Defenses to Avoid
San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns: Though coach Jeff Hornacek's upstart squad might boast the league's fourth-best offense (109.4 offensive rating) and be stacked with fantasy revelations and sleepers like Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Markieff Morris and Gerald Green, don't expect coach Gregg Popovich and the stingy Spurs (99.2 defensive rating) to give this team an inch.
Offenses to Use
New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers: The Pelicans offer very little rim protection with Anthony Davis out, and their lackluster defense (107.6 defensive rating) continues to slip, as a frontline of Jason Smith (108 defensive rating) and Ryan Anderson (112 defensive rating) won't be scaring away anyone. The Clippers boast the league's fifth-most potent attack (104.1 points per game), so don't expect coach Doc Rivers' team to show any mercy on the shorthanded Pelicans coming off of a blowout loss last night at Golden State.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs
Second game of a back-to-back: New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Bobcats, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers
DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
Jeff Teague (vs. SAC): Teague is seriously breaking out this season, putting up 16 points, nearly eight assists and a steal per game. Although the Wake Forest product has struggled in his last five, averaging just 12.6 points per game on 37.1 percent shooting, Teague played well against the Lakers' lackluster defense on Monday, and expect more of the same against Isaiah Thomas and Sacramento (108.4 defensive rating) Wednesday.
Other options: John Wall (at BKN), Trey Burke (at ORL), Isaiah Thomas (at Hawks), Deron Williams (vs. WAS), Beno Udrih (at MIL) [high-risk, high-reward play], Jerryd Bayless (at DAL) [is Mike Conley (thigh) is out]
Gerald Henderson (at TOR): Henderson has been on a solid run in his last five, chalking up 15.8 points on 44 percent shooting. The Duke product does not offer much offense from beyond the arc, but drawing Terrence Ross (106 defensive rating) should give Henderson a chance to put up serious numbers against the Raptors, who may not be committed to winning much more this season after the Rudy Gay trade.
Other options: Gordon Hayward (at ORL), Jamal Crawford (vs. NOP) [started at shooting guard in the Clippers' last game]
Luol Deng (at HOU): Although Deng has struggled though Achilles issues this season, he returned Saturday to put up 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists on 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc against the Raptors. Expect Deng, a coach Tim Thibodeau favorite, to continue to merit significant touches as the primary catalyst in Chicago's offense, particularly as Jimmy Butler eases his way back onto the floor.
Other options: Josh Smith (at BOS), Kawhi Leonard (at PHX), Giannis Antetokounmpo (vs. NYK) [may be moved into starting lineup]
Ryan Anderson (at LAC): With Anthony Davis (finger) still out indefinitely, Anderson has taken over the Pelicans' offense, averaging 21 points, nearly five boards and a steal for his last five contests. However, fantasy owners may have to bear the brunt of poor three-point shooting (27.5 percent for his last five, an anomaly for a mostly lights-out shooter), at least for as long as the California product is expected to carry the bulk of the Pelicans' offensive load.
Other options: Carmelo Anthony (at MIL), Paul Millsap (vs. SAC), Jon Leuer (at DAL) [playing big minutes off bench recently]
Andre Drummond (at BOS): Drummond's offensive game is still a work in progress (putting up 13.3 points per game so far this season), but he's a freakish athlete and hits shots at an incredibly high rate (61.8 percent FG). Although the UConn product hasn't shot up to par in his last five outings (55.1 percent FG), look for him to have a big game against the undersized Jared Sullinger (109 defensive rating), both above the rim and on the glass, where Drummond is averaging 12.6 boards so far this season.
Other options: John Henson (vs. NYK)
Omer Asik (thigh) is expected to be traded before Friday.
Glen Rice (wrist) is out indefinitely.
Cartier Martin (ankle) is out Wednesday and doubtful for Friday's contest.
Jeremy Lin (back) will not play against Chicago and is scheduled to see a back specialist.
Mike Miller (ankle) hobbled off the court Tuesday, and will likely sit a few games.
Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) is out Wednesday but expected to play Saturday without restrictions.
Gustavo Ayon (ankle) is out Wednesday.
Michael Beasley (hamstring) is out Wednesday.
Tony Parker (shin) will miss Wednesday and Thursday's games for the Spurs.
Kenyon Martin (abdominal muscle) is expected to miss at least two weeks.
Gary Neal (foot) is not expected to play Wednesday.
Caron Butler (knee) did not practice Tuesday and is unlikely to play Wednesday.
Mike Conley (thigh) did not play Tuesday and is doubtful for Wednesday.
Pablo Prigioni (toe) is expected to miss at least two weeks.
LeBron James (ankle) did not participate in today's shoot-around, and will be a game-time decision against Indiana on Wednesday.
James Harden (ankle) participated in shootaround and said he will play Wednesday.
Chandler Parsons (back) is probable Wednesday but officially considered a game-time decision.
Nene Hilario (Achilles) is probable for Wednesday's game.
Kevin Martin (knee) participated in shootaround but remains a game-time decision Wednesday.
Dante Cunningham (ankle) participated in shootaround but remains a game-time decision Wednesday.
Rodney Stuckey (shoulder) is a game-time decision Wednesday.
Kirk Hinrich (back) is doubtful for Wednesday's game.
Tyson Chandler (leg) is expected to make his return Wednesday.
Rudy Gay's (knee) status is in question Wednesday after he played just 24 minutes due to a stiff knee Tuesday.
Tyreke Evans (ankle) sat out Tuesday and remains questionable for Wednesday's game.
Khris Middleton (ankle) was limited in Tuesday's practice but is expected to play Wednesday.
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) was limited in Tuesday's practice but is expected to play Wednesday.
Brook Lopez (ankle) is questionable for Wednesday's game.
Dirk Nowitzki (illness) is expected to be good to play Wednesday.