NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, January 5

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, January 5

Thursday brings a limited slate consisting of only four games. Among the eight teams that are set to take the floor, the Grizzlies, Magic and Rockets will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set. The Nuggets and Clippers will be playing the front end of a back-to-back set, so things could get tricky. One of the marquee matchups in which neither of those scenarios applies will take place in Dallas with Luka Doncic and the Mavericks hosting Jayson Tatum and the Celtics. Let's discuss some players to target for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

GUARDS

Jordan Clarkson, UTA at HOU ($24): Clarkson has continued to be a reliable scorer for the Jazz, providing at least 21 points in eight straight games. For the season, he is averaging 20.6 points and 2.7 three-pointers on 44.6 percent shooting from the field. The Rockets have the third-worst defensive rating in the league, so Clarkson is primed for another valuable scoring outburst.

Malik Beasley, UTA at HOU ($15): Beasley logged 31 minutes off the bench in his last game against the Kings, which helped him score 33.2 Yahoo points. One of the main reasons for his added playing time in that game was Collin Sexton (hamstring) was out. Sexton will remain sidelined for this favorable matchup, making Beasley almost too good to pass up at this salary.

Guard to Avoid

Spencer Dinwiddie, DAL vs. BOS ($23): Normally not one to be overly efficient from the field, Dinwiddie is shooting a career high 46.0 percent this season. Over the last three seasons, he never finished with a mark higher than 41.6 percent. He has gone into a bit of an offensive funk of late, scoring 11 points or fewer in four of his last six games. This matchup against a Celtics team that has the seventh-best defensive rating in the league might not help him get back on track.

FORWARDS

Lauri Markkanen, UTA at HOU ($32): Markkanen's shot was off against the Kings on Tuesday, but he went 15-for-15 from the charity stripe on his way to scoring 28 points. He also chipped in eight rebounds, marking the fourth time over the last five games that he has at least that many boards. With his averages of 29.6 points and 8.9 rebounds over his last eight games, it's difficult to envision the defensively deficient Rockets slowing him down.

Jabari Smith, HOU vs. UTA ($17): The Jazz aren't very good at slowing down the opposition, either. In fact, they are right there with the Rockets since they have the fourth-worst defensive rating. In two previous meetings with them this season, Smith scored 42.8 and 21.8 Yahoo points, respectively. If he can get hot from behind the arc, he could provide significant value.

Forward to Avoid

Michael Porter, DEN vs. LAC ($21): This is not a fantasy-friendly matchup for the Nuggets. The Clippers have played at the ninth-slowest pace in the league, while sporting the fifth-best defensive rating. Most of Porter's production comes in the scoring department, making him a risky option in DFS.

CENTERS

Steven Adams, MEM at ORL ($24): With the Grizzlies demolishing the Hornets on Wednesday, Adams was only needed to play 27 minutes. Still, he produced nine points, 15 rebounds and two blocks. With averages of 11.0 points, 19.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks over the last four games, Adams is a great mid-tier center option, especially if Brandon Clarke (hip) is out again.

Alperen Sengun, HOU vs. UTA ($19): Sengun only played 22 minutes Wednesday, so he should be relatively fresh for the second game of this back-to-back set. Even in his limited minutes, he still scored 33.3 Yahoo points. With him scoring at least 31.7 Yahoo points in six of his last eight games, and having a salary that won't hinder your budget, he is one of the more appealing center options.

Center to Avoid

Al Horford, BOS at DAL ($16): Horford only played 22 minutes in the Celtics' blowout loss to the Thunder on Tuesday, which left him to score 5.9 Yahoo points. While that was certainly an anomaly for him, he has scored 22.7 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last five games. Robert Williams III will be back for this game, which means Horford should continue to have limited upside.