DraftKings NBA: Monday Picks

DraftKings NBA: Monday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.

Slate Overview

CLE (-2.5) vs. DET, O/U: 213.5

CHI vs. BOS (-5.5), O/U: 222.5

GS vs. PHI (-7.5), O/U: 225.5

HOU vs. MIA (-9.5), O/U: 216.5

OKC vs. WAS (-10.5), O/U: 229.5

PHX vs. MIL (-3), O/U: 235

SA (-1) vs. IND, O/U: 231.5

MEM vs. DEN (-6.5), O/U: 226.5

UTA (-5.5) vs. LAL, O/U: 214.5

The DET-CLE matchup has the lowest total on the slate but will nonetheless be a popular target tonight as the Pistons will be without four regular starters and multiple reserves. With so much usage up for grabs, any of their starters are in play but Isaiah Stewart and Killian Hayes are expected to be chalky. 

The DEN-MEM matchup is another appealing target. Xavier Tillman is likely to be the chalk of the slate assuming he starts at center in place of the injured Jonas Valanciunas while Nikola Jokic is arguably the top spend-up option with the way he's been carrying the team since the injury to Jamal Murray. The game also tips off second last, at 9:00 p.m. EDT, and back-loading has been an optimal strategy recently with all the unexpected news that comes on a nightly basis late in the season. 

Injuries to Monitor

Stephen Curry (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Curry turned his ankle Saturday and is listed as questionable. Jordan Poole would likely start at point guard if Curry sits.

Jimmy Butler (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Butler missed yesterday's game due to a sprained ankle and his status for tonight is uncertain. Andre Iguodala got the start at small forward in his place. 

Donovan Mitchell (ankle): OUT

Mitchell will be re-evaluated next week after injuring his ankle Friday. Mike Conley and Joe Ingles will likely start in the backcourt tonight. 

Zach LaVine (COVID-19 protocols): OUT

LaVine will be out at least a few more games after being placed in league's health and safety protocols. Coby White and Garrett Temple started in the backcourt last time out. 

Jaylen Brown (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Brown missed Saturday's game due to a non-COVID related illness but has a chance to return tonight. Semi Ojeleye started at small forward in his place. 

Jonas Valanciunas (concussion): OUT

Valanciunas will miss at least tonight's game after suffering a concussion Saturday. Xavier Tillman will likely start at center. 

Tobias Harris (knee): QUESTIONABLE

Harris missed Friday's game after injuring his knee Wednesday and is listed as questionable. Mike Scott started at small forward in his place. 

Kemba Walker (illness): QUESTIONABLE

Walker is listed as questionable due to a non-COVID illness. If he were to sit, Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard would likely handle the point guard duties. 

Jerami Grant (quad), Cory Joseph (illness), Mason Plumlee (rest) and Wayne Ellington (rest): OUT

The Pistons will be without four regular starters tonight. Keep an eye out for lineups but Isaiah Stewart will get another start at center while Killian Hayes, Frank Jackson, Josh Jackson and Saddiq Bey should be in line for expanded roles. 

Kelly Oubre (wrist): QUESTIONABLE

Oubre has missed five consecutive games due to a sprained wrist and is listed as questionable. Kent Bazemore has been starting at small forward in his absence. 

Robert Williams (knee): OUT

Williams will miss a third consecutive game with a sore knee. Tristan Thompson has been starting at center. 

Rui Hachimura (knee): OUT

Hachimura will miss tonight's game due to bruised knee suffered Saturday. Davis Bertans will likely start at power forward. 

Donte DiVincenzo (toe): QUESTIONABLE

DiVincenzo has missed consecutive games due to a toe injury and his status for tonight is uncertain. Bryn Forbes has been starting at shooting guard in his place. 

Dillon Brooks (thigh): QUESTIONABLE

Brooks is listed as questionable after injuring his thigh Saturday. If he were to sit, Desmond Bane would likely see an expanded role. 

Elite Players 

Guard:

Russell Westbrook ($11,000)

Westbrook put up a triple-double in just 30 minutes last time out as he continues to perform at an elite level on a nightly basis. He's topped 60 DK points in six of his last eight games and the Wizards have favorable matchup tonight against his former team, the Thunder. 

Stephen Curry ($10,500)

Curry has been on fire of late as he's now made double-digit three-pointers in three of his last four. He's scored at least 60 DK points in each of those games and he's likely to go somewhat overlooked tonight, especially considering he's listed as questionable after turning his ankle on Saturday.

Center:

Nikola Jokic ($11,000)

Jokic is coming off 65.5 DK points in just 27 minutes last time out. He's taken on a larger role since the injury to Jamal Murray and it's only a matter of time before we see a big ceiling game as blowouts have been limiting his minutes recently. The Nuggets have a favorable matchup against the Grizzlies tonight, who will be without Jonas Valanciunas.  

Joel Embiid ($10,700)

Embiid has topped 50 DK points in four consecutive games, and encouragingly has seen mid-30s minutes in his last two. The Sixers are in a good spot against the Warriors and if Tobias Harris sits again, Embiid should see a slight bump in usage. 

Forward:

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,600)

Giannis is coming off 53.25 DK points in 29 minutes last time out. He's been inconsistent and underwhelming of late and I wouldn't expect him to be overly popular as he's yet to see 30 minutes in two games since returning from injury. He'd make for a good tournament play tonight in a matchup against the Suns that should be competitive as he should see increased run if the game stays close.

Expected Chalk

Xavier Tillman ($3,400)

Jonas Valanciunas has been ruled out due to a concussion meaning Tillman should get the start at center. He's averaging close to a fantasy point per minute for the season and should see plenty of run trying to contain Nikola Jokic tonight. His salary is very favorable and I'd expect him to be the most popular player on the slate. 

Killian Hayes ($3,700)

Hayes will likely get another start at point guard after sitting out for rest Saturday. He put up 36 DK points when he started Friday and the Pistons are significantly short-handed again as they will be without four regular starters for a favorable matchup against the Cavs. Hayes is just too big a bargain for his projected role. 

Isaiah Stewart ($5,200)

Stewart will get another start at center in place of the resting Mason Plumlee. He's topped 40 DK points in back-to-back games and will be popular tonight, though not quite as chalky as he normally would be in this spot due to the Xavier Tillman value that opened up at center.    

Value Picks

Michael Porter ($7,700)

Porter has scored at least 40 DK points in three of his last five games and only a blowout prevented him from getting there last time out. He's seen a bump in minutes and usage since the Jamal Murray injury and the Nuggets have a favorable matchup against the Grizzlies. 

Mike Conley ($7,000), Jordan Clarkson ($6,400) and Joe Ingles ($6,200)

The injury to Donovan Mitchell leaves a lot of usage up for grabs. Conley is back tonight after resting Saturday while Clarkson and Ingles are coming off big games. Ingles dished out 14 assists on his way to 53.25 DK points and also has the lowest salary of the bunch so I'd probably lean his way if forced to choose.

Dennis Schroder ($6,500)

Schroder finally hit a ceiling game as he put up 50 DK points in the Lakers' win over the Jazz on Saturday. His salary is still too cheap and Utah will again be without Mitchell when the two teams run it back tonight. 

Coby White ($5,400)

White has played 33 minutes in consecutive starts in place of Zach LaVine. He put up 45.25 DK points Friday and his salary is still quite favorable as I'd expect him to be over 6K soon with all the usage available in LaVine's absence. 

Saddiq Bey ($5,300), Josh Jackson ($5,100) and Frank Jackson ($3,200)

The Pistons will be missing four regular starters and multiple reserves are ruled out. Josh Jackson seems most appealing as he's put up 40 DK points twice in the past four games while Frank Jackson's near-minimum salary makes him a viable punt option as he's scored 24 DK points and taken double-digit shots in back-to-back games.

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 Belongia writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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