With plenty of big names in play on a busy night in the NBA, opening up enough cap space to roster two or three high-priced options can help separate you from the competition.
In order to help the process, we recommend keeping an eye on the status of Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (elbow). He has missed the last three games, and in his absence, forward Brandon Bass ($4,200 salary, 8.4% of cap) is averaging 36.67 FantasyScore points. Bradley is questionable tonight, and if he doesn't suit up, Bass should make a solid mid-priced fill-in.
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G James Harden, Rockets at Trail Blazers
$9,300 salary | 18.6% of cap
Harden has terrorized Portland this year in two meetings this year, scoring 44 and 45 points, respectively, and averaging 69.00 fantasy points. Don't hesitate to spend up.
G Russell Westbrook, Thunder vs. Clippers
$9,500 salary | 19.0% of cap
He has scored at least 65.00 FantasyScore points in five straight games, averaging an incredible 75.70 during the stretch. Westbrook is putting up numbers not seen in the league since Michael Jordan was in his prime, and he is a must-own option right now whenever he steps on the court.
G Elfrid Payton, Magic at Bucks
$4,200 salary | 8.4% of cap
The rookie has been up and down all year, but he is currently riding one of his hot streaks. Payton is averaging 36.31 fantasy points over his last four games and hasn't scored fewer than 29.75 during the stretch. Take advantage of his recent boost in production and his cap-friendly price tag.
G Mo Williams, Hornets vs. Kings
$5,000 salary | 10.0% of cap
Williams has been the model of consistency since arriving in Charlotte, scoring at least 28.50 fantasy points in all 10 games and topping 35.00 seven times. His steady production should continue tonight when he faces a Sacramento team allowing the third most points per game.
F Nikola Mirotic, Bulls at 76ers
$4,500 salary | 9.0% of cap
He continues to take advantage of all the injuries the Bulls are dealing with, and Mirotic is averaging 34.00 FantasyScore points over his past six games. He draws a friendly matchup against the 76ers, offering a safe floor and a high ceiling at a price that won't kill your cap.
F Khris Middleton, Bucks vs. Magic
$4,800 salary | 9.6% of cap
Middleton has eclipsed his season average of 24.00 fantasy points eight times in his last 10 games, topping 40.00 twice in his last four. Orlando ranks 23rd in the league in points allowed, and Middleton's combination of reliability and upside is tough to pass up at his current price.
C Alex Len, Suns vs. Timberwolves
$3,600 salary | 7.2% of cap
Len (ankle) returned from a one-game absence to notch a double-double and 23.75 fantasy points against Golden State Monday. He should be able to do even more damage tonight against Minnesota's 29th-ranked scoring defense.
G Chris Paul, Clippers at Thunder
$9,000 salary | 18.0% of cap
Paul (knee) is expected to play tonight, but paying top dollar for a player that will be fighting through an injury is rarely a wise investment, especially with studs like Westbrook and Harden also available at the guard spot.
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