3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 1/15/19

With Devin Booker posied to return to the Suns' lineup on Tuesday, De'Anthony Melton's DFS value takes a hit. Who else are we avoiding on tonight's six-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?

Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls

FanDuel Price: $6,400

Between missing shots and the Chicago Bulls struggling to find their offensive identity, Lauri Markkanen has not performed well in DFS over the last few games.

In his last four games, Markkanen is averaging just 12.0 points on 12.0 shot attempts per game. The second-year forward has sunk only 39.6% of his shots including 2-of-16 three-pointers (12.5%). The lack of offensive production has hurt Markkanen's fantasy value with the forward averaging 24.7 FanDuel points per night since January 6. Facing the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday won't help Markkanen break out of his slump.

Over the last 10 games, the Lakers are holding opponents to 42.7% shooting from the floor and 32.34 shooting from three. They are also own a 104.0 defensive rating, ranking L.A. in the top-four of all three defensive categories. The Lakers are surrendering below average fantasy points to power forwards too with the position racking up just 0.95 FanDuel points per minute.

The matchup is also one of least fantasy-friendly of the six-game slate as it carries the lowest over/under (214.0) with Chicago owning the lowest implied point total (104.0), making the contest -- and Markkanen -- one to avoid on Tuesday.

Brook Lopez, C, Milwaukee Bucks

FanDuel Price: $5,500

Over the last six games, Brook Lopez has been boom-or-bust in DFS, registering just as many games with fewer than 17.5 FanDuel points (3) as he has games with 28 or more. His volatility in DFS is due to his fantasy value being tied directly to threes and blocks. In the three games he flopped, Lopez sank no more than two three-pointers while blocking just one shot total. Facing the Miami Heat on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks' center will have a hard time racking up fantasy points.

Over their last 10 games, the Heat have given up the fewest points per game (102.1) in the NBA with opponents making just 10.7 threes-per game, a below average total. With Hassan Whiteside expected to play, Lopez may have a hard time sinking long-distance shots as Whiteside holds those he defends to 34.1% shooting on shots 15' or more away from the basket. Opponents have also blocked an average of just 4.2 shots against Miami in the last 10 games, a bottom-10 average in the league.

Overall, centers are averaging the fifth-fewest FanDuel points per minutes against Miami this season (1.06).

De'Anthony Melton, PG, Phoenix Suns

FanDuel Price: $5,500

Over the last three games with Devin Booker out of the lineup, De'Anthony Melton racked up the FanDuel points averaging 33.7 in 29.6 minutes per game. The Phoenix Suns' rookie thrived sans Booker, posting a 35.7% assist percentage with an average of 8.0 dimes per game. While Melton’s play has earned him a larger role moving forward, with Booker playing on Tuesday, Melton’s minutes are bound to dip to make room for Phoenix’s leading scorer.

In the 12 games before Booker’s injury -- where Melton started alongside Booker -- the rookie posted a sub-20% assist percentage with just 2.8 assists in 22.4 minutes per game. He averaged only 17.4 FanDuel points per game as well. Not helping his chances to buck the trend is a difficult matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

Indiana owns the second-best defensive rating (104.1) in the NBA and holds opponents to a bottom-five shooting percentage (44.5%). Point guards in particular struggle against the Pacers, averaging 0.82 FanDuel points per minute, the lowest rate on the league.

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.