Yahoo DFS Basketball: Friday Picks

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Mike Barner
·4 min read
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The NBA tips off the New Year in style Friday with 10 games on the schedule. That means there are plenty of options to wade through for your Yahoo DFS lineups. Let's try to help narrow down the field by highlighting some players to consider, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

GUARDS

Bradley Beal, WAS at MIN ($40): The Wizards will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set, which means Russell Westbrook is expected to sit out for rest. That leaves Beal as the undisputed top-scoring option for a team that plays at the third-fastest pace in the league and facing a Timberwolves' squad allowing an average of 115.8 points. Beal attempted a whopping 29 shots the last time Westbrook sat out, so his upside is off the charts here.

Raul Neto, WAS at MIN ($12): Beal isn't the only guard on the Wizards who might be worth deploying. Neto started in place of Westbrook when previously rested and produced 41.3 Yahoo points across 32 minutes. He's also coming off of a strong performance against the Bulls on Thursday when he scored 30.3 Yahoo points in 22 minutes off the bench. With added playing time likely coming here, Neto could be well worth the risk at near the minimum salary.

Guard to Avoid

Kevin Huerter, ATL at BKN ($16): It's been a quiet start to the season for Huerter, who has posted three underwhelming performances compared to just one valuable one. He's scored fewer than 10 points in back-to-back contests and hasn't logged more than 27 minutes in any of his four games despite averaging over 31 minutes last season. With so many solid options on a busy slate, taking a chance on Huerter going off seems unnecessary.

FORWARDS

Jerami Grant, DET vs. BOS ($23): The Pistons will once again be without one of their top scoring options since Blake Griffin (concussion) has been ruled out. Grant has already been one of their offensive leaders by scoring at least 27 points in three straight games. He also averaged 7.7 rebounds, one steal and two blocks during that stretch, which resulted in at least 38.7 Yahoo points in all three contests. Grant's salary is climbing, but it's still low enough to make him an excellent option to target based on his role.

Jarrett Culver, MIN vs. WAS ($10): On a night with so many stars available, taking a chance on a player or two who's at - or near - the minimum salary can be key. Since we've already mentioned the uptempo pace the Wizards play, Culver looks intriguing. He moved into the starting lineup against the Clippers on Tuesday and posted 10 rebounds, one steal and one block across 25 minutes. Culver was held scoreless but went 0-for-10 from the field, so his offensive performance was an anomaly. Don't expect him to go scoreless again in tonight.

Forward to Avoid

Dario Saric, PHO at DEN ($18): Saric missed the first three games of the season with a quadriceps injury and has logged 18 minutes or fewer in both games since returning. With the addition of Jae Crowder and the continued emergence of Cameron Johnson, Saric is likely to see a decrease in playing time compared to the 25 minutes a night he averaged last season. The fact Grant's salary is only five dollars higher is pretty surprising, and makes it so there's no need to take a chance on Saric. 

CENTERS

Jonas Valanciunas, MEM at CHA ($31): With Ja Morant (ankle) sidelined, the Grizzlies were smoked in their last game Wednesday against the Celtics. That contributed to Valanciunas logging only 24 minutes, but he still finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The big man has started off the season with four straight double-doubles and will be a key part of their offense moving forward with Morant out, leaving him with a high floor in this matchup against the undersized Hornets.

Thomas Bryant, WAS at MIN ($19): The Bulls had no answer for Bryant on Thursday, who scored 28 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the field. His three rebounds in that contest were underwhelming, but he at least chipped in with a steal and three blocks. Bryant should see added scoring opportunities with Westbrook out for this game and the Timberwolves thin up front with Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist) out, which leaves the fourth-year pro with a favorable opportunity to provide value.

Center to Avoid

DeAndre Jordan, BKN vs. ATL ($18): Yes, Jordan has started all five games for the Nets this season. However, he's only averaged 20 minutes a game compared to 23 minutes for backup center Jarrett Allen. Allen has been significantly more productive by averaging 9.6 points, 12 rebounds and 1.4 blocks compared to Jordan's averages of 3.6 points, eight rebounds and 1.8 blocks. There's no reason to believe Jordan will log significantly more minutes in this matchup, which makes him someone to possibly avoid when you also factor in his salary doesn't come at much of a discount.