3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 12/21/18

Khris Middleton has been off the mark recently and faces a stingy Celtics defense on Friday. 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?

Khris Middleton, SG, Milwaukee Bucks

FanDuel Price: $7,000

Even though he has picked up his DFS output a tick in his last two games -- 33.0 FanDuel points per -- Khris Middleton has been struggling to score for nearly a month.

Since November 23 (11 games), Middleton has averaged just 14.5 points per game on 35.1% shooting. He is sinking less than 32% of his three-pointers, as he has collected 28.8 or fewer FanDuel points in 8 of 11 games. The Milwaukee Bucks’ wing is averaging just 27.1 FanDuel points. Facing a stout Boston Celtics defense Friday, Middleton will have a tough time getting back on track and knocking down shots.

Boston owns a top-three defensive rating (102.9), while opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field and 32.8% from beyond the arc, both bottom-four rates in the league. Opposing small forwards -- where Middleton plays 83% of his minutes -- score just 0.79 FanDuel points per minute against the C’s, the third-lowest rate in the NBA.

Jarrett Allen, C, Brooklyn Nets

FanDuel Price: $6,300

Jarrett Allen is prone to big swings in DFS production, as he is reliant on rebounds and blocks for the bulk of his fantasy points. When he is faced with a tough frontcourt foe, like he is on Friday, the Brooklyn Nets' center fails to rack up the FanDuel points.

In nearly half of his games over the last month, Allen has maxed out at 20.6 FanDuel points. In those same 12 games, just 4 times has he posted enough fantasy points (31.5) to reach optimal value (5.0 points per $1,000 of salary) for his $6,300 cost on Friday. Squaring off with the Indiana Pacers -- who he scored just 10.6 FanDuel points against in his only meeting this season -- Allen is not one of our favorite plays on a packed slate.

It isn’t just Allen that the Pacers hold down in DFS, as they allow the fewest FanDel points per minute to centers (1.01). Opponents are averaging only 42.8 rebounds per game -- fourth-fewest in the NBA -- as the Pacers own a top-10 rebound percentage. Myles Turner's superior rim protection limits Allen’s potential, too, as he holds opponents to 53.7% shooting on shots closer than 6’ to the rim -- 9.7 percentage points fewer than expected.

Wendell Carter Jr., PF, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Price: $5,600

The news of Bobby Portis missing the next few weeks with an injury may make some believe Wendell Carter Jr. is worth rostering. Not so fast. The Chicago Bulls’ big man has proven to be unreliable in fantasy over the last few weeks.

Carter has reached double-digit points in only two of his last 12 games as he is virtually ignored in the Chicago offense. He has averaged just 6.3 shot attempts per game in December, as he averages only 7.7 points. Carter’s overall line has been lackluster as well -- 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks for 20.4 FanDuel points. In what's expected to be the lowest-scoring game of the day -- with the lowest implied point total -- the Bulls and Carter are best left to others on Friday.

The last time Carter played the Orlando Magic -- just over a week ago -- the rookie posted 12.1 FanDuel points, his second-lowest output of the season. That's not unusual for Orlando opponents, because they hold opposing frontcourts to a below average FanDuel points per minute.

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.