(David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports)
The NBA regular season comes to a close tonight with a 14-game slate, and while there are plenty of options available for fantasy owners, make sure to keep a close eye on the status of starters for playoff-bound teams. Don’t be surprised if some big names rest or play limited minutes in their respective finales.
Among the non-playoff teams, make sure to check on the status of Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel. He has missed the better part of the last three games with an ankle in jury, and in his absence, forward Robert Covington ($4,500 salary, 9.0% of cap) has logged at least 34.25 FantasyScore points in three straight, and would offer cap relief.
G Russell Westbrook, Thunder at Timberwolves
$9,500 salary | 19.0% of cap
Oklahoma City has to win to have any chance of making the playoffs, and Westbrook has been leading the postseason push by averaging 70.00 FantasyScore points in the past two games. Minnesota allows more points per game than any team in the NBA, and Westbrook put up a triple-double the last time these teams met.
F Anthony Davis, Pelicans vs. Spurs
$9,400 salary | 18.8% of cap
The Pelicans will clinch the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a win, so there is little doubt that Davis will be pumped up for this matchup and has no chance of sitting. He has already dominated San Antonio this year, averaging 53.33 fantasy points in three meetings.
G Michael Carter-Williams, Bucks vs. Celtics
$6,900 salary | 13.8% of cap
Carter-Williams appears fully recovered from the ankle issue that slowed him a couple of weeks ago, and he has delivered at least 32.00 fantasy points in seven straight while averaging 39.18 over the same stretch. He logged 35.75 fantasy points against Boston April 3, and Carter-Williams should again provide solid production.
F Nikola Mirotic, Bulls vs. Hawks
$6,900 salary | 13.8% of cap
With Joakim Noah (hamstring) doubtful, Mirotic is in line for extra minutes and an expanded role. He finished with 34.00 FantasyScore points Monday with Noah sidelined, and he should deliver a similar total in this one.
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C Hassan Whiteside, Heat at 76ers
$7,000 salary | 14.0% of cap
After being bothered by a hand injury, Whiteside has returned to his dominant ways recently. He has posted three straight double-doubles and has scored at least 40.00 fantasy points in each game. Unleash him against a 76ers team likely missing its best interior defender, Noel.
G Allen Crabbe, Trail Blazers at Mavericks
$2,200 salary | 4.4% of cap
Crabbe is set to see plenty of playing time with Nicolas Batum (knee) and others sitting out the finale. A friendly matchup against a Dallas team allowing the sixth most points in the NBA should make Crabbe a solid source of cap relief.
C Marc Gasol, Grizzlies vs. Pacers
$7,700 salary | 15.4% of cap
He is dealing with an ankle issue, and although Gasol hasn’t missed time, he has played limited minutes in back-to-back games and has scored 16.00 fantasy points or less in both. Even if he suits up in the finale, Gasol should be avoided.
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