In Thursday's four-game set, four of the league's bottom five clubs in scoring defense are suiting up. Reasonably priced opponents of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets could yield a profit, which might alleviate the need to buy studs left and right with this light schedule.
On the other hand, it's wise to trust one riser who's joining the upper echelon of daily fantasy basketball.
C Rudy Gobert, Jazz at Lakers
$7,400 salary | 14.8% of cap
Gobert has been downright criminal on the boards, averaging 16.7 per game over the last 10, with double figures in all. Even more encouraging is that he is starting to convert buckets, as evidenced by his 38.2-point average on FantasyScore the last month. He's no longer a sleeper, but he can definitely put your opponent to sleep against the poor-shooting and defense-challenged Lakers.
— James Harden has annihilated the Denver Nuggets, one of those four clubs mentioned above, with 31 points, nine assists, six rebounds and 1.7 steals on average in their three meetings this season. He will eat up 18.6% of your cap at $9,300, so spend wisely afterward.
G Alexey Shved, Knicks vs. Timberwolves
$4,400 salary | 8.8% of cap
In what seems to have become a nightly theme, Shved has a great matchup and has been tearing it up since landing in New York. He averaged 34.6 fantasy points the last week, including a 40.8 effort against San Antonio two days ago. Minnesota ranks in the bottom five at defending the point the last 10 and gives up the most points per game overall.
C Omer Asik, Pelicans at Suns
$4,700 salary | 9.4% of cap
The Suns will be without Alex Len (ankle) in the middle. Anthony Davis ($9,400; 18.8%) should dominate Phoenix as he did earlier in the year, and it doesn't hurt that Asik has been playing inspired ball of late. He has averaged 34.6 fantasy points the last three games. Even if you decide on Davis or Gobert, Asik is still a decent bargain to use as a flex.
Make your team. Hit the hardwood. Win cash.
F Donatas Motiejunas, Rockets vs. Nuggets
$4,200 salary | 8.4% of cap
The Nuggets have been awful against bigs all season, but they've actually been in the middle of the pack in defending the four the last 10 games. With Terrence Jones seemingly in the doghouse, Motiejunas posted 37.8 fantasy points Tuesday. He's a good choice for one of the final additions to your roster Thursday.
G Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves at Knicks
$5,700 salary | 11.4% of cap
Rubio really hasn't been right all season after a severe ankle sprain. He missed a couple of games earlier this week, and he posted just 27 fantasy points last night. He's shooting just 34.6% from the floor this month, which has hindered his production. Add the fact that he rarely plays on back-to-back nights, and he simply can't be trusted to perform.