Fantasy Basketball: Who’s hot, who to buy, and De’Aaron Fox’s DFS matchup vs. Suns
The NBA’s main roster on Monday was full of action, with 22 teams making the individual stage in an 11-game roster. It was a bit of a surprise that neither Luka Doncic nor Nikola Jokic made the top three on the fantasy leaderboard as several other players edged them out by the end of the night. We’ll take a look at who’s hot and who Fantasy Managers should trade for to kick off Week 18 before opting for a strong DFS game on Tuesday.
Who is hot
The Charlotte Hornets are in huge trouble, but Ball is picking up momentum in his career year. The third-year guard had 30 points and 15 assists on Monday after falling one rebound to a triple-double in each of his previous fights. Statistically, February was the best month for the ball of the season. He averaged 23.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 8.7 assists in seven games. Ball also played nearly 38 minutes per game this month.
Lillard is on track to increase his scoring average for three consecutive months. The Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard posted 40 points on Monday for the third time in February, along with six rebounds and five assists. He averaged an impressive 35.7 points over the last seven games, shooting 49 percent from the field and 39 percent from threes. However, the Trail Blazers are still a minor team despite his best efforts.
Irving scored more fantasy points in every game he played for the Dallas Mavericks. Colleague Luka Doncic had 36 points, five rebounds and six assists against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday after posting at least 24 points, three rebounds, five assists and a steal in each of his first three games with Dallas. Irving has hit 53.3% field goals and 42.9% triples since he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
Whom to buy
Hayward is having his worst season since 2018-19 after returning from a serious mega-injury to the Boston Celtics, but is on track for the remainder of the season. Although the Hornets forward has had his fair share of health issues this year, he has played at least 30 minutes in five straight contests, and the Hornets sent Jalen McDaniels, one of his main understudies, to the Philadelphia 76ers. Cody Martin has only played seven games this season and doesn’t look like he’s going to play a significant role, so buying Hayward now before he starts to scramble might be smart.
Malik Monk has suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out during the All-Star break, meaning Fox will be asked to speed up in the meantime. The Sacramento Kings point guard has eclipsed 33 points in both games he played without Fox this season, as well as averaging 7.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Monk is the fourth-best bench scorer, and Fox averages almost 40 minutes per game without playing on the wing.
Still deciding who to commit to your DFS list? Below we’ve identified a player to ban and one to avoid until cautioned, but you can check out my full selection of stud and value play in each position by heading over to SportsLine.