This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
The NBA starts the week with eight games on the schedule Monday. The race for the playoffs will once again be a key storyline, but the MVP race will also take center stage when Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets host Joel Embiid and the 76ers. Let's dig into the Yahoo slate and highlight some players to consider, as well as a few to potentially avoid.
Kyrie Irving, DAL at IND ($41): Coming off yet another loss to the Hornets, the Mavericks are currently outside the Play-In Tournament. Although Luka Doncic will be available after his 16th technical foul was rescinded, Irving has been productive in recent matchups, averaging 25.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 36.3 minutes per game during that time. Irving has less upside with Doncic on the court, but the former is still a solid DFS play Monday.
Shaedon Sharpe, POR vs. NO ($15): With their hopes of reaching the Play-In Tournament dwindling, the Trail Blazers have started to rest their top players. As a result, Sharpe has taken on added playing time and shot attempts. That has helped him score at least 31.8 Yahoo points in the last three games.
Guard to Avoid
Jrue Holiday, MIL at DET ($27): Holiday has been quiet, scoring 26.7 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last six games. Part of the problem is that he has seen limited minutes often with the Bucks involved in so many blowouts. This is another significant mismatch against one of the worst teams in the league, so Holiday could once again find himself with added time on the bench in the second half.
Julius Randle, NY vs. HOU ($40): The Knicks might be shorthanded for this game with Jalen Brunson (hand) listed as questionable. They could probably win without him, given how poorly the Rockets have played this season. If he sits out, Randle could shine in a leading role. Even if he plays, Randle has the potential to smoke a Rockets team that has the second-worst defensive rating in the league.
Terrence Ross, PHO at UTA ($12): Ross has given the Suns a spark off the bench, scoring 37.5 and 29.4 Yahoo points, respectively, in the last two games. One was a favorable matchup against the Kings, who have the sixth-worst defensive rating in the league. The Jazz have been almost as bad in that regard, posting the seventh-worst defensive rating. At near the minimum salary, Ross could be worth the risk in tournament play.
Forward to Avoid
Kenyon Martin, HOU at NY ($20): If the Rockets have one thing going for them, it's that they've been pretty healthy down the stretch. Martin continues to start, but he doesn't always see a significant number of shot attempts. That has contributed to him scoring 24.1 Yahoo points or fewer in five of the last six games.
Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. PHI ($57): So much for a potential MVP showdown. Joel Embiid (calf), who is pushing to end Jokic's two-year reign, has been ruled out. That leaves the likes of Paul Reed, Dewayne Dedmon and Montrezl Harrell to try and slow down Jokic. That's going to be a tall order, especially with Jokic averaging 24.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 11.1 assists per game at home.
Jonas Valanciunas, NO at POR ($25): With Jusuf Nurkic (knee) possibly done for the remainder of the season, the Trail Blazers have been rolling with Drew Eubanks and Trendon Watford at center. Watford hurt his ankle in Sunday's matchup with the Thunder, so they could be even thinner in that area for this game. Good luck trying to slow down Valanciunas, who has averaged 19.8 points, 15.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last five games.
Center to Avoid
James Wiseman, DET vs. MIL ($19): The Pistons are healthy up front again since Wiseman, Jalen Duren and Marvin Bagley are all available. That's good news for them, but not for fantasy, as they eat into each other's playing time. That situation has factored in Wiseman scoring 24.3 Yahoo points or fewer in three of the last four games. In two of those games, he played fewer than 24 minutes.