Tuesday brings a light slate in the NBA consisting of just five games. There will be plenty of stars in action, though, with the Bucks, Lakers, Nuggets and Clippers among the teams set to take the floor. Let’s get right to the task at hand and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
CJ McCollum, NOP at DEN ($33): This is going to be a difficult spot for the Pelicans as they try to snap their eight-game losing streak. McCollum played in seven of those losses, maintaining his steady production with averages of 21.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists. Brandon Ingram being back helps take some of the focus of the opposing defense off McCollum, while also giving him a scorer to help him rack up assists. Expect McCollum to continue to have a high floor.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, DEN vs. NOP ($12): With so many top-tier players on this slate, taking a chance on a player with a cheap salary in tournament play will be necessary to help offset some of the hefty salaries. Caldwell-Pope has scored at least 20.3 Yahoo points in nine of his last 10 games, including 22.4 Yahoo points against these same Pelicans last week.
Guard to Avoid
Kyle Lowry, MIA at CLE ($18): Lowry continues to struggle to score for the Heat. Since returning from a four-game absence because of a knee injury, he’s averaged just 8.0 points and 4.3 assists over six games. Facing a Cavaliers team that has the best defensive rating in the league should leave him fighting an uphill battle.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC at CHI ($39): Leonard sat out the second game of a back-to-back set when the Clippers faced the Cavaliers on Sunday. He’s not on the injury report for this matchup, so expect him to be deployed as normal. He has scored at least 44.1 Yahoo points in five straight games and should be a difficult defensive assignment for a Bulls team that will likely try to defend him with some combination of Patrick Williams, DeMar DeRozan and Derrick Jones Jr.
Patrick Williams, CHI vs. LAC ($14): The Bulls are going to need Williams to stay out of foul trouble to defend Leonard. As athletic as Jones is, he doesn’t have the strength to hang with Leonard. Williams has scored at least 26.5 Yahoo points in four of the last five games, so if he can limit his fouls, he should play enough to provide fantasy value.
Forward to Avoid
Naji Marshall, NOP at DEN ($20): The Pelicans have dealt with their share of injuries this season and continue to play without Zion Williamson (hamstring). Marshall has often found himself in an expanded role, and he’s generally been productive. However, in two games since Ingram returned, he scored 18.8 and 23.5 Yahoo points, respectively. He should continue to see fewer shot attempts in this matchup.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. NOP ($58): Jokic has been fantastic at home, averaging 25.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 11.0 assists over 23 games. For comparison, he has averaged 24.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.6 assists on the road. When he faced the Pelicans in New Orleans last week, he produced a triple-double while scoring 53.2 Yahoo points.
Larry Nance Jr., NOP at DEN ($11): Nance is also one of the beneficiaries of Williamson being out. He’s one of the Pelicans’ top big men off the bench, which has helped him average 9.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals over the last five games. If you want to allocate more of your budget to the guard and forward positions, Nance is at least worth considering in tournament play.
Center to Avoid
Thomas Bryant, LAL at NY ($18): Anthony Davis sat out the first game of the Lakers’ back-to-back set Monday, which left Bryant with an expanded role against the Nets. He didn’t disappoint, recording 18 points, nine rebounds and a block across 27 minutes. He had a total of 11 points and 11 rebounds over the previous two games with Davis healthy, so with Davis expected to return, Bryant is someone to avoid.
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.