Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for Wednesday's Play-In Games

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for Wednesday's Play-In Games

We've finally reached the postseason after a long regular season, and we're suddenly dealing with an exponentially smaller player pool than we're used to for a midweek slate. Fortunately, we are blessed with a very light injury report, which affords as many options as possible within the parameters of a two-game schedule.

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 at CHI ($41): Young's backcourt mate Dejounte Murray is simply carrying too high a salary ($48) for what his production is likely to be with a healthy Young back in the lineup, but the latter is arguably at somewhat of a discount. Granted, the Bulls were a tough matchup for point guards most of the season, and Young shot a miserable 29.0% in two games versus Chicago. Nevertheless, he was able to get three games in before the end of the season after his long injury layoff, and he should be much more rested than most of the defenders he encounters in Wednesday's high-stakes matchup. With everything on the line for the Hawks, I'd expect Young to frequently put the offense on his shoulders.

Alex Caruso, CHI vs. ATL ($18): Caruso has the potential to offer a very strong return on investment, given his upside and salary. The veteran wing scored 31.8 to 45 Yahoo points in the last three games of the regular season, offering a glimpse at how he's capable of easily outpacing his salary. Additionally, Caruso posted 29.5 Yahoo points against the Hawks in the last regular-season meeting with them, and Atlanta finished the season ranked No. 24 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to small forwards (24.0).

ALSO CONSIDER: Tyrese Maxey, PHI vs. MIA ($43); Tyler Herro MIA at PHI ($32)

Guard to Avoid

Dejounte Murray, ATL at CHI ($48): Murray's salary remains unchanged from his heyday as Young's fill-in during the stretch run, and that's a problem on such a small slate. You're being asked to invest more for Murray than any other player except for Joel Embiid, yet Murray finished with 40.1 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last five games in the regular season, including two of the three Young played in when he returned. The one outlier in that span – a 72.1 Yahoo-point outburst in the double-OT loss to the Heat – was a byproduct of 49 minutes of floor time and Young still being out. While the Bulls were a very good matchup for shooting guards on paper this season and Murray could very well have a rock-solid game, he'll have quite an uphill climb to justify his salary.


DeMar DeRozan, CHI vs. ATL ($41): DeRozan has the highest salary of any forward and deservedly so, having finished the regular season scoring at least 30 actual points in four straight games and at least 40 Yahoo points in 10 of his last 11 contests overall. One of those games was a tally of 43.9 Yahoo points against these same Hawks back on April 1, and Atlanta, which remains short-handed in the frontcourt due to Jalen Johnson's (ankle) absence, wrapped up the regular season having allowed 47.7 Yahoo points per contest to power forwards in the last 15 games.

Kelly Oubre Jr., PHI vs. MIA ($25): Oubre turned in a dud (16 Yahoo points) in his final game of the regular season, but the talented wing scored 29.6 to 52.9 Yahoo points in the seven contests prior to that outlier. All but that one score at the beginning of the range was above 30 Yahoo points, affording him the potential to be the most rewarding mid-salary play of the slate. The Heat allowed 43.4 Yahoo points per contest to small forwards over the last seven games of the season as well, and Miami also conceded 51.7% shooting, including 40.0% from 3-point range, to Oubre in three meetings this season.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tobias Harris, PHI vs. MIA ($34)

Forward to Avoid

Caleb Martin, MIA at PHI ($21): If Martin's salary was $5-$7 less, I'd have no problem with him. However, on a slate where it will be important to roster some big names, you don't want to spend even a few extra dollars on risky options if you can help it. Martin is capable of exceeding 30 Yahoo points, but he's even more likely to finish with less than 20, as was the case in six of his last nine regular-season games. With a starter like the Hawks' De'Andre Hunter actually carrying a salary of a $1 less, I'd steer clear of Martin at this level of investment.


Joel Embiid, PHI vs. MIA ($59): Embiid's salary is through the roof, but on such a small slate and in a position such as center, he has to be given very serious consideration due to his vast ceiling. The big man also comes in well-rested, having sat out the last game of the regular season and therefore not having taken the court since Friday. The Heat were a tough matchup for most centers all season, but as Embiid has demonstrated on many occasions before, he's certainly an exception to the rule more often than not when he faces Miami.

Clint Capela, ATL at CHI ($27): Capela makes for an interesting mid-salary play at this position if you're going to spend up elsewhere, given both how he finished the regular season and his previous body of work against the Bulls. The veteran scored over 35 Yahoo points in four of his last seven games, including a tally of 37.7 Yahoo points in just 26 minutes against Chicago on April 1. The Bulls also finished the regular season ranked No. 20 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to centers (33.4), and Capela, like Embiid, will come in with fresh legs after last having played Friday.

ALSO CONSIDER: Nikola Vucevic, CHI vs. ATL ($35)

Center to Avoid

Paul Reed, PHI vs. MIA ($17: Embiid should be rested and ready to handle a normal workload Wednesday, which means Reed should have a much more modest role, especially when also considering how tight postseason rotations can be. Reed had a big regular-season finale with Embiid out, but he scored just 14.1 and 18.2 Yahoo points in the previous two games with his teammate available. With four solid starting options available, there's really no need to spend anything above minimum for a backup center on this slate.