This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
After a busy Wednesday, the NBA quiets down with just two games on the schedule Thursday. They are intriguing matchups, though, starting off with the 76ers hosting the Bucks. This will be the first game of the season for the Bucks, while the 76ers lost to the Celtics in their opener Tuesday. The second game will feature the battle of Los Angeles with the Lakers taking on the Clippers. The Clippers have loaded up for what they hope will be a title run, and they will be getting Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back from injury. We don’t have a ton of players to choose from in DFS, but here are some to target for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Jrue Holiday, MIL at PHI ($36): Holiday was once again a reliable contributor for the Bucks last season, averaging 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He’s efficient, shooting at least 50.1 percent from the field in both of his seasons with the team. Khris Middleton (wrist) is still out, which means that Holiday should see increased shot attempts in this matchup.
Kendrick Nunn, LAL vs. LAC ($13): The Lakers need shooting and they hope to get some of it from Nunn, who missed all of last season due to injury. He came off the bench in their opener, but made an immediate impact with 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal over 23 minutes. He went 3-for-6 from behind the arc and should remain one of their best scoring options off the bench.
Guard to Avoid
John Wall, LAC at LAL ($21): Speaking of guards who didn’t play last season. Wall was a healthy scratch on a nightly basis for the Rockets, who wanted to give minutes to their young players. He now finds himself on a veteran-laden Clippers team that wanted to add some depth at point guard. Wall could end up being an important part of the team, but with him having not played in so long and all of the depth that the Clippers have, he could be eased into things Thursday and play limited minutes.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at PHI ($55): It’s not difficult to make a case for rolling with Giannis in DFS whenever he’s on the slate. He has as high of an upside as anyone in the league, and he again dominated last season with 29.9 points, 11.6 rebound, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. Looking to make a statement against a 76ers team that has aspirations of winning the Eastern Conference, look for Giannis to put the Bucks on his back with Middleton out.
Jordan Nwora, MIL at PHI ($10): Middleton isn’t the only player who will be out for the Bucks. They will also be missing Pat Connaughton (calf), who is a key member of their rotation. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Nwora get additional minutes in this game, making him possibly worth considering in tournament play. He likely won’t be in a lot of entries, and he averaged 13.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 three-pointers across 29 games in which he logged at least 20 minutes last season.
Forward to Avoid
Kawhi Leonard, LAC at LAL ($46): Leonard is yet another member of the Clippers who didn’t play at all last season. Injuries have become a common theme for him, considering he hasn’t played more than 60 games since the 2016-17 season. Given his history, and the Clippers’ desire to have him healthy for the playoffs, it would not be a surprise to see him eased into the season. If you want to add a top-tier forward to your lineup, Giannis is a much safer option.
Joel Embiid, PHI vs. MIL ($48): Embiid started off the season with a bang, hanging 26 points on the Celtics. He also chipped in with 15 rebounds, five assists and a block. He had 18 shot attempts and nine free-throw attempts in that game, and should continue to lead the team in usage rate this season. With the Bucks rolling with Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis at center, Embiid could feast.
Ivica Zubac, LAC at LAL ($17): Don’t let Zubac get lost in the shuffle with the Clippers’ star-studded roster. He’s very important to this team since they don’t have much size behind him at the five. His primary backups right now are Robert Covington and Nicolas Batum. The Lakers also have size issues, so we could see more small lineups in this game. However, Zubac averaged 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over just 24 minutes per game last season, proving that he can provide value even when he doesn’t spend a ton of time on the floor.
Center to Avoid
Damian Jones, LAL vs. LAC ($18): The Lakers started Anthony Davis at center for their first game of the season, and they generally went with a lot of small lineups. Jones didn’t even make it into the game, which makes having him at this salary a bit of a surprise. Zubac has a more guaranteed role with the Clippers and has a cheaper salary, so don’t even think about rolling with Jones in your lineup.
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.