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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Friday Picks

Mike Barner

Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. He currently focuses on the NBA. Before RotoWire, Mike wrote for

The first Friday night of the NBA regular season brings a packed schedule with 10 games. There will be some fun matchups to watch as the Boston Celtics play the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Milwaukee Bucks. Here are some players taking the floor tonight that you want in your Yahoo DFS lineup.


DíAngelo Russell, BKN vs. ORL ($24): Russell excelled in his first game in a Nets uniform Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers as he scored 30 points to go along with three rebounds, five assists, four three-pointers and one steal. Already expected to be one of the focal points of their offense, Russell will now have to shoulder even more of the scoring responsibilities with Jeremy Lin (knee) likely out for the season. Expect plenty of counting stats again Friday.

Dennis Smith, Jr., DAL vs. SAC ($21): Smith couldnít have done much better in his first NBA game Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks as he scored 16 points to go along with three rebounds, 10 assists and one three-pointer. He played 30 minutes in the contest, which is no surprise as he was expected to see significant playing time right away. At this price, Smith is another valuable option Friday.

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Guard to Avoid

Jimmy Butler, MIN vs. UTA ($36): Butler is playing with much better players on the Timberwolves this year than he did last year with the Bulls. It should be expected that he will see a dip in production, especially in the scoring department. That held true Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs as Butler scored only 12 points. Heís too expensive to have in your lineup Friday.


Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. CLE ($51): Giannis dominated the Boston Celtics Wednesday by recording 37 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and three steals in 37 minutes. He is going to get a ton of playing time and can provide excellent counting stats across the board. Get him in your lineup again Friday against the Cavaliers.

Jordan Bell, GS at NO ($10): Draymond Green (knee) may play Friday against the Pelicans, but Bell could see increased playing time even if Green does play due to the Pelicans size up front. He scored eight points in only 12 minutes against the Houston Rockets Tuesday and played well during the preseason. Bell costs the minimum Friday, making him a nice option with upside.

Forward to Avoid

Dario Saric, PHI vs. BOS ($27): Saric was excellent for the Sixers last year, but finds himself with less playing time this season due to the return of Ben Simmons. He struggled Wednesday against the Wizards as he only scored three points to go along with three rebounds in 23 minutes. Based on his current role, heís not worth this price.

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DeMarcus Cousins, NO vs. GS ($50): Cousins was a force to be reckoned with Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies as he scored 28 points to go along with 10 rebounds, two assists, seven blocks and three three-pointers. In a league that has moved to using smaller lineups, Cousins and Anthony Davis cause matchup problems for a lot of teams, including the Warriors. Cousins should be in for another monster stat line in this contest.

Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC at DAL ($19): Cauley-Stein is poised for a breakout season and he didnít disappoint in his first game, scoring 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds, one assist and three blocks against the Rockets. He played 32 minutes in the game, a great sign for his production potential. His price is reasonable Friday, making him worth using in your lineup.

Center to Avoid

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. UTA ($46): There is no question that Towns is an elite talent, but Friday brings a tough matchup against a stellar defender in Rudy Gobert. Gobert held Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets to seven points Wednesday, further showcasing his defensive prowess. Friday is not the night to pay up for Towns.

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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 .