3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 12/27/18

C.J. McCollum has disappointed recently and has a tough challenge in the Warriors on Thursday. 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?

C.J. McCollum, SG, Portland Trail Blazers

FanDuel Price: $6,300

C.J. McCollum is the midst of a down year. His points (20.9) and assists (2.6) per game are down from his last two seasons (22.2 and 3.5), and he is also shooting a career-worst 33.3% from three. Over the last week-plus, the downturn has gotten worse for the Portland Trail Blazers' guard.

In three of this last four games, McCollum has scored 12 or fewer points as he went 14-for-45 (31.1%) from the field. He sank just 1-of-9 threes (11.1%) as he averaged 22.1 FanDuel points per game. Thursday he faces the Golden State Warriors in a difficult matchup.

The Dubs have clamped down on opposing shooting guards this season, allowing 0.85 FanDuel points per minutes, the fourth-lowest rate on Thursday's slate. Especially troubling for McCollum has been the Warriors' tough perimeter defense, as opponents are shooting just 33.9% from three, the fifth-lowest rate in the NBA.

With a wealth of shooting guard options available in DFS, there is no need to push your luck with McCollum on Thursday.

Enes Kanter, C, New York Knicks

FanDuel Price: $5,900

With Enes Kanter in a bit of a mini-slump, your DFS lineups will be better off without the New York Knicks' center in them.

In his last three games, the Kanter is averaging a pedestrian line of 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. He has finished with 24.2 or fewer FanDuel points in each contest. One of those matchups came against the Milwaukee Bucks, Thursday’s opponent. Kanter has already played the Bucks three times and has failed to finish with more than 23 FanDuel points twice. He is averaging 11.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 23.9 FanDuel points versus Milwaukee this season.

Kanter has not been alone in struggling versus the Bucks as they allow 1.01 FanDuel points per minute to opposing centers, the second-lowest rate in the NBA this season. Milwaukee also owns a top-four defensive rating (104.0) and top-three rebound rate (52.0%) while holding opponents to a league-low field goal percentage (43.3%). With numbers like those, it is no surprise the Knicks own one of the lowest implied totals on Thursday’s slate (106.75).

Gordon Hayward, SF, Boston Celtics

FanDuel Price: $5,600

One of the biggest disappointments this season has been Gordon Hayward. The Boston Celtics’ forward is averaging just 10.6 points per game as he shoots a career-worst 40.0% from the floor and 32.1% from three. He is averaging only 24.2 FanDuel points per game this season, but over the last few weeks, the production has slowed even more.

In five of his last seven games, Hayward has recorded 19 or fewer FanDuel points as he is averaging 9.1 points on 34.4% shooting since December 8. Even as his minutes have risen the last three games (29.4), his numbers have fallen. Hayward is posting 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 15.2 FanDuel points in those three contests. Against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, Hayward is in line for another long night.

Houston allows just 0.83 FanDuel points per minute to opposing small forwards, good for 10th in the NBA. Over their last five games, their defense has tightened, allowing 105.2 points per game with opponents shooting 44.5% from the field. They also own a top-10 defensive rating (105.4) during the stretch.

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.