In the final Monday of the regular season, we get a nine-game slate. Much like the past few weeks, this is the most bizarre time of the season with regard to injuries and rotations. That means it's imperative to check updates up until tip-off in order to find some hidden value plays. If you hear about any player below $4,000 who could be looking at 30-plus minutes, take a shot on himů
Elfrid Payton, ORL at CHI ($7,400): The Magic have changed to a much more uptempo style and it's led to fantasy gold for Payton. In fact, Payton is averaging 14.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 1.1 steals across his last 17 games. That's nearly 40 fantasy points per contest, which is fantastic value for a $7,400 player. The Bulls have turned into a nice matchup too, allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season.
Nicolas Batum, CHA at MIL ($6,600): Batum has at least 41 fantasy points in his last two games, as he continues to provide great value. He's been consistent all season too, averaging over 32 fantasy points per game. It's the price that's most intriguing though, as a 40-point outing would be over 6X value for the underpriced Batum. There's also a possibility that Kemba Walker could sit, as he limped off the court in his last game. That would make Batum the de facto point guard and would only add to his value.
Ish Smith, DET vs. WSH ($5,600): Smith has been superb as the starting point guard for Detroit and it's a wonder why his price has steadied in the $5,000's. In that role, Smith is averaging over 30 fantasy points per game. He's been even hotter recently too, averaging 17.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists across his last six. Washington's defense has been faltering recently, allowing the second most fantasy points to point guards across its last five games.
Kawhi Leonard, SAN at POR ($9,200): Leonard has been fantastic all season, but he's really been turning it on as of late. In fact, Leonard has at least 41 fantasy points in six of his last eight games. What's particularly appealing is the matchup though, with Portland ranking 25th in total defense this season. Leonard has destroyed the Blazers all season, averaging 33.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 steals in three outings.
Richaun Holmes, PHI vs. IND ($6,100): Holmes is in the same circumstance as Smith, as he's been great since taking over starting duties. He's been the beneficiary of injuries and moves, with Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Ersan Ilyasova all out of the picture. Since taking over starting center duties 16 games ago, Holmes is averaging 14.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. That's incredible value for a player at $6,100 and Indiana is a matchup he can exploit, as the Pacers have allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.
Nikola Mirotic, CHI vs. ORL ($5,700): Mirotic has been starting over recent weeks and has shown the promise that everyone was hoping for at the beginning of the season. What's most encouraging about Mirotic is his upside, as he has at least 31 fantasy points in eight of his last 14 games. It's the matchup that really makes him a good option though, with Orlando ranking 25th in defensive efficiency across its last 15 games.
Myles Turner, IND at PHI ($6,800): Turner has been up and down all season long, but this matchup makes him hard to overlook. Not only does Philly allow the most fantasy points in the league to opposing centers, it has allowed Turner to average 32 fantasy points in three meetings this season. Turner is a good bet to surpass that 32-point threshold too, as he's done that nine times in his last 14 games. Look for Turner to approach 40 minutes as well, with the Pacers fighting for their playoff lives.
Marcin Gortat, WSH at DET ($4,800): Gortat has been terrible for the last couple months, but his recent form indicates he may be turning it around. Not only does he have at least 21 fantasy points in five of his last seven games, Gortat has played at least 25 minutes in four of his last five. That's a huge role for a player south of $5,000, and this is a guy who approached $7,000 early on in the season.