Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Thursday brings a quiet night in the NBA with only three games on the schedule. However, there is still money to be won on Yahoo. Here are some players to consider targeting for your lineup, as well as a few to potentially avoid.

GUARDS

Damian Lillard, POR vs. DAL ($46): Lillard went off against the Warriors on Monday, scoring 61 points on 37 shot attempts. He also chipped in 10 rebounds and seven assists on his way to 84.5 Yahoo points. The Blazers needed him to be extra aggressive offensively with C.J. McCollum (ankle) out. McCollum didn't practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable for this contest, so if he sits again, Lillard's upside would be off the charts.

Collin Sexton, CLE vs. WAS ($23): Sexton's main forte is his ability to score, which has resulted in him averaging 19.1 points a game this season. He does little elsewhere, though, considering his averages of 3.3 rebounds. 2.4 assists and 0.9 steals. Still, facing a Wizards team that has allowed the most points per game in the league makes him an intriguing mid-tier option during such a limited slate.

Guard to Avoid

Jordan McRae, WAS at CLE ($24): While McRae's 34 minutes against the Heat on Wednesday might look encouraging, it's important to remember that the game went into overtime. Before that, he had logged 25 minutes or fewer in four straight contests. His playing time should remain somewhat limited with the Wizards finally getting healthy, making him an awfully risky option at this price.

FORWARDS

Kristaps Porzingis, DAL at POR ($34): The Mavericks suffered a tough blow Tuesday against the Clippers when Dwight Powell ruptured his Achilles. While his stats don't exactly jump off the page, Powell was averaging a career-high 27 minutes a night and was one of their key rebounders. Although the Mavericks likely won't move Porzingis over to center, they may ask him to do some extra work on the boards. Facing a Blazers team that doesn't have much size up front leaves him with the potential to provide significant value.

Trevor Ariza, POR vs. DAL ($11): Ariza will finally be able to make his debut with the Blazers after the Kings agreed to trade him to the Blazers over the weekend. He should immediately slot in as the new starting small forward, which would leave him with a significant boost in playing time. Across eight games in which he logged at least 30 minutes for the Kings this season, he averaged nine points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

Forward to Avoid

Caris LeVert, BKN vs. LAL ($19): LeVert has mostly been quiet lately, scoring 22.1 Yahoo points or fewer in six of eight games since returning from injury. Part of that can be attributed to him logging 29 minutes or fewer in each of those contests. There is the potential for him to see limited scoring opportunities with Kyrie Irving (hamstring) expected to make his return, so keeping him out of your lineup might be a wise move.

CENTERS

Tristan Thompson, CLE vs. WAS ($23): There is certainly a possibility that the rebuilding Cavaliers try to trade Thompson before the deadline. However, he's still with the team right now and producing, scoring at least 30 Yahoo points in six of his last eight games. The last time we saw him take the floor against the Wizards, he destroyed them on his way to 52.9 Yahoo points. They have allowed the 10th-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Thompson thrive in their rematch.

Maxi Kleber, DAL at POR ($13): While the Mavericks might ask Porzingis to help more on the glass, they will likely also ask Kleber to log more minutes with Powell out. He ended up playing 32 minutes against the Clippers, although he didn't exactly shine with eight points and five rebounds. Still, he's generally played well when given added playing time, averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks across 13 games in which he has logged at least 30 minutes.

Center to Avoid

Thomas Bryant, WAS at CLE ($16): At the start of the season, Bryant was generally considered to be the second-best fantasy option on the Wizards behind Bradley Beal. However, a foot injury that cost him 20 games has derailed his season. Since returning from the injury, he hasn't played more than 22 minutes in any of his five games. Until he starts to consistently see more playing time, he's just too risky to deploy in DFS.

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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