NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Joel Embiid Continues to Make an MVP Case (March 20)

Monday’s NBA action welcomes a new week with a six-game main slate locking at 7:00 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups, including Joel Embiid, who has taken things up a level over the last fortnight.

NBA DFS Picks Today: Monday, March 20

Core Play of the Day — Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers-Chicago Bulls

This is an island game for Philadelphia, and the team has won eight consecutive games. The 76ers last played on Saturday with Joel Embiid, leading the team to victory against the Pacers, 141-121 in Indiana, while James Harden received the night off. There is always a chance that Embiid gets a rest day as well, though with the team tied with Boston at just 2.5 games behind Milwaukee, and with the MVP trophy up for grabs, it makes sense for Embiid to play tonight. The Cameroonian could get a rest day, though it would be better to do so on Wednesday when this matchup is reprised in Chicago, rather than sitting in front of the Philly faithful.

Embiid continues to impress with a league-leading 33.5 points per game, which is well above the 30.6 that carried him to the scoring title last season. Over the last nine games since his last day of rest, the superstar is averaging 33.7 minutes and 19.7 field goal attempts per game with a 62.7% success rate. This has resulted in 36.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 3.1 combined blocks and steals during this timeframe. If tonight does end up being a rest day for Embiid, James Harden will become one of the best point-per-dollar options in the player pool.

bet365 promo


Indiana Pacers-Charlotte Hornets

It is hard to discern whether or not Indiana is tanking down the stretch. Myles Turner, Tyrese Haliburton and T.J. McConnell each missed several games and Haliburton is still out for another week, yet the team has won six of the last 10 games and is still in contention for the final Play-In Tournament ticket, albeit with a two-game deficit.

Charlotte is definitely a lottery team, and they have just two victories in their last nine games with LaMelo Ball on the shelf. This game has a glorious 235.5-point total, with the Pacers favored by a bucket heading into the Queen City tonight.

Bennedict Mathurin (ankle) is questionable, having missed the last four games, as is Chris Duarte (ankle) after missing the last two. Isaiah Jackson (knee) missed the last game, and he too will be a game-time decision. The availability of this trio will impact the Indiana rotation, so we will need to see what transpires before making a final assessment.

We do know that McConnell is a strong option, even playing off the bench. In his last two games after returning from his own injury, he has averaged 28.2 minutes, 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 10.5 assists, and 2.5 combined blocks and steals. Turner also has merit in tournaments, though there are, of course, several better point-per-dollar options available at this coveted position.

Turning our attention to the Hornets, in addition to Ball, rookie center Mark Williams remains out, as does Cody Martin. Indiana has suffered the worst defensive efficiency rating in the league over the last three weeks, allowing just over 120 points per 100 possessions.

PJ Washington, Kelley Oubre Jr., Terry Rozier and Kai Jones are players to target in all formats on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Nick Richards and Gordon Hayward are also in the mix on DraftKings, where they carry more favorable salaries than on the Blue site.

Additional NBA DFS Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Embiid is an intriguing target in the sports wagering market, with his 10.5 rebounds prop. Those of you who are regular readers know that this is a wager I like to attack from time-to-time for the under. In turn, I do prefer to look at the overs for Embiids points + rebounds + assists (PRA) combination.

This season, Embiid is averaging 10.2 rebounds per game, which is his lowest of the last six seasons, even though he is averaging a career-high 34.8 minutes per game. His rebound rate per 36 minutes is 10.5, which is also well below his 12.7 career average. This season, Embiid has corralled 11 or more caroms in 27 of 57 (47.4%) appearances.

NBA Bet Pro has the 29-year-old projected for 35.9 minutes and 10.55 rebounds. Though this wager is likely to be up in the air well into the fourth quarter, the +105 line at BetMGM, along with a 51% probability of him failing to surpass this threshold, leads to a decent 4% expected ROI.

Did you know that you can get two free months of Stokastic+ Platinum for signing up and making your first bet at BetMGM? Claim here today!

Latest NBA DFS Content

Dallas Mavericks-Memphis Grizzlies

Tonight marks the third time in the last nine days that these teams have squared off. There is a strong chance that Luka Doncic (quad) returns after a four-game absence. If he is in the starting lineup, we should expect him to be in line for mid-30s minutes, with a little upside since the Mavericks need to secure some wins if they want to have much of a postseason run.

Kyrie Irving is also questionable, but he did play in the last game, so he should be good to go tonight. This duo dominates the usage for the Mavericks, so if they are both in the starting lineup, it dims the fantasy prospects for the rest of the team.

Update: Doncic has been ruled out along with Markieff Morris. If Irving plays, he is projected for just shy of 50 fantasy points and he had mid-50s by most scoring formats in on St. Patrick’s Day. Tim Hardaway Jr. is questionable, if he is out, then Jalen Hardy, Josh Green and Maxi Kleber shift from neutral to above-average options. 

Ja Morant has finished his suspension, though he is unlikely to play tonight, as he needs to work on his conditioning. This means one last hurrah for Tyus Jones as the starting point guard, and he has been stellar in place of Morant. Jaren Jackson Jr. (calf) is questionable, and if he is out, Desmond Bane, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman and Dillon Brooks will each get a boost. This quartet is in play if Jackson starts, with that listed order being the preferred preference for fantasy purposes. To be clear, if Jackson is starting, he is a fine option in all formats tonight as well. Luke Kennard is still a discount dandy, though his salary is ticking upwards.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Building Blocks Today

There is currently a lot of pending news; in addition to the situations detailed above, Minnesota could be missing three regulars, Golden State may be without Kevon Looney in a cherry matchup against Houston which is on a back-to-back, and Lauri Markkanen, Kevin Huerter and Trey Lyles are all questionable for the late-night hammer as Utah hosts Sacramento.

Get ready for the slate with all of the latest analysis and information by tuning in to the Stokastic Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock shows at 5:00 p.m. ET on YouTube, brought to you by No House Advantage.

Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

Stokastic +

Premium Data and Tools
Lineup Generator
Stokastic Sims MLB
Top Stack %s
MLB Data Central
SoRare MLB Rankings
DraftKings Night Owl
MLB Lineup Study
MLB Discord Server
Ownership Projections
Fantasy Cruncher (ADD-ON)
NHL Lineup Study
NHL Discord Server
Lineup Generator
Stokastic Sims PGA
Ownership Projections
Top Golfers Tool
PGA Tournament Models
PGA Lineup Study
PGA Discord Server
Ownership Projections
Top Drivers Tool
NASCAR Discord Server
NASCAR Fantasy Cruncher
USFL Projections
USFL Discord Server
Ownership Projections
Top Fighters Tool
MMA Discord Server
MMA Fantasy Cruncher
NFL Betting Tools
Stokastic Discord Server
Best Ball
Best Ball Rankings
Best Ball Stat Projections
Stokastic Discord Server
Season Long Fantasy (Coming Soon)

DFS Winners from the Stokastic Community

Subscribe to the Stokastic newsletter

DFS advice, exciting promos, and the best bets straight to your inbox - Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting Data, Tools, & Analytics