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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Thursday picks

Mike Barner
Mike Barner is rolling with Luka Doncic in what should be a fast-paced matchup against the Kings.

If you like offense, Thursday could be the night for you. With bad defensive teams in the Timberwolves, Wizards, Hawks, Suns and Kings all in action, there is the potential for several high-scoring contests. Let’s dive into these juicy matchups and examine some players to target and avoid for your Yahoo entry.


Luka Doncic, DAL at SAC ($41): The bad news is this is the second game of a back-to-back set for the Mavericks. The good news is that Doncic logged only 29 minutes against the Blazers on Wednesday, so at least he didn’t play a ton. This is a stellar matchup for him with the Kings playing at the fastest pace (104.5 possessions per game) and allowing the fifth-most points per game (115) in the league. Considering his ability to contribute in multiple areas, this could end up being a monster performance.

Tyus Jones, MIN at CHA ($15): There are no reinforcements coming with the Timberwolves since Jeff Teague (foot) and Derrick Rose (elbow) have already been ruled out. Jones started each of the previous four games with them sidelined and scored at least 26.3 Yahoo points in three of those contests. His price is rising, but it’s still low enough for him to provide plenty of value.

Guard to Avoid

Tomas Satoransky, WAS vs. DEN ($19): The one sure thing with Satoransky has been his playing time. With little depth behind him at point guard, he’s averaged 33 minutes across his last 20 games. However, this is a tough matchup against a Nuggets team that allows the third-fewest Yahoo points per game (37.5) to opposing point guards. With so many other bad defenses to take advantage of, this might not be the night to roll with Satoransky. 


Paul Millsap, DEN at WAS ($27): While avoiding the Nuggets defense might be ideal, targeting the Wizards defense could be a sound strategy. They play at the eighth-fastest pace (102.5) and allow the second-most points per game (117). Things could be even worse for them if Trevor Ariza (groin) is unable to play. Millsap has scored at least 31.7 Yahoo points in five of his last six games and is an appealing option at this reasonable price.

Joe Ingles, UTA at ATL ($21): Ingles only needed to play 24 minutes to score 31.5 Yahoo points against the Knicks on Wednesday in what was a 21-point win for the Jazz. He’ll receive another great matchup against the Hawks, who play at the second-fastest pace (104.3). The Hawks are playing much better than the Knicks, too, so this game has the potential to be a little less lopsided, especially since it’s in Atlanta. Ingles’ ability to contribute across the board could leave him with a meaty stat line by the end of this contest.

Forward to Avoid

Domantas Sabonis, IND at GS ($24): Sabonis has scored at least 39.2 Yahoo points in two of his last six games, but he also scored 23.3 Yahoo points or fewer in three contests during that stretch. While he’s a very important part of their second unit, his upside is limited when Myles Turner is healthy. The Warriors held him to 14.5 Yahoo points when these two teams met at the end of January and it’s hard to get too excited about him in their rematch.


Rudy Gobert, UTA at ATL ($38): The center position is loaded with excellent options Thursday. Karl-Anthony Towns has a chance to destroy the Hornets, who will likely be missing Cody Zeller (knee). However, he’s pricey at $52. If you can’t squeeze him into your budget, Gobert is another top talent with plenty of upside. He’s scored at least 43.3 Yahoo points in four of his last six games and the Hawks have allowed the ninth-most Yahoo points per game (49.5) to opposing centers across their last 10 contests.

Dwight Powell, DAL at SAC ($21): Powell was held in check by the Blazers on Wednesday, but facing Jusuf Nurkic is no easy task. In fact, the Blazers allow the third-fewest Yahoo points per game (35.4) to opposing centers. He’ll have a much easier row to hoe Thursday considering the Kings allow the seventh-most Yahoo points per game (41.4) to the position. 

Center to Avoid

Willie Cauley-Stein, SAC vs. DAL ($20): This isn’t exactly a bad matchup for Cauley-Stein considering the Mavericks lack of depth up front. However, it’s the amount of depth that the Kings have that has impacted his production. With Marvin Bagley back in the fold, Cauley-Stein has scored 27.3 Yahoo points or fewer in three straight games. Just as concerning is the fact that he logged 20 and 19 minutes, respectively, in his last two contests. With so many other excellent center options, pass on Cauley-Stein when creating your entry.