Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, January 11

The NBA will bring eight games to the table Wednesday. Unfortunately, injuries will once again be a common theme. The Bulls will face the Wizards in Washington, but two big names, DeMar DeRozan (quadriceps) and Kristaps Porzingis (ribs) are listed as questionable. The Suns, who have seen their depth chart decimated by injuries, will have a challenging task at hand when they play the Nuggets in the second game of a back-to-back set. Another marquee matchup that injuries will mar features the Celtics hosting a Pelicans team without Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (hamstring). Let’s sort through the mess and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups and a few to avoid.

GUARDS

Zach LaVine, CHI at WAS ($31): After DeRozan was forced out of Monday’s game against the Celtics, he said he had been battling through the quadriceps injury for a while. That might result in the Bulls taking a cautious approach and keeping him out for at least one game. If he does sit, it’s an excellent spot for LaVine. He led a late charge for the Bulls after DeRozan went down, finishing with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists over 42 minutes.

Josh Richardson, SA at MEM ($13): The injury to Devin Vassell (knee) has Richardson primed to play an expanded role. Over the last four games, he has averaged 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals. That included a matchup against these same Grizzlies on Monday in which he produced 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals over 25 minutes.

Guard to Avoid

Tyus Jones, MEM vs. SA ($23): Jones is arguably the best backup point guard in the league. He filled in for Ja Morant in the starting lineup the last two games, producing at least 21 points, six assists and three steals in both games. However, Morant is not on the injury report for this matchup, which should push Jones back into limited playing time off the bench.

FORWARDS

Julius Randle, NY vs. IND ($44): Talk about a hot streak. Randle has scored at least 46.7 Yahoo points in 10 straight games. During that stretch, he scored at least 54.6 Yahoo points eight times. He should have plenty of opportunities to stuff the stat sheet in a matchup against a Pacers team that has played at the seventh-fastest pace in the league.

Keegan Murray, SAC vs. HOU ($12): This has the potential to be a high scoring game. The Kings have played at the league’s fourth-fastest pace, and both teams rank inside the bottom seven in defensive rating. For those looking to gain exposure to this matchup while not destroying their budget, consider Murray. His numbers haven’t been off the chart, but he has provided steady production, scoring at least 21.1 Yahoo points in six straight games.

Forward to Avoid

Michael Porter Jr., DEN vs. PHO ($21): Porter put up another muted stat line against the Lakers on Monday, scoring just 26.4 Yahoo points. He has not surpassed 27.0 Yahoo points in his last six games. His usage rate is a modest 22.1 percent, and he provides virtually no contributions in terms of assists and defensive stats, so he might continue to struggle to provide value.

CENTERS

Nikola Vucevic, CHI at WAS ($30): Vucevic also stepped up with DeRozan going down early Monday, posting 21 points and 13 rebounds. The performance marked his sixth straight double-double and the third time in the last five games that he scored at least 20 points. He has faced the Wizards two times already, scoring 34.1 and 53.7 Yahoo points, respectively.

Larry Nance Jr., NO at BOS ($12): Nance is an essential supporting player for the Pelicans who has been thrust into a more prominent role with Williamson out. He logged 26 minutes against the Wizards on Monday, scoring 26.7 Yahoo points. While his scoring upside isn’t great, he can contribute enough in multiple areas to be worth considering at this cheap salary.

Center to Avoid

Mitchell Robinson, NY vs. IND ($19): Robinson’s production has been all over the place. Over his last six games, he scored at least 37.6 Yahoo points two times. However, he also scored fewer than 14.0 Yahoo points twice. Even though his salary is not overly expensive, his inconsistency still makes him a risky option.

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