Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Mike Barner
RotoWire.com

As far as Thursday's go, we have a fairly busy night with six games on the NBA schedule. Several of the best teams in the league will be in action with the Clippers, Celtics, Jazz, Sixers and Raptors all set to take the floor. That leaves us with a lot of top-tier options to choose from in DFS, as well. Here are some players to consider for your Yahoo entry, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

GUARDS

Bradley Beal, WAS vs. CHA ($40): Although there are a lot of very good teams who will play during this slate, this game features two of the worst squads in the league. That doesn't matter for DFS purposes, though. In fact, Beal is one of the more appealing players at any position after scoring at least 47.4 Yahoo points in four straight games. His 33 percent usage rate is the seventh-highest mark in the league, so he should have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of a Hornets team that has the fifth-worst defensive rating.

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Terry Rozier, CHA at WAS ($24): The Hornets have scored the fewest points per game, but this is a chance for them to shine offensively with the Wizards allowing the most points per game. Rozier is one of their offensive leaders, averaging a career-high 18.1 points per game. He's also averaging 4.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals, leaving him with plenty of upside at this reasonable price.

Guard to Avoid

Damion Lee, GS at BOS ($15): Lee's started to see his production decline, which has resulted in him playing fewer minutes. He's logged 27 minutes or fewer in each of the last three games, leaving him to score 15.4 Yahoo points or fewer in each contest. A tough matchup on the road against a Celtics team that has the fourth-best defensive rating isn't an ideal situation for him to get back on track.

FORWARDS

Pascal Siakam, TOR at CLE ($38): The Cavaliers have struggled to slow down opposing power forwards, allowing the ninth-most Yahoo points per game to the position. Enter Siakam, who has scored at least 40.8 Yahoo points in three of his last four contests. The Raptors will have to rely on him even more with Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) out, so look for Siakam to produce a valuable stat line.

Troy Brown Jr., WAS vs. CHA ($18): The Wizards will be slightly shorthanded in this game with Jordan McRae (ankle) ruled out. Although he might not be a big name, he's carved out a prominent role for himself off the bench. His absence should open up added playing time for Brown, who scored 30.9 Yahoo points across 35 minutes with McRae out Tuesday against the Bucks.

Forward to Avoid

Joe Ingles, UTA at DEN ($19): Ingles makes this section for the second straight day. He laid another egg against the Spurs on Wednesday, scoring 15.4 Yahoo points across 30 minutes. After having scored 23.4 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last five contests, there isn't enough upside here to warrant adding him to your entry.

CENTERS

Serge Ibaka, TOR at CLE ($23): The injury to Gasol should open up a starting spot for Ibaka. He stepped up after Gasol went down Tuesday against the Hawks, scoring 42 Yahoo points across 27 minutes. He's played very well when starting this season, averaging 17.6 points and 9.9 rebounds over 14 games. It should also help his cause that the Cavaliers have allowed the seventh-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers.

Daniel Theis, BOS vs. GS ($18): Another team dealing with injuries is the Celtics, who will be without Enes Kanter (hip) four the fourth straight game. Theis logged at least 30 minutes in each of the previous three games that Kanter missed, scoring at least 30.2 Yahoo points each time. With no shortage of playing time likely coming against the Warriors, he makes for a great cost-effective option.

Center to Avoid

Tristan Thompson, CLE vs. TOR ($20): Thompson couldn't follow up his strong performance against the Pistons on Monday, scoring just 13.8 Yahoo points against the Pelicans on Tuesday. He's generally struggled lately, scoring 21.4 Yahoo points or fewer in three of his last four contests. Although losing Gasol is significant, Ibaka is also an excellent defender. With Ibaka and Theis both in the same price range, staying away from Thompson could prove to be wise.

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