3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 12/7/18

A reduced offensive role plus an unfavorable matchup leaves Zach LaVine on our DFS do not play list. Who else joins him for Friday?

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?

Zach LaVine, SG, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Price: $8,300

After averaging 25.6 points on over 20 shots per game, Zach LaVine has taken a step back in the Chicago Bulls' offense recently. Over his last three games, the shooting guard has dropped just 16.7 points on 14.7 shots a night. His usage rate has plummeted from 33.1% in the first 21 games to 24.3% in the last week. The decline in touches has led to some DFS disappointments as LaVine has posted 28.9 or fewer FanDuel points in two of those three games. A significant reason for the dropoff is the return of Lauri Markkanen.

The second-year forward is taking back control of the offense, averaging 19.0 shots with a 30.1% usage rate in the last two games. That leaves LaVine as the secondary scorer in a troublesome matchup against the NBA’s best defense on Friday.

The Oklahoma City Thunder rank first in defensive rating (98.3) while holding opponents to a league-low 42.4% shooting in their last 10 games. Adding to the negatives, opposing shooting guards are collecting only 0.85 FanDuel points per minute against OKC, leaving LaVine in a tough spot.

JaVale McGee, C, Los Angeles Lakers

FanDuel Price: $5,900

One of the more pleasant surprises this season, JaVale McGee’s dream season has started to crumble away.

In his first 19 games this season, McGee averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 25.1 minutes for over 30 Fanduel points per night. In the last five contests, though, the Los Angeles Lakers' center is playing fewer than 20 minutes per game and averaging just 7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks for just 21.2 FanDuel points per game. That includes three sub-20 FanDuel point games and a season-low 11.8 night the last time out.

In that game, he scored 4 points with 4 rebounds a block in 19 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs. Fellow Lakers big man Tyson Chandler saw the bulk of the center minutes, playing a season-high 28. The Spurs held McGee to a dismal 11.0% rebound percentage, as LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl dominated the glass when McGee was on the court. Unfortunately, for McGee, the Lakers play the Spurs again on Friday, leaving the big man a risky play on a packed DFS slate.

Tim Frazier, PG, New Orleans Pelicans

FanDuel Price: $5,600

When Tim Frazier joined the starting lineup five games ago, he wowed in DFS with 12 points, 12 assists, and 40.2 Fanduel points.

Since then, though, the New Orleans Pelicans' point guard has not lived up to expectations, averaging 7.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists for 22.5 FanDuel points in his last four games. His usage rate is only 10.8% as he plays a minor role in the offense alongside Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, and Nikola Mirotic. Frazier has attempted just 4.5 shots per game, keeping his ceiling low in fantasy.

Against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, there may be even fewer opportunities as the Grizzlies run at the slowest pace in the NBA. Memphis also has showcased some elite-level defense this season, ranking fourth in defensive rating (103.9) and second in points allowed per game (102.3). Opposing backcourts have been held in check too with point guards averaging just 0.87 FanDuel points per minute, a bottom-10 rate in the NBA.

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.