Friday brings 11 games on the NBA schedule, 10 of which will make up the main slate on Yahoo. Injuries will once again have a significant impact on the evening, setting up some cheaper options with increased opportunities to provide value. Let’s discuss a couple of players to target at each position, as well as a few to avoid.
Dennis Schroder, OKC vs. ATL ($24): Schroder has quietly worked his way into the discussion for the Sixth Man of the Year Award. He’s coming off of a monster performance against an excellent defensive team in the Magic where he recorded 31 points, three rebounds and nine assists. Although Schroder doesn’t start, he’s averaging 31 minutes a night so playing time is certainly not an issue. With the Hawks playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the league, this is an excellent opportunity for Schroder to record another juicy stat line.
T.J. McConnell, IND at GS ($13): The Pacers will once again find themselves without Malcolm Brogdon, who has been ruled out for this game because of a concussion. McConnell saw added playing time with the Pacers involved in a couple of recent lopsided affairs, which resulted in him scoring at least 32.4 Yahoo points in each of the last two games. Even if he doesn’t start in place of Brogdon, he should see enough playing time to be able to provide value against a Warriors’ team sporting the 10th-worst defensive rating in the league.
Guard to Avoid
Damion Lee, GS vs. IND ($18): With the Warriors dealing with so many injuries, Lee has emerged as an important part in their rotation. However, he’s gone cold lately by scoring 26.7 Yahoo points or fewer in six of his last seven games. The Pacers have allowed the seventh-fewest points per game, so this isn’t exactly a favorable matchup for Lee to get back on track.
Domantas Sabonis, IND at GS ($35): Sabonis has been all over the map lately. Across his last five games, he scored fewer than 20 Yahoo points twice. However, he also scored at least 47.6 Yahoo points in each of the other three contests. Considering Sabonis is averaging 41 Yahoo points per game for the season, consider those two poor outings as outlier performances. Look for him to provide another meaty double-double against a Warriors’ D allowing the third-most rebounds per game.
Jerami Grant, DEN at NO ($19): Injuries have taken a toll on the Nuggets, who will once again be without Paul Millsap (knee) and Mason Plumlee (foot). Grant has stepped up to provide added production, scoring at least 27 Yahoo points in four of his last five games. Michael Porter Jr. (back) is questionable, so Grant would boast even more upside if he’s forced to miss his second straight game. If Porter does play, he might be the better option at $17.
Forward to Avoid
Julius Randle, NY vs. TOR ($33): This is a really tough matchup for Randle against a Raptors’ team that is particularly stout defensively up front. The last time they faced off, he was limited to 28.1 Yahoo points. With this contest also carrying significant blowout potential, staying away from Randle could prove to be a wise move.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at NO ($43): Millsap and Plumlee aren’t the only key players missing for the Nuggets right now. Jamal Murray (ankle) will miss his fifth straight game and Gary Harris (groin) is listed as questionable. That leaves a ton of responsibility on the shoulders of Jokic, who has scored at least 47.4 Yahoo points in three of the four games since Murray went down. It should also help his cause here that the Pelicans have played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league.
Nerlens Noel, OKC vs. ATL ($13): The key for Noel will be the status of Steven Adams (ankle), who is listed as questionable. He started with Adams out Wednesday against the Magic and scored 28.4 Yahoo points. This matchup heavily sides in his favor since the Hawks have allowed the third-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers. Basically, if Adams is out, Noel should be targeted. If Adams does play, there are other cheap options to pivot to. One of them is Dewayne Dedmon ($10), who could start against the Bulls and their NBA-worst Yahoo point per game total to opposing centers.
Center to Avoid
Jaxson Hayes, NO vs. DEN ($16): The Pelicans are finally healthy up front with Derrick Favors and Zion Williamson back in action. That doesn’t leave a lot of playing time for Hayes, who logged just 16 minutes against the Spurs on Wednesday. With so many other viable cheap center options, Hayes is an easy pass.