Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for Wednesday 1/31

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Who to Play, Who to Avoid for Wednesday 1/31

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

We have our typically robust midweek slate on tap, as there are 10 games on the docket. It shapes up as a particularly interesting night for DFS purposes, as there are some key injuries opening up plenty of value options that will be popular yet very viable for cost-saving purposes.

As customary, we'll highlight multiple advantageous positional matchups to exploit at each position for your Yahoo Fantasy lineups, as well as a good trio of candidates that may be best to steer clear of due to a combination of circumstances/salary.  

Guards

Damian Lillard, MIL at POR ($40): Lillard makes for an intriguing, high-upside pivot over pricier options in his return to Portland in what is Doc Rivers' second game at the helm of the Bucks. The star guard turned in somewhat of a dud in Doc's debut Monday against the Nuggets, posting 28.1 Yahoo points across 35 minutes. However, Lillard had tallies of 52.7 and 70.7 Yahoo points within the prior five games, a reminder of the upside he carries at his salary. The Blazers rank No. 19 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to PGs (28.3) and have surrendered an NBA-high 57 Yahoo points per game to the position in the last 15 games, while the 49.9% shooting they've conceded at home bodes well for both Lillard's scoring and assist numbers.

Malcolm Brogdon, POR vs. MIL ($27): Having just made a case for Dame, we'll also tout his opposite number Wednesday, with Brogdon doing a fine job

We have our typically robust midweek slate on tap, as there are 10 games on the docket. It shapes up as a particularly interesting night for DFS purposes, as there are some key injuries opening up plenty of value options that will be popular yet very viable for cost-saving purposes.

As customary, we'll highlight multiple advantageous positional matchups to exploit at each position for your Yahoo Fantasy lineups, as well as a good trio of candidates that may be best to steer clear of due to a combination of circumstances/salary.  

Guards

Damian Lillard, MIL at POR ($40): Lillard makes for an intriguing, high-upside pivot over pricier options in his return to Portland in what is Doc Rivers' second game at the helm of the Bucks. The star guard turned in somewhat of a dud in Doc's debut Monday against the Nuggets, posting 28.1 Yahoo points across 35 minutes. However, Lillard had tallies of 52.7 and 70.7 Yahoo points within the prior five games, a reminder of the upside he carries at his salary. The Blazers rank No. 19 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to PGs (28.3) and have surrendered an NBA-high 57 Yahoo points per game to the position in the last 15 games, while the 49.9% shooting they've conceded at home bodes well for both Lillard's scoring and assist numbers.

Malcolm Brogdon, POR vs. MIL ($27): Having just made a case for Dame, we'll also tout his opposite number Wednesday, with Brogdon doing a fine job holding down Lillard's old spot out west of late. The veteran is also facing off with one of his old squads in the Bucks, which have surrendered an Eastern Conference-high 31.0 offensive efficiency rating to point guards, along with 54.3 Yahoo points to ones in the last 15. Brogdon has been on a tear as well, outperforming his current salary comfortably by scoring 36.2 to 52.4 Yahoo points in four of his last six games alone.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tim Hardaway, DAL at MIN ($19)

Guard to Avoid

Cole Anthony, ORL at SAN ($21): Anthony is typically a safe play that won't completely tank one of your guard or utility spots, but he also often has limited ceiling in his second-unit role. The veteran is arguably carrying a salary of about $5 too high based on recent production, which includes six tallies of 18.2 Yahoo points or fewer in his last 11 games. As that sample indicates, there's probably a better than 50% chance you get a result that doesn't quite justify his salary, even with the favorable matchup against the Spurs.

Forwards 

Kawhi Leonard, LAC at WAS ($40): The Wizards are always a target for DFS purposes when on the slate, and Leonard is one of several Clippers that could have a case made for them in Wednesday's matchup. The star wing checks in running hot, having scored 47.4 to 60.2 Yahoo points in three of the last four games. Kawhi is shooting a blistering 59.4% over the entirety of that span, and he now gets a crack at a Wizards team that's averaging just under five possessions more per game than Los Angeles and that's given up the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating to power forwards (29.6), along with 48.6 Yahoo points per contest to the position for the season. Washington is also allowing 50.3% shooting at home – the league's second-highest figure – and a robust 7.9 steals per contest in that split, two other figures that dovetail well with some of Kawhi's primary sources of fantasy production.

Brandon Miller, CHA vs. CHI ($21): Miller bounced back from back-to-back duds by posting 43.9 Yahoo points against the Knicks on Monday night, and he also boasts tallies of 36.6 to 40.8 Yahoo points in four other games dating back to Jan. 19. Wednesday lines up as another potential breakout night where he overdelivers on a very reasonable salary, as LaMelo Ball carries a doubtful tag due to his ankle injury. Miller sports a 27.8 percent usage rate and puts up just under 35 Yahoo points per 36 minutes with Ball and the departed Terry Rozier off the floor, putting the rookie firmly in play against a Bulls team allowing 40.2% 3-point shooting to two-guards.

ALSO CONSIDER: Harrison Barnes, SAC at MIA ($10)

Forward to Avoid

Evan Mobley, CLE vs. DET ($36): Mobley is certainly capable of production that justifies his current salary, but due to his extended injury absence, we haven't seen that upside in quite some time. The big man came back from his knee injury Monday against the Clippers and was clearly on a playing time limit, logging 21 minutes and putting up 20.8 Yahoo points. The efficiency was encouraging, but Mobley is likely going to see only a small ramp-up Wednesday and could therefore have a difficult time justifying a salary that's a carry-over figure from his pre-injury performances. 

Centers

Alperen Sengun, HOU vs. NOP ($42): There are several appealing center candidates on the higher end of the positional pool Wednesday, and Sengun shapes up as a great balance between upside and salary. The breakout star is averaging 43.7 Yahoo points per game, but as he demonstrated Monday night against the Lakers with a tally of 60.9 Yahoo points, his ceiling is appreciably higher. That performance was Sengun's fourth of over 50 Yahoo points in the last six games alone, and he already boasts a 63.2 Yahoo-point effort against these same Pelicans earlier this season (Dec. 23). New Orleans is giving up 53.2 Yahoo points per game to centers over the last 30 contests as well, and Sengun's versatility – he's averaging career highs across the stat sheet, including assists (5.1) and steals (1.2) – affords him no shortage of upside.

Rudy Gobert, MIN vs. DAL ($31): There's admittedly a big blowout risk at play in the Mavericks-Timberwolves clash Wednesday with Luka Doncic (ankle), Kyrie Irving (thumb) and Dereck Lively II (nose) all sidelined for Dallas and both Dante Exum (knee) and Derrick Jones (wrist) doubtful. However, Gobert's salary is reasonable enough to keep in consideration for what could be a relatively easy night for him to quickly rack up fantasy production. The decimated nature of the Mavs' roster means Gobert could encounter little resistance down low and also garner plenty of defensive rebounding opportunities, and he already checks in having scored 33.9 to 51.7 Yahoo points in the last four games. Gobert also has tallies of 39.9 and 43.2 Yahoo points in two prior games versus a healthier Dallas team than the one he'll face Wednesday, and the Mavs come in ranked No. 21 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to centers (33.9). 

ALSO CONSIDER: Domantas Sabonis, SAC at MIA ($46)

Center to Avoid

Jusuf Nurkic, PHO at BKN ($27): Nurkic appears recovered from the thumb injury that cost him one game, as he returned to action against the Heat on Monday and scored 23.6 Yahoo points in 26 minutes. However, that was his fifth straight effort of 27.4 Yahoo points or fewer, with the fact the Suns' Big Three of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal is finally enjoying an extended stretch of playing together unsurprisingly taking a toll on Nurkic's production more often than not. With a tough matchup against a Nets team ranked just outside the top 10 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to centers (31.5), he could find himself struggling to get to a Yahoo-point-per-minute clip yet again.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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