Due to the lack of games on Tuesday (one game) and the plethora of games Wednesday (14 games), Yahoo has put forth a 15-game slate that encompasses both days. Since Yahoo players lock as their respective games begin, it might be in your best interest to fade the CHI/LAL game Tuesday night altogether, and go from there. Youíll want to check back in as one of my counterparts will likely give you another pass at the Wednesday games, but we will run through them here anyway.
In the $50-plus range, there are a lot of favorable matchups to exploit, and youíll need at least one of these guys to keep pace in both your cash and GPP lineups. While LeBron has a juicy matchup against the Nets, a blowout here is entirely possible, so take caution if you go with The King. Two teams that will be firing on all cylinders are the Warriors and the Thunder as they face off in a highly anticipated matchup. The Warriors will be without Kevin Durant (more on that below), but you can expect maximum usage out of everyone else. I like Russell Westbrook ($56) and Steph Curry ($50) but the guard position is so deep, itís difficult to find a way there. Thatís why Iím going to have to go with DeMarcus Cousins ($58) in San Antonio due to a lack of elite options at center tonight.
Below Iíll select two players at higher and lower prices to target and one player to avoid at each position.
Ben Simmons, PHI vs. POR ($48): Although Damian Lillard (ankle) is expected to play, he might be a step slower which should give the rookie a slight edge at home in this matchup. I wouldnít normally feature a player at such a high price, but he is just an example of the depth at the guard spots tonight below 50 bucks. Heís scored at least 43 YFP over the past four games, and he could go for much more Wednesday.
C.J. McCollum, POR at PHI ($31): Lillardís injury also means more opportunities for McCollum. As I said, I think Lillard will play but McCollum is about as stable as youíll get at the two and heís gone for 30-plus YFP in the last four games. His low plus-minus is a good indicator that heíll match his averages often.
Other guards to consider: Bradley Beal, WAS at CHA ($35); Devin Booker, PHO vs. MIL ($34); Jimmy Butler, MIN vs. ORL ($31); Mario Chalmers, MEM vs. DAL ($14)
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GUARD TO AVOID:
Lonzo Ball, LAL vs. CHI ($30): I might like this pick if he was about $5 cheaper, but I canít buy into Ball yet, even against the Bulls. His triple-double against Denver was impressive, but heís a young kid and itís difficult to replicate that kind of production every night when youíre still acclimating to the NBA grind. I think heíll come back to Earth tonight, but even if he excels he has such a high deviation (14.2), it makes him a risk with so many other options.
Draymond Green, GS at OKC ($38): Green will always be one of the prime beneficiaries if Kevin Durant is out, so Wednesday may be one of those nights, as the defense-oriented forward will get the opportunity to flex his offensive muscle inside. Though heíll face a lot of resistance from Paul George, I think Green will get his share.
Carmelo Anthony, OKC vs. GS ($29): I also like Paul George for a few dollars more, but if Durant remains out, Anthony could see a lot of opportunities on the wing, making both of these guys excellent mid-range plays. The Thunder trio seem to be passing around the surge meter, and lately it has been Meloís turn, as heís stayed in 30-plus YFP territory for most of the week. George might be the more consistent option, but Anthonyís ceiling is higher.
Other forwards to consider: Blake Griffin, LAC at ATL ($43); T.J. Warren, PHO vs. MIL ($31); Lauri Markkanen, CHI at LAL ($25)
FORWARD TO AVOID
Aaron Gordon, ORL at MIN ($36): Gordon will do fine but he wonít meet value in this matchup. He had a good outing against the Pacers on Monday, but his four games preceding Mondayís, while serviceable, trended way below value for this price. Heís been hovering around 30 minutes of usage per game over the past couple of weeks, and heíll need more time on the floor if he wants to beat a $36 price tag.
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Marc Gasol, MEM vs. DAL ($36): While heís often a consistent fantasy asset, heís seen some scary-good spikes in recent weeks, which makes riding his upside very tempting, especially against a Dallas squad that struggles inside. Gasol had 40.1 YFP when they last met, a good indicator when you consider that the Mavs havenít done much to improve since then.
Dwight Howard, CHA vs. WAS ($28): Howard has been a streaky player his entire career, so conventional wisdom says to ride the wave after a standout performance against the Timberwolves Monday night. If he can put up 56 YFP against Karl-Anthony Towns, he can certainly meet value against Marcin Gortat.
Other centers to consider: Joel Embiid, PHI vs. POR ($46); Nikola Vucevic, ORL at MIN ($30)
CENTER TO AVOID
Greg Monroe, PHO vs. MIL ($18): Monroeís first outing was a positive sign, but it shouldnít be enough to grab him despite the low price. Heís no on the floor enough to put up double-doubles with any consistency, and the Suns will struggle to get him the ball inside. Spend a few more dollars and avoid this play.