Thursday brings only five games in the NBA, but plenty of star players will take the floor with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Raptors and Thunder all in action. Let’s take a look at some players to both target and avoid for all the teams playing to hopefully help you create a winning Yahoo entry.
Russell Westbrook, OKC at DEN ($60): Westbrook had a rough game Monday against the Wizards, shooting just 5-of-18 from the field and committing seven turnovers. However, based on his ability to contribute across the board, he still managed to score 40.2 Yahoo points. Expect him to get back on track Thursday against a Nuggets team that allows the fourth-most Yahoo points per game (45.9) to opposing point guards.
Andrew Harrison, MEM at DET ($10): The Grizzlies announced Wednesday that Tyreke Evans is not going to play while the team looks to move him before the trade deadline. Not only does his absence open up significant playing time, but the Grizzlies are also dealing with multiple injuries to key parts of their rotation. Harrison has played at least 25 minutes in four straight games as a result, scoring at least 20.2 Yahoo points in three of those contests. He could be worth the risk Thursday at the minimum price.
Guard to Avoid
Jeff Teague, MIN vs. MIL ($23): Teague gets plenty of playing time for the Timberwolves, which is normally the case for anyone who starts for Tom Thibodeau. However, Teague doesn’t have a ton of upside being surrounded by superior offensive players in Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Teague has scored 24.6 Yahoo points or less in five of his last eight games, so it might be best to stay away from using him Thursday.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at MIN ($56): The Bucks will likely be without Eric Bledsoe (ankle) on Thursday, who is listed as doubtful for the game. Giannis already has the fifth-highest usage rate (31.8%) in the league, but could be in for an even bigger role with Bledsoe sidelined. He has scored at least 52.8 Yahoo points in five straight games and has excellent upside again Thursday.
Stanley Johnson, DET vs. MEM ($13): Johnson was spectacular Tuesday against the Cavaliers, scoring a whopping 49 Yahoo points. A lot of that had to do with the Pistons being shorthanded due to their trade with the Clippers, so it’s hard to expect him to produce like that again Thursday with Blake Griffin likely to make his debut. However, Johnson should still see increased playing time moving forward with Avery Bradley no longer on the team. He still has the potential to out produce his price point in this game.
Forward to Avoid
Andrew Wiggins, MIN vs. MIL ($30): Wiggins put up some big numbers when Jimmy Butler was injured, but has now returned to his normal role in the offense. He has great talent, but his usage rate has dropped five percent this season due to the addition of Butler. Wiggins has scored 34 Yahoo points or less in five straight games, so he might not have enough upside to warrant his price tag.
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Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. MIL ($43): Towns has also seen his value decrease this season because of Butler, but has still managed to score at least 41.1 Yahoo points in three of his last four games. With a double-double in 17 of his last 18 games, he has a high floor in DFS. Considering the Bucks allow the fifth-most Yahoo points per game (51.1) to opposing centers, Towns could have a high upside Thursday as well.
Steven Adams, OKC at DEN ($30): Adams has been extremely consistent lately, scoring at least 30.4 Yahoo points in nine straight games. During that stretch, he has had three games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Thunder have no depth up front behind him and really need his defense with Andre Roberson (knee) out, so expect him to keep things rolling Thursday.
Center to Avoid
Pau Gasol, SA vs. HOU ($22): Gasol is playing well right now, scoring at least 30.7 Yahoo points in six of his last seven games. However, this is a tough matchup Thursday against a Rockets team that likes to use a lot of small lineups. In his first game against the Rockets this season, Gasol only scored 11.3 Yahoo points in 18 minutes. It might be wise to pass on him when crafting your lineup.