The NBA rebounds from a quiet Thursday with nine games on the schedule Friday. The Warriors, Timberwolves and Rockets will be taking the floor, leaving plenty of high-end talent available for your Yahoo entry. Letís take a look at players in various price ranges and see which ones to target or avoid for your lineup.
Jimmy Butler, MIN vs. NY ($43): Butler is playing some of his best basketball of the season right now, scoring at least 42.4 Yahoo points in nine of his last 11 games. Not only is Butler an excellent scorer who loves to take the big shot in crunch time, but he provides a lot of value defensively, recording at least three steals in five of his last seven contests. Heís averaging at least 37 minutes per game for the fifth straight season, so expect him to have plenty of opportunities to be productive again Friday.
Malcolm Brogdon, MIL vs. GS ($16): Brogdon has started each of the last three games for the Bucks, averaging 12.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He played at least 37 minutes in each of the last two contests, which is well above his season average of 31 minutes per game. The Warriors play at the fourth-fastest pace (102.7 possessions per game) and use a lot of small lineups, which could lead to significant value for Brogdon.
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Guard to Avoid
Jeff Teague, MIN vs. NY ($26): Teague had missed seven straight games with a knee injury before returning to play Wednesday against the Thunder. The Timberwolves won big, which resulted in Teague scoring only 23.3 Yahoo points in 26 minutes. With Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins all excellent offensive players, Teague is averaging only 13.2 points per game this year, his lowest since the 2011-12 season. His upside is limited, so it might not be worth paying this much for him with so many other viable options from which to choose.
Michael Beasley, NY at MIN ($21): The Knicks have been down one of their best offensive players in Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg), which has led them to turn to Beasley for a scoring jolt. Heís been extremely productive of late, scoring at least 33.8 Yahoo points in five of his last six games. Heís been more than just a scorer though, averaging 9.5 rebounds over that six-game stretch. Although Hardaway has a chance of returning Friday, his minutes likely will be limited if he does. The price is right to consider Beasley for your entry either way.
Dragan Bender, PHO vs. HOU ($12): Marquese Chriss (hip) has already been ruled out Friday, which will move Bender into the starting lineup. Chriss left the Sunsí last game Sunday against the Thunder due to the injury, which opened up Bender to play 39 minutes. He provided an excellent all-around performance, scoring 43.2 Yahoo points. Both the Suns and the Rockets are in the top-eight in the league in pace of play, leaving Bender with plenty of chances to provide value at this cheap price.
Forward to Avoid
Jonathon Simmons, ORL at WAS ($19): Simmons is averaging a career-high 29 minutes per game this season but has played 21 minutes or less in three straight games. He scored 12.7 Yahoo points or less in all three of those contests. He scored just 16.3 Yahoo points in his last game against the Wizards, so make sure you stay away from using him Friday.
Clint Capela, HOU at PHO ($30): Capela has been one of the players who has helped picked up the slack with James Harden (hamstring) out, averaging 15.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in his last five games. The Rockets are going to be short handed up front Friday with both Nene Hilario (knee) and Tarik Black (eye) already ruled out, so Capela may be needed to play extra minutes against a Sunsí frontcourt with size and depth. At this reasonable price, heís definitely a viable option for your entry.
Marcin Gortat, WAS vs. ORL ($16): Gortat has been inconsistent this season, but he does have at least 20.6 Yahoo points in four straight games. He topped 35 Yahoo points in two of those games, showing he does have nice upside. He gets an excellent matchup against the Magic on Friday who allow the seventh-most Yahoo points per game (51) to opposing centers. If you want to go really cheap at center, Gortat might be your guy.
Center to Avoid
Kevin Love, CLE at IND ($31): The Cavaliers have lost three of their last four games, losing their last two by a combined 62 points. In their three losses, Love scored a combined 15 points. While clearly heís not going to be that bad for much longer, his upside is limited, having scored at least 40 Yahoo points only twice in his last 12 games. With plenty of other great options from which to choose, it might be best to wait on Love until he shows signs of improvement.