This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
The NBA closes out 2018 with seven games on the schedule Monday, five of which make up the main slate on Yahoo. There are some really exciting matchups, including the Rockets facing the Grizzlies and the Celtics taking on the Spurs. Here are some players to target and avoid who could help you finish the night with a winning entry.
Mike Conley, MEM at HOU ($30): Not only has Conley been able to stay healthy, but he's also averaging 34 minutes a game, his highest mark since the 2013-14 season. Add in his 27.8 percent usage rate and Conley has scored at least 33.4 Yahoo points in nine straight games. With his high minute's floor, he's a great option Monday against a Rockets' backcourt that has been decimated by injuries.
Austin Rivers, HOU vs. MEM ($10):Chris Paul (hamstring) remains sidelined for the Rockets and now they will also be without Eric Gordon (knee) on Monday. Rivers is expected to move into the starting five and will likely receive all the minutes that he can handle. His upside isn't off the charts, but he scored 25.5 Yahoo points after Gordon left Saturday's game with his injury, so he could be well worth the risk in tournament play.
Guard to Avoid
Elfrid Payton, NO vs. MIN ($19): In terms of some position injury news, Payton (finger) is listed as probable for this contest. If he does indeed return, it will be his first game played since October. The Pelicans could thrust him right back into the starting lineup, but it's hard to envision him logging heavy minutes after being out for so long. Since he doesn't come at much of a discount, it might be best to wait to deploy him until after he gets a couple of games under his belt.
T.J. Warren, PHO vs. GS ($24): Warren's been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride of late. He's scored at least 32.8 Yahoo points in two of his last four games, but he scored 18.4 Yahoo points or fewer in both of the other two contests. He's heavily reliant on his offensive contributions to provide value, which can sometimes make him a volatile option in DFS. The good news is that he could see increased scoring opportunities against the Warriors, who play at the 10th-fastest pace (101.7 possessions per game) in the league.
Mikal Bridges, PHO vs. GS ($12): Bridges has already worked his way into a prominent role for the Suns, averaging 33 minutes across his last 15 games. However, even with the increased in playing time, he's only averaged 9.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest. The good news is that he's also managed to average 1.6 steals during that stretch, which has helped him score at least 20.4 Yahoo points in six straight games. The Warriors up-tempo play might afford Bridges a few extra opportunities to provide value, so he could be someone to consider in tournament play.
Forward to Avoid
Gordon Hayward, BOS at SA ($17): Hayward continues to provide limited stat lines, scoring 25.7 Yahoo points or fewer in six of his last seven games. Playing time continues to be an issue since he logged more than 30 minutes in a game only one time during that stretch. His usage rate is only 18.5 percent, as well, which is a killer for his upside in DFS when you also factor in his reduced time on the floor.
Anthony Davis, NO vs. MIN ($58): Davis had an off night by his standards Saturday against the Rockets with "just" 47.7 Yahoo points. He still scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but he had scored at least 56.7 Yahoo points in each of his previous eight contests. Both the Pelicans and the Timberwolves are in the top-11 in the league in pace of play, so this is a favorable opportunity for him to get back on track. When these two teams met earlier this season, Davis scored 63.2 Yahoo points.
Kevon Looney, GS at PHO ($10): It's hard to get overly excited about anyone outside of the top four players on the Warriors' roster. However, Looney has been played an important role with DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) still out and has actually scored at least 20 Yahoo points in five straight games. If you're determined to save money at center, Looney might be worth considering.
Center to Avoid
Al Horford, BOS at SA ($21): Horford is not a great scoring threat, but his ability to contribute in other areas has usually left him as a viable option in DFS more often than not. The problem this season is that he is averaging just 6.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Some of that could be contributed to his battle with knee pain, which has factored in to him averaging just 29 minutes a game, which is down three minutes per contest compared to last season. With 29.8 Yahoo points or fewer in nine of his last 12 games, he's a risky option at this price.