The race for the BetMGM NBA Yahoo Cup is fast approaching the midway point. The multi-round, single-entry contest that runs nearly every Friday throughout the NBA DFS season tips off Round 11 of 23 tonight. 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 among 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 in tonight’s freeroll earn entry to the Final Round, where multiple Las Vegas trips will be up for grabs. Click here to get in on the action!
Let’s home in on three plays to slot into your NBA DFS lineups for tonight’s NBA Yahoo Cup contest.
NBA DFS Pick No. 1: Isaiah Roby — $13
One of my favorite parts about playing at Yahoo is the tight salary cap, making for fewer easy plug-and-play compared to the other sites. It requires you to really go scraping at the bottom of the barrel in order to afford the top-tier studs on any given slate. And while there are a number of $10 options that could emerge later on the day, at this given moment it’s a bit bleak at the bottom end.
Well, besides nearly the entire Oklahoma City roster, that is. With Al Horford ruled out for rest, there are a lot of options we can take some shots on from this Thunder team. Isaiah Roby stands out as best of the bunch, assuming he starts. His rates are identical with Horford on-or-off the floor this season, but that’s of no concern considering the massive court-time boost he receives in Horford’s absence. Roby also produces a fantasy point per minute, making him leap off the page even further. I expect him to be rostered with some frequency tonight, but locking in Roby and differentiating elsewhere feels like the optimal way to go with your Yahoo Cup lineup.
NBA DFS Pick No. 2: LaMelo Ball — $37
It feels strange to be prioritizing LaMelo Ball at $37 on a slate of this size, but that’s what a date in Golden State can do for a point guard. As good as Stephen Curry is on the offensive end, he’s far from a stand-out individual defender. The Warriors give up the ninth-most fantasy points to the point guard position on the season, and in a game with the highest total on the slate by 6 points (233.5), I’m expecting big things from Ball tonight.
The Hornets rookie has been a revelation from a real-life and fantasy basketball perspective this season. Averaging 1.22 Yahoo points per minute by filling up the box score in a myriad of ways, Ball’s versatility makes him a high-floor, high-ceiling option. He also gets a slight boost with Devonte’ Graham off the floor this season, not that he needs it, averaging a well-rounded 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists on the year. There are going to be much more popular plays around his salary on this slate — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and De’Aaron Fox, to name a few — but Ball remains my preferred option in that range.
NBA DFS Pick No. 3: Clint Capela — $35
This is as ugly as I can recall the center position looking on a slate in quite some time. On the bright side, that should spread out who people decide to roster, allowing us to play our top option without much care. Clint Capela is that guy for me, as a date with the Horford-less Thunder should create ample opportunity for him to crush at this salary.
Capela averages a ridiculous 1.36 Yahoo points per minute this season and now draws a dreamy matchup against an undersized frontcourt consisting of Isaiah Roby and Mike Muscala. If there were ever a spot for the Hawks to extend Capela’s minutes and let him wreak havoc down low, this is the one. While box-score watchers will see 21 minutes last game out against the Celtics and shy away, it was a complete blowout where his service weren’t required for nearly the entire second half. I think Capela makes for a sneaky-good runback option with the plethora of popular Thunder pieces on this slate, making him my favorite play for Round 11 of the Yahoo Cup.
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