(Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports)
It is a busy Friday in the NBA, and while there are plenty of value options in play already, there are a couple of situations worth keeping an eye on heading into tonight's 12-game slate.
Toronto Raptors G Kyle Lowry has missed the last three games, and G Greivis Vasquez ($3,000 salary, 6.0% of cap) has averaged 26.75 FantasyScore points as his replacement. Lowry traveled with the Raptors for tonight's game against the Charlotte Hornets, but he may still be held out. Have Vasquez ready to fire up if Lowry is given another night off.
We also recommend keeping tabs on the status of Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley (foot). Beverley doesn't have much fantasy value, but he is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. If he is sidelined, Detroit Pistons G Reggie Jackson ($5,400, 10.8% of cap) becomes a much more attractive play tonight.
F Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Boston Celtics
$9,400 salary | 18.8% of cap
He showed no lingering effects from his shoulder injury when he dropped 79.75 fantasy points on Detroit in his return Tuesday. Davis should continue to make up for lost time tonight against a Boston team that he torched for 57.25 fantasy points earlier this year.
G Ray McCallum, Sacramento Kings at Orlando Magic
$3,000 salary | 6.0% of cap
Although he has been a little inconsistent since taking over as the starting point guard for Darren Collison (hip), McCallum has topped 20.00 FantasyScore points in five of his last six games. Meanwhile, the Magic are surrendering the second most assists per game to point guards and rank 25th in field goal percentage defense against the position.
Prove your lineup-building skills are money.
G Mo Williams, Charlotte Hornets vs. Toronto Raptors
$5,000 salary | 10.0% of cap
The grass has certainly been greener in Charlotte for Williams. Since joining the Hornets, he hasn't scored less than 28.50 fantasy points, and he has logged at least 38.25 in four straight. Toronto doesn't defend point guards particularly well, and Williams should approach top-tier production for a mid-tier price again tonight.
F Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers
$3,800 salary | 7.6% of cap
With the Bulls battling multiple injuries to key starters, Mirotic's offensive versatility has been on full display. He is averaging 26.0 points over his past three games, and he has scored at least 34.00 fantasy points in every game during that stretch. With Chicago no closer to being at full strength tonight, Mirotic should continue to provide great production at a bargain price.
F Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets vs. Detroit Pistons
$4,800 salary | 9.6% of cap
Jones continues to surge since the All-Star Break. He has scored at least 27.75 fantasy points in all eight games and has delivered 35.00 or more in five of his last six. There is no reason he should slow down tonight against a Pistons team allowing the third most points per game to power forwards.
C Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers
$6,800 salary | 13.6% of cap
He has been a force on the glass and on the defensive end since joining the starting lineup, and Gobert has topped 30.00 fantasy points in six straight games and has topped 40.00 in back-to-back contests. A matchup against a Philadelphia team allowing the third most rebounds and second most blocks to centers plays right to his strengths.
F Luol Deng, Miami Heat at Washington Wizards
$5,000 salary | 10.0% of cap
Deng is dealing with a thigh issue and has scored less than 25.00 FantasyScore points in three straight games. He has also struggled against the Wizards this year, averaging just 13.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in three meetings. There are too many options available tonight to pay for mediocre production from a banged-up Deng.
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