The NBA starts off the week in style with nine games on the schedule Monday night. Among the more exciting matchups include the Warriors taking on the Spurs and the Blazers hosting the Pacers. There are a lot of options to wade through on Yahoo during such a busy slate, so let’s try to make that task a little easier by highlighting some players to target and avoid while crafting your lineup.
Elfrid Payton, NO at DAL ($33): The Pelicans depth chart is pretty thin at this stage of the season, which has left Payton to log heavy minutes. To say he’s made the most of his added playing time would be an understatement considering he’s recorded four straight triple-doubles. With his high minutes floor and the Pelicans playing at the fourth-fastest pace (103.9 possessions per game) in the league, it’s hard to pass him up despite his rising price tag.
Jalen Brunson, DAL vs. NO ($19): Brunson hasn’t posted the same eye-popping stats that Payton has, but he’s stepped up for the Mavericks after they decimated their roster at the trade deadline. He’s started each of their last nine games and scored at least 26.2 Yahoo points in six straight contests. As a result of the fast pace at which the Pelicans play, they allow the fourth-most points per game (116). Look for Brunson to produce another valuable stat line.
Guard to Avoid
Terry Rozier, BOS vs. DEN ($24): It looks like the Celtics will be shorthanded Monday with Gordon Hayward (neck) listed as doubtful. Even if he does indeed sit, that might not provide much of a boost in playing time for Rozier. Jaylen Brown ($17) might be the better play if you want to take a chance on a Hayward replacement since he is significantly cheaper. With Brunson five dollars cheaper than Rozier, as well, save the money to spend elsewhere.
Kelly Oubre Jr., PHO vs. CHI ($30): Oubre has scored at least 44.2 Yahoo points in back-to-back games, causing his price to increase by three dollars. That being said, this is still a great spot for him to provide value. T.J. Warren (ankle) is not ready to return yet, which leaves Oubre with plenty of available minutes. The Bulls have allowed an average of 119.8 points across their last eight games, so look for Oubre to thrive.
Damyean Dotson, NY at TOR ($17): It’s not really a great feeling to deploy anyone on the Knicks in DFS based on how often their rotations change. However, Dotson has logged at least 29 minutes in nine straight games and at least 35 minutes in four straight contests. He’s produced a few duds during that nine-game stretch, but he’s also scored at least 29.7 Yahoo points five times. If Dennis Smith Jr. (back) is out again, Dotson might be worth the risk in tournament play.
Forward to Avoid
Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL vs. NO ($17): With Luka Doncic (knee) out Saturday against the Cavaliers, Hardaway started and played 36 minutes. While he did score 22 points, his lack of contributions elsewhere left him with just 29.8 Yahoo points. Doncic is expected to return Monday, which should cut into Hardaway’s scoring opportunities. Even though the Pelicans are terrible defensively, this still might not be the night to add Hardaway to your entry.
Rudy Gobert, UTA at WAS ($38): Gobert continues to have one of the highest floors at the center position, scoring at least 44.5 Yahoo points in five of his last seven games. The Wizards don’t have a ton of size up front with Bobby Portis and Thomas Bryant manning the middle, so they are going to have a tough time slowing down Gobert. It also helps his cause that the Wizards allow the second-most rebounds per game (47.4) in the league.
Marc Gasol, TOR vs. NY ($22): The Raptors could have an extremely limited depth chart for this game. Serge Ibaka will be serving the final game of his suspension and there’s a chance Kawi Leonard sits in the second game of their back-to-back set. Kyle Lowry (ankle) has also missed the last two contests. Gasol scored 33.4 and 35.2 Yahoo points, respectively, during the first two games of Ibaka’s suspension and is an excellent target at this reasonable price.
Center to Avoid
Hassan Whiteside, MIA at OKC ($21): Now a member of the Heat’s second unit, Whiteside has averaged just 19 minutes across his last seven games. He scored 22.2 Yahoo points or fewer four times during that stretch and will continue to be a risky option in that role. With Gasol locked into more minutes and priced just a dollar more, roll with him instead of Whiteside.