Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

Thursday brings five games in the NBA, which includes a couple of teams that will be playing the second-game of a back-to-back set. There’s the potential for a couple of blowouts, too, with the Suns hosting the Rockets and the Thunder taking on the Lakers. Among the better matchups should be the Hawks hosting the Jazz, although it will be important to look for a status update on Donovan Mitchell (ankle), who is listed as questionable. Let’s dig into the slate and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to potentially avoid.

GUARDS

Tyler Herro, MIA vs. BOS ($24): Herro has provided a spark off the bench for the Heat, scoring at least 33.7 Yahoo points in five of seven games. The Heat don’t have as deep of a bench as in recent seasons, so Herro has been able to average 32 minutes and post a 29.3 percent usage rate. If that continues in this game, he could dominate a Celtics team that, before Wednesday’s strong performance against the rebuilding Magic, had struggled defensively.

Kyle Lowry, MIA vs. BOS ($23): It took a little while for Lowry to get used to his new surroundings. He scored nine points or fewer in each of his first four games despite logging a least 31 minutes in three of those contests. The good news is that he seems to have found his groove, scoring 38.0 and 40.5 Yahoo points in his last two games, respectively. With their reasonable salaries, Lowry and Herro are appealing.

Guard to Avoid

Cade Cunningham, DET vs. PHI ($23): Just about the only positive from Cunningham’s performance against the Bucks on Tuesday was that he logged 29 minutes. He shot an ugly 2-for-14 from the field and also finished with just two rebounds. After being forced to miss five of seven games with an injury, it might take Cunningham some time to get his feet under him in the NBA.

FORWARDS

Jimmy Butler, MIA vs. BOS ($43): Okay, this is the last player from the Heat that we’ll talk about. If you could only fit one player from the Heat into your lineup, it might need to be Butler. His usage rate checks in at 27.7 percent, which is even more exciting when you consider that he’s also shot 51.3 percent from the field. He’s been far more than just a scorer, too, averaging 6.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.9 steals.

Cam Reddish, ATL vs. UTA ($12): Reddish wasn’t overly involved in the Hawks’ offense the first two seasons of his career, recording an 18.9 and a 19.3 percent usage rate, respectively. He’s been more aggressive this season, though, with a 25.5 percent usage rate. That’s help him score at least 25.1 Yahoo points in five of eight games. 

Forward to Avoid

Saddiq Bey, DET vs. PHI ($24): Bey was as cold as Cunningham was in that game against the Bucks, scoring four points on 2-for-13 shooting from the field. Efficiency has been a problem for Bey, as he followed up his 40.4 percent shooting from the field last season with a 39.4 percent mark across seven games. Add in his usually underwhelming contributions in steals and blocks and Bey’s upside is limited.

CENTERS

Christian Wood, HOU at PHO ($36): As bad as the Rockets have been, it’s pretty clear that Wood is going to play a lot, even if they are involved in a lopsided game. He’s averaged 34 minutes per game, which is two minutes more than his breakout performance last season. With his added playing time, he’s provided lofty averages of 20.1 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists. If Deandre Ayton (leg) is forced to miss his second straight game, Wood could feast against the Suns’ compromised interior defense.

Andre Drummond, PHI at DET ($24): The Sixers played the Bulls on Wednesday, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Joel Embiid miss this game for rest. He’s already battling knee issues, and they will be facing a vastly inferior foe in the Pistons. The only other game that Embiid missed this season, Drummond started and scored 60.5 Yahoo points.

Center to Avoid

Isaiah Stewart, DET vs. PHI ($18): It’s been an ugly start to the season for Stewart. He’s only averaged 23 minutes per game, which has included him logging 21 minutes or fewer in three of the last four games. That’s left him to produce disappointing averages of 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds. Until he consistently starts to play more, it might be best to avoid him in DFS.