Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks
Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

The NBA All-Star break mercifully comes to an end Thursday with six games on the schedule. The evening will be highlighted be a great matchup between the Celtics and Bucks. Let's dive into the slate and highlight some players to target and avoid while creating your Yahoo entry.

GUARDS

Stephen Curry, GS vs. SAC ($36): This is the first time all season that Curry has been priced lower than $40. Yes, his ceiling hasn't been as high since DeMarcus Cousins returned to action. However, he's still scored at least 40.7 Yahoo points in six of his last eight games. Both of these teams are in the top-10 in the league in pace of play, making this a prime opportunity to take advantage of Curry at his reduced price tag.

Jordan Clarkson, CLE vs. PHO ($17): In the Cavaliers final game before the break, Clarkson scored 60.1 Yahoo points across 48 minutes during a triple-overtime loss to the Nets. The key number in his stat line is his 34 shot attempts. With the Cavaliers extremely thin at guard and on scoring options, in general, Clarkson should be a usage monster down the stretch. That makes him an extremely appealing option in this contest against the Suns, who allow the third-most points per game (116.1) in the league.

Guard to Avoid

Justise Winslow, MIA at PHI ($17): There is a chance that Thursday could bring the return of Goran Dragic (knee), who is officially listed as questionable. Winslow has been filling in for him as the Heat's starting point guard, but even if he remains a starter upon Dragic's return, he should see a reduced role. He's already scored 27 Yahoo points or fewer in five of his last seven games, so he's certainly a risky option.

FORWARDS

Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. HOU ($22): After a brief rough patch, Kuzma has rebounded to score at least 28.5 Yahoo points in three straight games. He dominated with 35 points in the Rising Stars Challenge and looks locked in to help the Lakers make a run for the playoffs. It certainly helps his production upside that the Lakers play at the fourth-fastest pace (103.8 possessions per game). Kuzma has also had plenty of success against the Rockets this season, scoring 49.1 and 42.1 Yahoo points, respectively, across their last two meetings.

Caris LeVert, BKN vs. POR ($16): The Nets have taken a cautious approach with LeVert's return, which is no surprise considering the injury that he had suffered. After logging just 15 minutes in his first game back, he played 31 minutes last Wednesday against the Cavaliers. He cashed in his increased playing time for 33.9 Yahoo points. With the added rest during the break under his belt, expect LeVert to at least approach 30 minutes again Thursday.

Forward to Avoid

Kevin Love, CLE vs. PHO ($32): The good news is that Love is not on the injury report for this game. The bad news is that he is still going to be on a minute's restriction. This is a good matchup against the Suns, but Love is the fourth-most expensive forward for the evening. It's hard to justify paying this much for him based on his uncertain playing time.

CENTERS

Jusuf Nurkic, POR at BKN ($27): The Blazers could be shorthanded for this game with Damian Lillard (ankle) listed as questionable. If he is unable to play, that should leave even more scoring opportunities for Nurkic, who already has the third-highest usage rate (24.4 percent) on the team. If Lillard does take the floor, this is still a great matchup for Nurkic considering the Nets allow the seventh-most Yahoo points per game (39.1) to opposing centers.

Boban Marjanovic, PHI vs. MIA ($10): The Sixers received some bad news Wednesday when Joel Embiid (knee) was ruled out for at least a week. That leaves them with Marjanovic, Jonah Bolden and Amir Johnson to man the middle. Marjanovic may not start, but he should still see increased playing time. That's huge for him, especially since he scored 25.1 Yahoo points across just 14 minutes in his last game against the Knicks. At the minimum price, he's well worth the risk in tournament play.

Center to Avoid

Kenneth Faried, HOU at LAL ($23): The Rockets couldn't have asked for much more from Faried since he signed with the team. Across 12 games with his new squad, he's averaged 15.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and one block. The problem is Clint Capela (thumb) is listed as probable for this game. Faried should move to a reserve role with Capela back in action and there's no way he's going to come close to approaching his current average of 30 minutes a game. Make sure to keep him out of your entry.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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