Daily Fantasy Basketball Forecaster – Tyus Jones
There are 12 teams in action Thursday as the first week of the fantasy basketball playoffs hits the midpoint. The Jazz will look to continue their climb toward a top-four spot in the loaded Western Conference and will host a struggling Timberwolves team. Jeff Teague continues to struggle with a foot injury, one in a line of many injuries that have basically derailed his season. Tyus Jones typically steps up when Teague is on the sidelines and their last game was no different. Jones is available in over 75 percent of all leagues and makes for a strong speculative pickup in almost every format. Of course, there is an element of risk with the possibility of Teague returning to the lineup. That being said, the Timberwolves have no incentive to get Teague back on the floor and certainly could look to shut him down for the remainder of the season.
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Daily Fantasy Basketball Forecaster
- Markieff Morris – Thunder (neck – questionable)
- Tyreke Evans – Pacers (personal – out)
- Larry Nance – Cavaliers (ribs – questionable)
- Marvin Bagley – Kings (knee – questionable)
- Jayson Tatum – Celtics (shoulder – probable)
- Marcus Smart – Celtics (illness – questionable)
- Josh Hart – Lakers (knee – questionable)
- Lance Stephenson – Lakers (toe – questionable)
- Kyle Lowry – Raptors (ankle – probable)
- Serge Ibaka – Raptors (suspended – out)
- Karl-Anthony Towns – Timberwolves (knee – probable)
- Andrew Wiggins – Timberwolves (thigh – questionable)
- Jeff Teague – Timberwolves (foot – questionable)
- Derrick Rose – Timberwolves (elbow – questionable)
- Luka Doncic – Mavericks (knee – questionable)
- Nerlens Noel – Thunder (blocks)
- Ante Zizic – Cavaliers (rebounds, FG%)
- Harry Giles – Kings (rebounds)
- Josh Okogie – Timberwolves (steals)
- Keita Bates-Diop – Timberwolves (Wiggins injury)
- Kyle Korver – Jazz (three-pointers)
- Maxi Kleber – Mavericks (blocks)
- Mason Plumlee – Nuggets (assists, blocks)
- Monte Morris – Nuggets (assists)
- Malik Beasley – Nuggets (three-pointers)
NBA Matchups for Thursday, March 14
Thunder @ Pacers
The Thunder are on the second night of a back-to-back set, facing a Pacers team that has won just two of their past five games. After struggling since returning from injury, Paul George put up a solid performance Wednesday, filling the stat sheet in their 12-point victory over the Nets. It was a welcome sight for his owners and he will look to build on that effort with another strong outing Thursday.
The Pacers need to win as many games as they can if they hope to maintain a top-four spot in the East. The Celtics are just two wins behind them in fifth place, and luckily for the Pacers, have not been in the best of form over the past few weeks. Every game is crucial moving forward and catching the Thunder on a back-to-back set could certainly work in the Pacers favor.
Cavaliers @ Magic
After missing the Cavaliers previous game due to rest, Kevin Love will be back in the lineup Thursday. His return will take away from Ante Zizic’s capacity to put up numbers, however, there is a good chance Larry Nance Jr. misses another game. Zizic is a fringe player who could be streamed in if you need rebounds and high-efficiency.
The Magic suffered a tough loss to the Wizards on Wednesday and will need to bounce back after they fell two games behind the Heat for the eighth seed in the East. They have now lost four of their past five games, one of those losses coming against the Cavaliers just 10 days ago. Nikola Vucevic has been a first-round player this season and certainly one of the more satisfying fantasy assets. The risk of a shutdown should remain quite low, at least as long as the Magic are fighting for a playoff spot.
Kings @ Celtics
Marvin Bagley has been upgraded to questionable only five games removed from suffering a knee injury. Whether he actually plays will likely be decided closer to game-time, however, indications are he is very close. Owners who have managed to hold onto him need only show a little more patience before, hopefully, seeing the rewards.
Marcus Smart has been playing very well for the Celtics but could miss Thursday’s game due to an illness. It is unclear when the illness came about but it could end up costing Smart at least one game. In his absence, Terry Rozier would see an uptick in his playing time, however, he is already rostered in 64 percent of leagues.
Lakers @ Raptors
The Lakers are basically running out a makeshift lineup on a nightly basis and Thursday appears as though it will follow this recent trend. Reggie Bullock has been disappointing after making a strong start to his tenure with the Lakers. He has hit a combined four triples over his past six games, scoring a total of just 35 points. He may be able to find his stroke again but until then, he can be left on the waivers almost everywhere.
The Raptors have fallen three games behind the Bucks for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They have basically locked up a top-two spot and may be content with where they are right now. Serge Ibaka has been suspended for three games after his altercation with Marquese Chriss in their last game. His absence will likely ensure Marc Gasol is in for an uptick in his production but is unlikely to result in a boost for anyone else.
Timberwolves @ Jazz
The Timberwolves have a number of injured players and given they now sit 6.5 games out of the eighth seed, there is little incentive to push their players into returning. Jeff Teague has battled injuries all season and while he is considered questionable for Thursday’s game, a shut-down is a very real possibility. Tyus Jones stepped up in the last game, finishing with 16 points in 27 minutes. Jones should be viewed as a potential long-term pickup and a pre-emptive move is certainly recommended if you have a spare roster spot.
The Jazz are coming off a convincing victory Wednesday, a result that moved them to within 3.5 games of the fourth-seeded Rockets. Chances are they still believe they can force their way into the top four and will, therefore, be pushing hard for every victory. There will likely be fatigue on the second night of a back-to-back, however, the understrength Timberwolves are certainly very beatable.
Mavericks @ Nuggets
Luka Doncic struggled mightily in the Mavericks previous game, presumably due to a lingering knee injury. He has been labeled as questionable heading into Thursday’s game, although, has said he would like to play every game to finish the season. Jalen Brunson has stepped up both with and without Doncic on the floor, scoring a career-high 34 points in the last game. The Mavericks will likely keep rolling him out there and he is a viable standard league asset and is still available in over 60 percent of leagues.
Isaiah Thomas fell out of the rotation in the Nuggets last game and it appears as though that will be the case moving forward. His absence opened up more playing time for Monte Morris, who has now scored at least 16 points in consecutive games. As long as the Nuggets are healthy, Morris is going to find it difficult to have sustained value but certainly makes for an interesting assists streamer in competitive formats.
Adam King is new to NBA writing for FantraxHQ. He also currently writes for Rotowire and has previously written for Locked on Fantasy Basketball and Locked on Timberwolves. He has played sports his entire life with fantasy basketball becoming a passion over the past six years. By day, Adam is the service coordinator at the Autism Centre in Canberra, Australia. Adam was born and raised in Queanbeyan, Australia and currently resides in Bungendore, Australia with his wife and two children.
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