This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
The amount of injuries over the last month has been painful to see, but the tide is starting to turn. Players like James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Pascal Siakam, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James and Khris Middleton have all been scheduled to return within the last week. That looks like an All-Star team roster, and it's exciting to see so many great performers return to the floor. Only a few are in action today, but we still have plenty to discuss.
Ja Morant, MEM at DET ($46)
Ja has been a regular in this article over recent weeks, and it's easy to understand why. The superstar point guard is flirting with a 40 percent usage rate since Desmond Bane (toe) went down with at least 42 Yahoo points in 10 of his last 11 games. He's also produced at least 51 fantasy points in five of those while generating a 49-point average over that span. That makes Morant a worthy play against anyone, but Detroit ranks 29th in both defensive efficiency and points allowed.
De'Aaron Fox, SAC vs. CHI ($36)
The Kings are off to their best start in over a decade, and Fox is the primary reason why. The speedster has registered at least 27 Y! points in 18 of 19 games this year, with the one dud being a first-quarter injury. He's also posting a 43-point average in those 18 outings while running this offense at ease. Chicago is usually a challenging matchup, but the club has allowed at least 119 points in three of their last four. Fox was fantastic against them last season by combining for 103.4 Yahoo points in their two matchups.
Guard to Avoid
RJ Barrett, NYK at CLE ($23)
Bricks Barrett has been building houses all season, and this looks like another prime real estate opportunity as Cleveland ranks second in defensive efficiency and first in points allowed while playing at the slowest pace in the NBA. That makes them the toughest matchup in fantasy, and that certainly won't go well for a volume shooter like Barrett. R.J. is shooting 36 percent from the field and 24 percent from three-point range across his last 10 games while only averaging 25 Yahoo points per game during that stretch. He's also faced Cleveland four times the last two years while averaging just 24 Y! points.
Evan Mobley, CLE at NYK ($31)
Mobley is going to be one of the best players in the league. He's already trending in that direction by averaging 38 fantasy points per game across his last 12. The most impactful variable for him is that he's starting at center in the absence of Jarrett Allen. That's boosted Mobley's rebounds, shot attempts, minutes and usage to produce a 41-point average in the last five games that Allen has missed. That makes him a tough fade against New York, ranked 23rd in points allowed and 22nd in defensive efficiency ratings. In three career meetings with the Knicks, Mobley is maintaining a 38-point average.
Jaren Jackson Jr, MEM at DET ($31)
Jackson and Mobley actually offer comparable repertoires. Both are athletic freaks and two of the NBA's best defenders. JJJ has a bigger bag on the offensive end averaging 40 Yahoo points per game since his season debut. Amazingly, he's doing that damage in just 26 minutes a night, and we expect him to get closer to 30-35 as the schedule progresses. We already talked about Detroit's disastrous defense in the Morant write-up, but we didn't discuss how they also surrender the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing PFs.
Isaiah Stewart, DET vs. MEM ($19)
Stewart has quietly been consistent in Motown all year with at least 24 Y! points in 14 of 17 games. One of those underperformances was due to injury and he's averaging 29 Y! points across 28 minutes in the other 16 outings. You can't ask for any more from a player in this salary range, and Detroit needs him to log big minutes opposite JJJ and Steven Adams. Memphis isn't a menacing matchup either ranked 17th in points allowed and 19th in defensive efficiency.
Forward to Avoid
Saddiq Bey, DET vs. MEM ($17)
Bey was Detroit's go-to scorer last season, but he's been relegated to secondary duties with the acquisition of Bojan Bogdanovic. He was actually in the starting lineup to start the year, but has mainly been on the bench since returning from an injury. That has led to Bey only averaging 16 fantasy points across his last four appearances. He's also playing just 23 minutes a night over that span, and there's not much opportunity for him with Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley, Alec Burks, Kevin Knox and Bogdanovic all eating up minutes.
Kristaps Porzingis, WAS at LAL ($37)
Dallas was disappointed with KP's development, but they have to be even more frustrated with the way he's playing this year. The Latvian is enjoying a career year in Washington, averaging a career-best 41 Yahoo points per game. Most of that damage has come recently with a 46-point average across his last 11. That's incredible from a sub-$40 player, and we certainly don't anticipate LA to slow KP down. He also produced at least 38 Y! points in all three meetings with the Lakers last season.
Al Horford, BOS at BKN ($17)
Horford is far from exciting, but the veteran is too good to be this undervalued. The big man was actually a $25 player when Robert Williams was out last year, and we expect him to get closer to that the deeper we get into this campaign. Horford is showing flashes of that with at least 26 fantasy points in 11 of his last 14 games. He also boasts a 28-point average during that stretch, and he's doing that damage with only 7.8 shots per game. Facing Brooklyn is a good way to keep that hot streak going as he managed 30 or more fantasy points in their three meetings last season.
Center to Avoid
Andre Drummond, CHI at SAC ($12)
Drummond has been a fantasy darling at times throughout his career, but he's impossible to trust in Chicago. He's stuck behind Nikola Vucevic in this rotation while seeing fewer than 15 minutes per night. Drum's one of the best per-minute producers in the NBA, but no one is trustworthy with a 15-minute workload. His role has been even smaller as of late as he's combined for 41 total minutes from his last four appearances. You might see Drummond has managed some solid fantasy efforts, but let someone else take that risk in this salary range.