Yahoo DFS Basketball: Sunday Picks


How are awesome the NBA Playoffs? This is one of the greatest times of the year, and we’re getting into the good stuff with these series. We’re looking at our first elimination game of the postseason, and we have three other Game 4s. That means all of these series will swing drastically, which should lead to one of the best days of basketball we’ve had all year. The oddsmakers agree, making all four matchups with spreads under five points. With that in mind, let’s get started with the best point guard of our generation…

Guards

Chris PaulPHX at NOP ($38)

CP3 has earned the nickname The Point God because he’s simply one of the all-time greatest point guards. What makes him so enticing here is that he has to step up in the absence of Devin Booker. He’s got a 24 percent usage rate with Book off the floor while averaging 1.3 Yahoo points per minute. That usage rate is lower than expected, but it should creep closer to 30 in such an important game. The fantasy production speaks loudly with Paul scoring 57 fantasy points in the first game without DB. That’s far from surprising when you see his 40-point average for the season, and that appears to be his floor in this expanded role.

Jrue HolidayMIL at CHI ($35)

Holiday is in the same boat as CP3. He’ll be asked to do more in the absence of Khris Middleton, and he’s plenty capable of carrying that load. Jrue has scored at least 35 Yahoo points in each of the last eight games that Middleton has missed while generating a 43-point average over that span. That’s brilliant from a player in this salary range, and we certainly don’t mind that Chicago ranked 24th in total defense during the regular season.

Guard to Avoid

Tray Young, ATL vs. MIA ($43)

We had Young in this section last weekend, and he treated us with one of the worst shooting performances of his career. I’m certainly not a Trae hater, but this is simply a terrible matchup. In his seven matchups with Miami this season, he’s averaging 34 Yahoo points. Young hasn’t cracked 46 fantasy points in any of those, and that’s the minimum you need from such a high-value player. It’s no surprise when you see Miami is a Top-10 defense in every metric, and they’re doing everything possible to make sure Young isn’t the one who beats them.

Forwards

Patrick WilliamsCHI vs. MIL ($13)

Let’s keep the salary-savers going with Williams. This sophomore has been starting for two weeks averaging 25 Yahoo points per game across 31 minutes a night over his last nine. He had a dud in the Game 3 defeat, but we’re encouraged that he took nine shots and logged 30 minutes. As long as he does that, Pat-Will should be closer to $20. The simple fact is, we have so many studs we need to pay up that we feel it’s the optimal strategy to save at forward and pay up at guard and center.

Max StrusMIA at ATL ($13)

Strus has usurped Duncan Robinson as the go-to shooter in this rotation, making him a fantastic value despite being guard-eligible for some reason. He’s started each of the last nine games while averaging 22 Yahoo points per game across 26 minutes a night. That might not sound like much, but it’s all you can hope for from such an affordable player. Getting to play this atrocious Atlanta defense only adds to Strus’s value, with the Hawks ranked 26th in defensive efficiency in the regular season.

Forward to Avoid

Aaron Gordon, DEN vs. GSW ($20)

It’s been an embarrassing series for Denver, and Gordon is sadly one of the primary reasons having scored 19 or fewer fantasy points in two of the three. That’s far from shocking when you realize Golden State is Top-3 in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. AG has proven that all season by averaging only 24 fantasy points in their six meetings.

Centers

Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. GSW ($58)

The Joker is always the best play on every slate. The big man is well on his way to his second straight MVP while leading the NBA with 60 Yahoo points per game. His consistency is what’s truly incredible having produced at least 40 fantasy points in all but one outing. Jokic has had some of his best numbers against the Warriors averaging 28.6 points, 14.6 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.9 blocks during their seven matchups this season. Those are video game-like numbers, and you know he’ll be at full tilt with Denver playing an elimination game at home.

Brook LopezMIL at CHI ($15)

Why is Bro-Lo still so undervalued? He’s a $25 player when he’s on his game, and he’s been playing like that for weeks. Lopez had his minutes restriction lifted two weeks ago and is averaging 30 Yahoo points across 27 minutes a night over his last seven outings. That’s unbelievable from a sub-$20 player, especially since Lopez is averaging 33 fantasy points per game in his five matchups with the Bulls this year. His only lull during that most recent stretch was the Game 3 blowout, and that’s simply a case of the big man not getting enough run in a meaningless fourth quarter. That shouldn’t be the case in what’s expected to be a tight Game 4.

Center to Avoid

Bam AdebayoMIA at ATL ($31)

Big Bam is my favorite player in the league, but he simply doesn’t look right in this series. What’s really fallen off is his offensive role averaging 8.5 shots and 4.3 assists per game. Those numbers tell us that he’s not even a Top-3 option right now, and it’s tough to trust a fantasy player when you need him to provide value through defense alone. That’s led to Adebayo scoring 21 or fewer fantasy points in two of the last three games. That’s a nightmarish floor from such an expansive player, and it’d be wise to pay up for Jokic or Deandre Ayton instead.



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