This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
These final few weeks of the regular season are wild. Half of the teams are resting players, which is scary since it seems like half of the league is on the injury report. That means we have more value than ever, but it also makes things extremely unpredictable. There's so much changing before every slate that we want to provide you with players that we know will suit up. With that in mind, let's get started with one of the most reliable guards in the NBA.
Donovan Mitchell, CLE vs. HOU ($35)
Mitchell goes into these stretches where he looks like one of the best players in the NBA. The All-Star is on one of those right now having averaged 44 Yahoo points across his last 17 outings. He's also scored at least 54 in seven of those, and one of those ceiling performances could be in play in this matchup since the Rockets rank 28th in defensive efficiency and 29th in points allowed while surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing guards. And in their last two meetings, Mitchell has maintained a 52-point average.
Markelle Fultz, ORL vs. BKN ($27)
They don't hand out Comeback Player of the Year anymore, but Fultz would be the frontrunner if they did. The former first-overall pick has taken the reins of this Orlando offense averaging over 30 Yahoo points. Fultz has been even better recently with at least 27 Y! in 14 of his last 17 games while generating a 36-point average over that span. His stat-stuffing has led to that career-best stretch, and we're not worried about him facing an average Nets' defense.
Guard to Avoid
Tyus Jones, MEM at ATL ($22)
Jones has been incredible when filling in for Ja Morant, but his days as a starter are limited. Morant made his return from a suspension two games ago, and we have to assume he'll be ready to resume his 30-minute starter role here. That'll send Jones back to the bench, with him only averaging 18 Yahoo points in 54 substitute appearances. That makes the inflated salary look awful, and we can't use him in this sort of role until he's back below $15.
Jayson Tatum, BOS vs. SAS ($46)
It's nearly impossible to fade studs against the Spurs since they sit last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. They're also allowing the most fantasy points to opposing PFs, and there's no chance they hold Tatum below 50 Yahoo points. That's what the superstar is averaging, with at least 33 Y! in 67 of 69 games this year. And Tatum's going to reach that floor by halftime, having collected 34 raw points in his last meeting with the Spurs. If this game stays relatively close, he should be one of the highest-scoring players on the slate. With all that said, JT is questionable. So if he sits, Jaylen Brown would be one of the best options on the board.
Trendon Watford, POR vs. OKC ($20)
Portland is in full-on tank mode right now, but Watford was balling out before they decided to pull the plug. The young forward has scored at least 26 Yahoo points in five of his last six games while totaling a 32-point average during that stretch. That becomes even more tantalizing because the Trail Blazers sat Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic in their most recent outing. That should leave Watford as one of the offensive focal points, and this matchup with OKC is outstanding too as they rank 19th in total defense while surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing forwards.
Forward to Avoid
Jabari Smith Jr, HOU at CLE ($20)
Smith has been playing much better in the second half of the season, but he hasn't been the same when the Rockets are at full health. Kevin Porter Jr, Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun are all expected to suit up, making Jabari the fourth option in the offense. That's even more worrisome with Tari Eason taking on a bigger role, leading to Smith registering 25 or fewer fantasy points in four of his last six appearances. The matchup is the worst part with Cleveland ranked first in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. And in their last head-to-head, Smith only managed 22 Y!.
Jakob Poeltl, TOR vs. WAS ($29)
The Poeltl trade wasn't discussed much at the trade deadline, but not many players saw a bigger bump in their fantasy value. The workload is what's made him so good by logging 30 minutes a night in Toronto. In fact, Poeltl's averaging 42 Yahoo points since joining the Raptors. We saw that elite per-minute rate with the Spurs, but he needs to be above $30 in this increased role. The matchup with Washington is wonderful as Poeltl just provided 54 Y! against them three weeks ago.
Wendell Carter Jr, ORL vs. BKN ($25)
Carter has developed into one of the NBA's most underrated centers. He's averaging 32 Yahoo points as a starter and has been playing the best basketball of his career the last month with at least 27 Yahoo points in seven straight outings with a 36-point average. And Carter's been doing that in some challenging matchups, but he dropped 35 Y! in his most recent meeting with the Nets. A silly bench role lowered his season-long averages, but that's also kept his salary affordable.
Center to Avoid
Rudy Gobert, MIN at GSW ($29)
It's been a disappointing debut season in Minnesota, and it's only going to get worse from here on out. Gobert has been playing a little better over the last three months without Karl-Anthony Towns, but the latter is back in action. When these two played together early in the year, Gobert was barely averaging 30 Yahoo points. That becomes particularly worrisome against a team like the Warriors run because they run more small-ball than any other team. It'll be nearly impossible for Minnesota to go with two centers at any time , and it wouldn't be surprising to see Rudy held to 25 minutes. In their one head-to-head earlier in the year with KAT in the lineup, Gobert only registered 21 Y! in one of his worst efforts of the year.