Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Normally Thursdays are pretty quiet in the NBA, but not this one with six games on the schedule. However, the matchups themselves aren't exactly great, so let's try to spice up the night with a winning entry on Yahoo. Here are some players to target and avoid as you work your way through the options.

GUARDS

Luka Doncic, DAL at NY ($49): The big storyline surrounding this game is the return of Kristaps Porzingis to New York. However, don't overlook Doncic. He was stellar during his rookie campaign last season, but he's been even better this year with averages of 28.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists out of the game. His usage rate has actually increased to 33.1 percent, so the addition of Porzingis hasn't negatively impacted him there. His floor is as high as any player available on this slate.

DeAndre' Bembry, ATL at PHO ($12): As if John Collins' suspension wasn't bad enough, the Hawks will now be without Kevin Huerter (shoulder) for this matchup with the Suns. He had played much better of late, averaging 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists across their last four games. His absence should open up added playing time and opportunities for Bembry, who is averaging 8.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals across 26 minutes a game.

Guard to Avoid

Jordan Clarkson, CLE vs. MIA ($15): Clarkson's fantasy contributions are mostly limited to the scoring column, which is part of the reason why he's scored 26.8 Yahoo points or fewer in all but one game this season. It also doesn't help his cause that the Cavaliers play at the eighth-slowest pace in the league. To make matters worse Thursday, he'll have to play the defensive-minded Heat. While he's not expensive, it might be best to take a chance on a different cheaper option who has a better matchup.

FORWARDS

Jimmy Butler, MIA at CLE ($41): When the Heat brought in Butler, he immediately became the focal point of their offense. Therefore, it shouldn't be a surprise that he's averaging 19.4 points per game despite shooting only 44.1 percent from the field. However, he's also averaged six rebounds, 6.6 assists and a whopping 2.7 steals per contest. With at least 45 Yahoo points in four of the seven games in which he's played this season, expect him to carry a high floor into this matchup, as well.

Kenrich Williams, NO vs. LAC ($12): The Pelicans' depth chart is looking pretty bleak right now. Lonzo Ball (hip) and Josh Hart (ankle/knee) have already been ruled out for this contest while Brandon Ingram (knee) will be a game-time decision. Williams has started both of their last two games and played well, scoring 34.5 and 23.2 Yahoo points, respectively. If Ingram doesn't play, Williams will be awfully hard to resist at this price. Even if Ingram does take the floor, Williams is worth considering in tournament play.

Forward to Avoid

Lauri Markkanen, CHI at MIL ($26): For a young player who is as talented as Markkanen is, his role with the Bulls this season has been strange. He's averaging two fewer minutes a game than he did last season and his usage rate has dropped from 25.1 percent to 22.4 percent. Coach Jim Boylen has given Thaddeus Young added playing time late in games, which has mostly come at the expense of Markkanen. After scoring 25.7 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last five games, it might be best to wait to deploy Markkanen until he can string together a few strong performances.

CENTERS

Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. BKN ($39): Normally a player who shoots for a very high percentage, Jokic is only shooting 43.7 percent from the field though 10 games. Despite his struggles, he's still averaging a superb 17 points, nine rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game. His price has come down significantly since the start of the season, making him a great option against a Nets team that struggles to slow down opposing centers.

Derrick Favors, NO vs. LAC ($17): With Zion Williamson (knee) out, the Pelicans need Favors more than ever. He battled his own injury issues at the start of the season, but has logged 29 minutes in back-to-back games. He can do plenty of damage with that amount of playing time, evident by the fact that he scored 31.5 and 42.9 Yahoo points, respectively. If you're looking to save money at this position, Favors presents an excellent alternative to Jokic.

Center to Avoid

Jarrett Allen, BKN at DEN ($17): The Nets' center position is a nightmare. Allen and DeAndre Jordan cut into each other's upsides and their playing time often fluctuates on a nightly basis. Jordan has the hot hand right, recording a double-double in three of his last four games. Meanwhile, Allen has scored a total of 21.3 Yahoo points over his last two games. Add in the Nuggets playing at the slowest pace in the league and Allen isn't a very appealing option.

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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