This year's NBA frontrunners took over Sunday's main slate. Nikola Jokic is still a comfortable favorite and leads all players in Fantasy points, but Joel Embiid is doing everything he can to stay in the hunt. The two big men weren't the only players who carried their momentum to strong Week 21 finishes. We'll go over who's hot and who's not before picking out a strong DFS play to target for Monday's seven-game selection here.
Jokic ended Week 21 by scoring at least 35 points in back-to-back triple-double performances. The Denver Nuggets center amassed 37 points, 20 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals, and two blocks against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Jokic's team is riding a losing streak, but he's averaged 24.2 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 9.4 assists since the All-Star break. His combination of high-level production and health will make him tough to top beat out down the stretch.
Only Damian Lillard can rival Embiid's scoring dominance since the All-Star break. The Philadelphia 76ers superstar has averaged 35.0 points per game on 55.1 percent shooting over his previous nine outings. Embiid has also notched 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest during that span for the streaking Sixers. The Process has been the NBA's second-best Fantasy center all year but trails Jokic by a significant margin.
The Los Angeles Lakers won three games in a row before dropping one to the New York Knicks on Sunday, and Russell has revitalized the team since returning from an ankle injury. The former Minnesota Timberwolves point guard has averaged 30.5 points, 8.5 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 63.9 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from deep on 9.5 attempts per contest. He's looked like the Lakers' best player for the LeBron James-less Lakers and will need to do some heavy lifting until the star forward is back in the fold.
Vassell's been fairly aggressive since returning from a lengthy absence caused by a knee injury. The San Antonio Spurs wing was very efficient before going down but has averaged 12.8 points while shooting under 39 percent from the field in his last four outings despite putting up 13.8 attempts per night. Devonte' Graham, Jeremy Sochan, and Zach Collins have been more productive as of late, and there's no reason to run Vassell into the ground when there's nothing to play for.
Nembhard's hot run came to a screeching halt once Tyrese Haliburton returned from injury, but the Indiana Pacers guard has a chance to light it up again on Monday. He'll face the lackluster Detroit Pistons without Haliburton, TJ McConnell, or Bennedict Mathurin. Nembhard will undoubtedly run his team's offense as the starting point guard and racked up 19 points, eight assists, and three rebounds in his first-ever pro game without Mathurin his last time out.
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.