The NBA closes out the work week with 11 games on Friday. Injuries and players resting will once again take center stage. The 76ers have already ruled out Joel Embiid, who will be missing his second straight game because of a foot injury. The Cavaliers have said Donovan Mitchell will sit out their matchup with the Nuggets for rest. The Nuggets will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set, so they’ll also need to be monitored for potentially giving players the night off. Let’s sift through the myriad of options and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
CJ McCollum, NOP vs. BKN ($36): The Pelicans continue to churn along without the services of Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (hamstring). In the four games they’ve missed, McCollum has averaged 47.9 Yahoo points. With all the minutes and shot attempts he can handle, he boasts a high floor at a salary that shouldn’t destroy your budget.
Monte Morris, WAS at OKC ($17): The Wizards are going to be without Bradley Beal (hamstring) for at least the next three games. Morris doesn’t significantly offer more scoring upside with Beal out, but should have the ball in his hands more and that could lead to added assists. Morris has already posted at least 29.6 Yahoo points in three of the last four games, and a matchup against a Thunder team that has played at the third fastest pace makes him an appealing option.
Guard to Avoid
Kyle Lowry, MIA at PHX ($22): The Heat have a relatively clean injury report heading into this matchup, at least according to their standards. This has the potential to be a low-scoring affair with both teams ranked inside the bottom-five in pace of play. Lowry has managed fewer than 20 Yahoo points in four-straight, making it difficult to justify rolling with him based on the matchup.
Julius Randle, NYK at TOR ($44): Randle dominated the Spurs on Wednesday with 61.1 Yahoo points across 41 minutes. He’s currently riding a hot streak having produced at least 54.6 Y! in each of his last seven games. The last time Randle faced the Raptors, he recorded 49.6 Y!. RJ Barrett (finger) is still out, which should continue to give Randle increased scoring opportunities.
Jalen McDaniels, CHA at MIL ($17): The Hornets will definitely be without Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand) on Friday, and Gordon Hayward (hamstring) could join him on the sidelines. They both sat Wednesday against the Grizzlies, which left McDaniels to post 33.4 Yahoo points over 27 minutes. An expanded role for a Hornets team that’s at the seventh-fastest pace is good news for him moving forward.
Forward to Avoid
Michael Porter Jr., DEN vs. CLE ($21): The Nuggets beat the Clippers on Thursday, which contributed to Porter only logging 22 minutes. He finished with 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field, marking the fourth straight appearances he scored fewer than 27 Yahoo points. This isn’t a favorable matchup for Porter to get back on track considering Cleveland maintains the league’s best defensive rating.
Kristaps Porzingis, WAS at OKC ($39): Beal is out, which should leave Porzingis with added shot attempts. The Thunder don’t have much size up front with Aleksej Pokusevski (lower leg), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (ankle) and Jaylin Williams (ankle) all out. Add in the fast pace at which they play and Porzingis is someone to consider building your entire entry around.
Jalen Duren, DET at SAS ($16): Duren had already moved into the starting lineup, but he really has a clear path to loads of court time now that Marvin Bagley III (hand) is sidelined for at least six weeks. He’s registered at least 28.2 Yahoo points and logged at least 32 minutes in each of the last three games Bagley has missed. This also represents a great matchup against a Spurs team that lists the worst defensive rating. So for those who want to fade Porzingis, Duren stands out.
Center to Avoid
Kevin Love, CLE at DEN ($18): While Mitchell isn’t going to play for Cleveland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are expected to be available. Love has proven to be a valuable contributor when one of them is sidelined, but he fills a limited role when both are healthy. Duren has a clearer path to a larger role and a lower salary, so there’s no need to take a chance on Love.
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.