This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Sunday slates are going to be light for the remainder of the season with the NBA having to compete with the NFL for viewership, and that's a battle they're never going to win. In any case, we'll be watching and looking to make some money in DFS. It's a small player pool to break down with only three games. That leaves the margins extremely thin, but it has me zoned in and ready to go. We're going to take a different approach by recommending a bunch of value plays. That makes it easier on you because you all know to use studs like Trae Young, Bradley Beal, Christian Wood, Gordon Hayward, Fred VanVleet, Jonas Valanciunas and Miles Bridges. Pairing those players with a mixture of these value selection will be the route to go because there's so much chaos with the Charlotte COVID breakout.
Ish Smith, CHA at ATL ($14)
A COVID breakout was bound to happen at some point, and it appears the Hornets are the first major victim. They'll be without LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Jaden McDaniels and Mason Plumlee for this contest. That's the starting backcourt out and it should force Smith into the lead PG position. He's been awesome when given this opportunity in the past averaging 26 Yahoo points across 28 minutes in the 24 starts he's made since 2019. Those were all fill-in spots, and this is undoubtedly one of those. There's also a chance James Bouknight will also start, and he'd be an excellent option if that's the case having averaged 25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals in the G-League.
Garrison Mathews, HOU vs. NOP ($10)
The Rockets have one of the NBA's ugliest rotations, and it's forced Mathews into a monster role. The sharpshooter has scored at least 20 Y! points in five straight contests while playing over 33 minutes a night. Any elite shooter logging 33 minutes is brutal to fade at just $15, especially with Kevin Porter Jr, Jalen Green and Christian Wood all nicked up. The matchup against the Pelicans is also favorable with them sitting 26th in defensive efficiency ratings.
Guard to Avoid
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, NOP at HOU ($16)
We love the talent of NAW, but his relegation to the bench makes him a tough bet for DFS. That has really limited his upside having scored 28 or fewer fantasy points in nine straight appearances. Alexander-Walker actually managed fewer than 25 in all but one, en route to an average of 19. That won't get it done no matter the salary and it's even more problematic with Brandon Ingram's usage on the uptick.
Jae'Sean Tate, HOU vs. NOP ($24)
We just talked about how Porter and Green are out for the Rockets, and it's allowed Tate more ball-handling duties. He's surprisingly thrived in this role averaging 20.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.7 steals over the last three games. That's an absurd 49-point average, making Tate one of the values of the day below $25. Facing a 27th-ranked Pelicans defense only adds to his intrigue as they give up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards.
Herbert Jones, NOP at HOU ($11)
I honestly didn't know much about Jones before last week, but he's established an enormous role in New Orleans. The absence of Zion Williamson has really allowed him to thrive with 24 Y! points per game across 31 minutes a night over his last seven contests. That might not sound like much, but good luck finding that from someone else under $15. Getting to face the Rockets is the icing on the cake as they're ranked 26th in total defense while playing at the NBA's fastest pace.
Forward to Avoid
Chris Boucher, TOR vs. WAS ($10)
Boucher looked in line to be a breakout player this year, but Nick Nurse disagreed. In fact, the head coach decided Boucher needed to be one of the biggest busts in fantasy basketball. The lengthy forward hasn't played more than 14 minutes in five straight while averaging 11 Yahoo points during that stretch. We all know Boucher can produce when given the opportunity, but it's simply not there right now. Facing a Top-10 Washington defense who play a lot of small-ball makes it even more difficult.
Clint Capela, ATL vs. CHA ($30)
Reliability is a tricky thing to overlook on a three-game slate, and there aren't many better bets out there than Capela. The double-double machine has posted at least 26 Yahoo points in 12 of his last 13 games to provide a 40-point average. That alone makes Capela hard to fade on such a short schedule, but this matchup with the Hornets is amazing considering they rank last in points allowed while playing at the third-fastest pace in the league. That blistering pace is perfect for a player like Cap, with the big man running up and down the court and grabbing rebounds with ease.
P.J. Washington, CHA at ATL ($16)
Washington was slow to get going with Mason Plumlee starting at center. But ever since the latter's injury, P.J. has been a stud. He's started at center in three of the last four outings while scoring at least 23 Y! points and at least 26 fantasy in all three starts. That's tough to find from such an affordable player, and Washington should get all the minutes he can handle here to oppose Capela and make up for all of the absences. It's certainly not a tough matchup with Atlanta ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency and Washington averaging 36.3 Yahoo points during their three meetings last year.
Center to Avoid
Montrezl Harrell, WAS at TOR ($24)
Harrell never gets the respect he deserves from coaches. For whatever reason, he gets his playing time limited as the season progresses and we're on that path once again. Harrell has played 25 or fewer minutes in 10 of his last 11 games. He's been productive, but that's impossible to trust with a high salary. What's really scary about this is the matchup with Toronto ranked 29th in pace and 11th in total defense.