FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday 3/15/19
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Elfrid Payton FD - $7600 DK - $6600
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 32.51 DK - 33.02
Frank Jackson FD - $4900 DK - $4900
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 27.11 DK - 28.39
Don’t look now, but there’s some fantasy light at the end of the Pelicans’ abyss of a team. Elfrid Payton has triple-doubled in each of the last two games, averaging 14.5 points, 10.5 assists and 12.5 rebounds while playing major minutes in each. While projecting this kind of production on a nightly basis is tough (he isn’t Westbrook after all) it is encouraging that he’s inhabiting the empty-stats on a bad team role. He’s also playing a lot independent of whether the Pelicans are in the game or not which is also a welcome fantasy sign.
And Jackson is also getting a ton of run and usage as well. He’s played 33 or more minutes in each of the last three games and taken 20, 18 and 18 shots respectively. He’s only 4-21 from three in that stretch and though he’s not a lights out shooter, this is worse than his season average of 30% from downtown. Getting the shots is the key and he’s coming at a mid-tier bargain against a Portland team that doesn’t defend the perimeter all that well. The Pelicans are eight-point home dogs, but the game has the highest total on the slate (235.5).
Reggie Jackson FD - $4800 DK - $4300
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 24.07 DK - 25.4
We might be stacking some cheap Pistons on this slate. They haven’t played many close games over the last couple of weeks, leading to minutes reduction for almost all of their starters in the aggregate. But back when things were “normal” Jackson was hovering around 28-30 minutes a game. Even in some of the blowouts, dude’s been seeing substantial usage with 15, 14 and 18 shots in three of the last four games. Now he’ll get a defensively compromised Lakers team on the second half of a back to back. I think Jackson makes for a possibly highly-owned DraftKings’ play considering the price is trending toward the lower bottom tier.
Bradley Beal FD - $10800 DK - $9500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 53.06 DK - 53.68
The Wizards are on their way to missing the playoffs in the East, but that hasn’t stopped Bradley Beal from making something of a transformation to his game over the last two months or so. Since February 8, Beal is averaging superstar numbers with 28 points, 7.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and two steals per game. He’s playing a ton for sure (38 minutes per) but he’s basically contributing in every meaningful way across the box score. The DraftKings’ price is way too low and I suspect he’s something like a chalk play in this matchup against the Hornets.
Damyean Dotson FD - $5800 DK - $5000
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 27.48 DK - 28.23
While the Knicks are fully in the tank and on their way to having some of the best odds to land Zion Williamson in the draft, they are still playing Dotson a ton of minutes. The rest of the rotations seem to come and go, but the shooting guard is running about 34 minutes a game over the last five and getting up more than 13 shots per in that stretch. It’s good for about 15 points a game and he rebounds the position well enough with six boards per game. The matchup against the Spurs isn’t ideal, but it’s worth noting that the Knicks (even while losing) are actually hanging in games over the last couple of weeks. They are 13 point road dogs in this one, which could spell less run, but that is somewhat built into his price.
Harrison Barnes FD - $5500 DK - $5500
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 27.7 DK - 28.75
Nemanja Bjelica FD - $5200 DK - $4600
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 25.11 DK - 24.84
Small forward on FanDuel has the early looks of a possible dumpster fire of value. It could leave us in a tricky spot with mid-tier value working toward payoffs. The Kings did switch up their starting lineup on Thursday against the Celtics, moving Bogdan Bogdanovic to the bench and starting Bjelica. The latter struggled from the field, going 4-12 and 0-7 from three in 27 minutes. But if he sticks in the lineup (and he might against a longer Philly team) then I think we can take a flyer on the minutes’ upside at a weaker position.
Meanwhile, defensively Harrison Barnes does matchup rather well against this Sixer team and he should see minutes in the upper 30’s if the Kings haven’t completely packed in their playoff hopes at this point. Following the loss on Thursday though, they might. Barnes though has been at 35+ minutes on lock over the last two weeks and had fairly steady fantasy production in that time. He’s averaging 17 points and seven rebounds with the occasional assist thrown in there as well. I like him as a FanDuel pick a bit more considering we have to play two SFs there and I think there is some case to stack these guys together.
After these two guys, the picking get even thinner at this position (and the above two aren’t all that great to begin with). If you thought Miles Bridges (FD $3700 DK $3600) played mid-to-upper 30’s minutes then I could make a case for him, but his run has been variable to say the least and the Hornets are getting healthier at the wings.
And finally, there’s Jeff Green (FD $4500 DK $4300) who stills sees minutes as a starter for the Wizards, but can come and go with the production.
Blake Griffin FD - $8100 DK - $7700
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 44.47 DK - 46.54
I doubt any other content/ projections outfit has committed more words to Blake Griffin right before he’s been terrible. I get that this isn’t like a mark in our favor, but please hear me out on this one. The last five games have been a real struggle for Griffin but for a variety of reasons. There have been two straight blowouts in a row where his minutes we greatly decreased. He also had an in-game injury against the Bulls and was also kicked out of the other Chicago game. It’s all led to a massive price decrease, especially on DraftKings and now the Pistons enter a game they really want to win to start locking up the playoffs against the Lakers who are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and are playing on a back-to-back. Lord help me, we’re going back to the Blake-well here.
Marvin Williams FD - $5600 DK - $4600
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 28.06 DK - 28.14
I hate to use one game as an example of why we should play a guy, but f@#$ it, I’ll do it here because it helps my case for Marvin. Two games ago he had his best game of the season against these very same Wizards when he dropped 30 points and seven rebounds on 10-16 from the field (7-10 from three). Our system doesn’t *see* that game really as the reason Williams is a cash game play, but rather that Washington has struggled all season long on defense (27th in defensive efficiency) and this games as a 232 over/under with a thin spread. At a thinner power forward position, this is a good spot to play Williams even though he’s coming back from a missed game due to illness. And for what it’s worth, I think you can consider Frank Kaminsky (FD $4200 DK $4500) right along with him.
Andre Drummond FD - $10000 DK - $8800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 53.91 DK - 53.66
As far as our system is concerned, a Blake Griffin writeup usually means a Drummond missive isn’t too far behind. Besides the blowouts, Drummond hasn’t had anything close to the wonkiness in the game logs we’ve seen from Blake. In fact, except for the Miami disaster, this guy’s been one of the best fantasy contributors around over the last couple of months. Since coming back from the concussion in late January, Drummond is averaging 20 points, 15 rebounds and 3.5 blocks/steals combined. Now he’ll face a Lakers team allowing 10% more scoring and 12% more rebounding than league average to opposing centers. This is close to a dream matchup and we should see major minutes out of Drummond once again.
Guillermo Hernangomez FD - $3600 DK - $3200
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 28.61 DK - 30.79 Wily H. got the start for Cody Zeller on Monday against the Rockets and was largely ineffective in his 24 minutes. He shot the ball only three times and finished with two points, six rebound and four assists. Let’s hope that sticks in people’s minds because I’m fine going right back to the well at these near-minimum prices if he’s back in the starting lineup on Friday. He’d get a much easier matchup against a Wizards’ team starting Bobby Portis at the five and in similar amount of run should have almost no issue hitting value. I mean it’s worth noting that when it was all said and done against the Rockets, he did finish with more than 19 FanDuel points, good for more than 5x points per dollar. And that kind of production feels like the low end of expectations.