The NBA starts off the week with 10 games on the schedule Monday. Not only are there a ton of injuries that will impact the slate, but we also need to be on the lookout for potential rest days for players. The Hawks, 76ers, Timberwolves, Celtics, Magic, Nets, Cavaliers and Pacers will all be playing the second game of back-to-back sets. The Nets will be facing the struggling Magic, so they are one team that stands out for players to potentially rest. With that in mind, let's dig into the matchups and highlight some players to consider on Yahoo, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Devin Booker, PHO at SAC ($41): The Suns remain shorthanded with Chris Paul (heel) and Cameron Johnson (knee) out. Booker is shooting only 42.5 percent from the field over the last eight games, but he's attempted 21.8 shots and 6.4 free throws per game during that stretch. That left him to provide 26.4 points per game, in addition to averages of 6.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists. This is a great spot for him against a Kings team that has the sixth-worst defensive rating in the league.
Ayo Dosunmu, CHI at UTA ($12): Dosunmu has produced modest numbers lately, averaging 8.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists over the last seven games. Despite starting, he only averaged 28 minutes during that stretch. Additional playing time should be coming in this game with Alex Caruso (ankle) expected to sit out. Add in his cheap salary and he could be well worth the risk against a Jazz team that has the eighth-worst defensive rating.
Guard to Avoid
Kyrie Irving, BKN vs. ORL ($35): Irving hasn't played poorly since returning from suspension, but he hasn't been dominant, either, as he's scored no more than 37.0 Yahoo points in any of the four games. He logged 38 minutes against the Trail Blazers on Sunday, so if the Nets race out to a big lead early, we might not see much of Irving in the second half. Since his salary doesn't come at a discount, he's a risky option.
Zion Williamson, NO vs. OKC ($34): Williamson provides a nightmare matchup for the Thunder. They have very little size and depth up front, which has contributed to them allowing the most rebounds per game in the league. Good luck trying to hang with Williamson, who lives in the paint and is shooting 57.5 percent from the field this season. He should also receive added shot attempts with CJ McCollum (COVID-19 protocols) out and Brandon Ingram (toe) doubtful.
Paul Reed, PHI vs. ATL ($16): Joel Embiid (foot) has missed each of the last four games for the 76ers. Reed has stepped up in his place, scoring at least 30.1 Yahoo points three times. If Embiid is unable to play again, Reed is almost too good to pass up at this salary.
Forward to Avoid
Luguentz Dort, OKC at NO ($19): Dort only played 14 minutes in a lopsided loss to the Rockets on Saturday, which was rare given that he's averaging 30 minutes per game. While he generally plays a lot for the Thunder, he usually provides few contributions outside of the scoring column. His usage rate is down to 19.9 percent this season, so if he's not scoring as much, it's difficult to justify rolling with him in DFS.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. HOU ($53): Jokic has been unable to replicate the ridiculous numbers that he provided last season, but it's difficult to complain about a guy who is putting up 22.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game. The Rockets have the fifth-worst defensive rating, so the only thing that might slow Jokic down in this game is a potential blowout. If the Rockets can at least keep this game somewhat close, Jokic has the potential to provide a monster stat line.
Nicolas Claxton, BKN vs. ORL ($22): Claxton is quietly putting together a valuable campaign for a Nets team that has dealt with plenty of turmoil. He has moved into the starting five, logging 27 minutes per game. With his ability to rack up blocks while shooting 73.6 percent from the field, he has been able to average 30.7 Yahoo points per game. For those who want to fade Jokic in tournament play, Claxton should play a lot in a matchup with a Magic team that has plenty of size up front.
Center to Avoid
Aleksej Pokusevski, OKC at NO ($15): Not only will Pokusevski have to deal with Williamson being in the paint in this game, but he will also be guarding Jonas Valanciunas. This matchup has foul trouble written all over it for Pokusevski, who is already averaging just 23 minutes per game. While he has a cheap salary, his upside is also limited.