Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Friday, January 20

There will be no shortage of action across the NBA on Friday with 18 teams set to play. One of the better matchups figures to be the Mavs hosting the Heat, though Dallas will be missing Christian Wood (thumb). Another game that stands out features the Kings hosting the Thunder with both clubs hoping to make it to the playoffs. With so many options, let’s get down to business and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to potentially avoid.


Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderOKC at SAC ($46): SGA has used his 32.5 percent usage rate to average 49.8 Yahoo points per game for the season. He’s the centerpiece of the Thunder, so his role is n’t going to diminish anytime soon. With both the Thunder and Kings ranked inside the top-six in the league when it comes to pace, Gilgeous-Alexander should have plenty of opportunities to shine.

TJ McConnellIND at DEN ($18): McConnell had a somewhat disappointing stat line against the Thunder on Wednesday by finishing with 10 points, six assists and two steals over 25 minutes. Still, he’s averaged 16.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.3 steals over four outings since Tyrese Haliburton (knee) went down. At this salary, McConnell is still worth the risk.

Guard to Avoid

Tyus JonesMEM at LAL ($21): Ja Morant is healthy, which means Jones will remain in a limited role off the bench. That has left him to produce 27.0 Yahoo points or fewer in each of the last four games. Jones represents a great option whenever Morant is unavailable. But with the star playing, it’ll be difficult for Jones to provide value at this salary.


Julius RandleNY at ATL ($44): The Knicks already play Randle a lot, and they’re going to need him even more now that Mitchell Robinson (thumb) is set to miss at least the next three weeks. Randle will be asked to help control the glass in his absence, which should n’t be a problem since he’s managed at least 15 rebounds in six straight. The last time he played the Hawks, he destroyed them to the tune of 34 points, 17 rebounds and five assists over 33 minutes.

Jalen WilliamsOKC at SAC ($20): The Thunder have no choice but to play small because of the injuries they’ve suffered at center. Williams has been locked into significant playing time while averaging 31 minutes in his last 19 games. While his numbers don’t jump off the page, he’s posted 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals during that stretch. Williams’ ability to contribute in multiple areas makes him a great option in what should be a fast-paced battle.

Forward to Avoid

Kawhi LeonardLAC at SA ($40): The Clippers are expected to have both Leonard and George available for Friday. With the Spurs sporting a 14-31 record, this could get out of hand early with the Clippers not having so many injury issues. If that happens, Leonard could find himself with added time to rest during the second half. Randle is a much safer option and comes in with a similar salary.


Bam AdebayoMIA at DAL ($35): The Mavs are missing two key frontcourt players with both Wood and Maxi Kleber (hamstring) out. That will leave Adebayo to battle with the likes of Dwight Powell and JaVale McGee. He’s already scored at least 43.6 Yahoo points in 10 of his last 11 games, so don’t expect Dallas to be able to slow him down.

Walker Kessler, UTA vs. BKN ($17): The Timberwolves may be kicking themselves for including Kessler in the deal that landed them Rudy Gobert. He’s already showing a lot of promise, especially since he moving into the starting lineup averaging 13.4 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in his last five. Kelly Olynyk (ankle) is still sidelined, so Kessler should continue to see added minutes.

Center to Avoid

Onyeka Okongwu, ATL vs. NYC ($24): Okongwu boasts plenty of talent, and it looks like he’ll be a productive center for years to come. However, he’s in a crunch for playing time right now with Clint Capela. In two games since Capela has returned from injury, Okongwu has registered 15.6 and 18.5 Yahoo points, respectively. As long as Capela remains healthy, it’ll be difficult for Okongwu to live up to this salary.

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