3 Daily Fantasy Basketball Players to Avoid on 2/26/16

Finding players you want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid. Here are three players based on their price and matchups who could be landmines for your rosters tonight.

Finding players you want to roster is a lot easier than finding players to avoid. Here are three players based on their price and matchups that could be landmines for your rosters tonight.

You can find a ton of great information and research on guys you might want to include in your DFS NBA lineups tonight, but what about some 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 each night. After all, it takes only one player to sink a lineup.

With a nice slate of NBA games on tonight, searching for the landmines could mean the difference from winning or losing your contests.

Nicolas Batum, SG, Charlotte Hornets

FanDuel Price: $6,700

Nicolas Batum has had a roller coaster stretch of games since the All-Star Break, and while his price is somewhat fair tonight, his matchup and landmine potential are too much to ignore. While Batum may be listed as a shooting guard on daily fantasy sites, he plays more small forward in the Hornets lineup now with the acquisition of Courtney Lee. However, by playing small forward tonight, Batum will have to match up against one of the better small forward defenders in the league in Paul George.

The Pacers rank fifth in the league in defending small forwards this season, giving up just under 0.7 FanDuel points per minute to the position. George himself has also had some success against Batum this season, and in his lone game against the Pacers this year right before the break, Batum had fewer than 30 FanDuel points on 4-of-12 from the field.

Batum has never had much success against George. In his last four games against the Pacers, one this season and three with the Blazers, Batum is averaging only 23.6 FanDuel points, and Batum turned the ball over 11 times in those four games as well. While Batum can create fantasy points in many ways other than scoring, the fact that he is shooting only 31 percent in his last four against George is concerning for anyone wanting to roster him tonight.

Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto Raptors

FanDuel Price: $6,500

The Raptors have established themselves as the second best team in the Eastern Conference this season, and a big reason for their success this year has been the play of Jonas Valanciunas. The Raptors’ big man has been a steady presence in the paint when healthy, but tonight, he has a very tough matchup against the Cavaliers. With his minutes trending in the wrong direction, it may be a night where you lay off the big Lithuanian.

Last season Dwane Casey played around with Valanciunas’ minutes a lot, and he kept him on the bench in the fourth quarter and down the stretch. While that has changed some this season, Valanciunas’ total minutes per game have not. He has surpassed 30 minutes only twice in his last 16 games, but even playing more minutes does not guarantee Valanciunas more production.

According to Basketball Reference, Valanciunas’ Offensive Rating drops from 121 when he plays in between 20-29 minutes to 113 when he plays 30 or more minutes. Plus, he has only hit the 30-minute mark in nine games this season, so while his production has been mostly steady, the Raptors’ center might not see more than 25 minutes tonight, which could severely impact his potential to reach value against the Cavs’ second ranked defense against centers.

Monta Ellis, SG, Indiana Pacers

FanDuel Price: $6,300

Monta Ellis might have been one of the more valuable and underrated free agent signings this entire offseason, and recently Ellis has been gathering steam. In his last four games, he is averaging over 31 FanDuel points per game, and he did it against some tough teams for shooting guards. Ellis dropped over 33 FanDuel points against the Knicks and Magic, so tonight against the Hornets, who rank a modest 15th against shooting guards, Ellis at a mid-price could see inflated ownership.

However, the defense versus position rankings fail to completely take into account the midseason trade to bring in Courtney Lee, who is a very accomplished defender and has had some success against Ellis in the past. Lee is holding his opponents to only 42.4 percent from the floor this season, and on shots 15 feet or further away from the hoop, Lee is holding players he is defending to only 36 percent. Considering Ellis is taking 65 percent of his shots from 10 feet or further away from the basket, you have landmine potential written all over Ellis tonight.

In their two previous matchups against one another this season, Ellis is averaging fewer than 18 FanDuel points, and if you stretch out their matchups against one another to their last four meetings, Ellis is still barely averaging more than 18 FanDuel points per game.