Wednesday brings a loaded schedule in the NBA. There will be 26 teams in action, leaving us with some exciting matchups. In the Eastern Conference, the red-hot Celtics will host the Heat, who have been battling injuries for much of the season. The Cavaliers will take on the 76ers, with both teams expected to be without key players. In the Western Conference, the Grizzlies will travel to Minnesota to play a Timberwolves team without Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) for at least the next four weeks. So without further ado, here are some of the top options to consider for your Yahoo lineups and a few to avoid.
Tyrese Haliburton, IND at SAC ($43): Haliburton is currently putting up some ridiculous numbers. Across the last three games, he has had 40 assists and no turnovers. Over his last six games, he has dished out at least 14 assists five times. Look for him to stay hot against a Kings team with the fifth-worst defensive rating in the league.
John Konchar, MEM at MIN ($14): Konchar has been locked into the starting five for the Grizzlies since Desmond Bane (toe) went down. Across seven games in that role, he has averaged 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.9 steals. While his upside isn’t all that high, he can still provide value at a cheap salary and help balance the budget for those looking to add a few superstars with high salaries to their lineups.
Guard to Avoid
Cole Anthony, ORL vs. ATL ($21): Reinforcements are coming for the Magic. Not only is Anthony slated to return for this game, but so are Markelle Fultz and Terrence Ross. The problem with Anthony is that he hasn’t played in over a month. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him on a minutes limit.
Keldon Johnson, SAS at OKC ($26): This has the potential to be a high-scoring game. Both the Spurs and Thunder rank inside the top seven in the league in pace of play, while the Spurs have the worst defensive rating. Although the Thunder’s defensive rating hasn’t been as bad, they have allowed an average of 117.7 points per game. This is an excellent matchup for Johnson, who has a 28.2 percent usage rate with averages of 20.4 points and 3.1 treys per game.
Trey Murphy III, NOP vs. TOR ($15): Brandon Ingram (toe) is set to miss his second straight game. Murphy started in his absence Monday against the Thunder, scoring 34.2 Yahoo points over 37 minutes. This isn’t as favorable of a matchup against a long and versatile defensive team in the Raptors, but Murphy’s salary is low enough that his added playing time gives him an opportunity to provide value.
Forward to Avoid
RJ Barrett, NYK vs. MIL ($23): Barrett continues to be plagued by a lack of efficiency, shooting 39.9% from the field. His usage rate is also down to 25.2%, more than two percentage points lower than last season. Combine his shooting woes with the Bucks having the best defensive rating in the league, and this is a matchup to avoid.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. HOU ($53): These two teams just played Monday, with Jokic scoring 55.4 Yahoo points. He was only needed for 27 minutes in the Nuggets’ blowout win, but it marked his fourth straight game with at least 50.6 Yahoo points. If the Rockets can find a way to keep this game close and push Jokic to play a least 30 minutes, he could dominate this slate.
Zach Collins, SAS at OKC ($12): Injuries have plagued Collins, who has been limited to 11 games after playing just 28 games last season. He’s healthy right now, though, and the Spurs will need him with Jakob Poeltl (knee) expected to miss about a week. In addition, the Thunder have allowed the most rebounds per game in the league, making Collins a great option in tournament play.
Center to Avoid
Nikola Vucevic, CHI at PHX ($30): Vucevic struggled from behind the arc last season, shooting just 31.4%. He has increased that number to 34.4% this season, but he is still averaging a modest 15.6 points per game. That would be his lowest mark since the 2016-17 season. His usage rate checks in at just 21.3%, more than three percentage points lower than last season. His reduced role in the Bulls’ scoring attack doesn’t make him an appealing option versus a Suns team with the sixth-best defensive rating.
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.