This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
There is a little more than a week left in the season, and some team's lineups are beginning to look different for a variety of reasons. Ahead, we will look at players who have the potential to score well above their prices due to a heavier workload than they've seen throughout the season.
J.J. Barea, DAL vs HOU ($13) - With Deron Williams out indefinitely, Barea is taking advantage of his opportunity to run the show. Specifically, he seems to be really starting to gel with his teammates over the past four contests, averaging 38.5 fantasy points per game over that span. Statistically, that has equated to 23.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.8 dimes, 0.8 steals and an impressive 3.0 triples in 31.5 minutes per outing. That type of line is typically expected of a player near triple his price. He will match up with a Houston squad giving up the fifth-most points per game in the league, so expecting him to continue his stellar play seems reasonable. He will likely be highly owned, but there's a reason for that.
Chris Paul, LAC at LAL ($46) - With the long-awaited return of Blake Griffin, the Clippers are beginning to look ahead to the playoffs. Paul will have plenty of opportunities to work at shaking off the rust with Griffin in an advantageous matchup with Los Angeles' other team. The Lakers have been the second-worst team at defending point guards this season, and they have given up the most points in the league. Defense will likely not be at a premium in this one, and Paul, who is averaging 48.2 fantasy points per game in his last three, could be in for a big game.
Guard to Avoid
D'Angelo Russell, LAL vs LAC ($21) - After some off-court distractions, Russell has seen his production dip, averaging 18.1 fantasy points per game over his last eight. The Clippers have one of the better defensive backcourts in the league, allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to guards, and the ninth fewest points per game in the league. There are plenty of better plays to choose from at the guard position Wednesday.
Jordan Hamilton, NO at BOS ($11) - Hamilton played his first game for the Pelicans on March 26 and has been getting some quality run. They've dealt with the injury bug all season and are now in full-on tank mode resulting in a variety of cheap players getting minutes. Hamilton came off the bench his first two games but has started the last three. He has averaged 11.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 0.8 triples for 25.0 fantasy points per game over that span, and at nearly the minimum price.
Thomas Robinson, BKN at WAS ($15) - Robinson, like Hamilton, is benefiting statistically due to playing on a tanking team. The Nets have shut down Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez for the remainder of the season, which leaves a large hole in the frontcourt. Robinson began seeing solid minutes four games ago, and he has averaged 32.8 fantasy points per game over that time. In four starts this season, he is putting up a remarkable 15.3 points, 14.3 boards and 2.5 assists per game. His price has seen a slight increase, but it is nowhere near his potential output for the rest of the way.
Forward to Avoid
Blake Griffin, LAC at LAL ($42) - Griffin returned Sunday after being sidelined for 45 games, finishing with six points, five rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. He will likely take on a similar workload Wednesday. While the team will want to get him back to normal sooner rather than later, it is hard to see returning to form quite yet. There are much better plays in his price range.
Jared Sullinger, BOS vs NO ($16) - Sullinger is coming off a dud against the Lakers, but a let down was certainly expected following their surprising win in Golden State. He was playing well prior to that, averaging 31.9 fantasy points per game over the previous three. He will have a very good opportunity for a bounce back game when he goes up against the worst team at defending centers this season. The Pelicans are barely fielding an NBA lineup right now, and Sullinger should be able to take advantage in the paint.
Center to Avoid
Ian Mahinmi, IND vs CLE ($15) - Mahinmi has had a decent stretch lately, but he will run into the best team defending centers this season. The Cavaliers have had one of the defensive frontcourts over the season, allowing the third-fewest points per game in the league, leaving Mahinmi minimal upside.