Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/7/17
It's a condensed version of NBA daily fantasy tonight. After last night's monster 12 game slate which then became an 11 game slate (what is it with postponements in the NBA this season?) we go super small with just three contests tonight. We still have our fair share of superstars and value plays to work through and for those of you that think late breaking news is for suckers, Draftkings is running another "early lock" slate, so have them picks ready by 4EST. Speaking of picks, rather than go position by position, we're going to break down each game, determine the best offenses to target and defenses to pick on, and the top names as determined by our world famous projection system. So let's get to it shall we?
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Portland Trailblazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Thanks to another "slippery court conditions" incident, the Trailblazers contest with the Timberwolves in Minnesota last night was postponed. This gives us six fresh teams as Portland was the only one scheduled on a back to back tonight. The Blazers head in to OKC as the number 9 seed in the west needing every win they can get particularly against a team like the Thunder sitting just a few games ahead of them in the seven spot. Last Thursday in Portland they managed to just barely squeeze out a win over the Thunder in a 114-109 game due to a strong fourth quarter performance. Tonight they're in enemy territory however and Russell Westbrook FD:61.63/DK:65.51 and company have only lost 8 games at home this season to date.
Speaking of Russ, Mr. Westbrook comes in to this evening to no ones surprise with the top overall projected points according to our projection system. Russ had an off night so to speak against Dallas on Sunday, picking up a technical foul and a flagrant foul all while being dogged by the Mavs on defense and receiving little support from his offense. Look for him to bounce back tonight against the fourth worst defense in the NBA. Another target from OKC comes in the form of Taj Gibson FD: 26.36/DK: 27.44, who despite coming in off the bench since being dealt to OKC, has seen an ever increasing role with his new team. Gibson is coming in as the top point per dollar play in our system tonight, and last Thursday against Portland he had his best game since coming over from Chicago putting up a 15/6/2 line with 2 steals and 2 blocks.
On the other side, despite coming in as 7 point under dogs, look to Damian Lillard FD: 42.65/DK: 45.73 and C.J. McCollum FD: 36.16/DK:39.02 to team up to attempt to shut down Westbrook while working to lead their offense to victory. Also let's not overlook the Portland front court. Maurice Harkless continues to be an excellent value coming in under priced relative to his new role subbing in for the injured Evan Turner and newly acquired center Jusuf Nurkic FD: 32.07/DK: 34.82 has managed double digit scoring in 5 of his six games since coming over from Denver, and has double doubled twice in that span.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks
This is the game we will most likely see targeted the most in our optimal lineups tonight. The Lakers head in to American Airlines Center to take on the Mavericks in the second game of the evening. The Lakers, who are just awful with a 19-44 record play at the sixth fastest pace in the league. This will provide Dallas with a few more looks than they may normally see as the second slowest team in the Association.
Leading the pack for Dallas we have Harrison Barnes FD: 32.83/DK: 34.57. Barnes is our top ppd pick at small forward tonight. He has scored at least 17 points in six games since the break, while averaging 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game during that span. He'll spend most of his night paired with Brandon Ingram who really can't contend. Sticking with the Dallas front court, we have Dirk Nowitzki FD: 29.76/DK:31.39. Dirk is still showing signs of life putting up a double double last time out against the Thunder. In that game he came down with 12 rebounds, a season high, for the second time in 4 games. His shooting has been just as on point, with double digit scoring in 9 of his last 11 games. With all this love for the Dallas front court, let's not forget Wesley Matthews FD: 24.63/DK: 26.84 and Seth Curry FD: 27.58/DK: 29.74. The two guard duo have been seeing 30-35 minutes per game apiece and performing quite well in the Mavericks back court. Matthews missed a couple of games due to a sore hip and while he didn't blow up the stat sheet, the 32 minute rotation quelled any questions about his health. He could light it up against the Lakers poor coverage tonight while coming in at a value. Seth meanwhile has scored over 20 points in 4 straight games, seeing solid minutes and picking up the occasional periphs.
On the Lakers side, there really isn't a whole lot to say. I'm a fan of D'Angelo Russell FD: 28.2/DK: 30.91 at point guard, while he can be an extremely erratic shooter, when he is on his game, he has no trouble paying value at his price point. More of a gpp play on a normal slate, but a night like this sometimes you have to throw a little risk in to the pot even in cash games to make everything work out. For what it's worth, Russell has scored at least 16 points in six straight games with three 20 point performances mixed in. If you think he can keep that up he's well worth a spot even in cash games. After DRuss, there isn't much to say about L.A.
Washington Wizards vs. Phoenix Suns
The Wiz and the Suns close out the evening with a fast paced high scoring affair in the desert. Vegas has this game at a 225.5 total and a mere 3.5 point spread. The Suns are only slightly better than the Lakers coming in to the night with the leagues 5th worst defensive efficiency and both of these teams are ranked in the top 12 for pace of play.
Washington's offense is led by John Wall FD: 47.39/ DK: 50.71 who our system has just behind Westbrook as the second point per dollar play at the position, in case you just can't stomach that 13K price tag on Russ. The pair of them are the only payers on the evening coming in over 10k on both sites. Wall has double doubled in 14 of his last 15 games, when he's not driving to the hoop himself, he's getting the rock into a teammates hand setting them up for the score. Quite often that teammate is Bradley Beal FD: 34.66/DK: 37.1. Beal has scored at least 20 points in six straight outings and has paid value at this price point in two straight. Also, while we're discussing Washington, I like Markieff Morris FD: 30.15/ DK: 32.16 in this spot, but am a little concerned about that left thigh. He started Sunday after skipping Saturdays practice, and really wasn't himself against the Magic. If you think the day of rest on Monday did him some good, he could be in a nice spot here.
While the Suns don't offer a lot more to like than the Lakers do, there are a couple of points of discussion to be made for their front court. Particularly Alan Williams FD: 28.48/DK: 29.79, who comes in as the top ppd play at center tonight. After the All Star break, coach Watson shut down Tyson Chandler and was splitting time with Alex Len and Williams, but Williams emerged as the top gun for the Phoenix center minutes. In six games since the break Williams has crushed value in 4 games paying upwards of 8X points per dollar. I'd look for him to be chalk tonight barring any late breaking news. Lastly, we have the Suns breakout power forward Marquese Chriss FD: 19.41/DK: 20.62. Chriss has been a little bit off, a little bit on lately but when he is on he stuffs the stat sheet and ends up paying over 7X value. Most recently he dropped 10 points against the Celtics while snagging 6 rebounds and swiping 5 steals to the tune of 6X his salary.
Even with just three games, there's still plenty to consider tonight, and hopefully we got you started with your lineup construction. Be sure to look for the update article and podcast, pop on in to the chatroom where the NBA talk never rests, and of course, if you aren't already a loyal subscriber, get a three day trial of our projection system right below.
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- Russell Westbrook: (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)