This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
As the season winds down, the playoff implications cause a shift in the DFS landscape, and there's a common trap that we don't want to fall into on this six-game slate. While you can find some value on teams that have either clinched a spot or have been eliminated from the playoffs, the best advice in those situations would be "Buyer Beware." In the coming games, starters will be rested, lineups will be tinkered with, and the variance will be maddening.
So, while we can, I think that focusing on teams that are still fighting for either a higher seed or a playoff spot is the way to go on slates moving forward. This obviously means that the Nuggets-Sixers matchup is the prime game to target. At a line of 222.5 I think this will be the nexus of production Monday, and I'm a fan of both Nikola Jokic ($42) and Joel Embiid ($41) under the basket. I think the backcourts will provide huge returns as well, with Ben Simmons ($40), Will Barton ($26) and Jamal Murray ($25) all primed for big games. I'm not as high on guys like Paul Millsap or Robert Covington, but Dario Saric ($19) is another good choice for the budget-minded player.
Minnesota is also in the playoff hunt and while I worry about a blowout against the Grizzlies, that could mean that the T-Wolves' second unit might see some love. Of course, you have to consider Karl-Anthony Towns ($42) here, but if the game gets out of hand I think real value can be found on the bench, with Tyus Jones ($10) and Jamal Crawford ($10) leading the list.
As for the rest of the slate – as I said, from here on in, proceed with caution. Only players with solid floors should get serious looks, and on a slate where we have no guys over $50, those players are few and far between.
If I gave a player a salary designation above, they should be considered as favorable picks on the slate. I'll also highlight two players per position below, along with a small list of other worthwhile options at each spot. Where possible, I will find a low-cost budget player as one of the highlighted selections. We'll also pick one player to avoid at each position.
Terry Rozier, BOS at PHO ($27): Although they are on a back-to-back road stretch, I don't think this will affect Rozier's value much. His huge game against the Kings on Sunday was a welcome sight for Boston fans. as the absence of Kyrie Irving will sting a little less moving forward. While seeding is really the only thing to fight for in the East, the Celtics need to test all of their healthy weapons and should continue to play at a high level against the lowly Suns.
Andrew Harrison, MEM at MIN ($15): I'll go low for Harrison as Tyreke Evans' injury woes continue and even though Harrison is battling a wrist injury, he filled in nicely with 39.3 YFP on Saturday against the Lakers. The Grizzlies are certainly not a team I'm loving right now, but the price is right and the production will be there.
GUARD TO AVOID
Jaylen Brown, BOS at PHO ($16): After clearing the concussion protocol he put up a decent line Sunday, but I don't see why they Celtics should rush Brown out there on this road back-to-back. Granted, they are thin at every position right now but in all likelihood, Brown will be limited tonight.
Blake Griffin, DET vs. LAL ($38): I'll be honest, I hate getting burned by Griffin and it's happened more than once since he became a Piston, but I have to go with him against the Lakers. His past history against them is just too good and something sparks inside Griffin when he sees the gold and purple. If you can afford him, go get him.
Kyle Kuzma, LAL at DET ($27): Kuzma has clearly found a way around the rookie wall in recent weeks. It was likely a tough haul for seasonal owners of Kuzma for a while there, but he seems to have turned a corner with games in the 30s and 40s (YFP) in recent days. The Pistons have a middle-of-the-road defense at the wing, so I'll gladly take a bet on the rookie.
FORWARD TO AVOID
Wilson Chandler, DEN at PHI ($20): Chandler is the one guy in this stackable game that I can't get behind. If he were in the $10-$15 range he might be considered but he's too inconsistent at this price, and he's had a terrible record against the Sixers this season.
I think it's difficult to find a way around playing two centers tonight. There is simply too much production available on this slate. I've already mentioned Jokic, Embiid and Towns, but here are two other worthwhile options.
Andre Drummond, DET vs. LAL ($39): There isn't much of a sample size for Drummond against the Lakers, but the big man is hard to fade on any slate. I don't mind going to the well with him against a defense that ranks 26th against opposing centers.
Frank Kaminsky, CHA vs. NY ($10): Who am I kidding? How can you not love Dwight Howard ($34), who's averaged over 26 rebounds in his last two games? However, the Hornets are huge favorites in this one and Howard's YFP average drops about 15 points when they are heavily favored. This is likely because they are more than happy to hand the keys over to Frank the Tank, who is just too cheap to pass on in this spot. I think he'll have a nice stat line Monday.
CENTER TO AVOID
Aron Baynes, BOS at PHO ($10): I honestly think Greg Monroe is better suited for Boston at this position but they continue to roll with Baynes as the starter, and when he's out there the game flow doesn't seem to go his way. You could make an argument that it's position-specific for the Celtics, but things heat up when Horford or Monroe slide in, so I think it's more about the player than the offensive scheme.