Welcome to the NBA Yahoo Cup Picks for Round 13! This is a free-to-enter, multi-round, single-entry Yahoo NBA DFS contest with 24 rounds where the top 6,950 entries overall and top 540 entries per round share $50,000, with $10,000 to first overall and $100 to first per round. Scoring will be cumulative across all rounds. Your five lowest daily fantasy basketball scores will be dropped, and you can enter at any point, but enter today to give yourself the best chance to compete for the title. Click here to begin the chase!
The focus will be on three players – one guard, one forward, and one center – to be NBA DFS players for the Round 13 NBA Yahoo Cup contest.
NBA Yahoo Cup NBA DFS Picks | Round 13
NBA Fantasy Guard: Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks — $23
This slate is still awaiting some vital news from the Utah Jazz, but one aspect that is known is the state of the Mavericks. They face the Rockets, and Kristaps Porzingis is out and Luka Doncic is doubtful. It would be very surprising if Doncic played, as he has been struggling with little injuries all year. Dallas needs to get him healthy to achieve any of their goals for the year, and that should put Jalen Brunson front and center tonight.
While it is likely to be chalky, there is good chalk to eat, even in the NBA Yahoo Cup. Brunson has the most minutes played without Porzingis and Doncic on the floor this season, and he has a 28.6% usage rate and 1.07 fantasy points per minute. He also clearly leads the team in assist rate (36.6%), and the Rockets are a spectacular matchup. They are third in pace and 29th in defensive rating. On top of that, Brunson should have more opportunity as the pick-and-roll ball handler. Doncic is sixth in frequency in the league, so Brunson should take a lot of those plays. Houston ranks 27th in points per possession allowed, and the salary is still extremely appealing.
In addition to Brunson looking like a great play tonight for Yahoo lineups, the Awesemo projections have him slated for 23.1 points tonight. That makes his points over/under NBA player prop a great bet, which is sitting at over/under 20.5 tonight, and OddsShopper has an expected win rate of 66% when betting the over.
NBA Fantasy Forward: Rudy Gay, Utah Jazz — $12
After Brunson, the most popular players are going to be multiple Utah Jazz players. Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert have all been ruled out already. Rudy Gay, Jordan Clarkson, Royce O’Neal, and Hassan Whiteside are all questionable, so the situation is thin, to say the least. The matchup with the Raptors is mostly neutral, but there will be such a condensed rotation that it may not matter all that much.
Assuming Gay plays and then sits out tomorrow when the Jazz play the Pacers, he is far too cheap at $12 for the NBA Yahoo Cup. Gay has normally played 20 minutes per game on average, but without Gobert in the last game he played 29 minutes and took nine shots. There is no real sample with this many players from Utah off the floor, but Gay has a 19% usage rate and 0.94 fantasy points per minute on the year. Those rates are sure to increase with so many players ruled out, and playing multiple Jazz players in the same lineup is a very strong play tonight. If Gay is ruled out during the day, there will be an update to come.
NBA Fantasy Center: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets — $56
It has almost been forgotten in the craziness of the NBA in the past few weeks, but Nikola Jokic is still playing without Michael Porter Jr. and waiting for Jamal Murray to come back from his ACL injury. Jokic is the entire offense, and without Porter Jr. this season he has a 33.5% usage and 1.78 fantasy points per minute. He continues to have one of the best floor/ceiling combinations in DFS, and tonight’s matchup against the Kings is one of the best Jokic can have.
The Kings play at the ninth-fastest pace in the league and are 27th in defensive rating. Additionally, Jokic is second in the league in post-up points scored per game, and the Kings allow the sixth-highest field goal percentage in that play type. Jokic can also take advantage of the Sacramento frontcourt, as they are 27th in rebounds allowed in the paint, so Jokic is well worth his salary in the NBA Yahoo Cup tonight.