This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Friday has the potential to be an ugly night in the NBA. Outside of the Thunder hosting the Heat, the rest of seven-game slate leaves a lot to be desired in terms of intriguing matchups. On the plus side, we still have the opportunity to cash in on Yahoo, so here are some players to target for your entry, as well as a few to avoid.
Ben Simmons, PHI vs. CHI ($42): Simmons has been extremely productive with Joel Embiid (finger) sidelined, scoring at least 45.5 Yahoo points in three straight games. He's scored at least 19 points in three of his last four contests, which is a significant jump from his season average of 15.3. He likes to attack the rim and the Bulls will be without their defensive anchor Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle), leaving Simmons with the potential for another excellent performance.
Darius Garland, CLE at MEM ($14): The Cavaliers have to be excited about the progress that Garland has made so early in his career. He's become one of their most productive players lately, averaging 16 points, 5.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.3 three-pointers across his last 10 games. With the Grizzlies playing at the third-fastest pace in the league, Garland should have even more opportunities to outperform his price point.
Guard to Avoid
Jordan McRae, WAS at TOR ($28): While McRae has put up some monster stat lines lately, he's also scored 27.3 Yahoo points or fewer in three of his last four contests. His price has jumped up considerably and he's at the point right now where he's just too expensive. It won't help his cause that Bradley Beal is back from injury and has to face a tough defensive team in the Raptors.
Domantas Sabonis, IND vs. MIN ($37): Sabonis has been playing through knee pain, but it hasn't had a negative impact on his production. He logged 36 minutes when these same two teams met Wednesday, finishing with 29 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block. With the Timberwolves playing at the fourth-fastest pace and allowing the sixth-most points per game, Sabonis is primed to shine in their rematch.
Al Horford, PHI vs. CHI ($30): Horford is set up nicely in this game. He's stepped up his production with Embiid out, scoring at least 35.1 Yahoo points in four straight contests. Trying to slow him down will likely be a combination of Thaddeus Young, Lauri Markkanen and Luke Kornet. The only thing that might be able to limit Horford's numbers is if the Sixers race out to an early lead, as he could spend some added time on the bench in the fourth quarter.
Forward to Avoid
Davis Bertans, WAS at TOR ($24): As far as frustrating statements go, Wizards' coach Scott Brooks saying Bertans was going to be limited to somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes for Wednesday's game against the Bulls was right up there. He ended up logging 26 minutes, scoring 24 Yahoo points in the process. The Wizards don't need to rely on Bertans as heavily anymore now that their injury situation has improved, so don't be surprised to see him provide another muted stat line in this difficult matchup.
LaMarcus Aldridge, SA vs. ATL ($26): Aldridge doesn't exactly come into this game hot considering he has scored 29.3 Yahoo points or fewer in three of his last five contests. However, this is a prime opportunity for him to get back on track against a Hawks' team that has allowed the third-most points per game. On top of that, they have also given up the fourth-most Yahoo points per game to opposing centers.
Maxi Kleber, DAL vs. POR ($13): The key for Kleber will be the status of Kristaps Porzingis (knee), who is listed as questionable. Across the last nine games with the Latvian out, Kleber has averaged 12.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 2.6 three-pointers. The Blazers represent a poor defensive team and have little size up front outside of Hassan Whiteside, so this is a matchup that Kleber can take advantage of if Porzingis is sidelined again.
Center to Avoid
Thomas Bryant, WAS at TOR ($18): The Wizards have been easing Bryant back from his foot injury by playing him 15 and 12 minutes, respectively, over their last two games. He could see more action here, but it's difficult to envision him playing much more than 20 minutes, at best. Add in having to face a great defender in Marc Gasol and Bryant is way too risky to add to your lineup.