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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Mike Barner

Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. He currently focuses on the NBA. Before RotoWire, Mike wrote for KFFL.com.

One of the four games in the NBA on Thursday starts in the afternoon, leaving only three games for the main contests on Yahoo. There aren’t a lot of options as a result, but there are still elite players to choose from with the Cavaliers, Raptors and Spurs all taking the floor. Here are some players to both target and avoid for your entry.

GUARDS

Lou Williams, LAC at SAC ($35): Williams was spectacular Wednesday against the Warriors, scoring 50 points to go along with seven assists and eight three-pointers. With the Clippers decimated by injuries, Williams has taken at least 22 shots in three of his last four games. His usage rate is all the way up to 30% this season, which ranks him inside the top-15 in the league. Even if Blake Griffin (concussion) does manage to return Thursday, Williams is an excellent option for your entry.

Delon Wright, TOR vs. CLE ($15): Kyle Lowry (back) is unlikely to play Thursday, which should lead to another start for Wright. He started Tuesday’s game against the Heat in place of Lowry, finishing with 33.4 Yahoo points in 29 minutes. Wright was already playing more before Lowry’s injury as well, averaging 26 minutes over five games in January. He has the potential to be one of the better value plays of the night.

[Join the free NBA Yahoo Cup. $25K in total prizes with weekly winners]One of the four games in the NBA on Thursday starts in the afternoon, leaving only three games for the main contests on Yahoo. There aren’t a lot of options as a result, but there are still elite players to choose from with the Cavaliers, Raptors and Spurs all taking the floor. Here are some players to both target and avoid for your entry.

Guard to Avoid

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL vs. SA ($18): Caldwell-Pope is averaging 34 minutes per game this season, but he’s played 29 minutes or less in three of his last four games. He wasn’t very productive even when he was getting a lot of playing time as his 17.6% usage rate is his lowest since his rookie season. He’s scored 25.9 Yahoo points or less in six of his last seven games, so there just isn’t enough upside to play him against a tough Spurs defense Thursday.

FORWARDS

LaMarcus Aldridge, SA at LAL ($38): Aldridge has been rock solid in DFS lately, scoring at least 42 Yahoo points in seven of his last eight games. Not only has he been the Spurs main scoring option with Kawhi Leonard (shoulder) out, but he is also averaging 11.4 rebounds over his last five games. Leonard has already been ruled out again for Thursday, so expect Aldridge to continue his productive ways against the Lakers.

Kyle Anderson, SA at LAL ($20): Anderson has been a steady contributor for the Spurs, resulting in at least 22.7 Yahoo points in six of his last seven games. Not only should he see increased playing time with Leonard out, but Rudy Gay (heel) is also out, Tony Parker (ankle) is doubtful and Danny Green (groin) is questionable. The Lakers play at the fastest pace (103.9 possessions per game) and allow the second-most points per game (111.1) in the league, so Anderson has upside in this game.

Forward to Avoid

Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. SA ($25): Kuzma has cooled off dramatically, scoring 28.5 Yahoo points or less in seven of his last eight games. With Brook Lopez back, the Lakers frontcourt is at full strength. As a result, Kuzma has played 26 minutes or less in three straight games. The Spurs are one of only two teams in the league that allow an average of less than 100 points per game, so this matchup is not ideal for the offensive-minded Kuzma. His future appears to be bright, but Thursday might not be the night you want him in your lineup.

CENTERS

DeAndre Jordan, LAC at SAC ($32): Jordan continues to dominate the glass for the Clippers, but he’s also been thrust into a more prominent offensive role due to all of the Clippers’ injuries. He’s only averaging 11.9 points per game this season, but he is averaging 17.6 points over his last five contests. If Griffin doesn’t play Thursday, Jordan could be in for all the minutes he can handle against a big Kings frontcourt. Even if Griffin does return, he should provide value based on the Clippers lack of depth overall.

Montrezl Harrell, LAC at SAC ($11): Harrell has been forced into more playing time lately, resulting in him scoring at least 21.4 Yahoo points in two of his last three games. With the Kings depth up front, the Clippers are going to need Harrell to log significant minutes again if Griffin can’t play. He won’t cost you much and should be worth the risk in tournament play as long as Griffin is ruled out. Keep an eye out for updates throughout the day.

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Center to Avoid

Zach Randolph, SAC vs. LAC ($23): Randolph is in a slump right now, scoring 23.2 Yahoo points or less in six of his last eight games. He’s played 22 minutes or less in four of his last seven games, which hasn’t left him with a great opportunity to get back on track. The Kings rotations seem to change every night, making it difficult to rely on many of their players in DFS. Until Randolph shows signs of improvement, it might be best to just avoid him all together.

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The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51 .