Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 3/17/17
It's a not-so-full Friday in the NBA but that shouldn't get us down. What it might lack in overall games it more than makes up for in high totals, bad defenses and some possibly exciting matchups.
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Tyler Ulis FD - $5400 DK - $5700
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 28.05 DK - 29.67
What a joke the Suns organization is by letting Bledsoe warm up last game and then last minute pulling him for the season. Tyler Ulis, or should I say "Steve Nash-lite", crushed in his first start going 8X by logging 41 minutes and putting up 13 points on 18 FGA and with 13 rebounds. He was the first Sun’s rookie to do 12 points and 12 assists in a game since Nash did it in 1996. With this said I think Ulis can smash again but I think 34 minutes and mid teens in terms of FGA is more appropriate. Tyler is no longer a sub $5k guy but even at these slightly elevated prices I think Tyler will be a fantastic yet chalky cash and GPP play. Shed a small tear for Bledsoe, move on and play Ulis!
Marcus Smart FD - $6300 DK - $4900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 31.52 DK - 33.57
NBA players are dropping like flies. Lucky for us that means great value. Usually Brad Stevens is not one to sit his players when healthy but with the Celtics playing Brooklyn tonight and the 76ers on Sunday I think the Celtics will survive without their MVP. This brings us to Marcus Smart who presumably will start and face the horrific Brooklyn squad. With one of the highest totals of the night targeting this game would be smart and as bad as the Nets are I think they can keep it close with only a 9 point o/u. I think mid thirties for minutes for Smart should be in the cards, but Smart at $6,300 on FD is definitely more of a GPP play compared to his $4,900 salary on DK which makes him both cash and GPP.
Rajon Rondo FD - $5800 DK - $6500
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 29.42 DK - 31.84
With death comes life and with Dwayne Wade dying as a fantasy option, Rajon Rondo has rising from the ashes like a phoenix. In Rondo’s last two he has played mid thirties minutes and has gone almost 8X in both contests and he didn’t even turnover the ball against Memphis! With the starter tag and increased usage Rondo seems to be on the path to deliver against the WAS especially since John Wall is considered “50/50” for playing. If Wall is able to go Rondo faces a tough matchup since in the three times Rondo started against the Wizards this year he has only averaged 23.41 FD points.
James Harden FD - $11800 DK - $11800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 53.92 DK - 58.58
James Harden AKA “The Terminator” has a history of roasting the Pelicans. Last year in March when the two teams met Harden registered 65.9 FD pts and 72.5 DK pts, but now Harden is coming off a game against the Lakers where the Rockets blew out the Lakers and he only played 31 minutes. With the addition of Lou Williams and Eric Gordon as a 6th man plus, Harden has not been required to take 20+ FGA every night, which was evident when Harden only played 29 minutes and took a meager 9 FGA in a steam rolling of the Pelicans this February. With this said, today’s game has the highest total projected points for the night so let’s hope Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins can keep it close and allow the Beard to go off.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $10500 DK - $9900
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 49.97 DK - 52.17
There are some interesting big money guys tonight and you’ll likely be sweating out the decisions in this upper tier more than anywhere else tonight. Giannis has a fantastic matchup against the Lakers who’ve A: thrown the towel in on this season and B: spent the better part of the year just allowing opponents to put up as many fantasy points as possible. I do see ABC as more of a GPP play tonight considering just how erratic he’s been since Middleton came back from injury and Jabari Parker went down for the season. His fantasy performance has been all over the place and the last two games he’s played only 28 minutes in each. That’s tough to swallow at his price point, but he has huge upside in the matchup.
Devin Booker FD - $6900 DK - $7200
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 31.56 DK - 34.22
With Eric Bledsoe finally out of the picture the Suns are officially trying to chase ping-pong balls by catching up to the Lakers, who have the 2nd worst record in the league (20-48). Bledsoe is arguably the Sun’s best scorer and distributor thus in his absence we will get to see if Devin Booker can elevate his game. In the last two games Booker has played almost 40 minutes so I don’t think Earl can run him anymore than he is but I do think Booker can get 15 to even 20 shots a game making Booker pure lethal. I think Booker is a cash play on FD and a very good GPP play on DK due to his elevated price, but he should be seen as a bargain compared to player like Bradley Beal who is $8,500 on FD and $8,200 on DK.
Jimmy Butler FD - $8700 DK - $8800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 44.6 DK - 46.73
With Dwayne Wade out for the rest of the regular season the lion’s share of the usage now lands in Jimmy Buckets/ Minutes’ hands. Butler’s regular usage sits at 28 and spikes up to 33 with Wade off the court (per NBAWowy). The price hasn’t moved much with the news on Wade and I suspect we see Butler as a popular play tonight with a decent (though not spectacular) matchup against the Wiz. Washington plays at the 11th slowest pace in the league and are ranked at 18th in defensive efficiency. But with the Bulls still hanging on to a shred of hope to make the playoffs in the East (a game back in the loss column for the final spot) you can expect to see Butler play major minutes down the stretch run. Without Wade he’ll handle the offense and should put up a ton of shots.
Brandon Ingram FD - $4400 DK - $5000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 23.56 DK - 25.89
The Lakers are in full on tank mode which has meant crazy variability in their minutes across the board. Except for Ingram. He’s the one guy Luke Walton has no real issue running a ton and dude’s averaged 36 minutes a game over his last five. At his FanDuel price we can get all over that kind of minutes safety and he comes in as one of the better cheap plays on the board. He’s also shooting more, getting up double digit shot attempts in three of his last four capped by an 18/6/3 performance last time out against the Rockets. Small forward isn’t all that deep tonight and considering how much value there is in the upper price tier, Ingram fits a perfect need of minutes+sub $5K price tag on FanDuel.
Khris Middleton FD - $6600 DK - $6500
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 31.89 DK - 34.23
Khris Middleton has consistently been starting since the start of March and initially registered double-digit points in all of those games. What has been lacking is the consistent shot attempts, since in his L3 games Middleton has not reached doubled digit attempts. When Khris gets at least 10+ FGA a game he has done 5X+ five out of his six games for his abbreviated season. What really boosts Middleton is the matchup against the tanking Lakers where he gets to face off against Nick Young or the recently neutered D’Angelo Russell. With the second highest O/U for the night let’s hope Khris gets his.
Anthony Davis FD - $11200 DK - $10200
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 48.85 DK - 51.24
I’m much more inclined to play him on DraftKings where the price has come down sharply since the Cousins’ trade. But unlike Demarcus, Brow hasn’t seen a total dusting of his fantasy performance. His per minute rebounding numbers are actually up in the short term and he’s even seen a slight increase in his per minute shot attempts which feels kind of amazing all things considered. I’m still interested in buying considering the matchup and just how points could go on the board in this game. Expect minutes close to 40 if the game stays close. Again, more interested in Davis on DraftKings and I think he’s one of the more popular plays of the night over there.
Julius Randle FD - $6800 DK - $7400
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 33.61 DK - 35.52
He’s coming off is best game of the season on Wednesday against the Rockets in which he went nuts with a 32/8 line in only 29 minutes. It’s the latter piece that has me the most worried about Randle. Like I said with Ingram, the Lakers are fully tanking and not really incentivized to play guys like Randle meaningful minutes. He’d been running consistently in the mid 30’s but two blowouts in a row have seen a sharp drop in court time. There’s some possibility the blowouts were the reason for the minutes reduction but again, I’m not completely trusting the Lakers. If you think he goes 33-34 against the Bucks who lack much front court defense then he’s very much a play at under $7K.
Jon Leuer FD - $4200 DK - $4000
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 24.83 DK - 26.2
He’s on here because of price and the hope that he starts again. Those are the only two reasons and even then it doesn’t feel all that great. But power forward is a weak position across the board and after the two guys above I’m not interested in investing any meaningful dollars at the position. Leuer started last game and struggled about a very tough Jazz team. Things get a little easier (though not a ton) against the Raptors who will probably front him with Ibaka. But Leuer should see around 30 minutes if he starts and you can do worse at these nearly punt prices.
DeMarcus Cousins FD - $9400 DK - $9800
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 50.32 DK - 53.55
Let’s do this thing. Boogie’s price has done nothing but drop since he came to New Orleans thanks to some variable performance, a suspension, a random benching and some blowouts. But tonight I think you can load up. He’s simply getting too cheap for the upside and this is a great matchup against the Rockets. The game has the highest total on the night by nearly seven points over the next closest game and Houston’s been well below average at keeping opposing centers from scoring and rebounding. Pairing Cousins/ Davis or Cousins/ Harden feels like such a high floor in cash and considering the pricing discrepancies I think you can run the former on FanDuel and the latter on DraftKings. It feels like there’s been a lot of noise in Cousins’ lines since becoming a Pelican and that’s been apparent in the last five games or so. I think he puts it together in this matchup that Vegas has as being high scoring and close.
Alan Williams FD - $5800 DK - $6300
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 30.15 DK - 31.31
Williams has been a per minute beast this and the minutes might be on the rise. He played 31 last game good for a 14/11 line and which has been his exact average over his last 8 games. Orlando’s been below average defending the opposing front court and only got worse when they shipped Serge Ibaka out of town. Williams is still playing as a sixth man off the bench, but again it hasn’t effected his playing time all that much. Plus it’s not a huge sample size, but Williams has seen something of a usage bump with Eric Bledsoe off the court this season. The Suns are also in full tank mode which should leave plenty of minutes for Williams over Len going forward. I like Boogie more even from a points/$ standpoint, but Williams is where I’ll go at center if I fade Cousins.