Yahoo DFS Basketball: Monday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

Kicking off Week 10, we have a relatively small slate, by Monday standards. A seven-gamer has been reduced to six, as the Spurs-Pacers game was part of a string of postponements announced by the league last week due to positive tests within the Spurs.

Nevertheless, Monday's schedule still features a number of marquee names, including Luka Doncic, Ja Morant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and, of course, LeBron James. Let's take a look at the top options to consider for your Yahoo DFS lineups:

Guards to Target

Ja Morant, Grizzlies ($32): This matchup has the highest projected total (231.5) on the slate, and for good reason. The Mavs have allowed at least 117 points in each of their last seven games, and opponents have scored at least 121 points six times during that span. Over its last 10 games, Dallas has the second-worst defense in the league – head of only Cleveland – while playing at a top-10 pace. Morant continues to struggle from three-point range since returning from his ankle injury last month (0-10 3Pt in last three games), but he's in a great position to get things turned around Monday night. 

Kendrick Nunn, Heat ($19): Goran Dragic remains out for Miami, while Tyler Herro picked up a hip injury over the weekend that could limit him – or sidelined him altogether – on Monday. Even if Herro does suit up, Nunn should be in line to make his ninth consecutive start at point guard. During that stretch, he's averaged 16.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals, while hitting 3.4 threes per game at a 46 percent clip. Nunn's salary is at its highest point this month, but he's still a solid backcourt value given the injury situation.

Guard to Avoid

Terry Rozier, Hornets ($30): Fading Rozier isn't easy given the run he's been on over the past week, topping 44 Yahoo fantasy points in each of his last four games. With Devonte' Graham banged up, Rozier has scored 34, 41, 33 and 36 points during that stretch, hitting a total of 23 three-pointers and going 19-of-19 at the line. Graham is expected to remain out Monday, but Rozier and the Hornets will bump up against one of the best defenses in the league. When these teams met earlier in the month (Feb. 5), Rozer was held to 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting (2-8 3Pt) in 36 minutes. 

Forwards to Target

Robert Covington, Trail Blazers ($22): Covington has officially broken out of whatever slump he was in over the first two months of the season. He's ranked up 14 blocks in his last three games, adding 9.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.0 made threes per game during that stretch. His price is up considerably since the start of February, but on a top-heavy forward slate, Covington makes for a nice pivot away from – or pairing with – LeBron James ($48) or Jimmy Butler ($42).

Jae'Sean Tate, Rockets ($18): The Rockets haven't won a game since Feb. 4, but the skid may be working to the benefit of Tate and Houston's other young players. As the banged-up Rockets shift closer to a rebuild, Tate has played 31.0 minutes per game over his last nine contests. P.J. Tucker (quad) is expected back Monday, but Victor Oladipo (foot) is not, so Tate should once again be set for a healthy workload. He's scored at least 13 points in five of his last six games, and he's coming off of a 19-point, six-rebound, four-assist, three-steal performance against Philadelphia on Wednesday. Due to postponements, Tate enters Monday on the back of four consecutive days off. 

Forward to Avoid

Darius Bazley, Thunder ($20): Bazley has already been on a downturn over his last two games, and he enters a difficult matchup Monday against a Heat team that leads the league in defensive rating (106.2) over the last 10 games. Oklahoma City is also a top-five defense in that span (108.4 DRTG), so this projects to be easily the lowest-scoring game on the slate. The projected total (212.0) is 15 points lower than any other game on the schedule Monday night. 

Centers to Target

Wendell Carter, Bulls ($19): Carter is usually a stay-away for me, but he goes up against a Rockets team that owns the league's worst rebound percentage over the last 10 games. The projected return of P.J. Tucker should provide some help, but DeMarcus Cousins has not been able to patch the massive hole left by Christian Wood (ankle). Carter had just seven points against Sacramento on Saturday, but he added five rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 33 minutes – by far his most since returning from a lengthy injury absence. 

Deandre Ayton, Suns ($23): This is somewhat of a buy-low opportunity on Ayton, who's coming off of a seven-point, six-rebound, two-block effort in Saturday's blowout win over the Grizzlies. Entering Monday, his salary sits at its lowest number of the entire season. Ayton hasn't had a 20-point game since Jan. 22, but he's in a good spot Monday against the depleted Blazers' frontcourt, which is currently anchored by Enes Kanter. Over the last 10 games, Portland ranks in the bottom 10 in opponents' field goal percentage, free throw attempts, rebounds per game, and personal fouls drawn. At this point, we have to be realistic about Ayton's ceiling, but he should be able to take advantage of the matchup. 

Center to Avoid

DeMarcus Cousins, Rockets ($24): While the Rockets revealed the plans to eventually move on from Cousins last week, he's still expected to start at center in the absence of Christian Wood. For the most part, though, the veteran has been a disappointment since Wood went down. Prior to Wednesday's game in Philadelphia, Cousins had topped 25 minutes only since in six games as the starter. And in his seven starts, he's averaging 12.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while providing very little value on the defensive end. The Bulls' frontcourt isn't exactly loaded with rim-protectors, but Chicago has maintained a top-10 overall defense since the start of February. 

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. Nick Whalen plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: nickwhalen2, DraftKings: wha1en.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
NBA Start/Sit: Preparing For the Second Half
NBA Start/Sit: Preparing For the Second Half
NBA Injury Analysis: When to Expect McCollum, Other Fantasy Studs to Return
NBA Injury Analysis: When to Expect McCollum, Other Fantasy Studs to Return
NBA Waiver Wire: Top Second-Half Targets
NBA Waiver Wire: Top Second-Half Targets
2021 NBA All-Star Game: DFS Picks
2021 NBA All-Star Game: DFS Picks
Handicapping the NBA: Second Half Futures
Handicapping the NBA: Second Half Futures
Fantasy Basketball Podcast: 2nd Half Targets, Waiver Wire, News
Fantasy Basketball Podcast: 2nd Half Targets, Waiver Wire, News