Yahoo DFS Basketball: Monday Picks

Yahoo DFS Basketball: Monday Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

The NBA starts off the week in quiet fashion with only four games on the schedule Monday. Injuries should play a key role in several games. The Cavaliers will start off the evening by hosting the Knicks, but their long list of injuries continued with Lauri Markkanen suffering an ankle injury over the weekend that will likely sideline him for multiple games.

Meanwhile, the Bulls will try to bounce back from an embarrassing loss to the Magic on Sunday when they travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. They are hoping to get some reinforcements in the form of Zach LaVine (knee) and Javonte Green (groin). Myles Turner (foot), Domantas Sabonis (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) will all be out for the Pacers when they take on the Pelicans.

Finally, the Suns will likely be without Deandre Ayton (ankle) again for their matchup against the Jazz. Let's highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to potentially avoid.

GUARDS

Chris Paul, PHO vs. UTA ($35): With Ayton out the last three games, Paul averaged 17.7 points and 12.3 shot attempts, up from his season averages of 14.1 points and 11.1 shot attempts per game. Not only did he score more during that stretch, but he also posted three straight double-doubles. With Rudy Gobert (calf) likely out for the Jazz, their defense might not provide as much resistance as usual, making Paul an appealing option.

Chris Duarte, IND at NO ($20): The Pacers have been trying to cobble together their depth chart because of all of their injuries. Duarte has been thrust into a prominent role, averaging 34 minutes over the last four games. He turned his added playing time into averages of 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Add his expanded role to a matchup against a Pelicans team that ranks inside the bottom-10 in the league in defensive rating and Duarte could be in line for another productive evening.

Guard to Avoid

Mike Conley Jr., UTA at PHO ($24): Not only will Gobert likely sit this game out, but so will Donovan Mitchell (concussion). Even with him out the last three games, though, Conley didn't surpass 32.6 Yahoo points in a single contest. Duarte has at least similar upside, and at a cheaper salary, so it's difficult to justify taking a chance on Conley.

FORWARDS

DeMar DeRozan, CHI at OKC ($38): Simply put, DeRozan needs some help. With so many players out for the Bulls, he's been forced to average 36 minutes over the last five games. He's also been asked to score more, which contributed to him averaging 30.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists during that stretch. Even if LaVine is able to play in this game, the Bulls are going to ask for a lot from DeRozan with Lonzo Ball (knee) and Alex Caruso (wrist) out.

Cameron Johnson, PHO vs. UTA ($19): Ayton isn't the only injury that the Suns are dealing with right now. They will also play this game without Jae Crowder (wrist), which means Johnson should start. During a recent six-game stretch that Crowder sat out, Johnson averaged 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Add in his cheap salary and he might be too good to pass up.

Forward to Avoid

Julius Randle, NY at CLE ($34): Randle is in an offensive funk right now, shooting 37.0 percent from the field over the last eight games. Now he has to face the Cavaliers, who have a stellar defensive duo up front in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Don't be surprise if Randle's recent struggles continue.

CENTERS

Jonas Valanciunas, NO vs. IND ($31): Valanciunas could be the focal point of the Pelicans' scoring attack in this game with Brandon Ingram (ankle) out. During a seven-game stretch that Ingram missed earlier this season, Valanciunas averaged 21.6 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. It could also help his cause in this matchup that the Pacers won't have their best defensive big man in Turner.

Goga Bitadze, IND at NO ($14): The Pacers have no choice but to play Bitadze more with their lack up depth up front. He's at least made the most of his expanded role, scoring at least 32.3 Yahoo points in three of the last four games. At this cheap salary, he's an excellent option if you want to fade Valanciunas in tournament play.

Center to Avoid

Kevin Love, CLE vs. NU ($17): This is more about Bitadze than it is about Love. Love has played well for the Cavaliers, but his average of 21 minutes per game can limit his upside. In fact, he hasn't scored at least 30 Yahoo points in any of his last nine games. If you're bargain hunting at the center spot, Bitadze is probably the better option.

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. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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