Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

After a limited slate Wednesday, we're looking at a busy Thursday with seven games on the NBA schedule. Injuries and teams resting players will make things a little unsettled, but that also means there are situations to exploit for DFS purposes. Here are some players to target on Yahoo, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

GUARDS

Damian Lillard, POR at BKN ($51): Lillard is playing out of his mind right now. With the Blazers trying to fight for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, he has averaged 37.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 1.3 steals in Orlando. The Nets are an injury-depleted team that has already sewn up their spot in the playoffs, so expect them to provide little resistance for Lillard in this matchup.

Markelle Fultz, ORL vs. NO ($17): The Magic won't have many players available to them in this game with Evan Fournier (illness), Aaron Gordon (hamstring), Terrence Ross (not injury related) and Michael Carter-Williams (foot) all ruled out. That means that even if Fultz still sees somewhat limited playing time, he should receive all of the scoring attempts that he can handle. Case in point, he scored 18 points across 22 minutes in their last game against the Nets. The Pelicans are also resting most of their key veterans, so Fultz could do a number on their backups.

Guard to Avoid

Eric Bledsoe, MIL at MEM ($20): Don't be surprised if we don't see much of Bledsoe in this contest. The Bucks have nothing left to play for and will already be without Giannis Antetokounmpo because of a one-game suspension. Keeping Bledsoe healthy for the playoffs could be key, so this might be one of those games in which he starts, but we don't seem him take the floor again after halftime.

FORWARDS

Carmelo Anthony, POR at BKN ($21): While Lillard might be grabbing all of the headlines, Anthony has quietly been a very important part of the Blazers' recent run of success. He's getting a ton of playing time, logging at least 34 minutes in six of their seven games in Orlando. He's made the most of his opportunities, scoring at least 31.4 Yahoo points in four of his last five contests.

James Ennis III, ORL vs. NO ($10): The backups-bonanza game could produce a few valuable players at the minimum salary. The Magic might not have a lot of talented scorers left, but the Pelicans are tied for the 10th-worst defensive rating in the league. Ennis has already scored at least 20.2 Yahoo points in five straight contests, so he could prove to be productive in this matchup.

Forward to Avoid

Khris Middleton, MIL at MEM ($30): Middleton had the day off Tuesday in what was the second game of a back-to-back set for the Bucks. Before that, he logged only 25 minutes in an eight-point loss to the Raptors. Like Bledsoe, we could see Middleton play limited minutes in this contest, if he takes the floor at all.

CENTERS

Jusuf Nurkic, POR at BKN ($38): The Blazers are going to be a really dangerous team if they make the playoffs. As good as Hassan Whiteside was during the regular season, Nurkic has been downright dominant since returning to the team. He's jumped right back into the starting center job, averaging 17 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.3 blocks. The Nets have allowed the 10th-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers this season, leaving Nurkic with the potential for another juicy state line.

Jahlil Okafor, NO at ORL ($15): It might be easier to list who will be available to the Pelicans in this game rather than everyone who has already been ruled out. With regards to Okafor, the key player who is set to sit is Zion Williamson. Derrick Favors hasn't officially been ruled out for rest, but he didn't play in their last game against the Kings on Tuesday despite not being ruled out prior to tip off, so we might not see him again here. Okafor logged 26 minutes in that matchup, scoring 32.3 Yahoo points. He's been productive when given added playing time, averaging 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 blocks across nine games in which he has logged at least 20 minutes this season.

Center to Avoid

Brook Lopez, MIL at MEM ($21): Lopez is a crucial part of the Bucks' success given his ability to block shots and stretch the floor. However, his value to the team doesn't necessarily translate well in fantasy since he's only averaging 11.9 points and 4.5 rebounds. With the potential for him to see limited minutes in this game, it might be best to keep him out of your lineup.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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