3 Daily Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 10/19/18

Nikola Vucevic was off his game in the season opener and has a tough matchup on Friday. Who else are we avoiding in DFS tonight?

In daily fantasy basketball, finding players you want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid.

You can find a ton of great information and research on guys you might want to include in your DFS NBA lineups, but what about guys you may want to lessen your exposure to, or even fade altogether?

Avoiding players whose matchups or situations aren't as great as they seem can often be just as important as finding the best targets. After all, it takes only one player to sink a lineup. Searching for the landmines could mean the difference between winning and losing your contests. Which players should we avoid tonight?

Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic

FanDuel Price: $8,000

After the Orlando Magic drafted big man Mohamed Bamba early in the 2018 NBA Draft, there was some worry for the playing time of Nikola Vucevic this season. Those concerns became real in the season opener on Wednesday.

Bamba looked sharp on both ends of the floor -- 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 25 minutes -- while Vucevic shot just 33.3% (4-for-12) for 12 points while committing 4 turnovers in 28 minutes. His 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal left him with just 26.9 FanDuel points but saved his night from utter disaster. The Magic were better with him on the bench, posting an offensive rating 28 points higher with the big man off the court.

With a minutes concern already, plus facing a Charlotte Hornets defense that allowed the eighth-lowest FanDuel points per minute to centers (0.93), Vucevic should not find his way onto your roster, especially as the fourth-most expensive center of the night.

Gordon Hayward, SF, Boston Celtics

FanDuel Price: $7,100

Gordon Hayward's return to the court on Tuesday was impressive from an emotional standpoint. He played with no fear and looked to have mentally put the gruesome leg injury he suffered on opening night in 2017 behind him. But his game, as expected, was a little bit off.

The Boston Celtics' forward shot 4-for-12 from the floor for just 10 points. If not for his four steals, his night would have been a disaster from a fantasy perspective. Hayward was also limited to just 25 minutes as he works his way back to game shape. Those minutes limits are expected to continue as the C's face the Toronto Raptors on Friday for early season superiority in the Eastern Conference.

The game is expected to be a defensive battle, carrying the lowest over/under of the slate. Factor that in with Hayward's minutes limit and his limited role in the offense -- only a 21.9% usage rate in the opener -- and it's best to stay away from him on Friday.

D'Angelo Russell, PG, Brooklyn Nets

FanDuel Price: $6,800

In the Brooklyn Nets' opening night loss, D'Angelo Russell got the start at the point but was limited to just 25 minutes of action due to some mediocre play. He shot just 3-for-9 from the field for 8 points, finishing with only 18.9 FanDuel points. He posted a team-worst turnover percentage of 16.9% as well. The Nets' offense ran better with Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert running the show as the team's offensive rating was 15 points higher with Russell on the bench.

Both Dinwiddie and LeVert posted a higher usage rate than Russell's 21.9% and were on the floor well over 30 minutes each, limiting Russell's fantasy usefulness. We could chalk it up to an off night, but with multiple ball handling options available to take over for Russell, he needs to be sharp every night to trust in DFS.

Against a New York Knicks team, who looked impressive defensively (94.3 defensive rating) in their opener on Wednesday, it's best to steer clear of Russell on a packed slate.

Dale Redman is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.