3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 1/8/19

Hassan Whiteside has been a fantasy bust recently and has a stiff challenge against the Nuggets on Tuesday. Who else are we staying away from in NBA DFS?

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?

Hassan Whiteside, C, Miami Heat

FanDuel Price: $7,300

Hassan Whiteside is in a bit of funk. Not only is the Miami Heat center coming off his worst fantasy game of the season -- 12.8 FanDuel points against the Atlanta Hawks -- the big man has surpassed 26.6 FanDuel points just once in his last five games. He is averaging only 10.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks for 27.3 FanDuel points per game since December 28. Even if Whiteside were not struggling, the matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday would have scared us away from using the center.

Denver comes into the game as the best rebounding team in the NBA, posting a league-leading 53.1% rebound percentage. Opponents are averaging just 41.9 boards per game, the lowest mark in the league. Thanks to limited rebounds, centers average the 12th-fewest FanDuel points per minute (1.09) against the Nuggets this season. Also hurting Whiteside’s cause is the projected low score on Tuesday, as the matchup between Miami and Denver carries the second-lowest over/under (210.5) of the eight-game slate.

Kevin Knox, PF, New York Knicks

FanDuel Price: $5,900

Tuesday is the second day in a row Kevin Knox makes our avoid list, as he has failed to provide useful fantasy numbers over his last 10 games. Just once since mid-December has Knox eclipsed 30 FanDuel points. In those previous 10 games, the New York Knicks' forward is averaging only 16.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 24.6 FanDuel points in 36.0 minutes per game. Last night, in a close contest with the Portland Trail Blazers, head coach David Fizdale stuck to his word and reduced Knox’s workload. The rookie saw the court for 22 minutes, finishing with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 15.1 FanDuel points. The fantasy production was his lowest since joining the starting lineup. Even if Knox sees a more significant workload Tuesday, he has a tough challenge against the Golden State Warriors on tap.

Golden State holds opponents to 45.1% shooting, a bottom-10 rate in the NBA. Their defense has held opposing power forwards (where Knox has played a majority of his time) to the third-fewest FanDuel points per minute in the NBA as well.

When Knox shifts down to small forward, he will likely have Kevin Durant guarding him. Personally, Durant holds those he defends to a 41.5% shooting accuracy, 4.6 percentage points lower than expected.

Collin Sexton, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

FanDuel Price: $5,300

Another rookie failing to produce in fantasy is Collin Sexton. The Cleveland Cavaliers' point guard has eclipsed 22 FanDuel points just once in his last five games and only three times in the previous month (14 games). Despite playing nearly 30 minutes a night, Sexton is posting a subpar line of 12.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. That comes out to just 20.0 FanDuel points per night. One of his worst fantasy nights of the year came against Tuesday’s opponent -- the Indiana Pacers. Back on December 18, Sexton posted just 12 points and 1 rebound for 11.2 FanDuel points in 32.4 minutes.

It hasn’t been just Sexton the Pacers have shut down; it has been all point guards. The position is averaging only 0.83 FanDuel points per minutes against Indiana, the second-lowest rate in the NBA. The outlook for the Cavs to break out on Tuesday is not a good one as the Pacers hold opponents to a league-low 101.9 points per game. Cleveland, as expected, owns the lowest implied point total (98.75) of the day.

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.