3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 12/13/18

Montrezl Harrell has been a DFS bust over the last few games, and it won't get easier on Thursday. Who else are we staying away from 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?

Montrezl Harrell, PF, Los Angeles Clippers

FanDuel Price: $6,700

Montrezl Harrell is having a career season as he plays a significant role in the Los Angeles Clippers' frontcourt. He is averaging 15.3 points 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 31.9 FanDuel points in over 25 minutes per game, all marking career-highs. In the last 10 days, though, the third-year pro has hit a wall.

In his last five games, Harrell has flopped with four games of 20.6 or fewer FanDuel points. He is averaging just 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 19.9 FanDuel points per game since December 3. His rebound rate is a dismal 8.8% during the slump, down from 14.9% in his previous 22 games. Thursday‘s matchup with the disappointing Spurs may seem like a get-right matchup for Harrell, but the few areas they excel in spell trouble for big men.

Over their last five games, the Spurs allow just 41.0 rebounds per game, the third-lowest total in the NBA. They also limit opposing centers -- where Harrell plays over 90% of his minutes -- to 1.1 FanDuel points per minute, the second-lowest rate on Thursday’s slate.

Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Price: $6,600

After coming out firing -- posting 40.5 and 45.4 FanDuel points -- in his first two starts of the season, Lauri Markkanen has fallen back to Earth a bit the last two games.

Against the Celtics and Kings, the Chicago Bulls' forward went 8-for-26 (30.8%) from the field for an average of 10.5 real-world points and 18.0 FanDuel points per game. His bad performances coincide with the turmoil surrounding the Bulls and their new coach Jim Boylen.

The team as a whole has not reacted well to Boylen, to say the least, especially offensively. Chicago has scored 90 or fewer points in three of his four games as head man. They are not expected to come out blazing on Thursday either, as they are tied for the lowest implied point total (102.0) as they face the Orlando Magic in Mexico City.

Over their last five games, the Magic have allowed just 102.4 points per game to opponents. To make matters worse for Markkannen, he will have to deal with the long-armed Jonathan Isaac defending him at times. Isaac holds opponents to less than 40% shooting from the floor, and overall, power forwards average just 0.87 FanDuel points per minute against Orlando, which is the fifth-lowest rate in the NBA this season.

Wesley Matthews, SG, Dallas Mavericks

FanDuel Price: $5,300

Over the last few games, Wesley Matthews has been battling injuries, and it has shown on the court.

For a player where 64% of his fantasy points come from his points, an off-shooting night is a disaster in DFS. Averaging well over 23 FanDuel points per game this season, in his last two outings, Matthews has been unable to break 17.5 FanDuel points due to his disastrous shot. He has gone 4-for-15 (26.7%) from the field for just 7.0 points per game. Playing the tanking Phoenix Suns on Thursday may seem like the perfect matchup for Matthews, but think again.

The Suns hold shooting guards to 0.78 FanDuel points per minute, the third-lowest rate in the NBA, thanks to the tenacious D of Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson. The duo holds those they defend to sub-50% shooting on two-pointers, which is below average.

Considering the moderate blowout risk involved on Thursday -- Dallas is 7.0-points favorites -- and his recent injuries, Matthews could see limited minutes against Phonix, further limiting his appeal in fantasy.

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.