Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday Picks

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Thursdays tend to bring fairly quiet nights in the NBA, but we'll have six games on the schedule this week. One of the highlights of the evening should be the 4-0 Bulls playing host to the Knicks. The lone other undefeated team will also be in action when the Warriors take on the Grizzlies. Not all of the matchups are overly exciting though, including a potentially lopsided affair when Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz travel to Houston to take on the rebuilding Rockets. The Rockets have lost three of their first four games, and each defeat came by at least 10 points. With regards to how to attack this slate on Yahoo, here are some players to consider for your lineups, as well as a few to potentially avoid.


Dejounte Murray, SA at DAL ($33): Murray has been uncharacteristically inefficient, shooting just 37.0 percent from the field. However, with him averaging 18.3 shot attempts per game, he's still managed to average 15.3 points in addition to his 9.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 2.3 steals. Add his increased role in the Spurs' offense due to the departure of DeMar DeRozan, to his ability to contribute in multiple areas, and Murray stands out as one of the top guards to pursue. 

Jalen Brunson, DAL vs. SA ($11): Brunson's limited role off the bench does somewhat cap his upside, but he's still managed to score at least 20.2 Yahoo points in all three games this season. He dished out a double-double in their last game against the Rockets, and with the Mavericks not exactly boasting a deep roster, he could work his way into more playing time if he continues to perform well. They may also need more scoring from him if Kristaps Porzingis (back), who is listed as questionable, is unable to take the floor.

Guard to Avoid

Jalen Green, HOU vs. UTA ($24): Green had one 30-point outburst against the Celtics, but has generally struggled out of the gate. He's only shooting 39.0 percent from the field, which has left him to score 10 points or fewer three times. A matchup against a Jazz team that has one of the better defenses in the league likely isn't going to help matters.


Tobias Harris, PHI vs. DET ($32): During his first three seasons with the Sixers, Harris never had a usage rate above 23.9 percent. However, with Ben Simmons still not ready to play in games, his usage rate has jumped to 26.4 percent this season. Factor in his averages of 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists, and he's scored at least 36.4 Yahoo points in three of four games. Don't expect his role to change anytime soon.

Devin Vassell, SA at DAL ($11): With the Spurs in the early stages of a rebuild, Vassell should be given significant opportunities to contribute this season. While he hasn't started a game yet, he might be forced to now that Doug McDermott (knee) is out. With McDermott being limited to 17 minutes because of his injury Tuesday, Vassell scored 36.4 Yahoo points over 35 minutes. He could be well worth the risk at near the minimum salary.

Forward to Avoid

RJ Barrett, NY at CHI ($23): The Knicks have built a deep team, which is good for their chances of making another playoff run. The problem is, players on deep teams aren't always great to target for DFS. Barrett's usage rate has dropped to 18.2 percent, which has contributed to him scoring 25.3 Yahoo points or fewer in each of the last three games.


Rudy Gobert, UTA at HOU ($33): Gobert is no stranger to gaudy numbers. He's averaged at least 14.3 points and 12.9 rebounds in each of the last three seasons. He's been even more dominant in the early going, averaging 18.8 points and 19.0 rebounds over three games. Look for him to overmatch the likes of Christian Wood, Alperen Sengun and Daniel Theis.

Jakob Poeltl, SA at DAL ($24): The Lakers had no answers for Poeltl on Tuesday when he torched them for 27 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks during an overtime loss by the Spurs. He shot 13-for-17 from the field in that game and is shooting 72.1 percent for the season. He's shot at least 61.6 percent in each of the last four seasons, so with a steady diet of 30 minutes a night coming his way, Poeltl could be in line for the best season of his career.

Center to Avoid

Alperen Sengun, HOU vs. UTA ($14): The future could be very bright for Sengun and he's shown plenty of defensive prowess so far, averaging 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. The problem is, he hasn't played more than 19 minutes in a game, which has limited him in just about every other category. Combine that with a difficult matchup against the Jazz, and he's probably not someone to pursue, even though his salary is cheap.

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