NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, January 18

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, January 18

While there are only five games scheduled to be played Thursday, there are still some interesting storylines. A day after making a big trade that saw Pascal Siakam on the move, both the Raptors and Pacers will be in action. The Kings, Thunder and Knicks are also among the teams set to take the floor. Let's dig into all of the matchups and highlight some players to consider on Yahoo, as well as a few to possibly avoid.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC at UTA ($54): Gilgeous-Alexander had an off performance against the Clippers on Tuesday, scoring just 19 points on 6-for-16 shooting from the field. It was the second game of a back-to-back set, so he might have just had some tired legs. For the season, he is averaging 31.0 points and shooting 55.2 percent from the field. Expect him to bounce back in a big way against the Jazz, given that both of these teams rank inside the top-10 in the league in pace of play.

Luke Kennard, MEM at MIN ($10): This is not a great matchup for the Grizzlies, considering that the Timberwolves have the best defensive rating in the league. However, their lack of depth, especially at guard, still makes Kennard someone to consider. A boost in playing time has enabled him to score at least 22.9 Yahoo points in three of the last four games.

Guard to Avoid

Anthony Edwards, MIN at MEM ($40): This game has the potential to be a blowout. Edwards just logged 33 minutes in a win over the Pistons on Wednesday, despite entering the day with a questionable injury tag. If the Timberwolves race out to a big lead early, we could see Edwards spent a lot of time on the bench in the second half. Given his hefty salary, the possibility of that scenario unfolding makes him risky.


Scottie Barnes, TOR vs. CHI ($43): The Raptors trading away Siakam means that the team belongs to Barnes moving forward. His versatile skillset was on full display Wednesday against the Heat with him posting 20 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals and one block across 34 minutes. The Bulls' defense is struggling again with Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic back in the starting lineup, so look for Barnes to use his leading role to exploit this matchup.

Vince Williams, MEM at MIN ($21): Williams has a runway to a lot of minutes moving forward. In the last three games in which he has logged at least 35 minutes, he scored at least 37.3 Yahoo points each time. Despite this underwhelming matchup, Williams has a large enough role right now to make him a viable option.

Forward to Avoid

Zach LaVine, CHI at TOR ($29): The talk of the town was how well the Bulls were playing when LaVine was sidelined with a foot injury. Their defense not only improved, but their better team passing made the offense more efficient. LaVine clearly took note of the discussion and has been a more willing passer since returning. However, that has resulted in him averaging only 16.8 points over six games. While his increased passing might be better for the team, it isn't having the best impact on his fantasy numbers.


Isaiah Hartenstein, NY vs. WAS ($26): Hartenstein has made sure the Knicks haven't skipped a beat without Mitchell Robinson (ankle). He has been especially productive over his last 11 games, averaging 8.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.7 blocks. He shot 64.8 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the charity stripe during that stretch. The Wizards have played at the fastest pace in the league, so Hartenstein should have plenty of opportunities to shine.

Marvin Bagley, WAS at NY ($10): Bagley is set to make his debut with the Wizards after being acquired in a trade from the Pistons. There is the potential that he steps right into a prominent role with Daniel Gafford (concussion) out. While he only averaged 18 minutes per game with the Pistons, he still put up 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him log around 25 minutes in this game, making him a potential steal at the minimum salary.

Center to Avoid

Andre Drummond, CHI at TOR ($26): Drummond (back) is on the injury report with a probable designation. He should play, but that doesn't mean he's someone to target in DFS. With Vucevic back in the fold, Drummond has shifted back to the Bulls' second unit. That has left him with averages of 6.0 points and 6.0 rebounds over the last four games.