The NBA tips off the week in grand style Monday with 11 games on the schedule. As exciting as that is, plenty of big names are expected to be sidelined for their team’s games.

The star-studded list of players who should be out include LeBron James (abdomen), Jaylen Brown (hamstring), Nikola Vucevic (COVID-19) and Michael Porter Jr. (back). While he isn’t as big of a name, there is at least some positive news on the injury front for this slate with Coby White (shoulder) cleared to make his season debut for the Bulls in a matchup against the Lakers.

Let’s dig into the matchups and highlight some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to potentially avoid.


Ja Morant, MEM vs. HOU ($40): The Grizzlies laid an egg in a loss to the Pelicans on Saturday, but it certainly wasn’t Morant’s fault. He fell one rebound shy of a triple-double on his way to 49.8 Yahoo points. He’s now scored at least that many Yahoo points in four straight games and his scoring average has increased to 26.2 points per game, thanks to his 31.9 percent usage rate. Plenty of opportunities to stuff the stat sheet could be awaiting him in this game given that the Rockets have played at the fastest pace in the league.

Spencer Dinwiddie, WAS vs. NO ($24): Bradley Beal (personal) will miss his second straight game, which will force more responsibilities onto the shoulders of Dinwiddie. He didn’t disappoint with Beal out Saturday against the Magic, posting 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists across 31 minutes. It should also help his cause that the Pelicans have the second-worst defensive rating in the league.

Guard to Avoid

Cade Cunningham, DET vs. SAC ($20): While the future might be bright for Cunningham, he’s off to a rough start to his career. He’s shot just 31.5 percent from the field and is averaging more turnovers per game (3.6) than assists (3.0). Better days should be on the horizon, but until he starts to show signs of getting on track, there’s no need to take a chance on him during a slate that has so many other viable options.


DeMar DeRozan, CHI at LAL ($36): A normally efficient shooter, DeRozan is only 11-for-33 from the field over the last two games heading into Sunday’s matchup against the Clippers. He quickly bounced back, though, shooting 12-for-16 from the field on his way to 35 points. He should continue to get plenty of shot attempts with Vucevic out, which could be bolstered even more in this game considering the Lakers have played at the third-fastest pace.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, WAS vs. NO ($13): Caldwell-Pope has played an important role for the Wizards, averaging 30 minutes per game as a starter. He’s only shooting 37.9 percent from the field, though, which has limited him to averaging 9.0 points per game. With Beal out Saturday, he tied his season-high with 13 shot attempts while scoring 20.3 Yahoo points. More shot attempts could be coming in this contest, so if he can get hot from behind the arc, he could provide value.

Forward to Avoid

Al Horford, BOS at CLE ($29): After a hot start, Horford has scored 27.9 Yahoo points or fewer in four straight games. He started out the season with double-digit rebounds in six straight games, but he didn’t top seven rebounds in any of the last four games. This is a really tough matchup against the impressive frontcourt duo of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, so Horford could be in line for another muted stat line.


Anthony Davis, LAL vs. CHI ($50): Outside of Vucevic, the Bulls don’t have much size up front. With him out, Davis has an opportunity to feast. He certainly comes into this matchup on a high note, as well, after scoring 69.0 Yahoo points Sunday against the Spurs. For the season, he’s averaging a robust 50.5 Yahoo points per game.

Tony Bradley, CHI at LAL ($10): The Bulls first game without Vucevic came against the Warriors, who deploy a lot of small lineups. As a result, Bradley only logged 14 minutes. He bounced back to log 24 minutes against the Clippers, scoring 14.0 Yahoo points. The Lakers have more size up front, so if he can play similar minutes, he’s at least worth considering in tournament play.

Center to Avoid

Mitchell Robinson, NY vs. IND ($16): Robinson has had a few strong performances this season, but he’s mostly disappointed. He has scored 22.2 Yahoo points or fewer in four of his last five games and is averaging 23.4 Yahoo points per game. A matchup against Myles Turner, who is one of the best shot blockers in the league, likely won’t help matters.

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