Taking advantage of a starter who is sidelined can be a great way to find value picks for daily fantasy basketball lineups. Tonight, pay close attention to the starting lineup for the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks have already secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and have been regularly resting starters. With back-to-back games on tap tonight and tomorrow, it is almost a guarantee that Atlanta will be missing at least a couple of starters in both games.
If guard Jeff Teague receives the night off, don't hesitate to plug in guard Dennis Schroder ($4,400 salary; 8.8% of cap), who has proven he can provide 30-plus fantasy points as the starter. Meanwhile, center Mike Muscala ($2,200; 4.4%) should make a solid source of cap relief if center Al Horford sits, and guard Kent Bazemore ($2,600; 5.2%) should have similar value if Kyle Korver doesn't suit up.
G James Harden, Rockets at Raptors
$9,300 salary | 18.6% of cap
Even with Dwight Howard back in the mix, Harden continues to pile up huge numbers. He is averaging 53.94 FantasyScore points over his past four games, and tonight, he faces a defense ranked 23rd in points per game to shooting guards.
C Rudy Gobert, Jazz at Timberwolves
$7,400 salary | 14.8% of cap
When Utah and Minnesota met last Monday, Gobert dominated on both ends of the court. He finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks, tallying 54.25 fantasy points. Pay a little extra for Gobert's upside tonight and save cap space elsewhere.
F Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves vs. Jazz
$5,300 salary | 10.6% of cap
The Timberwolves are dealing with several injuries, and Wiggins has taken advantage of a heavy workload. He is averaging 44.5 minutes and 38.06 fantasy points over his past four games, and he is a safe bet to deliver a solid performance.
F Markieff Morris, Suns at Trail Blazers
$5,300 salary | 10.6% of cap
On a night where there aren't any must-own, expensive forwards, a reliable, mid-priced option like Morris is a steady lineup addition. Over his last nine games, he is averaging 35.78 fantasy points, delivering at least 27.25 in every contest.
G Ishmael Smith, 76ers vs. Lakers
$4,200 salary | 8.4% of cap
Smith has taken command of the starting point guard role in Philadelphia, and he is averaging 29.86 fantasy points over his last seven games. Tonight, he draws a great matchup against a Lakers defense allowing the most points and second most assists per game to point guards.
Play for free. Win money. Sounds good, right?
G Michael Carter-Williams, Bucks at Hawks
$6,500 salary | 13.0% of cap
Carter-Williams has struggled with consistency since returning from an ankle injury, following solid performances with terrible outings. In fact, he has posted 20.50 fantasy points or fewer four times in his last seven outings. Dedicating 13.0% of your cap to a player who could be a bust is a recipe for failure.
C Dwight Howard, Rockets at Raptors
$7,300 salary | 14.6% of cap
His knee has held up since returning from a long layoff, but Howard's minutes are still being monitored, and he is averaging 22.92 fantasy points in three games. He still isn't to the point where he will see the workload needed to justify his price tag.
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