NBA Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for Wednesday 1/3

NBA Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for Wednesday 1/3

We're set for a massive 12-game slate Wednesday, and while that obviously gives us an expansive player pool to choose from, I'm honing in heavily on a handful of games that should offer very favorable scenarios for DFS production.

As customary, we'll highlight multiple advantageous positional matchups to exploit at each position for your Yahoo Fantasy lineups, as well as a good trio of candidates that may be best to steer clear of due to a combination of circumstances/salary.


Trae Young, ATL vs. OKC ($46): Young should be well rested after last having taken the floor Sunday, when he dropped 67.1 Yahoo points against the Wizards over 40 minutes. In contrast, the Thunder team he'll be facing just wrapped up a hard-fought, wire-to-wire win against the Celtics on Tuesday night, and OKC already checks in allowing the second-most Yahoo points per game (55.3) to point guards over the last 15 contests. Young has about as high a ceiling as any player on the slate when he's on his game, and Wednesday's interconference showdown could offer just the right environment for him to thrive.

Damian Lillard, MIL at IND ($40): Speaking of conditions expected to be conducive to strong DFS production, the Bucks-Pacers game, which carries a projected total of just under 260 points as of Wednesday morning, is one I'll be heavily focused on. Lillard has actually turned in a couple of underwhelming performances lately, which have served to bring down his salary some. However, this is one of those instances where I'm banking on talent and prior body of work to recommend him as a tournament play that could be lower rostered than usual on such a large slate. Lillard has one tally of 45.9 Yahoo points against the Pacers this season, and he's flashed a ceiling north of 60 Yahoo points on multiple occasions. Indiana continues to play at a league-high pace as well, which always brightens the outlook for the opposition's key players.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tyrese Haliburton, IND vs. MIL ($48); Jordan Clarkson, UTA vs. DET ($19)

Guard to Avoid

Kyrie Irving, DAL vs. POR ($35): I'm taking a bit of a calculated risk with this recommendation based on the potential for a comfortable Dallas win. The Mavs are favored by as much as 11.5 points over Portland, and Irving will be playing just his second game since his return from a multi-game absence due to a heel injury. He provided a solid 32.6 Yahoo points in his first contest Monday, but with Luka Doncic healthy as well and the potential for somewhat limited minutes Wednesday, Irving could certainly have a tough time fully justifying his relatively elevated salary.


Scottie Barnes, TOR at MEM ($43): Barnes' richly diversified stat lines have been rewarding DFS players all season, and Wednesday should be no exception. Barnes checks in having cleared 40 Yahoo points in 10 straight games, and he's averaging a career-best 47.1 per contest for the season. He's eclipsed 60 on multiple occasions already and is currently handling primary ball-handling responsibilities, and he now faces a Grizzlies team allowing the third-highest offensive efficiency rating to point guards (30.8), along with the fourth-most Yahoo points per game to the position (52.2). Moreover, with Barnes shooting a career-best 38.5% from behind the arc, it's worth noting the Grizzlies are allowing an NBA-high 41.0% success rate from deep at home.

Jalen Johnson, ATL vs. OKC ($24): Johnson is another member of the Hawks that I feel could be in for a rewarding night Wednesday, and the emerging big already comes in with a head of steam in the form of tallies of 39 and 44.6 Yahoo points in the last two games. Johnson was already back up to 37 minutes of floor time Sunday during his third game back from an extended absence due to a wrist injury, so opportunity shouldn't be a concern against a Thunder team allowing the 10th-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (27.3), along with 46.1 Yahoo points per game to the position on the season.

ALSO CONSIDER: Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at IND ($55)

Forward to Avoid

DeMar DeRozan, CHI at NYK ($39): Like Irving, DeRozan is a talented player that's arguably carrying too high a salary Wednesday. Even with Zach LaVine (foot) and Nikola Vucevic (groin) out, DeRozan hasn't seen an appreciable spike in production, putting up 39.5 Yahoo points or fewer in four straight and five of the last six games overall. Those figures certainly offer a certain measure of safety for your lineup, but they're not exactly great returns on investment. With the Knicks also allowing the sixth-lowest offensive efficiency rating to small forwards (20.3), DeRozan is likely to have an uphill battle to give you an adequate score for tournaments.


Bam Adebayo, MIA at LAL ($40): Adebayo will once again take the floor without Jimmy Butler (foot) on Wednesday, a scenario that's helped lead to the big man scoring 40.2, 56.5 and 65.7 Yahoo points on three occasions since Dec. 20. Adebayo should once again be in for elevated responsibility in the interconference clash against the Lakers, which are allowing 56.3 Yahoo points per contest to centers in the last 15 games, along with the seventh-most rebounds per game to the position on the season (15.3). Los Angeles is also tied with Dallas for fourth-most blocks surrendered per contest in the last three (6.3), while Bam has a pair of three-block efforts in his last four games.

Jarrett Allen, CLE vs. WAS ($27): Allen is coming off tallies of 55.9, 59.4 and 62.6 Yahoo points in three of his last four games, making his current salary a downright bargain. The best part of his outlook Wednesday is that the matchup could easily facilitate another massive return, considering the Wizards are allowing an NBA-high 39.6 offensive efficiency rating to centers, along with a league-high 65.6 Yahoo points per game to the position in the last 15 games. Washington is also allowing the second-most points in the paint per game (58.6), an area of the floor where just under 80% of Allen's scoring originates from.

ALSO CONSIDER: Brook Lopez, MIL at IND ($26)

Center to Avoid

Wendell Carter Jr., ORL at SAC ($22): Carter still carries too high a salary for a player that's now down to 19.7 Yahoo points per game for the season after scoring under 20 in six of the first seven games since his return from a lengthy absence due to a finger injury. He's also topped out at just 24 minutes in a game during that sample, and the combination of all those factors makes him easy to avoid Wednesday.