The NBA gets ready to head into the weekend with nine games on the schedule Friday. The night won't be short on star power with the Rockets, Lakers, Clippers and Sixers all in action. Here are some players to consider across the price scale for your Yahoo lineup, as well as a few to potentially avoid based on their matchups.
Lou Williams, LAC at MIN ($24): This is already a great matchup for Williams with the Timberwolves playing at the fifth-fastest pace in the league. Not only that, but Patrick Beverley (concussion) has been ruled out, which should afford Williams additional playing time. It will also be interesting to see what the Clippers do with Kawhi Leonard since they play again Saturday, as we know he'll sit out one of those two games. If that happens to be tonight, then Williams offers the potential to provide even more value.
De'Anthony Melton, MEM vs. MIL ($10): Ja Morant has played the last couple of games for the Grizzlies, but they have decided to sit him against the Bucks to rest his back. He recently missed four games with that injury and the Grizzlies have to play again Saturday, so they aren't taking any chances with their star rookie. Melton scored at least 29.5 Yahoo points in three of the previous four games that Morant missed, so he could be worth taking a chance on in tournament play.
Guard to Avoid
Lonzo Ball, NO at PHI ($19): Ball is off to a rough start with the Pelicans. He's only averaging 10.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists a game, which is partly why they decided to shift him to a bench role in their last two matchups. Having to face a Sixers' team that has allowed the third-fewest points per game likely won't be the cure to what ails him.
Domantas Sabonis, IND at ATL ($38): Sabonis is rolling right now, having scored at least 43.8 Yahoo points in five of his last six games. Even with the Pacers the healthiest they have been in a while, it has not negatively impacted Sabonis's production. If anything, they need him even more now with Myles Turner struggling. The Hawks have very little depth up front, which helped Sabonis score 38.4 Yahoo points the last time they met. Expect him to have a high floor here as well.
Joe Ingles, UTA vs. GS ($20): After being relegated to the bench, Ingles has seen a significant decrease in production this season. However, he's still a very talented player, so the team didn't hesitate to insert him back into the starting five when Mike Conley Jr. (hamstring) went down. Conley has missed each of the last four games, which has propelled Ingles to score at least 30.8 Yahoo points three times. With plenty of playing time likely on tap for him against the Warriors, he makes for a great option at this reasonable price.
Forward to Avoid
Nemanja Bjelica, SAC vs. NY ($21): Bjelica remained a member of the Kings' starting five Wednesday despite Marvin Bagley III returning from injury. However, that was likely just a temporary move to help Bagley ease back into action. While Bjelica did start, the presence of Bagley limited him to only 22 minutes. He should see limited playing time even if he starts again Friday, making him awfully risky at this price.
Rudy Gobert, UTA vs. GS ($34): The Warriors can't be happy to see Gobert again. He's absolutely destroyed them this season, scoring at least 52.3 Yahoo points in both of their previous meetings. The Warriors' defense will be further compromised with Draymond Green (rest) out for this game, so look for Gobert to once again provide significant upside.
Cody Zeller, CHA at CHI ($11): Zeller began the season as the Hornets' starting center, but he hasn't been able to regain the job after missing a couple of games at the end of November with an injury. That being said, he's still been able to score at least 24.7 Yahoo points in four straight games. Since the Bulls have allowed the most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers, Zeller becomes an intriguing tournament play option if you want to fade Gobert.
Center to Avoid
Willie Cauley-Stein, GS at UTA ($19): Considering how well Gobert plays on the defensive end, it's no surprise the Jazz have allowed the sixth-fewest Yahoo points per game to opposing centers. He helped shut down Cauley-Stein the last time these two teams met, holding him to two points and four rebounds. With so many other viable options during a packed slate, taking a risk on Cauley-Stein doesn't seem prudent.