This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
We have our customary quiet night in the NBA on Thursday with just four games on the schedule. The good news is that there will be no shortage of star power with the Celtics, Heat, Blazers and Clippers all in action. Let's take a look across the price scale at some of the top players to consider, as well as a few to avoid, on Yahoo.
Kemba Walker, BOS at CHA ($38): One of the biggest story lines of the night will be Walker making his return to Charlotte, where he played the first eight seasons of his career. He's wasted no time making an impact with his new team, averaging 26 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and one steal. With his 30.4 percent usage rate, he's going to have a high floor more often than not. He won't destroy your budget at this price, either, making him a very appealing option.
Dennis Schroder, OKC at SA ($19): Schroder has mostly come off the bench since joining the Thunder prior to last season, but that hasn't stopped him from receiving significant playing time. He's averaged 29 minutes per contest this season and his 24.8 percent usage rate ranks second on the team behind only Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (25.2 percent). That's helped him score at least 35.8 Yahoo points in three of his last five contests, making him at least worth considering at this price.
Guard to Avoid
Justise Winslow, MIA at PHO ($22): Winslow came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, averaging 19 points, 9.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists, one steal and one block across the Heat's first three games. However, that was when Jimmy Butler was away from the team for the birth of his child. Over the two games that he has played with Butler, Winslow has averaged six points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal. He won't be required to log as many minutes or jack up as many shots with Butler back in the fold, so keep him out of your entry.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC vs. POR ($48): The Clippers are playing the second leg of their back-to-back set, but Leonard will be fresh since he sat out Wednesday for load management. As frustrating as him sitting out might be for those in season-long formats, it's of no concern in the world of DFS. If anything, it just means the team will ask even more of him since the rest of the team just played the previous day. With at least 51.7 Yahoo points in four straight games, it will be tough to fade Leonard for this slate.
Mario Hezonja, POR at LAC ($11): The Blazers received some disappointing news earlier in the week when it was determined that Zach Collins (shoulder) would be out for at least four months. Anthony Tolliver has started in his absence, but Hezonja has also taken on an expanded role off the bench. Even though his ceiling would likely be higher if he started, he's still scored at least 20 Yahoo points in four of his last five contests. If you're going with a stars and scrubs approach, Hezonja is a key cheap option to target.
Forward to Avoid
Miles Bridges, CHA vs. BOS ($18): The good news for Bridges is that he has seen his playing time increase from 21 minutes a game last season to 34 minutes a night this year. However, he's largely disappointed by scoring 25.8 Yahoo points or fewer in six of seven games. His usage rate is still only 17.4 percent and now he'll be faced with a tough matchup against the Celtics, so it's difficult to justify adding him to your lineup.
Steven Adams, OKC at SA ($19): With all of the elite centers absent from this slate, it might be best to save some money at the position and spend elsewhere. Adams isn't overly cheap, but he's still a viable option. He's coming off of his first double-double of the season Tuesday against the Magic and has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in each of the five games that he's played in. Despite his lack of scoring opportunities, he should at least be a threat to record a double-double.
Aron Baynes, PHO vs. MIA ($15): While Adams might be able to provide value, Baynes is arguably the safer option. I didn't expect to be saying that at any point this season. He's stepped up with Deandre Ayton suspended, scoring at least 30.4 Yahoo points in four of his last five games. Even though the Heat are a good defensive team, Baynes has a chance to be one of the best value plays at any position.
Center to Avoid
LaMarcus Aldridge, SA vs. OKC ($31): If you want to load up with the likes of Walker and Leonard, then staying away from Aldridge could be key for your budget. He's had a couple of rough performances lately, scoring 21 Yahoo points or fewer in two of his last four games. Not only is his usage rate down at 22.3 percent, but he's also shooting an uncharacteristically low 44.2 percent from the field. The Thunder have allowed the third-fewest points per game (100.7) in the league, so this might not be the right matchup for Aldridge to get back on track.