Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

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Mike Barner
·4 min read
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There won't be a ton of action in the NBA on Thursday with just five games on the schedule. However, there are still a lot of big names to consider in DFS, which might make filling out your lineups a little tricky. Here are some players to possibly target, as well as a few to potentially avoid.

GUARDS

Delon Wright, DET vs. IND ($21): The trade of Derrick Rose has opened up an opportunity for Wright to play added minutes. He's averaging 28 minutes per game for the season, but he's logged at least 37 minutes in back-to-back games. Across 10 games in which he has played at least 30 minutes, he's averaged 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.6 steals. That leaves him with the potential to provide significant value at this salary.

T.J. McConnell, IND at DET ($12): It was an ugly performance by the Pacers on Wednesday when they scored just 30 points in the first half against the Nets, one of the worst defensive teams in the league. One of the few bright spots in the game was the play of McConnell, who scored 27.4 Yahoo points. As one of the main players off the Pacers' bench, McConnell has now scored at least that many Yahoo points in four of the last five games.

Guard to Avoid

Kemba Walker, BOS vs. TOR ($23): Walker is risky. He can go off on any given night, but he's also stuck in a major shooting slump right now. His field goal percentage enters this game at an ugly 34.2 percent, which has left him with an average of just 15 points per game. That would be his lowest average since his rookie season. If you're looking for a player with a high floor, Walker probably isn't it.

FORWARDS

Jerami Grant, DET vs. IND ($33): The move to Detroit has been a blessing for Grant's production. He's averaging a whopping 17.8 shots per game after never averaging more than 10.3 attempts during a season in his career. He's also averaging 36 minutes, which would be another career-best. The Pacers could have tired legs here playing on consecutive nights, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see them have trouble slowing down Grant.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, GS vs. ORL ($15): No reinforcements are coming for the Warriors up front with James Wiseman (wrist) and Kevon Looney (ankle) still out. They've gone small with Draymond Green at center, which has thrust Toscano-Anderson into the starting five. He's taken well to the role, scoring at least 22 Yahoo points in all four contests.

Forward to Avoid

Blake Griffin, DET vs. IND ($17): Griffin started out his career with five straight seasons of shooting at least 50 percent from the field. That number has declined as he's taken more attempts from behind the arc, but it's plummeted this season to 36.4 percent. The result has been him scoring fewer than 10 points in six of his last nine games. Like Walker, adding Griffin to your entry would come with plenty of risk.

CENTERS

Nikola Vucevic, ORL at GS ($45): Two key players to keep an eye on leading up to tip off are Cole Anthony (shoulder) and Evan Fournier (back), who are both listed as questionable. If they both can't play, Vucevic and Terrence Ross will have to carry the offense for the Magic. Even if they do play, being without Aaron Gordon (ankle) and Markelle Fultz (knee) still benefits Vucevic, who has scored at least 43.8 Yahoo points in four of the last five games.

Chris Boucher, TOR at BOS ($21): If you're looking for appealing centers whose salary won't destroy your budget, there aren't many for this slate. Boucher stands out as one to consider after scoring at least 32 Yahoo points in four straight games. He might be better suited for tournament play, though, given that his playing time can fluctuate on a nightly basis.

Center to Avoid

DeMarcus Cousins, HOU vs. MIA ($26): This is a tough spot for Cousins facing Bam Adebayo, who is one of the best defensive big men in the league. With Adebayo manning the paint, it should come as no surprise that the Heat have allowed the eighth-fewest Yahoo points per game to opposing centers. It might make more sense to take a chance on Boucher considering he at least has similar upside and checks in at a cheaper salary.