Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, January 18

The NBA storms back from a quiet Tuesday with nine games on the Wednesday schedule. There are several exciting matchups, including when the Grizzlies host the Cavaliers. The Grizzlies are on a 10-game winning streak, which should make things difficult for a Cavaliers team that is only 9-13 on the road. To complicated matters, Donovan Mitchell (groin) is listed as doubtful. Another exciting game will feature Luka Doncic and the Mavericks taking on Trae Young and the Hawks. Let’s discuss some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups and a few to avoid.

GUARDS

La Melo BallCHA at HOU ($41): There might not be much defense played in this game. The Hornets have allowed 118.9 points per game, while the Rockets have allowed 117.5 points per game. However, Ball already comes into this hot matchup, scoring at least 47.8 Yahoo points in eight of his last 10 games. Don’t expect the Rockets to be able to slow him down.

TJ McConnellIND at OKC ($18): McConnell has been great while filling in for Tyrese Haliburton (knee), scoring at least 36.9 Yahoo points in each of the last three games. He shone in a loss to the Bucks on Monday, scoring 56.5 Yahoo points over 32 minutes. Somehow, his salary has gone down by a dollar since then. No need to overthink this; McConnell is well worth the risk at this salary.

Guard to Avoid

Mike Conley Jr., UTA vs. LAC ($19): Conley’s production has been anything but consistent. Over his last eight games, he scored at least 30.2 Yahoo points four times. However, he scored 21.8 Yahoo points or fewer in each of the other four games. McConnell has been playing much better and has a slightly cheaper salary, so taking a chance on Conley having one of his better performances than him is n’t necessary.

FORWARDS

Julius Randle, NY vs. WAS ($44): Randle only shot 8-for-19 from the field when these two teams met last week, but he still finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds and a block. He has been incredibly consistent, scoring at least 43.7 Yahoo points in 13 of his last 14 games. He has a 28.2 percent usage rate, is an excellent rebounder and is logging 36 minutes per game, giving him significant upside.

Jalen McDanielsCHA at HOU ($17): For those who can’t squeeze Ball’s expensive salary into their budget, McDaniels is a way to gain some exposure to this matchup at a much lower salary. Kelly Oubre Jr. (hand) remains out, and Gordon Hayward (hamstring) is listed as doubtful, so McDaniels should remain in the starting lineup. Over the last seven games in that role, he has averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

Forward to Avoid

John CollinsATL at DAL ($25): Collins remains prominent in trade rumors as the deadline approaches. He hasn’t exactly been making a massive impact of late, averaging a modest 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds over his last six games. He has attempted fewer than 10 shots in three straight games and could continue to struggle to find scoring opportunities with the Hawks sporting a healthy roster.

CENTERS

Domantas SabonisSAC at LAL ($45): Sabonis is a difficult matchup for most teams, especially for a Lakers squad currently without Anthony Davis (ankle). He has already faced the Lakers three times this season, averaging 19.7 points, 14.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists. So if you’re looking for a center with a high floor, look no further.

Alperen Sengun, HOU vs. CHA ($22): Sengun is coming off one of the best games of his career, posting 33 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and four blocks versus the Lakers on Monday. While his playing time was inconsistent at the beginning of the season, he averaged 32 minutes over the last six games. Given that he provided 18.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks during that span, he has certainly made a case to remain in that expanded role.

Center to avoid

Onyeka OkongwuATL at DAL ($24): The Hawks received some reinforcements for their frontcourt Monday, with Clint Capela returning from a 10-game absence due to a calf injury. He logged 21 minutes off the bench, while Okongwu scored just 15.6 Yahoo points as a starter. With Capela eating into his playing time, it will be difficult for Okongwu to provide value at this salary.

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