allowed the most fantasy points on the season (43.8) to fives, including the most over the last 10 (50.0). They’re also allowing the most points, (19.0) fourth-most rebounds (12.0), most blocks (2.1) and second-highest shooting percentage (58.0) to the position, giving Okafor plenty of paths with which to pay off his very reasonable price.


Myles Turner, IND at BKN ($12,500): On the other side of the court from Okafor, Turner finds himself in an appealing spot as well. The Nets have been vulnerable down low all season irrespective of who’s manned the center position for them, as they’ve allowed 37.4 fantasy points per game to fives. Okafor has not been renowned for his defense by any stretch during his brief time as a pro, and Turner has scored between 34.75 and 45.50 fantasy points in four of his last five games while averaging just over a fantasy point per minute on the floor during that stretch.

Serge Ibaka, TOR vs. SAC ($12,000): Ibaka hasn’t scored fewer than 30.50 fantasy points in six straight games while shooting a blistering 56.8 percent during that stretch. The veteran big man should have his fair share of opportunities Sunday versus a Kings squad that’s allowed the most fantasy points to power forwards (49.9) on the season, including 56.5 over the last five games. They’ve also yielded the most points (24.7), rebounds (12.7) and made three-pointers (2.5) to the position on the campaign, while Ibaka is shooting 54.8 percent from three-point range on an average of 5.2 attempts from behind the arc over the aforementioned six-game sample.

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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. 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.