FanDuel and DraftKings DFS NBA Picks | 3/5/19

Ben Simmons dribbles the ball up the floor for the 76ers

Oh yeah! We got back on the winning ways last night and now have another streak to continue. There are six games on tap tonight so let’s not waste another second. I will be in chat helping out our loyal subs continue this magical run we’re on, and make sure to follow me on twitter @jac3600.

FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD

Russell Westbrook, OKC ($11,400)

Paul George is listed as out again for tonight, so it’s another day of Westbrook being the top overall play. HOWEVER, unlike the last two games I’m not ALSO calling him the top value play, as there are some seriously underpriced PGs on the slate. Westbrook has been incredibly inefficient the last two games without George, but he’s got a 35% UR, 16% RR, and 40% AR without him which more than keeps him in play in all formats. He’s easier to fit on FD than on DK and the pricing is a bit more aggressive which makes paying up a sensible thing to do.

Other options – Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley

Mid-tier options – Darren Collison, Jeff Teague

FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD

Jimmy Butler, PHI ($8400)

A couple of strong games have pushed Harden’s price tag back to uncomfortable range for cash, and Butler is $3700 cheaper which gives him the per-dollar edge. Orlando has allowed the third most FPPG to opposing guards over the last ten games and Butler gains 7% usage and 11% rebounding with Joel Embiid off the court (although Tobias Harris has muddied that quite a bit). Butler is still worthy in all formats.

Other options – James Harden

Mid-tier options – CJ McCollum, Andrew Wiggins

DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS

Westbrook is well worth his price tag in all formats at $11,300, especially since Minnesota ranks 18th against opposing PGs. However, there are several sub-9k plays at PG that simply shouldn’t be that way. The top option is Ben Simmons, whose $8400 price tag is just silly. In the four games Embiid has missed, Simmons has averaged almost 39 MPG with a 15% rebound rate and 33% assist rate. Orlando has no one on their team that can matchup with Simmons’ versatility, and they’ve allowed the second most FPPG to opposing PGs the last ten games. He’s a borderline core option on DK for me. It also makes absolutely no sense for Damian Lillard to be $8100. Ever. Since Memphis traded away Marc Gasol, they’ve fallen to 18th in overall defensive efficiency and are also rising in pace factor. Lillard has held strong with a 29% UR and 30% AR this season, and he’s been over 35 minutes in six of his last seven games. To complete the trifecta, Kyrie Irving ($8800) is playing in the biggest game of the night against Golden State, and they’re getting a huge pace boost to go along with a 230 O/U. Kyrie has a 34.5% usage rate over his last ten games. Oh yeah, there’s Stephen Curry ($9000) too, so you don’t necessarily NEED Westbrook.

VALUE GUARDS

Dennis Schroder ($5600/$5500) leads the values at guard, especially on FD where you have to roster two specific SGs with no MPE. Schroder played 40 minutes last game with Paul George out, led the team in shots, and put up a healthy 46.4 FD points. His usage is currently taking the biggest step forward sans George, and the OKC/MIN game is the top one of the night for fantasy, with a 2.5-point spread and a 234 O/U. He’s a core play on FD, and a tough play on DK. Evan Fournier ($5800/$5400) and Terrence Ross ($5000/$4700) are fine fill-insas last pieces in cash. They get PG minutes when DJ Augustin is off the court, and Philly has allowed the most APG this season. Justin Holiday is fine as a FD punt play at $3900. He’s only at 0.69 FPPM this year, but he should play 30+ minutes and Portland ranks dead last against SFs, giving him at least some semblance of upside.

FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD

Kawhi Leonard, TOR ($9700)

It’s a tough call at the top with Leonard and Kevin Durant priced the same, but I’m leaning matchup over game environment here. Kawhi is not currently listed on the injury report which assumes he’s going to play with no limitations, and he should go back to leading the Raptors in usage rate. Toronto ranks seventh in offensive efficiency and the Rockets are currently ranked 29th against opposing SFs.

Other options – Kevin Durant

Mid-tier options – Otto Porter, Bojan Bogdanovic

FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD

Lauri Markkanen, CHI ($9100)

This is a GPP-only play at his price tag, but Markkanen has really taken the next step with Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker traded away, even with Robin Lopez of all people soaking up a lot of frontcourt minutes. Markkanen has a 21% UR and 17% RR since the trade while averaging 36 MPG, and the defensively stout Pacers actually rank 17th against PFs while also giving up the third highest 3PT% to the position. There’s a lot of upside here, and he’ll be a forgotten man with a seemingly difficult matchup.

Other options – None

Mid-tier options – Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Thaddeus Young, Draymond Green

DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS

Ben Simmons ($8400) also being F eligible on DK is a wonderful thing, as it lets you play one, or even two of the underpriced PGs listed in the DK section above. Kawhi ($8900) and Markkanen ($8200) also carry for more bang for their buck on DK with depressed price tags. I also need to point out Kevin Durant ($9100) who is underpriced despite taking a sizeable hit with DeMarcus Cousins playing full minutes now. Boston ranks 12th against SFs and 21st against PFs, and Golden State comes in with the highest implied team total at 119 points, even against a stout defensive unit like the Celtics. Durant is somewhat dependent on Klay Thompson’s status, but this game figures to be pretty close which should push KD into the upper 30s for minutes, making him hard to ignore at well under 10k. Jimmy Butler ($7100) and Tobias Harris ($7400) are also too cheap on DK and are in play for all formats, with Butler being the better value.

VALUE FORWARDS

Jerami Grant ($6000/$5400) is someone you’re going to want to seriously consider, especially on FD where you have no MPE and the PF position is pretty lousy. Grant has averaged 34.5 MPG without Paul George in the fray and has gone from a 13.1% UR to a 17.8% mark. Minnesota ranks 23rd against opposing PFs and also give up the second most steals per game to the position, making Grant’s total game tough to pass on at under the average roster cost. J.J. Redick ($5700/$4800) is the other F value that really seems to pop on this slate despite him being not only scoring dependent but also kind of the “fourth wheel” behind Simmons, Butler, and Harris. Redick has had a rough time without Embiid on the court, as the big man set high screens for Redick to get open from three. As a result, the shooting just hasn’t been there, but the main takeaway here is that the rates and minutes have been, and Redick’s price just keeps dropping. His floor is shaky, but his price is getting so low (especially on DK) that it’s starting not to matter.

Other options – Jonathan Isaac, Gordon Hayward, Bruno Caboclo, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Mike Scott

FANDUEL TOP CENTER

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($11,500)

Towns is nearing full price on FD, but he’s down from the 12k price tag he had last game and there’s really no reason for the drop at all. Towns is currently playing on another level and now has seen his rates climb into uncharted territory (29% UR, 22% RR, 17% AR) for a center of his athleticism. Steven Adams is a tough individual defender (and he held Towns to 30 FD points last time they met), but OKC now ranks third in pace and has seen their defense really fall off as a result, including ranking 22nd against opposing centers. If you can make a build with other PGs that you like on all sites, I can advocate playing Towns over Westbrook.

Other options – Nikola Vucevic, DeMarcus Cousins

Mid-tier options – Jonas Valanciunas, Clint Capela, Myles Turner, Steven Adams

DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID CENTERS

On DK, Towns is far too cheap at $10,600, and it’s going to very difficult not to play him at that price. The bonuses are in play here which only adds to his ceiling, and Minnesota comes in just behind Golden State with the second highest implied total at 118.3 points. Nikola Vucevic ($9200) remains the only center in the NBA with usage, rebound, and assist rates all over 20%, and Philadelphia has given up the most points in the paint in the NBA without Embiid. He’s my favorite GPP play of the night on DK. Also, Jonas Valanciunas’ price has caught up on FD, but not remotely so on DK at only $6700. Val is easily seeing minutes in the upper 20s, and he got to 32 last game against OKC. Tonight projects to be similar as Portland almost always has a true center on the court, and Jonas is too cheap for someone averaging 1.44 FPPM.

VALUE CENTERS

Steven Adams ($6800/$6100)

Adams leads the way from a value perspective, and his price is just so friendly for cash on all sites. Adams has a 19% UR and a 17% RR without Paul George, and he’s got three straight double-doubles (including a 13-22 gem last game against Memphis). Foul risk is there being the primary guardian of Towns, but that goes the other way too, and Minnesota allows the sixth most points in the paint in the NBA. Myles Turner is a DK specific value at a price tag of $5700, which seems ridiculous considering Damontas Sabonis will miss another game. Turner’s minutes floor still isn’t the greatest, but he’s been over 30 in three of his last four games and the Bulls rank 26th against opposing centers and 28th in rebounding rate. He’s a fine option in cash, especially since you can play two centers.

Other options – Marc Gasol, Robin Lopez, Enes Kanter, Nerlens Noel

Fantasy Basketball

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