On a night when there are few elite options, mostly due to the seven-game slate, picking which studs to draft is crucial. Of the five players priced at least $50, Nikola Jokic ($50) has a $20 gap over the next highest-priced center. He's far and away the safest bet, but hitting on a cheaper center would give you a clear advantage. Take your chances on the field. Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball contest now | Free NBA Yahoo Cup entry
The battle between Russell Westbrook and James Harden for the highest output of the night will be interesting as well, as Westbrook has something to prove against the Warriors and Harden has posted back-to-back 40-point triple-doubles.
Russell Westbrook, OKC vs. GS ($64): Westbrook has the Thunder rolling on a five-game winning streak, behind his customary ridiculous stat lines. He had four consecutive triple-doubles prior to Saturdayís win over the Kings, when he had 28 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds (55.6 fantasy points). Westbrook and Stephen Curry have been going at it in the media after Curry said James Harden is deserving of MVP, and you better believe Westbrook is going to want to make a statement in this game. The last time Westbrook played the Warriors, he had 47 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for 64.7 fantasy points.
Evan Fournier, ORL vs. PHI ($20): Fournier is a bit streaky, but he is also in a good spot against the 76ers at home. Heís scored at least 20 points in four of seven games, and has hit at least two 3-pointers in eight straight. Philadelphia will be on the second night of a back-to-back after beating the Celtics at home Sunday. Fournier had 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against the 76ers on Feb. 9, posting 44.3 fantasy points, his highest total since Nov. 27. Additionally, heís been able to limit turnovers and should have a low ownership percentage for tournaments.
Guard to Avoid
Jeff Teague, IND vs. UTA ($26): The matchup is bad enough as it is, but with Teague struggling heís virtually unplayable. Sure, his price isnít very high and the low ownership percentage would make him sort of viable in tournaments, but there are more appealing plays Monday. Teague has gone eight straight without reaching 20 points, and has only eclipsed 30 fantasy points in three of those contests. Heís gone back-to-back games with fewer than 10 points, and even with strong assist and rebound totals he isnít returning much value. The Jazz have limited opponents to under 100 points in three straight, all on the road.
Marvin Williams, CHA vs. ATL ($24):
Williams has cooled off recently after a stretch of three consecutive games with over 40 fantasy points, and four straight with a double-double. He bounced back a bit Saturday with 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals for 35.1 fantasy points in a win over the Wizards. Williams and the Hornets remain at home, with the power forward set to face his former team, the Hawks, who may be without Paul Millsap
for a second straight game, which would make life easier for Williams down low.
Trevor Ariza, HOU vs. DEN ($17):
If you think Ariza is going to go a second straight game against the Nuggets with just two points, think again. Chances are the Rockets-Nuggets rematch will feature more scoring, something Ariza had been doing a nice job of lately. Prior to the past two games, Ariza had gone five straight with double-digit scoring. Heís still getting plenty of minutes, and his rebounding totals help make up for a lack of a high point ceiling. Outside of Harden and Lou Williams
, Ariza is Houstonís safest bet to rack up points.
Forward to Avoid
Carmelo Anthony, NYK at LAC ($37):
Nothing against Melo, who has been productive his past three games, but he just doesnít do enough to warrant use outside of 50/50 contests. Even with Kristaps Porzingis
expected to miss the game with a thigh injury, Anthony has gone 13 straight games without reaching 50 fantasy points. Paul George
($38) has been more consistent and Draymond Green
($40) has a much higher ceiling despite being similarly priced. Melo could easily have a strong game, but there are better options.
DeAndre Jordan, LAC vs. NYK ($27):
The Knicks are allowing the third-most fantasy points to centers in their past 11 games, while Jordan has at least 17 rebounds in three of four. Heís capable of posting huge fantasy points, particularly at home, where he has two games of over 50 fantasy points in his past six. Porzingis is already ruled out for New York, which makes Jordan a prime target.
Dwight Howard, ATL at CHA ($23):
Howard will look to continue his 11-game streak of double-digit rebounding Monday against the Hornets, who had trouble containing him on the glass in their last meeting. Howard had 10 points and 23 boards (40.1 fantasy points) Dec. 17 against Charlotte, and also had over 40 fantasy points against the Hornets prior to that. Howard may see increased touches on offense with Millsap potentially sidelined, and he costs significantly less than his average fantasy points per game (32.7).
Center to Avoid
Al Horford, BOS vs. WAS ($25):
Donít let the season-high 27 points Sunday against the 76ers fool you, chances are Horford will come back down to earth Monday against the Wizards. The Celtics will likely get Isaiah Thomas
back, which would take touches away from virtually Bostonís entire roster. Horford wouldnít be able to reach 20-plus points if thatís the case, and a lot of his value lies on dishing out assists. He also may be a trendy pick against Washington, so it wouldnít be a bad idea to fade him in this spot.
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Benjamin Zweiman plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: packattack521, DraftKings: bzweiman521.