This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
After a monster card on Saturday, we only have four games Sunday. We actually get three on the main slate, and it's clear the NBA doesn't want to compete with the NFL for viewership. In any case, there are still plenty of DFS contests and it's a good day to capitalize on some of the smaller prize pools. With that in mind, let's kick things off with my favorite guard on the slate.
Darius Garland, CLE vs. LAC ($38)
It would be hard to imagine Donovan Mitchell suiting up here after the fall he took a few days ago, and that means Garland should be doing everything for Cleveland. He's played nine games without Mitchell this year while averaging over 40 Yahoo points. Garland's notched 54 and 60 Y! in the two most recent matchups Mitchell has missed and dropped a career-high 69 without him earlier in the year. The usage has skyrocketed with Mitchell out, and it really doesn't matter who DG faces in this expanded role.
T.J. McConnell, IND at MEM ($31)
It's been awesome watching McConnell take over the Indiana offense in the absence of Tyrese Haliburton. That's earned him the starting point guard job while scoring at least 35 Yahoo points in seven of his last 10 games. That's no surprise with the way T.J. stuffs the stat sheet by averaging 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.8 steals during that span. He's doing that damage in fewer than 30 minutes a night, and we're not worried about him facing a Memphis team amid a five-game losing streak.
Guard to Avoid
Brandon Ingram, NOP at MIL ($29)
Ingram's an incredible player, but we have to assume he'll be limited here. He shot 4-for-18 from the field in his return to action while logging just 26 minutes. It's going to take some time for Ingram to get back in rhythm, and it's possible he's limited even more here in the second half of a back-to-back. The matchup with the Bucks is daunting as they're ranked fourth in defensive efficiency and sixth in points allowed.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. NOP ($54)
With only three games on the docket, it's going to be tough to fade The Greek Freak. He's one of the safest options in DFS having posted at least 35 Yahoo points in all but one game this year. That's why he's averaging nearly 55 fantasy points and dropped 67 Y! in his most recent outing. New Orleans isn't a great matchup, but Giannis has managed at least 56 Y! across five straight head-to-heads while generating a 62-point average.
Jaren Jackson Jr, MEM vs. IND ($31)
It can be frustrating watching Jackson at times because there are external factors keeping him from becoming a fantasy stud. His role is the biggest issue since he averages 36 Yahoo points across only 26 minutes a night. It's hard to understand why such a talented kid is being held back, but we have to assume he'll be up over 35 minutes with Steven Adams out the next month. That also means JJJ's rebounds should rise, which is his only other weakness. Facing the Pacers is incredible since they sit 24th in points allowed and 25th in defensive efficiency.
Forward to Avoid
Kawhi Leonard, LAC at CLE ($39)
Nothing about Leonard's recent form will say to fade him, but this is an easy one to understand. His injury status has been one of the most talked about items in the NBA over the last three years, and it's forced him to sit almost every back-to-back. That's scary because we're in the second half of a B2B on Sunday, and it's unlikely Kawhi even plays. Facing the Cavs is concerning even if he can go since they're ranked second in defensive efficiency while surrendering the fewest points.
Jarrett Allen, CLE vs. LAC ($24)
Allen has been one of the best centers in the East this season, and it's hard to understand why he's still around $25. He's dropped at least 26 Yahoo points in 15 of the last 16 games he's finished while averaging 35 in those outings. Allen's doing that damage with limited usage, and we have to assume his shot attempts will rise with Mitchell expected to miss out. Facing the Clippers can be daunting, but they allow the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. In their matchup back in November, Allen amassed 10 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks en route to 47 Yahoo points.
Brandon Clarke, MEM vs. IND ($16)
This is one of the easiest plays on this slate. Clarke has always been an elite per-minute producer, and it looks like he's locked into a 30-minute starting role with Adams out for the foreseeable future. That's led to him recording 32 Yahoo points in back-to-back appearances since Adams went down. You can't ask for any more from such an affordable player, and it doesn't even take into consideration that Indiana gives up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. Clarke should be a $25 player in this sort of role and offers the ability to be up at $30 in this matchup.
Center to Avoid
Ivica Zubac, LAC at CLE ($19)
There aren't many centers we want to fade on Sunday, but Zubac is an easy choice when diving into his recent form having scored 22 or fewer fantasy points in 10 of his last 14 games while failing to crack 16 in seven. That's a frightening floor, but it's far from shocking when you see Zoo is barely cracking 20 minutes in many of those. The Clippers like to run small, and it would be hard to imagine him having a good game against the NBA's best defense.