This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Thursday has the makings of a quiet night in the NBA with only three games on the schedule. Still, there is money to be won on Yahoo, so let's dive into some players to consider for your entries, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Fred VanVleet, TOR at MIL ($36): These two teams just played each other Tuesday, a matchup in which VanVleet scored 50.3 Yahoo points. The only other time that these two teams faced each other this season, VanVleet scored 50 Yahoo points. With the expectation that Jrue Holiday (COVID-19) likely won't play in this game, look for VanVleet to once again thrive against the Bucks' depleted backcourt defense.
Donte DiVincenzo, MIL vs. TOR ($15): Across the five games that Holiday has missed, DiVincenzo has logged at least 30 minutes four times. He has taken advantage of his opportunities, scoring at least 25.6 Yahoo points in all four of those contests. At this reasonable salary, he is an extremely appealing option, especially if you want to allocate more of your budget to other positions.
Guard to Avoid
Norman Powell, TOR at MIL ($23): There's a chance that the Raptors might need more scoring from Powell in this game if Kyle Lowry (ankle), who is listed as questionable, is ruled out. However, if Lowry does play, Powell's upside isn't as high. One of the main reasons to consider passing on Powell is that Tyler Herro ($21) checks in at a cheaper salary and has a great matchup against a Kings team that has the worst defensive rating in the league.
LeBron James, LAL vs. BKN ($48): James put the Lakers on his back Tuesday against the Timberwolves, scoring 54.1 Yahoo points across 38 minutes. He already enters this game with an extremely high floor given that he's averaging 48.2 Yahoo points per game for the season. When you combine that with the fact that Anthony Davis (calf) is out, it's difficult to resist adding James to your entry in a matchup against a Nets team that has the fifth-worst defensive rating.
Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. BKN ($17): The good news is that Kuzma moved into the starting lineup Tuesday with Davis out. The bad news is that he only scored seven points on six shot attempts across 26 minutes. He had scored at least 15 points and attempted at least 12 shots in three straight games prior to that dud, so he may have just had an off night. Considering the lack of viable options for this three-game slate, Kuzma could be worth the risk given his reasonable salary.
Forward to Avoid
OG Anunoby, TOR at MIL ($22): After a 10-game absence because of calf injury, Anunoby finally made his return Tuesday. He did immediately jump back into the starting five, but he only logged 27 minutes. The Raptors may continue to limit his playing time in this contest, and when you factor in that his salary doesn't come at much of a discount, he could be a risky option.
Montrezl Harrell, LAL vs. BKN ($17): Oddly, Harrell only played 18 minutes with Davis out Tuesday. However, he still scored 17 points and has now scored at least that many points in each of the last three games that Davis has missed. The Nets have allowed the third-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers, which means Harrell could provide significant value when all is said and done.
Hassan Whiteside, SAC vs. MIA ($14): The Kings will be missing two of their five starters Thursday with Harrison Barnes (foot) and Richaun Holmes (knee) both ruled out. Whiteside smoked the Nets with Holmes out Monday, posting 26 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks across 24 minutes off the bench. The reason for Whiteside's lack of production this season is that he's only averaged 15 minutes per game. Holmes' injury means Whiteside could play at least 20 minutes in this game, making him a viable option in tournament play.
Center to Avoid
DeAndre Jordan, BKN at LAL ($16): Jordan has not been able to capitalize on the departure of Jarrett Allen. Playing time hasn't been a problem since he's averaged 28 minutes across the last five games. However, he's only produced modest averages of 9.2 points and 8.4 rebounds during that stretch. With Harrell and Whiteside both in the same salary range as Jordan, taking a chance on him against one of the best defensive teams in the league seems unnecessary.