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NBA Yahoo Cup Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for Round 21

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NBA daily fantasy projections and free expert NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings and FanDuel

Welcome to the Yahoo Cup NBA DFS Picks for Round 21! The NBA slate features 10 games tonight, but the Yahoo Cup has a nine-game slate that starts at 7:30 p.m. ET as opposed to 7. This contest has trimmed off the Minnesota Timberwolves visiting the Orlando Magic, but it does feature the most popular game on the slate tonight.

The Yahoo Cup is a free-to-enter, multi-round, single-entry Yahoo fantasy basketball 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. Make your Yahoo NBA DFS picks today and begin the chase!

The focus will be on three players — one guard, one forward, and one center — for NBA DFS picks for the Round 21 NBA Yahoo Cup contest.

Yahoo Cup Fantasy Basketball & NBA DFS Picks | Round 21

Best NBA Fantasy Guard: Devonte’ Graham, New Orleans Pelicans — $11

Injuries and health protocols have sidelined two of the best players for the New Orleans Pelicans tonight in Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum. That leaves a very significant void in the offense, and Devonte’ Graham will not be the only Pelican featured today in the article. He will almost certainly be very popular, even in a large-field tournament like the Yahoo Cup, but it is hard to get away from his salary savings and new role. The Pelicans have been without Ingram for the past two games, and Graham has played 24 and 29 minutes, with the former game being a blowout.

Considering both of those games were played with McCollum, Graham should be nearly locked into 30 minutes or more tonight, and he has scored 20.1 and 24.6 Yahoo points in those games. Since the Pelicans have added McCollum in February, Graham only has a 32-minute sample size with both McCollum and Ingram off the floor, but the returns are encouraging. He has had 0.76 Yahoo points per minute with a usage rate of around 18%, and while those are not staggering numbers, he only costs $11. Facing the Charlotte Hornets should bring one of the best game environments in the NBA since they are top five in pace and bottom eight in defense. There simply are not many players on a given slate that are near the minimum salary and have 30-Yahoo-point upside like Graham appears to have tonight.

Best NBA Fantasy Forward: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers — $54

Building any lineup regardless of contest size is a puzzle, and it is easy to consider Graham and LeBron James pieces that join together. Since Graham is so cheap, he opens other spend-up positions of a lineup, and James is one of the best options on the entire slate. The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be mired in a long streak of subpar play, but James has shown up for fantasy in these past two games, with over 60 Yahoo points. He is close to the entire offense right now since Russell Westbrook is volatile at best, and on the season James has a 33.2% usage rate and 1.49 Yahoo points per minute when Anthony Davis is off the floor.

Not only are the Lakers 2-8 in their last 10, but they are also stacking up embarrassing losses like the last game, when they dropped an overtime contest to the lowly Houston Rockets. Los Angeles holds a slim 1.5-game lead on the Pelicans for the ninth seed in the Western Conference, and falling to 10th makes their road that much harder. The Washington Wizards are just 24th in defensive rating this year, and roughly 41.5% of field goal attempts from James have come within five feet of the basket this season. Washington is just 25th in points allowed in the paint, and they are 25th in rebounding. This is a strong spot for James, and the Lakers need every game down the stretch.

In addition to James being a great tournament play in Yahoo fantasy basketball formats, the Awesemo NBA projections have him slated for 2.9 3-pointers made. His NBA player prop for 3-pointers is a great bet, which is sitting at over/under 2.5, and OddsShopper has an expected win rate of 56% when betting the over.

Best NBA Fantasy Center: Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans — $29

The fact that Jonas Valanciunas is under $30 tonight is a steal since he is going to be the focal point of the Pelicans. Now, it is unfair to use his usage rate and Yahoo points per minute since McCollum has been on the team. Valanciunas has only played 9.5 minutes without both McCollum and Ingram, which is not a huge surprise. It is encouraging to see a 37.2% usage rate and 1.18 Yahoo points per minute, but that usage rate likely is not sustainable. However, Valanciunas is not breaking the bank for salary, and talented big men have simply tormented the Hornets this entire season. They rank 29th in rebounds and points allowed in the paint in addition to playing at the pace that was mentioned with Graham.

Valanciunas is in the top four in rebounding chances per game this season — 19.9 with a 57.7% conversion rate — to go along with ranking inside the top 10 in paint touches and points scored. On top of everything else going for Valanciunas tonight, he ranks third in points and field goal attempts from post-ups. The Hornets are in the bottom 10 in points allowed and field goal percentage allowed in that play type, and the Pelicans should be able to throw it into the paint for Valanciunas whenever they want tonight. The Pelicans duo and James leaves lot of flexibility for any build, with $21 left per position.

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