DraftKings NBA: Monday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

PHI (-3) vs. ATL, O/U: 225.5

UTA vs. LAC (-4.5), O/U: 223.5

On two-game slates, it's usually better to target one as opposed to just mixing and matching the "best plays". The idea is that one contests blows out and the other ends up being competitive and high-scoring. That's the way it's gone for most of these playoff slates. The difficult part is deciding which game that's going to be and the choice is especially tough tonight. The Clippers easily handled the Jazz on Saturday while the 76ers did the same to the Hawks on Friday, while both winners are similar sized favorites tonight. 

When I don't have a strong lean, I like to let the players and salaries decide. Joel Embiid really stands out at center and in general as the player projected for the most raw fantasy points. Trae Young and the Hawks come in with favorable salaries. In the UTA-LAC matchup, Kawhi Leonard's value has reached its peak in recent months while Donovan Mitchell's is also elevated. If you prefer this contest, I'd expect it to be the less popular of the two so there is still plenty of merit targeting it. 

Injuries to Monitor 

Joel Embiid (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Embiid has been listed as questionable for every game this series as he continues to deal with a small meniscus tear in his knee. He's played at least 34 minutes in each of the first three, so it seems likely he'll start again tonight. 

Mike Conley (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

Conley has missed three straight outings due to a hamstring strain and is listed as questionable. Joe Ingles has been starting in his absence while Jordan Clarkson has seen increased run off the bench.

Danny Green (calf): OUT

Green is expected to miss 2-3 weeks after straining his calf in Game 3. It's unclear who will get the start in his place, though Furkan Korkmaz started the second half on Friday. Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton are also candidates to see expanded roles.  

Elite Players

Center:

Joel Embiid ($10,500) was dominant again in Game 3 by producing a 27/9/8 line over 34 minutes on his way to 58.25 DK points. He's also attempted at least 15 free throws in every game this series. The knee injury that sees Embiid listed as questionable every night clearly isn't bothering him enough to hamper production. On recent slates, the decision at center has been tougher with the likes of Jokic and Giannis to choose from, but Embiid stands out as the only elite option at the position tonight. I'd expect him to be popular and rightfully so. 

SF:

Kawhi Leonard ($10,000) carried the Clippers in Game 3 with 34 points and 12 rebounds helping him to 63.5 DK points. He looked like the unstoppable force we saw in the previous two matchups of the Dallas series. It also marked the third time Leonard topped 60 fantasy points in his last five, so his salary has climbed all the way up to five-figures. That's quite the jump from Game 1 against the Mavs when he was valued at just $8,000. Of course if he puts up 60-plus DK points again, then it would be well worth it. The Clippers need to win tonight to even the series, so I'd except Kawhi to be aggressive again. 

Guard:

Trae Young ($9,200) has been underwhelming in back-to-back efforts by failing to reach 45 fantasy points. After torching Philly in the first half of Game 1, it's reasonable to think the 76ers' stellar defense has made the necessary adjustments to contain him. It's also logical to believe Young is an elite player that can be matchup-proof when he's playing well. The Hawks have to win at home tonight if they stand any chance in the series and the only way that happens is with a big game from Young. It would make sense to roster him with Embiid and value piece from either side. 

It didn't take long for Donovan Mitchell's ($9,000) salary to reach 9K. He's posted 47-plus DK points in five consecutive games and he's back to playing upper-30 minutes as he seems to be free of the ankle injury that sidelined him during the start of the postseason. Mitchell has also attempted at least 24 shots in each contest. If Mike Conley (hamstring) remains out, I'll have interest in Mitchell again tonight. If Conley plays, I'd prefer to spend elsewhere.  

Expected Chalk

Furkan Korkmaz ($3,500), if he starts

Korkmaz racked up 21 DK points in 27 minutes off the bench in Game 3. He started the second half in place of the injured Danny Green and likely will get the nod at small forward tonight. He isn't the type of player I would ever describe as "good chalk", but rostering him for just $3,500 makes it easier to afford the stars and I'd expect him to be quite popular. It's not like Korkmaz is a poor play by any means, as he shoots a lot of three-pointers and provides decent upside for a reasonable salary. 

Value Picks

Paul George ($8,600)

George recorded a 31/3/5 line on his way to 45.25 DK points in Game 3. The fact he only picked up three rebounds was a bit surprising after he'd grabbed double-digits in four of the previous five. As opposed to Kawhi, George's salary is too low. I'd expect him to be relatively popular in a matchup the Clippers must win. 

John Collins ($5,900)

Collins is one of the safer value plays on the slate coming off 23 points and seven rebounds in Game 3 while seeing at least 33 minutes in four consecutive appearances. The salary is too cheap, especially with De'Andre Hunter out and Clint Capela not seeing a lot of court time.  

Reggie Jackson ($5,200)

Jackson has played well in consecutive games as he's established himself as the Clippers' clear first choice at point guard. Here is a stat that jumps out: he's made 3 or more three-pointers in nine straight contests. While he's definitely scoring-dependent, the upside is there for an affordable salary. 

Joe Ingles ($5,000), if Mike Conley is out

Ingles has topped 30 fantasy points in back-to-back outings. He's valued nicely for his role as the starter. And if Conley is out again tonight, I'd expect Ingles to be relatively popular.

Nicolas Batum ($4,500)

Batum is coming off 32.25 DK points in 35 minutes on Saturday. If he was guaranteed that type of run tonight, he'd be among the best value options. He and Marcus Morris ($4,300) are surprisingly undervalued and at least one of them will see extended run. Both are in play, but I prefer Batum as his versatility provides him multiple ways to get there.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan has a background in accounting, finance and poker. He's been playing DFS full-time since 2018. A multiple-time King of the Pitch finalist, Ryan's been ranked inside the Top 5 on the RG Soccer Leaderboard for three years running. Originally from Wisconsin, he moved to London in 2019 for the futbol.
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