This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Monday's main Yahoo slate tips off early at 3:00 PM EST. There are seven games that make up the contest, highlighted by the Rockets taking on the Sixers. Let's dig into the matchups and highlight some players to target and avoid while creating your entry.
D'Angelo Russell, BKN vs. SAC ($31): Russell is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging 19 points, 3.7 rebounds. 6.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game. His usage rate of 30.1 percent is the highest mark on the Nets and he's averaging a career-high 30 minutes per game. After scoring at least 41.3 Yahoo points in seven of his last 10 games, Russell has plenty of upside again Monday since the Kings play at the second-fastest pace (104.3 possessions per game) in the league.
Lance Stephenson, LAL vs. GS ($10): The Lakers received some tough news on the injury front Sunday with Lonzo Ball (ankle) expected to miss at least four weeks. Rajon Rondo (hand) and LeBron James (groin) are nearing their returns, but both players are listed as doubtful for this contest. Stephenson scored 23.4 Yahoo points across 25 minutes Saturday and could again receive added playing time against the Warriors. Both the Lakers and the Warriors are in the top-10 in pace of play, so the added playing time could really provide a boost for Stephenson's value. At the minimum price, he's an excellent option to consider in tournament play.
Guard to Avoid
Marcus Smart, BOS vs. MIA ($16): When the Celtics are healthy, Smart doesn't always receive a lot of playing time. Since he's not much of a scoring option, to begin with, limited minutes really deals a blow to his value. He's scored 23.3 Yahoo points or fewer in five of his last six games and isn't a very appealing option for a slate that has plenty of viable cheaper options.
Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. GS ($31): With the Lakers playing so shorthanded, expect them to lean heavily on Kuzma and Brandon Ingram to try and make this game respectable against the Warriors. Kuzma is playing well, scoring at least 41.4 Yahoo points in four of his last six games. Considering the pace at which both of these teams play, Kuzma is likely going to get all of the shots that he can handle Monday.
Nikola Mirotic, NO at MEM ($23): The Pelicans received same bad injury news of their own with Anthony Davis (finger) ruled out for at least a week. Luckily the Pelicans have depth up front with Mirotic and Julius Randle. Mirotic has been coming off of the bench lately, but expect him to start for however long Davis ends up being sidelined. Across his previous 22 starts, Mirotic has averaged 18.9 points and 10 rebounds per game. Even though this matchup against the defensive-minded Grizzlies isn't ideal, Mirotic is still a viable option at this reasonable price.
Forward to Avoid
Gordon Hayward, BOS vs. MIA ($19): Like Smart, Hayward is hurt by the Celtics incredible depth. His usage rate is all the way down to 19.2 percent compared to 27.6 percent during his final season with the Jazz. He's expected to return after missing Saturday's game due to a personal matter, but that doesn't mean you want to play him in DFS.
Nikola Vucevic, ORL at ATL ($41): This is an exciting matchup for Vucevic. He's by far the Magic's best player and he leads the team with his 27.9 percent usage rate. He dominates the boards with an average of 11.9 rebounds per game and has dished out 3.8 assists per contest with the Magic lacking talent at point guard. The Hawks play at the fastest pace (105.5) and allow the most points per game (117.7) in the league, so sit back and enjoy the ride. This is set up for Vucevic to dominate.
Ivica Zubac, LAL vs. GS ($12): It's hard to keep Zubac off the floor with how well he's playing right now. After scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds against the Rockets on Saturday, Zubac has posted back-to-back performances with at least 29.9 Yahoo points. He also excelled in a stretch towards the end of December when JaVale McGee was sidelined, so he's shown he can be productive when given extended playing time. This game has blowout written all over it, which could lead to plenty of garbage time stats for Zubac.
Center to Avoid
Kevon Looney, GS at LAL ($15):DeMarcus Cousins played 15 minutes in his season debut Friday and may play up to 20 minutes in this matchup with the Lakers. Now that Cousins has assumed the starting center role, Looney has been relegated to the bench. He scored just 17.3 Yahoo points Friday and shouldn't be on your radar at this price.