3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 1/2/19

Zach LaVine has struggled to get anything going following an ankle injury. Who else are we staying away from in DFS on Wednesday?

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: $7,600

Since returning from a two-week absence due to an ankle injury, Zach LaVine has underwhelmed. In the last three games he has played, the Chicago Bulls’ guard is averaging just 26.5 FanDuel points per game. Even as his minutes have increased -- up to 32.8 on Sunday -- his fantasy production has dropped. He logged only 18.6 FanDuel points against the Toronto Raptors his last time out, the second-worst fantasy performance of the year for LaVine. He went an embarrassing 3-for-17 for 13 points in the contest. It doesn’t help that LaVine has contributed little else besides points. He is averaging just 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in the last three games.

Playing against an improving Orlando Magic defense in the second-lowest projected scoring game of the day, LaVine is not likely to break out of his slump on Wednesday.

Over their last 10 games, the Magic have allowed 105.6 points per game, the ninth-lowest in the NBA. During that same stretch, the Bulls have scored just 95.3 points per game, the fewest in the league. Making matter worse for LaVine is the Magic’s D against shooting guards. The position has scored just 0.86 FanDuel points per minute, a bottom-half rate in the league this season.

Al Horford, C, Boston Celtics

FanDuel Price: $5,900

Just like LaVine, Al Horford has been a fantasy dud since returning from a long layoff. The Boston Celtics‘ center missed seven games with a knee injury in mid-December. In the following five games, Horford has averaged just 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in 24.5 minutes. In all five games, he has failed to eclipse 30 FanDuel points. Horford finished with just 19.1 FanDuel points his last time out, the second-worst fantasy night for him this season. In three of the five games, his usage rate was 15% or less, well below his average of 18.9% during his two-plus seasons in Boston.

With reduced minutes and usage, Horford will have a tough time racking up fantasy points in a tight spot against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

The T-Wolves hold opposing centers to 1.08 FanDuel points per game, the 11th-lowest rate in the league this year. The last time Horford faced Minny on December 1, he collected just 22.6 FanDuel points in over 32 minutes of action. With a wealth of center options -- both studs and values -- it is best to steer clear of Horford on Wednesday.

Reggie Jackson, PG, Detroit Pistons

FanDuel Price: $5,400

Over his last five games, Reggie Jackson has been a pretty bland fantasy option. He has scored more than 22.7 FanDuel points just one time while averaging a mediocre 22.6 FanDuel points per night. He is shooting only 41.0% during the stretch while averaging only 14.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. His struggles have coincided with an offensive slump for the entire Detroit Pistons squad.

In their last five games, Detroit is scoring just 98.8 points per night while shooting 40.9% from the field -- both bottom-three marks in the league. Squaring off with the Memphis Grizzlies in the projected lowest-scoring game of the night, the Pistons and Jackson are bound to stay in their scoring slump.

The Grizzlies own a top-five defensive rating while playing at the slowest pace in the NBA this season. They also have held opposing point guards to just 0.88 FanDuel points per minute, the ninth-lowest rate in the NBA this year.

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.