We kick off the final week before the All-Star break with a balanced, seven-game slate featuring a number of the league's premier players. With Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic and James Harden all in action, putting together your FanDuel lineup won't be an easy task. That's where we come in.
Here are some players to consider at each position group:
Kyrie Irving, Nets ($9,000) at SAN
As always, Irving doesn't come cheap, but his salary is the fourth-highest among point guard on the slate, behind Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard and Ben Simmons. While Dejounte Murray is a tough individual matchup, the Spurs rank dead last in fantasy points allowed to point guards this season. Over their last 10 games, the Spurs are 19th in defense, while playing at a top-10 pace. Meanwhile, Irving comes in having averaged 27.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals over his last seven games. He did miss Saturday's loss to Dallas, but his shoulder issue doesn't look to be anything serious.
LaMelo Ball, Hornets ($7,900) at POR Ball has emerged as a borderline-elite fantasy player already in Year 1, but given the depth of options at guard Monday, he comes at a pretty reasonable price. The Hornets do enter on the second half of a back-to-back, but that shouldn't be much of a deterrent. In the second game of Charlotte's last back-to-back set, Ball posted 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for 43.4 FanDuel points. He goes up against a Trail Blazers team that ranks 24th in defense over its last 10 games, though Portland has played at the slowest pace in the league during that span. Dwayne Bacon, Magic ($3,700) vs. DAL Obviously Bacon doesn't have the same level of upside as Irving or Ball, and there's a reason he's priced at $3,700. The Florida State product has been mostly an afterthought over the last few weeks, but with James Ennis injured, he's reclaimed a larger role in the rotation. Bacon played 24 minutes against Brooklyn on Thursday before seeing 29 minutes in Saturday's loss to Utah. Earlier in February, Bacon had a stretch in which he posted at least 22 FanDuel points in five of six games, topping out with 32.1 FanDuel points against Golden State on Feb. 11. Again, the upside isn't sky high, but he should again be set for a larger workload against the league's 25th-ranked defense over the last 10 games. FORWARDS Thaddeus Young, Bulls ($6,600) vs. DEN Young is seeing fewer than 25 minutes per game over his last 10, but that hasn't stopped him from averaging 13.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks. He's topped 35.0 FanDuel points in two of his last three games, and he gets a great matchup against a Nuggets team that's struggled against opposing power forwards (29th). He may not have the loftiest ceiling, but Young is a solid, high-floor option at this price point. P.J. Washington, Hornets ($6,200) at POR Washington is almost an obligatory inclusion after he erupted for 42 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals in Sunday night's thrilling win over the Kings. Expecting Washington to replicate that performance is unrealistic, but if Gordon Hayward and/or Cody Zeller remain out on the second half of the back-to-back, Washington should again be set for a major boost in court time (he played 42 minutes Sunday). Even before Sunday night's explosion, Washington had posted 43.0 and 33.6 FanDuel points in two of his three most recent games, registering four steals in each of those contests. Derrick Jones, Trail Blazers ($5,300) vs. CHA Jones has quietly been one of the best values in fantasy basketball over the last two weeks, posting averages of 11.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 made threes, while shooting 63 percent from the floor, over his last seven games. He's virtually locked into 30 minutes per night and gets a strong matchup against one of the league's worst defenses – and fastest-paced teams – over the last 10 games. Entering Monday, Jones has blocked multiple shots in five straight games. CENTERS Nikola Vucevic, Magic ($9,800) vs. DAL Orlando enters Monday having dropped three straight, but Vucevic continues to be one of the best and most dependable big men in fantasy. He closed the month of February with a 34-point, eight-rebound, four-assist performance against Utah, helping him to averages of 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.5 made threes in 13 contests on the month. Matchup-wise, the Mavs have held up well against opposing big men, but Dallas ranks 25th in defense and 21st in rebounding over its last 10 games. Jarrett Allen, Cavaliers ($7,900) at HOU Allen already torched the Rockets for a monster game last week (26 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks, two assists), and he could be positioned for another big one Monday night. Over the last 10 games, Houston is top five in pace and bottom five in defense, while ranking as easily the worst rebounding team (43.4 REB%) in the NBA. Houston also comes in on the second night of a back-to-back following a 133-84 shellacking at the hands (paws?) of the Grizzlies. Allen will almost certainly be a popular pivot away from Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, but it's hard to ignore the upside. Enes Kanter, Trail Blazers ($6,300) vs. CHA Kanter's lack of defensive production hinders his overall upside, but he's settled into a nice groove of late as a scorer and rebounder. With double-doubles in three of his last four games, Kanter has reached the 30 FanDuel point plateau in four straight and five of his last six. If the Hornets are again without Cody Zeller, Kanter could have a significant size advantage whenever Bismack Biyombo is off the floor, though asking him to match up with the more athletic P.J. Washington could cause some issues.