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

Serge Ibaka has been underwhelming in DFS lately and faces a tough Spurs squad on Thursday. Who else should you avoid on tonight's three-game slate?

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?

Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors

FanDuel Price: $7,400

Klay Thompson has famously been mired in a shooting slump. Over the last month (13 games), Thompson is shooting just 39.0% from the field on 16.2 attempts per game. His scoring has taken a dip, down to 17.2 points per game, well below his average of 21.6 points the last four-plus seasons. As one would expect, his fantasy value has dropped during the slump. Over the last week-plus, Thompson has collected 25 or fewer FanDuel points three times (out of five games). He is averaging just 27.3 FanDuel points since December 23. Facing an improving Houston Rockets' defense on Thursday, Thompson and the Golden State Warriors may be in for another long night.

Over their last 10 games, the Rockets rank ninth in the NBA with a 107.8 defensive rating. Opponents are shooting just 30.3% from three, too, the second-worst rate in the league. Making matters worse, the Rockets have been one of the better teams against shooting guards this season, limiting the position to 0.84 FanDuel points per minute, the 11th-lowest rate in the league this season. The last time the Dubs faced the Rockets -- November 15 -- Thompson finished with just 16.6 FanDuel points as he went 5-for-16 from the field.

Serge Ibaka, PF, Toronto Raptors

FanDuel Price: $6,600

Even as he has taken on the role as the everyday starting center for the Toronto Raptors -- with Jonas Valanciunas’ finger injury -- Serge Ibaka has not been someone you can count on in DFS.

While he has had some big nights, the big man has flopped more times than not, posting five games with 29 or fewer FanDuel points in his last six games. Since December 14, Ibaka is averaging 11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 27.4 FanDuel points in 30.9 minutes per game. Facing a difficult matchup against the revitalized San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, Ibaka is best left out of your lineup.

After a slow start to the year, San Antonio is playing some of the best ball in the league right now, especially on the defensive front. Over their last 10 games, they own a top-five defensive rating (103.0) while holding opponents to just 100.4 points per game. Opposing big men have struggled, too, as the Spurs have given up the eighth-fewest rebounds (43.2) during the hot streak. Overall, opposing centers have scored just 1.06 FanDuel points per minute against the Spurs, the sixth-lowest rate in the league this season.

Mason Plumlee, C, Denver Nuggets

FanDuel Price: $5,000

With Paul Millsap returning for the Denver Nuggets the last two games, Mason Plumlee’s playing time has dropped, despite remaining in the starting lineup. After averaging 29.5 minutes in his first seven starts, Plumlee has played just 22.7 minutes per game the last two nights. In those two games, the big man averaged just 7.5 points and 7.5 rebounds for 22.2 FanDuel points. In his 26 games played off the bench this season, Plumlee averaged only 21.0 FanDuel points in 17.4 minutes per game.

With Millsap’s minutes bound to grow -- he went from 14 minutes in his first game back to 22 minutes on Tuesday -- there is no guarantee Plumlee will see the court for even 20 minutes on Thursday, even if he still starts. That alone makes him a risky play on a minuscule three-game slate. Add in a Sacramento Kings team hitting the boards with increased intensity lately -- top-eight in rebounds over their last five games -- and Plumlee should be avoided in DFS Thursday.

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.