Wednesday brings a packed schedule in the NBA with 24 teams in action. With so many options to filter through for your Yahoo entry, letís get right down to business and look at some players to both target and avoid to hopefully help make you a winner.
Chris Paul, HOU at ORL ($42): Paul now takes over as the main man in Houston with James Harden (hamstring) on the shelf. Paul has clearly taken a back seat to Harden this year with his 22.6% usage rate being his lowest since the 2012-13 season. He can fill up the stat sheet when heís on, evident by the fact that he has scored at least 50 Yahoo points in a game five times this season. The Magic allow the most Yahoo points per game to opposing point guards (48.3), making Paul an excellent option to consider.
Tyus Jones, MIN at BKN ($14): Jones was in foul trouble early in Mondayís game against the Lakers, limiting him to 21.7 Yahoo points. Jones doesnít score a lot, which is understandable considering he shares the floor with excellent offensive weapons in Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. That being said, he has at least five assists and two steals in all three games since taking over for Jeff Teague (knee). The Nets allow the second-most Yahoo points per game (46.8) to opposing point guards and play at the fourth-fastest pace (102.6 possessions per game), making Jones a viable option at this cheap price.
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Guard to Avoid
Klay Thompson, GS at DAL ($29): Thompsonís production continues to be limited because of the elite talent and overall depth on the Warriors. His ceiling is relatively low, scoring 40 Yahoo points or more only six times so far this season. Thompson scored only 25.5 Yahoo points in Stephen Curryís return Saturday against the Grizzlies and might cost too much Wednesday with so many other quality cheaper options available.
LeBron James, CLE at BOS ($59): Two of the elite teams in the Eastern Conference square off Wednesday as the Cavaliers take on the Celtics. James excelled in his first game against the Celtics this season, scoring 63.7 Yahoo points. James continues to carry the load in Cleveland with the eighth-highest usage rate (31.1%) in the league. He wonít be cheap, but he provides tons of value, scoring at least 50.6 Yahoo points in 12 of his last 13 games.
Lance Stephenson, IND at MIL ($16): Like the rest of the Pacers starters, Stephenson laid an egg with only 12.3 Yahoo points Sunday against the Timberwolves. The game was a blowout early, leaving Stephenson to play only 22 minutes. Victor Oladipo (knee) has already been ruled out Wednesday, leaving Stephenson the opportunity for another start. Stephenson has played well in four starts this season, averaging 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. The price is right to roll with him again Wednesday.
Forward to Avoid
Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. OKC ($30): Kuzma has been battling a quad injury lately and there is a chance he doesnít play in this game. Even if he does manage to play, donít be surprised if heís limited. His production has cooled off recently, as heís scored 25.1 Yahoo points or fewer in three of his last four games. Thereís just too much risk involved to pay this high price for Kuzma.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. PHO ($41): Jokic has scored at least 45.8 Yahoo points in both of his last two games and has scored at least 38.8 Yahoo points in four of his last five contests. His ability to provide excellent numbers in points, rebounds and assists gives him a high floor most nights, scoring less than 30 Yahoo points in a game only eight times this season. The Suns play at the third-fastest pace (102.9) in the league, so Jokic has the potential for a monster performance.
Bismack Biyombo, ORL vs. HOU ($17): Biyombo has done an excellent job filling in for Nikola Vucevic, averaging 9.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in four games. He played at least 29 minutes in each of those games and should continue to get plenty of playing time going forward. The Magic and Rockets are both in the top-eight in the league in pace of play, so Biyombo is still priced low enough to warrant consideration Wednesday.
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Center to Avoid
Enes Kanter, NY at WAS ($27): Kanter is averaging 25 minutes per game this season but is only averaging 19 minutes over his last four games. Three of those four games came against the Spurs and the Pelicans, two of the top-eight teams in the league in terms of fewest Yahoo points allowed per game to opposing centers. Wednesday brings another tough matchup in the Wizards, who allow the sixth-fewest Yahoo points per game (47.5) to the position. It may be best to stay away from him until he comes out of this mini funk.