Who To Play, Avoid for Wednesday, February 1

Wednesday started off as a nine-game slate but is down to eight after Wizards-Pistons was postponed due to weather-related flight issues. It should be an exciting night regardless, as every spread is within single digits and all but one game has a projected total of greater than 230 points, including one game with a 244 over/under — Kings-Spurs.

As customary, we’ll highlight multiple advantageous positional matchups to exploit at each position for your Yahoo Fantasy lineups, as well as a good trio of candidates that may be best to steer clear of due to a combination of circumstances/salary.


Ja MorantMEM vs POR ($45): Morant is actually only the third-highest-salaried guard on the slate, which can be a rare occurrence and one that makes him even a bit more appealing than usual. Morant is coming off one of his best games of the season as well, producing 68.5 Yahoo points in 41 minutes against the Pacers on Sunday. He also scored 45 to 55.8 Yahoo points in the three prior contests, and Portland is giving up the sixth-most Yahoo points (53.8) to point guards in the last seven games.

Josh GiddeyOKC at HOU ($30): Giddey has regularly outperformed his current salary on multiple occasions this season, with the most recent example coming Monday when he scored 43.6 Yahoo points in only 29 minutes Monday night versus the Warriors. He also posted a three-game stretch in mid-January where he scored 40.7 to 51.3 Yahoo points, and he now draws a matchup versus a Rockets team that’s surrendering the 12th-highest offensive efficiency rating to two-guards (22.6), as well as the most Yahoo points per game to the position in the last seven games (49.5).

ALSO CONSIDER: Anthony Edwards, MIN vs. GSW ($39)

Guard to Avoid

Tyrese Maxey, PHI vs. ENT ($24): Maxey has seen a downturn in production over the last two games after consecutive spike performances of over 40 Yahoo points, and he posted only 11.2 Yahoo points against this same Magic squad Monday. Before his pair of standout efforts, he’d also been under 30 Yahoo points in seven straight contests. Given there are other guards with salaries in the teens and low 20s that could conceivably match or exceed Maxey’s production, he can likely be steered clear of unless Joel Embiid (foot) is announced as unavailable.


Jaren Jackson, MEM vs. ROP ($32): Jackson has done an excellent job supplementing his fantasy production with his work on the defensive end this season, as he’s averaging a career-high 3.2 blocks per contest and is also clocking one steal per game. The big man is averaging 36.9 Yahoo points per game for the season, and he just churned out 56.1 Yahoo points versus the Pacers on Monday. He now faces a Blazers squad that’s ranked No. 27 in offensive efficiency surrendered to power forwards (25.6), and that’s been much more susceptible to allowing blocks on the road (5.0 per game) than at home (3.7).

Keegan MurraySAC at SAN ($15): Murray carries a salary he’s proven capable of outperforming on multiple occasions during his rookie campaign, and he comes in having scored 25.6 to 33.1 Yahoo points in three of the last four games. Murray also put up 24 Yahoo points versus the Spurs in his prior outing against them, and San Antonio is also ranked No. 28 in offensive efficiency rating allowed to fours (28.6). Moreover, Gregg Popovich’s crew has surrendered an NBA-high 48 Yahoo points per game to PFs on the season, making Murray’s case even stronger.

Forward to Avoid

Dillon Brooks, MEM vs. ROP ($15): Brooks has been targeted in an extended funk that’s seen him shoot just 33.0 percent, including 22.7 percent from three-point range, over the last nine games, a stretch during which he’s been at 16 Yahoo points or fewer on four occasions. While his salary has come down accordingly, Brooks just put up a meager 10.2 Yahoo points versus the Pacers on Monday night, and there are enough forwards right around his salary range that arguably carry less risk at the moment. The fact the Blazers are allowing a Western Conference-low 20.5 offensive efficiency rating to small forwards only serves to ding Brooks’ case further.


Domantas SabonisSAC at SAN ($42): Sabonis lit up the Spurs for 49.6 Yahoo points across 35 minutes one of his two prior games against them this season, and he’s scored over 40 Yahoo points in five of his last nine games alone. The versatile big man should be set for another productive performance considering San Antonio’s ongoing struggles against centers, which include allowing 66.1 Yahoo points per game to the position in the last seven games. The Spurs have also allowed Western Conference-high 41.5 percent three-point shooting to fives, while Sabonis is shooting 36.4 percent from distance.

Deandre Ayton, PHO vs. ATL ($28): Ayton has averaged at least a Yahoo point per dollar on his current salary in 29 of 43 games this season. That includes the four games immediately preceding Wednesday’s contest, as he’s scored 38.1 to 50 Yahoo points in that impressive stretch while averaging a double-double of 22.0 points and 13.8 rebounds. He’ll now face a Hawks team that’s given up over 54 Yahoo points per game to centers on the season, along with the seventh-most rebounds per road contest (53.5). Atlanta is also surrendering the fourth-most points in the paint per game (53.3), an area of ​​the floor where 74.1 percent of Ayton’s scoring is originating from.

Center to avoid

Robert Williams, BOS vs. BKN ($19): Williams is already carrying a questionable tag due to an ankle injury, which makes him a risk likely worth avoiding. Additionally, if the big man does suit up, he could be on some type of minutes limit given the caution with which he’s often handled, and he’ll also be facing a Nets team that’s allowed the third-lowest offensive efficiency rating to centers ( 29.5).

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