Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

There's not a lot to get excited about in the NBA on Thursday with only two games on the schedule. That doesn't leave a lot of options to choose from on Yahoo, but that doesn't mean you can't finish the night a winner. Here are some players to target and avoid while you create your entry.

GUARDS

Damian Lillard, POR vs. OKC ($37): Lillard is the second-most expensive guard on the slate, but he's significantly cheaper than the top option, Russell Westbrook ($54). While he doesn't have the all-around upside that Westbrook does, he has tremendous scoring potential with his 29.6 percent usage rate that ranks inside the top-20 in the league. With averages of 29.3 points, four rebounds and 7.3 assists across three previous games against the Thunder, Lillard is a great option Thursday.

Wesley Matthews, IND at MIL ($14): The Pacers have managed to continue their winning ways even without Victor Oladipo (knee) in large part because of the addition of Matthews. He's averaging 32 minutes since joining the team and even though he hasn't provided much in the way of rebounds or assists, he's still provided value. He's averaging 2.9 three-pointers with the Pacers, which has helped him score at least 20.2 Yahoo points in seven straight games.

Guard to Avoid

Dennis Schroder, OKC at POR ($22): Make no mistake, Schroder is a very important player for the Thunder. Over the three games that Paul George missed recently, Schroder averaged 17.3 shot attempts per contest. However, with George back in the fold Tuesday against the Timberwolves, Schroder attempted just eight shots. The Blazers have shut down Schroder so far this season, leaving him to average 11.5 points, two rebounds and 2.5 assists across their previous three meetings. At this price, his limited upside doesn't make him very appealing.

FORWARDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. IND ($54): For most players, facing the Pacers is a tough matchup. They play at the fourth-slowest pace (98.6 possessions per game) and allow the fewest-points per game (103.7) in the league. However, Giannis has averaged 55.1 Yahoo points against them in three previous meetings this year. Add his 31.9 percent usage rate with his ability to contribute across the board and he's one of the high-priced options to target on this limited slate.

Moe Harkless, POR vs. OKC ($17): As the Blazers approach the playoffs, Harkless is arguably on his best stretch of the season. Finally healthy, he's scored at least 26.1 Yahoo points in seven straight games. Evan Turner (personal) missed five of those contests and won't play again Thursday, either. That should leave even more playing time for Harkless, making him a great option at this price.

Forward to Avoid

Jerami Grant, OKC at POR ($20): Grant has hit a bit of an offensive rough patch by shooting 32.4 percent from the field across his last three games. That's rare for him considering he's shooting 51.2 percent for the season. He's still receiving plenty of playing time, so he'll likely turn things around sooner rather than later. However, he's only averaged 9.5 points and six rebounds in two previous meetings with the Blazers, making him a risky option at this price.

CENTERS

Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. OKC ($30): Nurkic isn't always the safest of options, but he has tremendous upside. He scored 60 Yahoo points against the Hornets on Sunday, but he's also scored 28.6 Yahoo points or fewer in two of his last five contests. His 24.3 percent usage rate gives him the highest offensive upside of any center set to take the floor Thursday, so rolling with him might be a risk worth taking.

Enes Kanter, POR vs. OKC ($10): It's not easy to find viable cheap options at center for this slate. Kanter has only topped 20 minutes in two of six games since joining the Blazers, but he's still managed to average 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. Don't expect his playing time to increase in this game, but he could still provide some value against his former squad.

Center to Avoid

Brook Lopez, MIL vs. IND ($20): After the top-four center options, everyone else is priced at only $10 each. Lopez checks in as the cheapest of the top-four, but he also has the lowest upside. Considering how well the Pacers are playing defensively, it's hard to make a case to pay this much to get him into your entry. Outside of Nurkic, Myles Turner ($27) is in a favorable spot with Domantas Sabonis (ankle) out and Steven Adams ($24) has scored at least 38.2 Yahoo points in three straight games. If you want to pay up at center, roll with one of those three over Lopez.

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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