FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Tuesday 3/12/19
Tuesday's NBA action brings us plenty of question marks and injury news we'll need to monitor going into lineup lock. How shorthanded will the Cavaliers be, especially in the frontcourt? Will we have the Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins news before hitting submit on lineups? What the hell will the Pelicans do? These are just some of the landmines on a potentially volatile Tuesday slate of NBA action for DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Ben Simmons FD - $10000 DK - $8600
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 48.79 DK - 48.27
The Sixers are going to be without Jimmy Butler on Tuesday, theoretically opening up additional opportunity for Simmons to run the offense. They are in a three-team dogfight for home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. With one of their secondary ball handlers off the court, I expect Simmons to get more run here, possibly pushing towards 38-40 minutes if the Cavaliers can keep the game closer (a big if with Philly -14 home favorites). But we’ve seen the Sixers struggle to pull away from teams and are now without one of their best players. The FanDuel price is a bit excessive, but he rates as a DraftKings’ pick at less than $9K.
We also could see more minutes out of T.J. McConnell (FD $3600 DK $3200) with Butler out of the mix.
Jeff Teague FD - $6600 DK - $6400
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 31 DK - 31.28
Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins both sat out on Saturday and this late in the season (with the T-Wolves well out of the playoffs) it feels insane to bring either back if they were anything but 100%. Teague’s usage increases with Wiggins off the court for sure and we saw some of that on Sunday against the Knicks when he took a season-high 18 shots on his way to 20 points and 10 assists despite shooting only 1-6 from three. This is a much matchup worse against Denver and their above average defense, but if Minnesota is playing shorthanded again then Teague is in play at these prices.
Lou Williams FD - $7300 DK - $7300
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 35.41 DK - 36.59
He didn't have to play many minutes on Tuesday, but he still crushed the Celtics. Williams dropped 34 points, five assists and four rebounds in just 23 minutes against Boston. In closer games, the plan is to definitely play him in crunch time and he'll trend toward 30 or so minutes if the game is tight down the stretch. It's often tough to recommend bench players for cash games because the minutes can be so variable, but Lou-Will is one of the exceptions. Over the last month-plus, he's averaging 25 points and six assists in 28 minutes per game. Expect a few more in a close one against the Blazers on Tuesday.
Damyean Dotson FD - $5200 DK - $4900
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 26.24 DK - 26.74
It’s tough to call anything on the Knicks safe at this point in the season considering they are fully in the tank (and doing a damn good job of it). But Dotson has played 30 or more minutes in each of the last four games with the run climbing steadily up to 41 minutes in the loss to the Timberwolves on Sunday. He’s averaging more than 13 points per game and is rebounding the position well with six boards per game over the last five. The price is up some, and these are still the Knicks so tread carefully. But at shooting guard I think you can pay mid-tier prices for Dotson considering he’s not completely scoring dependent to reach fantasy value.
Giannis Antetokounmpo FD - $12000 DK - $11500
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 60.87 DK - 62.13
The Bucks-Pelicans’ game opens with the highest over/under of the slate at 237.5 with the Bucks favored by nine on the road. The Bucks have blown a lot of teams out this season, but have also lost three of their last six games. The key for Giannis is the opponent keeping the game close so he can push towards about 35 minutes. Per 36 minutes this season, he’s averaging 29 points, 13.7 rebounds, 6.5 assists and some blocks and steals. Dude is, of course, a total beast. On a shorter slate with some question marks, I’m willing to run him in cash games even at these elevated price points as a rather safe option against a very weak Pelicans’ defense.
Keita Bates-Diop FD - $4100 DK - $3400
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 23.4 DK - 22.27
Bates-Diop has come somewhat out of nowhere during the last week with the Timberwolves dealing with a number of injuries. He’s started the last two games and run major minutes (37 and 35 respectively) in place of Andrew Wiggins. Like I said with Teague, I think Minnesota plays it cautious with both of their young guys. KBD has 12 shots in each of those starts and rebounded well with five and six boards. If he’s still in the starting lineup, we are likely looking at one of the chalk plays on the slate.
Otto Porter (FD $7500 DK $6400) should see an uptick in usage with Lavine off the court.
Tobias Harris FD - $7400 DK - $7500
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 37.5 DK - 38.78
With Embiid back on Sunday, Harris didn’t see much drop in the way of usage. He still got up 16 shots against the Pacers and knocked down two of his five three-point attempts. It was also encouraging to see the rebounds materialize (he had eight) and he should see a few more minutes and an uptick in shot attempts with Butler off the court. Considering Harris can move between the three and the four, we could see him push upper 30’s run and that would make him an excellent play against the Cavaliers. We also could see more minutes out of Mike Scott (FD $4000 DK $4100) who makes for a solid GPP punt play who could catch fire from three.
Lauri Markkanen FD - $8300 DK - $8200
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 40.43 DK - 43.02
Zach Lavine is going to sit out again on Tuesday, putting Markkanen as the favorite to lead the Bulls in shots against the Lakers. The Bulls’ power forward goes from a 24.7% full season usage rate to a 26.5% when Lavine is off the court. That’s the highest on the team. He’s struggled from the field (37%) and from three (28%) over the last couple of weeks. Those numbers are well below his season rates and it’s also served to keep his price in the upper middle tier. despite taking 15 shots (six threes) per game. Considering the Lakers have almost nothing in the way of defense at this point, I do see Markkanen as a good option for cash games especially if you take a more balanced approach to lineups.
Consider Paul Millsap (FD 6700 DK 6400)
Moritz Wagner FD - $5000 DK - $3300
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 32.3 DK - 33.13
With the Lakers in *shut it down* mode and the season effectively over, Wagner got the start at power forward in Saturday’s loss to the Celtics. He played 34 minutes and was one of the plays of the night with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists. Dude even got up 13 shots and I suspect we continue to see major minutes out of the rookie with the Lakers seeing what they have in the young guys. They are also dealing with injuries to Brandon Ingram (out of season) and Kyle Kuzma. If the latter is back then we will have to lower Wagner some, though I suppose he could stick in the starting lineup at the five.
Ante Zizic FD - $4400 DK - $3700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.05 DK - 26.01
The Cavs are coming off a shocking trouncing of the Raptors on Monday, beating them by 25 points at home. Larry Nance was out and I suspect Kevin Love will sit the second half of the back-to-back on Tuesday. That should once again leave plenty of minutes for Zizic. He played well against Toronto, scoring 17 points and bringing down 12 rebounds in 27 minutes. I suspect they’ll want his size to matchup with Embiid on the inside. There’s some foul trouble and blowout concern in this game for the Cavs’ big man, but Philly hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire of late and I suspect Embiid is still on something of a minutes limit coming back from injury.