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The NBA Yahoo Cup Post Up Presented by BetMGM | Round 18

Eric Lindquist



NBA DFS Daily Fantasy optimal optimizer lineup picks today tonight starting lineups injury report twitter boom/bust tool Jimmy BUtler free expert advice tips strategy

Welcome to Round 18 of the NBA Yahoo Cup! This free, multi-round, single-entry contest runs every Friday throughout the rest of the NBA DFS season. Scoring is cumulative for the year-long points race, with your five lowest scores dropped. At the end of the season, a $50,000 prize pool is shared amongst the top 7,950 competitors, with a whopping $10,000 going to first. But even if you’re late to the game, the top 15 finishers in tonight’s freeroll earn entry to the BetMGM Final Round, where multiple Las Vegas trips will be up for grabs. Click here to get in on the action!

Let’s focus on three plays to slot into your NBA DFS lineups for tonight’s Yahoo Cup contest.

And don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy baseball content, including a FREE daily article series: The Deep Dive, NBA Buildings Blocks and NBA Cheat Sheets for all the major DFS sites.

NBA DFS Pick No. 1: Isaiah Stewart — $12

There is a 10-game slate on tap for tonight, which means the value to target is likely to change many times over leading up to lock. With the amount of injury news that’s been rolling in of late in the Association, it’s a virtual certainty that gamers will be rostering players they never anticipated earlier in the day. Still, no matter what other value opens up, it would be next to impossible for them to project better than Pistons rookie center Isaiah Stewart at just $12.

Both Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant have been ruled out for rest this evening, which means Stewart will get all the run he can possibly handle at the five. According to Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections, Stewart is expected to see around 32 minutes of court time tonight. And considering he averages 0.95 Yahoo fantasy points per minute on the season, that makes him an exceptional value play at the center spot. There are a number of other Pistons that could be rostered this evening, but make Stewart the priority.

NBA DFS Pick No. 2: Jimmy Butler — $42

Most nights, small forward is a position lacking in true top-tier options, and today is no exception. That results in a majority of the field paying down, and there is certainly a case for doing that again tonight with the number of Pistons pieces in play at the position. But consider going a different route with Jimmy Butler tonight instead, who has more to play for tonight than one may think.

With exactly one month to go in the NBA regular season, the Heat are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, a spot which would land them in the play-in tournament. Sitting only a half game back of the Knicks, expect the tandem of Butler and Bam Adebayo to start putting more of the team on their shoulders as they head down the stretch. With a 26.5% usage and 1.35 fantasy points per minute for the year, it would not take much of an extra bump to that production to hit a ceiling performance.

Plus, Butler and Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns butted heads repeatedly in their time as teammates in Minnesota. If there were ever a reason to take a walk down narrative street, this might be it, as there are multiple interviews from both that indicate there is no love lost between the two superstars. But considering the Timberwolves are fourth in pace and fourth worst in defensive efficiency this season, siding with Butler in a superb matchup feels like the way to go.

NBA DFS Pick No. 3: Coby White — $10

Trying to pin down exactly what the Bulls’ plans are for Coby White has been a fool’s errand of late. After a month of receiving mid-20s minutes in his new sixth-man role, he was inexplicably demoted even further to only 12 minutes of run in their loss to the Magic. However, some massive news came down yesterday afternoon that Zach LaVine would be out for the next 10 to 14 days due to health and safety protocols, which should immediately elevate White’s role back to prominence.

White has certainly been unspectacular this season, averaging only 0.85 Yahoo fantasy points per minute and a poor effective field goal percentage of just 49.0%, well below the league average of 53.7%. But the absence of LaVine and his 31.0% usage rate should open up a noticeable number of minutes and shot attempts for White the next few games. Also, Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections currently have White getting rostered at only an 8.8% clip, which is far too low for the potential upside in this minimum-salary play. Fire up White and hope he takes on a huge role sans LaVine.

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