Monday's main NBA slate was jam-packed with action, as 22 teams hit the hardwood in an 11-game slate. It was a little surprising that neither Luka Doncic or Nikola Jokic cracked the top three on the fantasy leaderboard, as several other players on a roll edged them out by the end of the night. We'll go over who's hot and who fantasy managers should trade for to kick off Week 18 before picking out a strong Tuesday DFS play.
The Charlotte Hornets are struggling tremendously, but Ball is getting his numbers in a career year. The third-year guard tallied 30 points and 15 assists on Monday after falling one rebound short of a triple-double in each of his previous contests. February's been ball's best month of the season statistically. He's averaged 23.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 8.7 assists across seven outings. Ball's also played nearly 38 minutes per game this month.
Lillard is on track to increase his scoring average in three consecutive months. The Portland Trail Blazers point guard cracked 40 points for the third time in February on Monday while also amassing six rebounds and five assists. He's averaged an impressive 35.7 points over his last seven games while converting 49 percent of his field goals and 39 percent of his three-pointers. The Trail Blazers are still a fringe play-in team despite his best efforts, though.
Irving has tallied more fantasy points in every game he's played with the Dallas Mavericks so far. Luka Doncic's co-star notched 36 points, five rebounds, and six assists against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday after notching at least 24 points, three rebounds, five assists, and a steal in each of his first three games with Dallas. Irving's made 53.3 percent of his field goals and and 42.9 percent of his triples since being moved by the Brooklyn Nets.
Who to buy
Hayward's enduring his worst season since 2018-19 after returning from a major meg injury with the Boston Celtics but is on track to trend upward for the remainder of the season. While the Hornets forward has had his fair share of health struggles this year, he's logged at least 30 minutes in five straight contests and the Hornets sent Jalen McDaniels, one of his primary backups, to the Philadelphia 76ers. Cody Martin has played in a mere seven games this season and doesn't appear to be close to playing a significant role, so buying Hayward now before he starts to climb could be smart.
Malik Monk is dealing with an ankle injury that'll keep him out through the All-Star break, and that means Fox will be asked to step things up in the meantime. The Sacramento Kings point guard has eclipsed 33 points in both of the games he's played without Fox this season while also averaging 7.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Monk's the league's fourth-leading bench scorer and Fox is averaging nearly 40 minutes per game without the streaky wing.
Still deciding who to lock in for your DFS roster? We've identified a player worth locking in and one to avoid ahead of tip-off below, but you can get my full selection of stud and value plays at each position by heading over to SportsLine.