Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday 3/8/19

After a tougher two-game Thursday slate, the NBA returns on Friday with nine games and plenty of storylines. The Sixers are still without Joel Embiid, the Thunder are on a back-to-back after an overtime win over the Blazers and the Warriors are getting Klay Thompson back. All of this and more as we break down Friday's action for FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Point Guard

Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD - $10600 DK - $9100
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 49.15 DK - 49.3
The price continues to creep up for Simmons and rightfully so. With Joel Embiid out since the All-Star Break, the Sixers have called on Simmons to pick up a lot of the slack both in terms of minutes and usage. In the last seven games, Simmons is averaging 38 minutes, 15 shots, 19 points, 11 rebounds eight assists and two blocks. That’s good for around 52 FanDuel points per game in that stretch and dude remains a cash game pick on FanDuel and DraftKings once again. The matchup against Houston isn’t ideal, but the minutes should be there once again. There’s no early line on this game, but I suspect it opens as one of the highest over/unders on the slate.

Frank JacksonFrank Jackson FD - $3700 DK - $3200
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 21.49 DK - 22.47
Jrue Holiday has been ruled out for the next week and the Pelicans will have some guard minutes opening up in the short term. Last game, against the Jazz, Jackson saw plenty of bench minutes, running 28 and finishing with 13 points and four rebounds. With E’twaun Moore also ruled out, I suspect Jackson gets the start on Friday and could be in line for a lot of minutes. The Pelicans also have Ian Clark around to pick up some run as well. On a big slate, Jackson makes for an interesting min-price punt play. He doesn’t have a tremendous amount of upside, but the price allows for quite a bit of flexibility and I doubt he kills you considering the price.

Strongly consider Russell Westbrook (FD 11700 DK 10800) even on the back-to-back after the overtime win against Portland on Thursday. With the Thunder still very much fighting for home court in the first round of the playoffs.

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Shooting Guard

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $8200 DK - $7200
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 40.69 DK - 39.75
It’s been rather hit or miss for Jimmy Buckets since the All-Star Break. In the aggregate, he hasn’t been *bad* necessarily, but the performances are rather inconsistent. I think you can live with him as a DraftKings’ pick at $7200, though it’s pushing it some on FanDuel with the price in the $8K range. I think the minutes will be there in this game against the Rockets so the fantasy floor should be fine enough, but there are just a few too many games with negligible rebound and assist numbers that he isn’t exactly *safe*. Shooting guard is a thinner position even on this big slate, which makes playing Butler a little more palatable.

Gary HarrisGary Harris FD - $4800 DK - $4000
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 22.79 DK - 23.08
On Wednesday, Gary Harris played his most minutes since coming back from injury on the 22nd of February. He ran 30 against the Lakers and finished with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists. It was easily his best game this season and a welcome sign that he’s returning to full health. Now the Nuggets will take on the stumbling Warriors on the road. Golden State is 3-5 in their last eight games. Harris is a borderline punt play price-wise considering the minutes have been tightly managed over the short term. But those minutes a trending up and he’s looking like a very good value on this slate.


Small Forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $9200 DK - $8900
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 47.08 DK - 47.83
Small forward, especially on FanDuel, doesn’t appear chocked full of value options. Durant could make for a higher-floor option even with Klay Thompson returning to the fold for the Warriors. Durant’s big attribute (besides being awesome) is a solid minutes’ floor, playing 37 or more in five of his last six games. The usage has come and gone to some degree, but the price is held in check because of some poor shooting over the short term. He’s 5-24 from three over his last five games. That 25% clip is well below the 36% he’s shooting on the season (38% for his career). Moderate regression back to his personal mean could mean a bump in scoring even with slightly reduced shot attempts because of Thompson getting back on the court.

Royce O'NealeRoyce O'Neale FD - $3500 DK - $3300
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 27.39 DK - 27.61
Ricky Rubio has already been ruled out for Friday’s game which means O’Neale should rejoin the Jazz starting lineup. Last time Rubio say, Royce played 40 minutes in a wing role with Utah shifting Donovan Mitchell to play point guard. That’s the good news. The bad news is that O’Neale really struggled to put anything together fantasy-wise in those minutes. He finished with four points, six assists and two rebounds on 2-8 shooting. That’s as underwhelming as it gets considering how long he lasted on the floor. But at the minimums on a larger slate, I’m willing to take the risk on O’Neale in this spot as a pure punt, especially on FanDuel where the dropped score comes into play. He’s a great candidate for cash there because he affords you salary flexibility elsewhere and there is some chance bigger minutes lead to solid fantasy totals.

I think you can consider Kawhi Leonard (FD 9600 DK 8900) against the Pelicans. Kawhi’s more of a scorer than anything else in this Raptors’ offense, but he can still pile it on and is in a good spot against a weak New Orleans team.


Power Forward

Blake GriffinBlake Griffin FD - $8500 DK - $8600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 47.64 DK - 49.98
Griffin is coming off one of his worst games of the season on Wednesday against the Timberwolves. He scored only nine points (just his second single-digit scoring result this season) and played only 30 minutes in the blowout win. Don’t expect the same against the Bulls on Friday. The Bulls are a bottom-five defensive team on the season but have played teams close in the short term, winning six of their last nine games. That should spell max minutes for Blake in a plus matchup. The poor shooting (25% from three in the last three games) stands to turn around and 36+ minutes should be in the cards as the Pistons continue fighting for a playoff spot.

Marvin WilliamsMarvin Williams FD - $5200 DK - $4400
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 28.37 DK - 28.57
Frank KaminskyFrank Kaminsky FD - $4400 DK - $3900
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 22.19 DK - 22.93
Williams and Kaminsky have been called on to play more minutes recently with the Hornets choosing to play some smaller lineups as they continue a push to make the playoffs in the East. Williams has played 33 or more minutes in three of the last four games, but some poor shooting over the last two has his price stagnating. He’s a combined 5-18 from the field in that stretch in some tougher matchups against the Heat and Blazers. That won’t be the case against the Wizards who are 26th in defensive efficiency this season and have some bigs with very little interest in playing defense.

And then there’s Kaminsky who spent the better part of the season taking DNP-CDs only to break it out of the box over the last three games. He’s averaged 25 minutes and is bombing away when on the court, putting up 11 shots per game (four from three) and averaging 18 points on 60% shooting. The threes are falling at over 50% which isn’t sustainable, but that isn’t even all that crucial at these price points if he’s going to continue getting solid run off the bench.

Consider Jerami Grant (FD 5600 DK 5300) against the Clippers.



Andre DrummondAndre Drummond FD - $10000 DK - $8800
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 55.09 DK - 54.79
Centers have just destroyed the Bulls this season, averaging 11% more scoring and 10% more rebounds than league average. That’s second-worst behind only the Nets in terms of DVP. After some less-than-stellar games in a row against the Raptors and Cavs, Drummond returned to form against the Timberwolves with a 31 points, 15 rebound line. In fact, since returning from the concussion back at the end of January, Drummond has been one of the best fantasy players around. He’s averaging 21 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and two blocks a game on 34 minutes. It’s the steady run that’s had him living near the fantasy stratosphere during this stretch and in close games we can often count on him to play mid-30’s. That should be the case again on Friday against the Bulls.

Clint CapelaClint Capela FD - $7500 DK - $6700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 43.56 DK - 44.23
With Joel Embiid off the court, opposing centers have been able to feast on the glass against the Sixers. The position is averaging easily double-digit rebounds over the last five games and Capela could be in a situation where he pours on the boards in this game. He’s averaging a steady mid-30’s minutes per game and has 11 or more rebounds in four of his last six games. The scoring has been an issue though, going for 6, 8 and 9 in the last three. The Rockets just haven’t used him in the Harden pick and dive as often and it’s showing on the offensive end in terms of Capela’s performance. But it’s also kept the price in check and he’s a fantastic value on DraftKings.



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