Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Thursday brings only four games in the NBA with half of the teams in action having a losing record. While it might not be one of the most exciting slates of the season, it still brings another opportunity to win some cash on Yahoo. Let's examine some players to target and avoid as you craft your entry.

GUARDS

Chris Paul, HOU vs. LAL ($32): Paul's usage rate of 23.9 percent this season is close to on par with his mark from last year, but he's only averaging 16.7 points per game in large part because of his career-low 42 percent shooting from the field. He has a career 47.1 percent field goal percentage, so it's unlikely he'll continue to shoot this poorly for the rest of the season. With 4.6 rebounds, eight assists and two steals per game, he still has a relatively high floor. This could be an opportunity for him to shine against a Lakers team that plays at the fourth-fastest pace (103.8 possessions per game) in the league.

De'Anthony Melton, PHO vs. DAL ($14): With Devin Booker (hamstring) ruled out again for this matchup, Melton should get all the minutes that he can handle. He quickly displaced Elie Okobo at point guard, who has since been assigned to the G League. This is the first time he's above the minimum price, but with at least 33.8 Yahoo points in back-to-back games, there is still the potential for significant value here.

Guard to Avoid

Kris Dunn, CHI at ORL ($21): To say the Bulls missed Dunn when he was injured is an understatement. Cameron Payne's starting tenure was a disaster and while Ryan Arcidiacono has shown flashes of promise, Dunn is clearly the best point guard on their roster. He logged 20 minutes in his return against the Kings on Monday, scoring just 19.6 Yahoo points. The Bulls are likely going to bring him along slowly, so it might be best to wait until he is firmly removed from any minute's restriction before deploying him in DFS.

FORWARDS

Kyle Kuzma, LAL at HOU ($31): Kuzma is rolling right now with at least 36.4 Yahoo points in six straight games. He's provided value across the board, averaging 23.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists during that stretch. The Lakers will again be without Brandon Ingram (ankle) for this contest, which should continue to lead to added shots for Kuzma. The Rockets like to deploy a lot of small lineups, setting up Kuzma with another excellent opportunity to be productive.

T.J. Warren, PHO vs. DAL ($21): As bad as things are for the Suns, at least Warren is healthy again. He's the most potent offensive threat they have left with Booker sidelined, which should leave him with plenty of scoring opportunities. That was clearly the case Tuesday against the Spurs when he jacked up 16 shots in just 25 minutes. His overall numbers don't jump off the page, but he should provide enough points and rebounds to at least be worth considering at this price.

Forward to Avoid

Bobby Portis, CHI at ORL ($23): The Bulls received more good news on the injury front with Portis also making his return to action Monday. He played just 19 minutes, which helped limit him to 22.1 Yahoo points. Even when he doesn't have a minute's restriction, he's not a lock for significant playing time in a crowded frontcourt that includes Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Jabari Parker. Since he can't be had for much of a discount, either, he's not a very appealing option.

CENTERS

Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. CHI ($36): Vucevic has an extremely high floor, scoring at least 35 Yahoo points in eight straight games. Not only is he a double-double machine with averages of 20.6 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, but he's stepped up to average 3.7 assists per contest with the Magic lacking playmakers at point guard. The Bulls allow the most Yahoo points per game (56.6) to opposing centers, potentially setting up Vucevic for a monster performance.

Richaun Holmes, PHO vs. DAL ($11): Holmes was limited to 17 minutes in Tuesday's blowout loss against the Spurs, but he still managed to score 22.4 Yahoo points. He's found a way to be productive despite serving as the backup to Deandre Ayton, scoring at least 22.4 Yahoo points in four of his last six games. His upside isn't very high, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be considered if you want to deploy a cost-effective option at center.

Center to Avoid

Clint Capela, HOU vs. LAL ($37): Capela, who is the most expensive center Thursday, is coming off of three straight games with 30 Yahoo points or fewer. With Paul, James Harden and Eric Gordon all healthy, Capela doesn't always get a lot of scoring opportunities, which has resulted in his 19.7 percent usage rate. Vucevic has significantly higher upside and is a dollar cheaper, so he might be the way to go if you want to pay up at the position.

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 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Mike also won the 2022-23 FSGA NBA Experts Champions league. 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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