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Yahoo DFS Basketball: Friday 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

After a wild trade deadline Thursday, the NBA isn't slowing down Friday with nine games scheduled. The trades that were completed have made for some interesting options in Yahoo DFS, so here are some players to both target and avoid.


Jimmy Butler, MIN at CHI ($44):
Butler returns to Chicago on Friday, which should set up an electric atmosphere. Butler is a clutch player who likes big moments, so he likely will be highly motivated to show his old team what it is now missing. He's provided excellent value lately, scoring at least 40 Yahoo points in five of his last six games. Look for him to thrive.

J.R. Smith, CLE at ATL ($10):
The Cavaliers made several trades Thursday, but none of the new players they acquired are expected to play Friday. They aren't going to have much depth, creating significant opportunities for added minutes for the players who are available. Smith should see a bump in playing time. He can put up points in a hurry, so he is someone to consider at the minimum price.

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Guard to Avoid:

Terry Rozier, BOS vs. IND ($22):
Rozier had a brief stretch where he provided tremendous value due to the injuries to Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris. He played a ton of minutes and showed he can be productive when given the opportunity. However, with Irving and Morris back and the addition of Greg Monroe, Rozier's playing time and role in the offense has returned to normal. His price is still high based on his hot streak, so it might be a good idea to stay away from him Friday.


LeBron James, CLE at ATL ($55):
James put the Cavaliers on his back Wednesday, leading them to a win over the Timberwolves and scoring 72.5 Yahoo points. The Cavaliers have undergone a significant makeover at the deadline, which could help push James to a strong finish. He already has the ninth-highest usage rate (30.8 percent) in the league, but he is going to have to carry the Cavaliers again with so few players available. While he is expensive, James can still provide significant value.

Jeff Green, CLE at ATL ($10): Green also benefits from the Cavaliers' lack of depth, likely leaving him with added playing time. Green has played at least 30 minutes in a game twice this season, averaging 20.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in those games. If he can approach that many minutes against a bad Hawks team, he could provide excellent value.

Forward to Avoid:

Andrew Wiggins, MIN at CHI ($26):
Wiggins has scored no more than 24.6 Yahoo points in four consecutive games and has seen his value decrease significantly this season due to the addition of Butler. His usage rate is down to 23.7 percent, which is more than five percent lower than last year. With limited upside, this might be too much to pay to have him in your lineup.

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Joel Embiid, PHI vs. NO ($48):
Embiid's 33.3 percent usage rate is third highest in the league, leaving him with a high floor in DFS. He's been healthy and even played both legs of a back-to-back set, scoring at least 41.4 Yahoo points in five of his last six games. Both the Sixers and Pelicans are in the top five in the league in pace of play, so Embiid should have plenty of opportunities to provide value.

Jusuf Nurkic, POR at SAC ($22):
Nurkic isn't a safe option as he can be inconsistent, but he's shown his high upside lately, scoring at least 33.6 Yahoo points in four of his last six games. Friday brings a favorable matchup against a Kings team that allows the fourth-most Yahoo points per game (51.6) to centers. His price is fairly cheap, making him a viable option.

Center to Avoid:

Dwight Howard, CHA at UTA ($42):
Howard has had an excellent season, but has hit a bit of a rough patch, scoring less than 30 Yahoo points in three of his last four games. He is still hauling in a lot of rebounds, but he averaged just 12.7 points in those three games. He faces an excellent defensive center in Rudy Gobert on Friday, so this might not be the night to pay up for his services.

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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 .