Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Monday, January 9

The NBA begins the week with only six games on the Monday schedule. The Bulls have played much better against teams with a winning record this season and will try to continue their improvement in that area during a matchup against the Celtics. Another potentially exciting Eastern Conference battle will occur in New York when the Knicks host the Bucks. As far as the Western Conference goes, a highlight matchup will be LeBron James and the Lakers taking on Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Let’s discuss some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

Guards

CJ McCollumNO at WAS ($36): With Brandon Ingram (toe) and Zion Williamson (hamstring) still out, the Pelicans will continue to rely more heavily on McCollum for production. Over the last two games he played without them, he scored 41.2 and 47.2 Yahoo points, respectively. Expect him to maintain a high floor until the Pelicans’ health improves.

Josh RichardsonSA at MEM ($12): An already thin Spurs team is in even worse shape right now with Devin Vassell (knee) slated to miss multiple weeks. Across the last three games without him, Richardson averaged 15.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 26 minutes per game. Added minutes and shot attempts should continue for him moving forward.

Guard to Avoid

Immanuel Quickley, NY vs. MIL ($25): Quickley has proven to be a productive player when the Knicks have been shorthanded. RJ Barrett (finger) is doubtful for this matchup, but Jalen Brunson has played in the last three games after sitting out a three-game stretch with an injury. Quickley scored 25.0 Yahoo points or fewer in two of three games since Brunson returned, making it difficult to justify him at this salary.

Forwards

Paolo BancaroENT at SAC ($32): This is a solid matchup for the Magic. The Kings have played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league and have the sixth-worst defensive rating. After a brief quiet stretch, Banchero stormed back to average 25.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists over his last four games. Look for him to remain hot in this matchup.

Naji MarshallNO at WAS ($21): The Pelicans have one of the deepest rosters in the league. Marshall is one of the reasons why they can remain successful, even with Williamson out. He started the last three games, providing 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals. He logged 35 minutes per game during that stretch and should continue to play a lot moving forward, even with the impending return of Larry Nance (shoulder), who is probable.

Forward to Avoid

Michael Porter, DEN vs. LAL ($21): Porter’s main contributions come in the form of points and rebounds, but he hasn’t exactly stood out in either area with 16.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He is also averaging only 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.5 blocks. The Nuggets don’t need him to score in bunches with all of the talent around him, so while he has the talent to go off on any given night, he’s still a risky option in DFS.

Centers

Domantas Sabonis, SAC vs. ENT ($43): Sabonis isn’t showing any ill effects from his thumb injury on his non-shooting hand. His production has increased since then, with him providing 23.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists over the last six games. With the up-tempo pace at which the Kings play, Sabonis’ ability to contribute in so many different areas make him a top center option whenever he is on the slate.

Daniel Gafford, WAS vs. NO ($15): The Wizards have decided to try a big lineup with Gafford starting alongside Kristaps Porzingis. Gafford has logged an average of 25 minutes over the last nine games since being moved into that role, a significant increase over his season average of 17 minutes per game. He has made a case to stick as a starter, putting up 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks since moving into the role.

Center to avoid

Al Horford, BOS vs. WHO ($16): Horford has become an afterthought within the Celtics offense. His usage rate is down to 11.5 percent, which is more than three percentage points lower than last season. Robert Williams is back from injury, which means the Celtics don’t have to force Horford to play excessive minutes anymore. Given Horford’s role with the team, there is n’t much to get excited about here.

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