As the season grinds on and reaches its final weeks, the injury toll is rising. The better teams are resting key players for the playoffs, and the worse teams are resting key players for tanking. That means huge minute loads for others and extra time for some of the younger players who still have some late-season energy in the tank. Tonight’s lineup is all about opportunity.
PG Lonzo Ball LAL $8.0K vs Dallas
Remember when everyone thought Lonzo Ball was a bust? That was a fun couple months. Now Ball is hitting step-back jumpers and filling up the box score on the nightly. Ball has at least 8 assists in seven straight games, and he’s added 8+ rebounds in five of those too. Add onto that 2.5 stocks (steals plus blocks) per game over his last 10 and you see why Ball can rack up the fantasy points even without being a consistent scorer. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Ball’s also averaging over 40 minutes a game the last two weeks while many key Lakers are out injured. He should be in for a big game against fellow rookie Dennis Smith Jr.
C Nikola Vucevic BKN $7.8K vs Brooklyn
Vucevic is one of those classic centers you play in the right matchup, and Brooklyn is pretty much always the right matchup for opposing big men. Vucevic makes a great GPP play because of his boom or bust nature. He’s had 36+ fantasy points in six of his last ten games but under 25 in all the rest, which helps keep his price in check. The Magic are missing several key options, so Vuc should get plenty of run. He’ll be a threat for a 20/10 game and should have high upside.
SG/SF Taurean Prince ATL $7.1K vs Minnesota
The Timberwolves are reeling, and the Hawks are missing half the roster to “injury.” All that tanking has to leave shots for someone, and Prince has been taking most of them lately. Prince is averaging almost 18 shots a game over the past eight games and he’s been over 37 fantasy points in six of those games and over 46 in half of them. Minnesota is #2 against small forwards in name only with Jimmy Butler out, so don’t be thrown off by the poor matchup rating. Prince has 7 or 8x upside.
SG/SF Nicolas Batum CHA $6.6K vs Cleveland
The Cavs looked lifeless Tuesday night in Miami and now face the Hornets after a quick turnaround and with several key wing players injured. The Hornets have been hot, and Batum should be ready for full minutes Wednesday after playing on a limit Monday in his return from an Achilles injury. That injury has bottomed up Batum’s DraftKings price, and that could turn into a huge bargain for a guy that had scored 49+ fantasy points three games in a row before the injury with a huge recent boost in playmaking and assists.
PG/SG D’Angelo Russell BKN $6.3K vs Orlando
Russell was a complete dud against Cleveland on Sunday, but that just keeps his price down for us. He had scored 33+ fantasy points in six of his previous seven outings and looks healthy again as the Nets have turned over the offense to him. Russell should approach 20 points and add in five to seven assists, and he has triple-double upside against some of the worst point guards in the league in Orlando.
SF/PF Al-Farouq Aminu POR $6.1K vs Memphis
Aminu’s price is finally starting to rise, but it hasn’t caught up to his production yet. He’s averaging 36 fantasy points over his last seven games with an increased scoring load, approaching double-digit rebounds most times out and adding a handful of bonus points on blocks and steals. He’s been especially hot from downtown of late and he should keep on scoring in a plus Grizzlies matchup.
PG/SG Markelle Fultz PHI $3.8K vs New York
The number one pick in the draft finally played again Monday night and he looked awesome, racking up 10 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds off the bench. He was given the ultimate green light, putting up 13 shots in just 14 minutes, and the Sixers could blow out the Knicks in an easy matchup so it’s a great chance to get Fultz some extra run and confidence. How can you not play this kid and root for him? It’s just too much fun, and the upside is through the roof if he gets a minutes boost.
PG Isaiah Taylor ATL $3.8K vs Minnesota
Dennis Schroeder is one of the many Hawks that will be out Wednesday night, and that should leave Taylor in the starting role with a bigger minutes load again. Taylor has hit 30+ fantasy points his last two games with over 25 minutes and, again, there are shots to be taken and points to be scored against this bad Wolves defense.