3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 1/4/19

Jarrett Allen may be in for a long night versus the Grizzlies on Friday. Who else are we staying away from 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?

Zach LaVine, SG, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Price: $6,800

The Chicago Bulls' offense is a disaster right now. Over their last 10 games, they are scoring just 94.8 points per game, by far the worst in the league. The reduced offensive output has hampered Zach LaVine's fantasy production, with the guard posting only 23.1 FanDuel points per game over the last week, a steep drop from his yearly average of 36.0.

LaVine, like most of the Bulls, is struggling to get going offensively under the new coaching staff, scoring an average of just 17.7 points per night since December 28. That is a 25% drop from his nightly average of 23.9 points over his first 29 games this season. Friday night is likely to be another low-scoring affair for LaVine and the Bulls as they matchup with the defensively-minded Indiana Pacers.

Indy owns the second-best defensive rating in the league this season and are holding opponents to a league-low 101.1 point per game. Opposing shooting guards have flopped in DFS against the Pacers too, averaging 0.82 FanDuel points per minute, the sixth-lowest rate in the NBA. The last time these two teams faced off, LaVine posted just 13 points on 6-for-15 shooting in 34 minutes.

Jarrett Allen, C, Brooklyn Nets

FanDuel Price: $6,000

Jarrett Allen has been hard to trust in DFS over the last couple of weeks as the Brooklyn Nets’ center has scored 24 or fewer FanDuel points in four of his previous six games. He has only one game with over 30 FanDuel points during the stretch, averaging just 24.1 FanDuel points since December 21. His average line of 9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks has been a bit underwhelming, especially on the offensive side. Friday versus the Memphis Grizzlies, an elite defensive team in the NBA, Allen will have a hard time racking up the points.

The Grizzlies allow the second-fewest points per game this season (102.3) while posting a top-five defensive rating (105.5). Memphis' man in the middle, Marc Gasol, has made life difficult for opposing centers, limiting the position to just 1.04 FanDuel points per minute, the fourth-lowest rate in the league. Those he has defended are shooting 2.4 percentage points fewer than expected on shots 10’ or closer to the rim -- where Allen takes 90.3% of his shot attempts.

Jordan Clarkson, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

FanDuel Price: $5,200

With Rodney Hood back in action following a four-game absence on Wednesday, Jordan Clarkson saw his minutes and fantasy points plummet. He finished the game with just 11 points and 5 assists in 24.7 minutes for 19.5 FanDuel points. That was the least amount of minutes, points, and shot attempts (nine) Clarkson has had since early-December. The Cleveland Cavaliers' guard has been trending downward over his last five games, too, scoring more than 18 points just once since December 23. Add in the addition of Patrick McCaw to a healthy Hood on the Cavs' roster, and Clarkson could see even less playing time in a tough matchup against the Utah Jazz Friday night.

The Jazz own the sixth-best defensive rating on the season (105.5) while ranking in the top seven in points allowed (106.1) per game. Over their last 10 games, they have held opponents to 103 or fewer points seven times and leave the Cavs with the second-lowest implied point total (99.75) on Friday night. Making matters worse for Clarkson, the Jazz limit opposing shooting guards to just 0.77 FanDuel points per minute, the lowest rate in the NBA this season.

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.