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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

Thursday brings three games in the NBA playoffs, including the Pelicans trying to go up 3-0 on the Blazers after winning the first two games of their series on the road. Letís carry over some of the playoff excitement into DFS and look at some players to either target or avoid to hopefully create a winning Yahoo entry.


Rajon Rondo, NO vs. POR ($26): Rondo has been one of the main reasons why the Pelicans were able to win the first two games of this series, scoring at least 35.5 Yahoo points in both contests. He had 17 assists in Game 1 and fell one assist shy of posting a triple-double in Game 2. Bullsí fans will remember he was playing well in the playoffs last year too before going down with a thumb injury. He seems to live for these big games, making him an excellent option at this reasonable price.

Manu Ginobili, SA vs. GS ($10): The Spurs donít seem like they have a long playoff run in them this year with Kawhi Leonard (quad) still sidelined. Ginobili is not nearly the player that he was in his prime, but heís shown he can provide value in a bench role through two games, scoring at least 20.1 Yahoo points in both contests. At the minimum price, he can provide value while helping with some much needed salary relief.

Guard to Avoid
Quinn Cook, GS at SA ($19): Cook was the starting point guard down the stretch in the regular season with Stephen Curry (knee) out, but heís moved to the bench for the playoffs. His playing time has taken a hit as a result, logging 25 minutes or fewer in both games of this series. Without more playing time, he just doesnít have enough upside to warrant putting him into your lineup.


Dario Saric, PHI at MIA ($23): Joel Embiid (eye) is listed as doubtful for Game 3 despite his desire to play. Saric has excelled in this series with Embiid sidelined, highlighted by scoring 48.3 Yahoo points in Game 2. If Embiid is indeed ruled out for this game, Saricís increased role in the offense makes him a great option at this price.

Ersan Ilyasova, PHI at MIA ($21): The Sixers have been going small with Embiid out and have had success in large part because of how well Ilyasova is playing. He has logged at least 28 minutes in both games of the series, scoring 37.8 and 28.2 Yahoo points, respectively. Ilyasovaís value is largely tied to the status of Embiid, but donít hesitate to put him in your lineup if Embiid sits again.

Forward to Avoid

Kyle Anderson, SA vs. GS ($14): Anderson has been a non-factor in this series, scoring a total of 13.3 Yahoo points in the first two games. His playing time has been reduced dramatically, logging no more than 11 minutes in either contest. He doesnít have a lot of offensive upside even when he is getting extended minutes, so keep him out of your entry Thursday.


Anthony Davis, NO vs. POR ($58): The job that Davis has done since DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) was lost for the season has been fantastic. Not only did he lead the Pelicans into the playoffs, but he has them halfway to an upset victory in the first round. He scored 68.3 Yahoo points in Game 1 and while he did slow down by his standards for Game 2, he still came away with 46.1 Yahoo points. His extremely high usage rate and the fast pace at which the Pelicans play makes him an excellent option to consider throughout this series.

Kelly Olynyk, MIA vs. PHI ($19): Olynyk has been a vital part of this series for the Heat with the Sixers deploying small lineups. He has been on the floor late in games and has logged at least 31 minutes in both games so far this series. Heís cashed in the opportunity, scoring at least 31 Yahoo points in both contests. The Sixers will likely continue to play small as long as Embiid is sidelined, so donít expect any changes for the Heat and Olynyk until he returns.

Center to Avoid

Hassan Whiteside, MIA vs. PHI ($24): Whiteside has played a total of 27 minutes in the first two games of this series, which doesnít give him many opportunities to be productive. He can dominate on the boards, but the Sixers use of small lineups through the first two games has proven to be a matchup problem for Whiteside. Unless Embiid returns, keep Whiteside out of your lineup.

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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 .