(Craig Mitchelldyer, USA TODAY Sports)
Before getting into all of today's daily wonders, it would be unfair if we didn't take time to notice "The Beard."
SG James Harden had a career-high 50 points and supplemented it with 10 boards Thursday night. He takes on the middling Phoenix Suns tonight, and he has scored 45 or more on FantasyScore six times in 10 games. He needs to be in your lineup, even though his $9,300 price takes up 18.6% of your cap. Consider avoiding PG Stephen Curry in order to play Harden. This will be his fifth game in a week, and the team may opt to rest or limit him with their top seed fairly secure.
C LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers at Grizzlies
$8,100 salary | 16.2% of cap
LMA is one of the most consistently productive players in fantasy basketball right now. Over the past 10 games, he has delivered 40 FantasyScore points or more seven times. He was a top-five player last wee, with an average of 48.3 fantasy points per game. Memphis is a tough matchup, but Aldridge is the team's first option with Damian Lillard showing signs of fatigue.
G Gordon Hayward, Jazz at Warriors
$6,000 salary | 12.0% of cap
It has been an up-and-down year for Hayward, but he's trending vertically again. He is among the top 20 players on FantasyScore in the last week with 38.3 fantasy points per game. This run is fueled by 48% shooting from the floor and an average 35.9% from distance. Golden State is average against the two, but great against the three if he slots there. He can shoot it from anywhere, and we're buying the recent surge.
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F Nikola Mirotic, Bulls at Pistons
$4,800 salary | 9.6% of cap
Mirotic has simply played too well to keep out of the rotation with Taj Gibson (ankle) back. Mirotic had a 51.3-fantasy point domination of the Toronto Raptors Friday. He has been a top-10 player the last week with 45.3 per game. He needs to be on the floor and in your lineups.
F Anthony Tolliver, Pistons vs. Bulls
$2,200 salary | 4.4% of cap
Stud power forward Greg Monroe (knee) is expected to miss this game, and Tolliver should take his place in the starting lineup. Tolliver has posted 12 points, six boards and three treys per game in two starts this season. He's a very speculative flyer to use if you need a cheap flex with a little room for more.
G Eric Bledsoe, Suns at Rockets
$7,100 salary | 14.2% of cap
What hurts Bledsoe tonight is the Rockets are the best team against the point over the last 10 games, and they have been stingy all season. Bledsoe could still have a nice game. The problem is his inconsistency, which shies us away. Over his last 10 games, three of them have been around 40 fantasy points, three have been slightly above 30 and four have been under 30. That kind of erratic play has kept him out of the elite fantasy fraternity. Due to the matchup, we'd pass tonight