3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 1/10/19

Josh Richardson has been in a funk and faces a stiff Celtics defense. Who else should you stay away from on this four-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?

Josh Richardson, SF, Miami Heat

FanDuel Price: $6,500

A usually reliable source for DFS production, Josh Richardson has flopped in his last two games. Averaging a shade more than 31 FanDuel points per game for the season, the Miami Heat wing has uncharacteristically failed to break 26 FanDuel points over the last two, averaging 22.7 over that span.

Part of the struggles can be pinned on his shooting woes as Richardson has made less than 35% of his shots over the past two, including just 1-of-7 from three, as he's netted only 11.5 points per game. His usage rate, typically over 23.0%, dipped to 19.5% in the past two games. That is the number that scares us the most in fantasy. If Richardson's role in the Miami offense declines --15.6 shots per game in the first 36 games, just 11.5 in the last 2 -- he will have a hard time producing big numbers against tough defenses like the Boston Celtics, which is what he's up against on Thursday.

Boston owns the second-best defensive rating in the NBA (104.1) while limiting opponents to 105.4 points per game and 44.2% shooting from the field -- both are top-three marks in the league. Also standing in Richardson’s way is the defense of Jayson Tatum. The Celtics’ forward has held those he's defended to sub-40% shooting. Overall, small forwards have averaged the second-fewest FanDuel points per minute against Boston this season.

Jerami Grant, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

FanDuel Price: $5,400

Over the last week, Jerami Grant hasn't done much in fantasy. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward has been on the court for nearly 33 minutes per game, but his production has been unspectacular. Grant is averaging 11.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in the previous four games. He has failed to break 23 FanDuel points in any one game, averaging 20.3 FanDuel points a night in that span. Grant has been an afterthought in the OKC offense, averaging 8.0 shots per game while posting a dismal 12.6% usage rate.

In a tough matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, not much is likely to change.

The Spurs have cranked up their D in recent weeks, limiting opponents to just 103.1 points per game, the third-lowest total in the league. Players are shooting only 33.3% from three against them, a place Grant has done some damage this season. Overall, power forwards have had a difficult time against San Antonio, averaging 0.90 FanDuel points per minute, the fourth-lowest rate in the NBA.

Jakob Poeltl, C, San Antonio Spurs

FanDuel Price: $4,700

On small slates, like Thursday’s four-gamer, you need to find some low-priced options to help fill out your lineup. Despite having the starter’s tag the last few games and carrying a low cost, Jakob Poeltl is not the answer.

The Spurs' big man has started three of the last five games and could be in line for another start on Thursday with Rudy Gay not expected to play. However, Poeltl has played more than 20 minutes in just one of those five games and has averaged only 4.6 points and 5.6 rebounds for 15.0 FanDuel points in the last five contests.

With a $4,700 price tag on Thursday, Poeltl would need to score 23.5 FanDuel points to reach value (5.0 points per $1,000). He has done that just 5 of his 38 games played (13.1%) this season. He has reached 18.8 FanDuel points -- the number he would need for 4-times value -- only 3 times in his last 13 games (23.0%).

Making matters worse for Poeltl is the challenge the Thunder pose to opposing centers. They allow just 1.08 FanDuel points per minute to opposings fives, a below-average rate in the league this season. OKC is also a top-seven rebounding team, posting a 51.5% rebound percentage.

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.