3 Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 1/24/19

Elfrid Payton and the Pelicans' offense has struggled without Anthony Davis. Who else is should you stay away from in DFS on Thursday?

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?

Elfrid Payton, PG, New Orleans Pelicans

FanDuel Price: $5,700

Elfrid Payton's lack of made baskets recently has been hurting his fantasy value.

In five of his last seven games, the New Orleans Pelicans' point guard has failed to reach double-digit points. In the previous two weeks, Payton is averaging 7.0 points per game on 37.7% shooting from the field. Even with modest contributions in assists and steals, the fantasy points just haven’t been there with Payton posting five games with 23.1 or fewer FanDuel points, including two absolute busts where he scored 12.1 and 15.1 FanDuel points.

With Anthony Davis on the sidelines the last two games, the entire Pelicans' offense has taken a step back as well, averaging just 99.5 points per game. Thursday will likely be more of the same as the Brow-less Pelicans take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Thanks to the Thunder owning the third-best defensive rating in the NBA (103.8) this season, New Orleans is carrying the second-lowest implied point total of the day (111.0) while the game also carries the biggest blowout potential of the night. The Thunder are 12.0-point favorites. Add in the Thunder holding point guards to the third-fewest FanDuel points per minute (0.86) and Payton should be avoided at all costs on Thursday.

Dennis Schroder, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

FanDuel Price: $5,700

A pair of big fantasy games back on January 12 and 15 -- where Dennis Schroder posted back-to-back 34-plus FanDuel points games -- boosted the Thunder guard’s DFS salary. While his salary of $5,700 on Thursday is not exorbitant, it will be hard to justify paying him that much with the production he has posted over his last four games.

In his past four games, Schroder has failed to reach the 28.5 FanDuel points he would need to reach value on Thursday. He is averaging just 20.5 FanDuel points during the stretch. While his scoring has been adequate -- 15.0 points per game -- his lack of other counting stats -- 2.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists -- has tanked his fantasy fortunes. Even as he played close to 29 minutes in Monday’s blowout win over the New York Knicks, Schroder finished with just 24.6 FanDuel points as he committed five turnovers to only four assists.

Also hurting his case on Thursday will be the inherent sluggish nature of the Thunder’s game with the Pelicans. With AD sidelined the last two games, the Pels have played at the sixth-slowest pace in the league to make up for the loss of their top scorer. New Orleans has also focused on their defense to keep them in games, posting a 94.8 defensive rating.

Thomas Bryant, C, Washington Wizards

FanDuel Price: $5,600

Thomas Bryant has been a pleasant surprise for the Washington Wizards this season, more than adequately making up for the loss of Dwight Howard by averaging 10.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per night since assuming the starting role. He has even posted some big fantasy performances, but those monster nights have been few and far between over the last few weeks.

Since January 4, Bryant has collected 28 or more FanDuel points just twice in eight games. In that same span, he has more games (3) with 20 or fewer FanDuel points. Thursday will be one of his toughest challenges in recent weeks too as he faces DeMarcus Cousins and the Golden State Warriors for the first time. With Cousins in the lineup the last two games, the Warriors have posted the fourth-best defensive rating in the NBA (98.1) while holding opponents to just 102.5 points per game. The Wizards own the third-lowest implied point total of the day (112.5).

Even with only four games on Thursday’s slate, there are plenty of center options (Karl-Anthony Towns, Jusuf Nurkic) worth paying up for, or are better value options (Jahlil Okafor, JaVale McGee) leaving Bryant better suited out of your lineup tonight.

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.