Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

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As far as Thursday's go, this will be a fairly busy one with six games on the schedule in the NBA. The Warriors will be in action again, this time looking to improve their record against a Cavaliers team missing several key players, including standout rookie Evan Mobley (elbow). Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference will also be facing off when the Heat host the Wizards. Another potentially juicy matchup will take place in Utah when the Jazz host the Raptors. Let's dig into the matchups and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to potentially avoid.

GUARDS

Dejounte Murray, SA at MIN ($39): Murray could have plenty of opportunities to be productive in this game given that both the Spurs and the Timberwolves rank inside the top-nine in the league in pace of play. He's off to a fantastic start in an expanded role, averaging 18.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 2.1 steals. That's helped propel him to score at least 42.1 Yahoo points in six of the last seven games. 

Gary Payton II, GS at CLE ($11): The key bit of news to watch for in this game is an update on Stephen Curry (hip), who is listed as questionable. If he sits, Payton would likely garner added playing time. If Curry plays, this could be a blowout against the undermanned Cavaliers, which could also lead to added playing time in the second half for Payton. At near the minimum salary, he could be worth taking a chance on in tournament play.

Guard to Avoid

Dillon Brooks, MEM vs. LAC ($24): If there is one thing that you can count on with Brooks, it's that he's not afraid to shoot. Across three games since returning from injury, he's produced a 31.7 percent usage rate. However, his appeal in DFS is still limited, especially at this salary, given his modest averages of 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Last season, he only averaged 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

FORWARDS

Paul George, LAC at MEM ($47): When I think of the Grizzlies, I usually think of a tough defensive team. However, that hasn't been the case this season, with them sporting the second-worst defensive rating in the league. Enter George, who has a 34.9 percent usage rate and has averaged a robust 48.0 Yahoo points per game.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, WAS at MIA ($14): Playing the second game of a back-to-back set, the Wizards will rest Spencer Dinwiddie. The only other game he missed this season, Caldwell-Pope scored 34.6 Yahoo points. With added shot attempts likely coming in this contest, Caldwell-Pope is a viable option, despite a less-than-stellar matchup against a very good defensive team.

Forward to Avoid

Aaron Gordon, DEN vs. PHI ($21): Gordon is a very skilled player, but his game doesn't always translate well to fantasy. He can have the occasional outburst, like when he scored 47.8 Yahoo points in a matchup against the Hawks last week. However, he's generally been underwhelming, scoring 24.8 Yahoo points or fewer in six of his last seven games.

CENTERS

Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. PHI ($54): The Sixers have been getting torched by big men since Joel Embiid (COVID-19) went down. In their last game, Rudy Gobert only needed 28 minutes to rack up 15 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Now they have to face Jokic, who has scored at least 60.8 Yahoo points in three of his last four games. He's someone to consider building your entire lineup around.

Drew Eubanks, SA at MIN ($12): Eubanks isn't playing a ton as a fill-in starter for Jakob Poeltl (COVID-19), averaging just 22 minutes over seven games. However, he still managed to average 9.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks over that stretch. At this cheap salary, he should at least be on your radar in tournament play.

Center to Avoid

Andre Drummond, PHI at DEN ($35): Drummond was worked over by Gobert early, then rode the pine late in the game Tuesday with the Sixers being blown out. The end result was him scoring 18.7 Yahoo points across 12 minutes. While he might not be that bad in this game, a matchup against Jokic and a Nuggets team that has the third-best defensive rating in the league is not ideal.