Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Thursday is going to bring a tense night in the NBA playoffs with the Sixers and Blazers facing elimination in their respective series. The good news for both teams is that they will at least be playing at home. Let's try to add even more excitement to the evening by bringing home some cash on Yahoo.

GUARDS

Jamal Murray, DEN at POR ($28): Murray has been one of the driving forces for the Nuggets in this series, scoring at least 40 Yahoo points in four of the five games. He averaged 15.6 shot attempts per game in the regular season, but has been more aggressive with 20.2 shot attempts per contest in this series. Considering his very reasonable price tag, it's hard to pass up on adding him to your entry.

Gary Harris, DEN at POR ($19): The Nuggets continue to give Harris plenty of playing time, resulting in him logging at least 35 minutes in all five contests. That's been one of the main reasons why he's been able to score at least 26 Yahoo points four times. He's a bit risky since he generally doesn't provide much outside of the scoring column, but he's worth taking a chance on with so few viable cheap options to consider.

Guard to Avoid

Ben Simmons, PHI vs. TOR ($40): This is a pretty easy pass. Simmons has gone cold, scoring 35.6 Yahoo points or fewer in seven straight games. He's been especially passive on the offensive end, attempting eight shots or fewer in three of five games against the Raptors. With so many other excellent high-priced options, be sure not to waste your money on Simmons.

FORWARDS

Kawhi Leonard, TOR at PHI ($43): Leonard has been as reliable as it gets for the Raptors, scoring at least 48.6 Yahoo points in four of their five games versus the Sixers. He's by far their best offensive option, which has enabled him to average 21 shot attempts per game. The craziest part is that he's shooting 59 percent from the field. With the Raptors looking to close things out on the road, look for them to try and do so on the shoulders of Leonard.

Paul Millsap, DEN at POR ($22): Speaking of reliable, Millsap has been a rock for the Nuggets against the Blazers. He's shooting 54.5 percent from the field, which has helped him score at least 31.7 Yahoo points in all five games. Not only has he been efficient on the offensive end, but he's also averaged 9.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks. He's one of the best mid-tier options available at any position.

Forward to Avoid

Maurice Harkless, POR vs. DEN ($15): Harkless carried a heavy workload in Game 3 by logging 45 minutes in the Blazers quadruple-overtime win. However, he hasn't played more than 22 minutes in any of the other four games. In fact, he's logged 17 minutes or fewer three times. With such limited time on the floor, there's not enough upside here to warrant adding him to your entry despite his reduced price.

CENTERS

Nikola Jokic, DEN at POR ($47): With Jusuf Nurkic (lower leg) out and Enes Kanter battling a shoulder injury, the stars aligned for Jokic to have a monster series. He hasn't disappointed by averaging 26.4 points, 14.4 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.4 steals. Even though he'll do a number on your budget, don't hesitate to add him to your entry.

Zach Collins, POR vs. DEN ($10): There really isn't much to get excited about as far as cheap options go at center. If you decide you don't want to deploy Jokic, you might as well just go with someone at the minimum price so you can spend up elsewhere. Collins has scored at least 17.7 Yahoo points in three of the last four games and will continue to serve as one of the primary backups for the Blazers. Should Kanter's injury get worse for any reason during the game, Collins would be in line for even more playing time.

Center to Avoid

Marc Gasol, TOR at PHI ($20): One of the main reasons why the Raptors are in a position to eliminate the Sixers is because of the job that Gasol has done on Joel Embiid defensively. The problem from a fantasy perspective is that it's pretty clear the Raptors brought him in to mainly rebound and play defense. He recorded just a 16.3 percent usage rate with them during the regular season and is averaging only 6.7 shot attempts per game in the playoffs. Be sure to keep him out of your entry.

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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