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NBA Yahoo Cup Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for Round 9

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Welcome to the NBA Yahoo Cup Picks for Round 9! This is a free-to-enter, multi-round, single-entry 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 9 NBA Yahoo Cup contest.

NBA Yahoo Cup Fantasy Basketball Picks | Round 9

NBA DFS Guard: Dennis Schroder, Boston Celtics — $23

The Boston Celtics face one of the best teams in the league this year in the Phoenix Suns, and it will be a tough challenge. It will be even tougher since Jaylen Brown remains out, and without him this season Schroder has a 25.6% usage rate and 0.88 fantasy points per minute. The Suns are second in defensive rating this season, but they also play at the fourth-highest pace in the league. That is a big boost for Schroder; the Celtics are 20th in pace, so it is a good pace-up spot.

Another factor is Jayson Tatum will be defended by Mikal Bridges for a large portion of the game. Bridges is one of the early frontrunners for Defensive Player of the Year, and that could lead to more shot attempts for Schroder. The Suns are also just 15th in points allowed in the paint, and Schroder drives to the basket 15 times per game, tied for 12th in the league. That has translated to the 10th-most points from a drive at 8.8, and he is still a value for Yahoo salaries without Brown on the court.

Update – Schroder has been labeled as a game-time decision tonight and considering that game is out West, he has some strong risk attached to playing him now. Consider instead Cameron Payne for the Suns. He is the minimum salary and it’s easy to spread the savings across other positions. Without Devin Booker, Payne has his usage increase by 3.5% and he’s relied upon for more offensive punch off the bench. Boston is ranked ninth in defensive rating but Payne seeing minutes against their second unit players is a big boost. His minutes are more stable around 20-22 without Booker as well, making him a strong points per dollar play.

NBA DFS Forward: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers — $43

It has to be noted that the Los Angeles Lakers are in a back-to-back situation, and this will be the third game in four days for them. Still, LeBron James has missed time already this year, and as of this writing there is no indication of a Lakers player sitting out. They face the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Lakers are only 5-point favorites. James is just $43 on Yahoo tonight, and that is only the sixth-most expensive player on the slate. Anytime that is the case it is very notable, and he is the star player to take the NBA Yahoo Cup lineup to the top of the standings.

James has a 30.2% usage rate, a 29.8% assist rate and 1.24 fantasy points per minute this year. His blocks and steals upside is even more tangible on Yahoo since they are worth 3 points each, and he is in the top 15 in points scored in isolation this year. James is also second in points scored in transition and is shooting 67.3% on those chances. The Thunder have managed to hold opposing teams to a 49.5% field goal rate (fifth best in the league), but James will challenge that mark tonight.

Update – James has been listed as probable but his teammate Anthony Davis has been listed as questionable. If Davis sits, James shoots up to 1.33 fantasy points per minute across his 162-minute sample this season.

NBA DFS Center: Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns — $28

Playing this trio in the NBA Yahoo Cup leaves $21 per player to fill out the other five slots in the lineup, and getting more exposure to the Boston – Phoenix game is a smart move. Deandre Ayton continues to have a very strong season, and the Suns are also still without Devin Booker. Ayton’s usage creeps up 1 point to 22.6%, and he should be a force in the paint tonight. He leads the league in points scored in the paint (13.1), and he also has the seventh-most rebound chances per game in the league. Boston is just 21st in rebounds allowed in the paint, and they are struggling to defend a particular play type.

Only one team has faced the roll man in the pick-and-roll less frequently than Boston this year. The Celtics are only giving up 5.9 points per game, but they allow a 53% field goal rate, which is bottom 10. They also are bottom 10 in points per possession, so the more they face a roll man, the more points they will give up. Ayton is third in the league in points scored as the roll man, and guard Chris Paul runs the pick-and-roll at the second-highest frequency in basketball. Ayton is going to have a ton of opportunities in the pick-and-roll game and has a great spot to stack up a ton of rebounds.

Update – Ayton has been labeled questionable with an illness on the afternoon NBA Injury Report. A very strong pivot for just $2 more is Jarrett Allen of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is second in the league in paint points scored behind Ayton at 12.5 and he leads in paint touches. Allen is also sixth in rebound chances per game and the Minnesota Timberwolves are 27th in paint rebounds allowed and 23rd in paint points allowed. Allen has 1.15 fantasy points per minute on the year and is logging over 33 minutes per game for the Cavaliers.

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