Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for 1/24

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for 1/24

We're teed up for an eight-game slate Wednesday night, and there are some big-name injuries worth monitoring. However, with 16 teams in action, we still have plenty of options across the salary scale, including some particularly welcoming matchups given some of the most vulnerable defensive teams in the league will be taking the floor.

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.


Donovan Mitchell, CLE at MIL ($46): With Luka Doncic questionable due to lower back tightness, Mitchell serves as a safer and certainly much more affordable alternative than the Mavericks star. Mitchell also happens to have plenty of upside in his own right and is set for a premium matchup against a Bucks team he just lit up for 55.5 Yahoo points three games ago. Mitchell also has tallies of 73.4, 52.1 and 57.1 within his last five games, so there's no questioning the ceiling he carries is befitting of a higher-salaried player. Finally, the fact the Bucks are allowing a co-NBA-high 31.5 offensive efficiency rating to point guards and the third-most Yahoo points to the position in the last 15 games (53.9) only serves to brighten Mitchell's prospects.

Jaden Ivey, DET vs. CHA ($26): Ivey has been quite the revelation this season, particularly following Cade Cunningham's seven-game absence due to a knee injury. While that absence is due to come to an end Wednesday, Ivey remains very much in play against a Hornets backcourt that just traded away Terry Rozier and should therefore have less resistance to offer than usual on the defensive end. Ivey's salary remains reasonable for his ceiling, considering he's scored 34.2 to 46.8 Yahoo points in six of his last seven games, and he also put up 27.4 over just 23 minutes against Charlotte back in the second game of the campaign.

ALSO CONSIDER: Anthony Edwards, MIN at WAS ($40)

Guard to Avoid

Malcolm Brogdon, POR at HOU ($27): Brogdon has certainly provided some very useful DFS tallies of late, scoring 34 to 52.4 Yahoo points in three of his last four contests. However, the veteran guard was down to 26.9 against the Thunder on Tuesday, and he'll be on his fourth game in six nights Wednesday after having played between 33 and 37 minutes in the first three. While Brogdon is certainly capable of producing a solid score even if he's somewhat fatigued, the chances he truly gives you a tournament-winning-worthy return at his slightly elevated salary is likely low versus a Rockets team that's also been much improved defensively this season.


Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at WAS ($36): Towns will undoubtedly be popular, given both his matchup and recent body of work. KAT was overshadowed somewhat by Joel Embiid's momentous 70-point effort against the Spurs on Monday, but the T-Wolves star scored a career-high 62 in his own right that night on the way to 67.6 Yahoo points against the Hornets. Towns now faces a Wizards team that's allowed the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (30.0), along with 52.0% shooting to the position. Washington is also conceding 49.1 Yahoo points per contest to fours in the last 30 games, and the Wizards have surrendered an NBA-high 57.9 rebounds per contest.

Jabari Smith Jr., HOU vs. POR ($22): Smith has shed his injury designation going into Wednesday after tweaking his ankle against the Jazz on Saturday, clearing the way for the young forward to try and build on the 46.5 Yahoo points he put up in that contest over 41 minutes. Smith should be well rested after having the last three days off as well, and he's put together another couple of spike performances in January that especially stand out due to his salary – he scored 38.5 and 39.4 Yahoo points against the Bucks and Bulls on Jan. 6 and 10, respectively. The likely tired Blazers could be hard-pressed to prevent another strong performance, considering they already check in allowing 49.3 Yahoo points per game to power forwards in the last seven contests.

ALSO CONSIDER: Miles Bridges, CHA at DET ($34)

Forward to Avoid

Caleb Martin, MIA vs. MEM ($20): Martin is typically a very safe play, but that doesn't change the fact he's carrying a bit of a higher salary than he should Wednesday. The veteran wing has been under 20 Yahoo points in three of his last five games, and he hasn't scored more than 23.1 in any of his last seven dating back to Christmas Day. Rozier could potentially make his debut for Miami on Wednesday as well, but even if he doesn't, Martin simply hasn't had as many opportunities now that the Heat's previously injured starters have gotten healthy. With injuries opening up more floor time for several players around the league, your salary can arguably be better deployed elsewhere.


Chet Holmgren, OKC at SAN ($31): Holmgren carries a very reasonable salary for a player of his upside, and especially in the same matchup that Joel Embiid just scored a 76ers franchise-record 70 points in. The second-year pro comes in with some solid momentum as well, having scored 41.5 Yahoo points against the Blazers on Tuesday with the help of six blocks. Holmgren scored 37.5 and 33 Yahoo points in the two games immediately preceding that performance, and he's averaging an impressive 37.9 for the season. The Spurs are now surrendering the second-highest offensive efficiency rating to centers (37.2) and 61.6 Yahoo points per game to the position in the last 15 contests, making them an excellent target.

Dario Saric, GSW vs. ATL ($11): Saric always makes for a potentially rewarding play from a fantasy-points-per-dollar perspective when he carries a salary just $1 away from minimum. The big man and his Warriors teammates finally return to action Wednesday after last having played Jan. 15, so there could certainly be some rust involved. However, that long layoff could also mean starters are eased back in somewhat, and with Draymond Green having played just one game following his long suspension before the long layoff, Saric is likely to see some solid minutes off the bench based on that alone. The veteran floor spacer had been running hot prior to the pause in play, having scored 24.9 to 35.4 Yahoo points in four of the previous five contests, and 31.4 two games prior to the start of that stretch.

ALSO CONSIDER: Rudy Gobert, MIN at WAS ($29)

Center to Avoid

Deandre Ayton, POR at HOU ($23): Ayton is another member of the Blazers that I feel could be expendable in the lineup-building process Wednesday, given he'll be playing his fourth game in the last six nights and has struggled considerably in his last two. Ayton has just 9.8 and 13.4 Yahoo points in that pair of outings, and he draws a matchup that isn't the easiest Wednesday. The Rockets have been tough on centers, allowing the 10th-lowest offensive efficiency rating to the position (31.4) for the season. While Ayton is certainly capable of better numbers than he's recently shown, investing a salary that's nearly in the mid-20s in the hopes he breaks out isn't the most prudent move to make.