Welcome to Round 20 of the NBA Yahoo Cup! This free, multi-round, single-entry contest runs every Friday for 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 this your first time playing in the competition, the top 15 finishers in tonight’s freeroll contest earn entry to the BetMGM Final Round, where multiple Las Vegas trips can be won. Click here to get in on the action!
Let’s focus on three players to utilize in your NBA DFS lineups for tonight’s Yahoo Cup contest.
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NBA DFS Pick No. 1: Khris Middleton — $30
Yahoo’s seven-game main slate tips off at 7:30 p.m. EST, but it might be fair to say tonight actually begins as soon as there’s official word on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s status. Antetokounmpo turned his ankle in the first minute of Thursday’s matchup against the Rockets and now is very much expected to miss the second half of the Bucks’ back-to-back against the Bulls. Should he somehow play, gamers can essentially write-off this team entirely.
But should Antetokounmpo sit, Khris Middleton becomes one of the best plays on the board. In 717 minutes with Antetokounmpo off the floor this season, Middleton sees his usage jumps from 24.9% all the way up to 31.4%, giving him 1.32 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. Those spikes make Middleton a glorified stud at a discounted salary of $30, easily allowing gamers to fit one or two more top-tier options into NBA Yahoo Cup lineups.
NBA DFS Pick No. 2: Anthony Davis — $31
Speaking of studs at discounted salaries, there is no one that sticks out on the Yahoo board quite like Anthony Davis. According to Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections, created and used daily by the No. 1 DFS player in the world Alex Baker, Davis is projected to appear in over half of the lineups in play tonight at 54%. But despite being the most rostered player on the slate, the $31 salary is simply too good to pass up.
This will be Davis’ fifth game back since his two-month absence due to a calf strain. His minutes are starting to get ramped up as he acclimates himself back into game shape, as he’s now seen 31 minutes of court time in back-to-back outings. Considering the production is also starting to trend upwards, evidenced by 47 Yahoo fantasy points his last time out against the Wizards, now is the time to invest in Davis before his salary surges back to the $50 range where he belongs.
NBA DFS Pick No. 3: Mohamed Bamba — $14
Center is a precarious position on tonight’s slate, as there is no one garnering much attention at the position besides Nikola Vucevic. But considering his hefty $39 salary, center might be a good spot to pay down and hunt upside in some other spots. That is where Mohamed Bamba comes in, and he could be a sneaky play on tonight’s slate at just $14.
The Orlando Magic are a very, very bad basketball team. They are currently 12.5-point underdogs to an average Grizzlies squad sitting right around .500, which goes to show how far they have fallen since parting ways with Vucevic and Aaron Gordon. And while new acquisition Wendell Carter Jr. has performed decently well in the starting center role, Bamba has averaged an elite rate of 1.25 Yahoo points per minute on the season as a reserve. He is locked into around 22 minutes on a nightly basis, but in recent blowouts those minutes have been lifted into the mid-20s. Should the Magic get run out of the gym tonight, Bamba has the potential to be a quality differentiating piece.
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