Thursday brings a quiet night in the NBA with only four games on the schedule. Not only does that mean we have limited options to choose from on Yahoo, but matters will be further complicated by several star players being sidelined with injuries. Let's discuss some of the better players to target for your entry, as well as a few to avoid.
CJ McCollum, POR at IND ($38): Damian Lillard (groin) isn't ready to return for the Blazers, meaning McCollum will continue to pace their offense. He's been fantastic across the first three games that Lillard has missed, scoring at least 44.2 Yahoo points each time. Not only is he scoring more, but he dished out at least 10 assists in each of those contests. Expect him to be extremely busy in this matchup, as well.
Rajon Rondo, LAL at GS ($13): Another superstar will be absent from this game since LeBron James (groin) wont play for the Lakers. The severity of his injury is not yet known, but this could just be a case of the Lakers giving him some rest against a team that they should still beat without him. The last time James spent a game on the sidelines, Rondo started and produced 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists across 33 minutes against the Thunder. At this price, he could be well worth the risk in tournament play.
Guard to Avoid
RJ Barrett, NY at PHI ($15): Barrett sure is a thrill-a-minute type player in his rookie season. His production has been all over the map, with his last six games providing a perfect example of his volatility. During that stretch, he scored at least 16 points three times. However, he scored five points or fewer in each of the other three contests. This is a tough matchup on the road, so it might be best to keep him out of your entry.
Anthony Davis, LAL at GS ($53): With James out, Davis will be the undisputed main man for the Lakers. He's already been extremely productive, scoring at least 52.1 Yahoo points in six of his last seven games. Add in the Warriors having the sixth-worth defensive rating in the league and the sky is the limit for Davis here.
Kyle Kuzma, LAL at GS ($16): Rondo isn't the only cheap player on the Lakers worth targeting for this slate. Kuzma can score in bunches, it's just that playing alongside James and Davis doesn't always afford him with a lot of shot attempts. That likely won't be an issue in this game, so don't be surprised if he provides a juicy stat line.
Forward to Avoid
Harrison Barnes, SAC at OKC ($18): Barnes has actually been playing well, scoring at least 32.1 Yahoo points in four of his last six games. However, he is heavily reliant on his contributions in scoring column to provide value, which could be an issue here with the Thunder sporting the 10th-best defensive rating. They held him in check the first two times they faced off this season, leaving Barnes to score 13.5 and 11.1 Yahoo points, respectively.
Steven Adams, OKC vs. SAC ($27): Adams was once again productive Tuesday against the Bulls, finishing with 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks. He took advantage of their depleted depth at center because of injury, torching Daniel Gafford and Cristiano Felicio. The Kings are also hurting up front, which will leave Harry Giles and Alex Len with the responsibility of trying to slow down Adams. Don't expect them to be up to the task.
Marquese Chriss, GS vs. LAL ($21): Chriss recently missed a game because of a calf injury, but he made his return Tuesday against the Kings. He picked up right where he left off, producing 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists across 25 minutes. He's locked into plenty of playing time as the Warriors' starting center, making him an intriguing option at this reasonable price.
Center to Avoid
Dwight Howard, LAL at GS ($14): Howard has hit a bit of a dry spell, scoring 20.6 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last six games. His playing time can sometimes fluctuate, which doesn't help his cause. He only logged 13 minutes when these two teams met earlier this month and the loss of James likely won't benefit him much since Davis and JaVale McGee are still in the fold.