Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

03/18/2019
Doug Norrie

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Monday 3/18/19

 

This is shaping up to be a crazy day leading into lineup lock with all of the injury news. Between players resting, injuries, suspensions and more, we could be looking at some true craziness. Take that in mind with this initial writeup. I’ll try to wade through a lot of the scenarios.

 
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Point Guard

Jeremy LinJeremy Lin FD - $3600 DK - $4100
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 20.34 DK - 20.82
I know this probably isn’t the name some people want to see because of his recent performance, but there’s very good reason to suspect Lin plays a ton of minutes in this game. Kyle Lowry was ruled out very early from Sunday’s game and might not be all that close to a return. Kawhi Leonard is probably going to sit out on the back-to-back and Fred VanVleet played limited minutes after an extended injury absence. It’s unlikely he plays in this game. That could just leave Lin to pick up a ton of backcourt minutes in a game Toronto probably isn’t dying to win against New York. Maybe if they had beaten Detroit and pulled within two games of the Bucks, but three games back at this point probably just means they’re locked into the two seed. Keep an ear out for this news as Toronto’s remaining players could shape the slate.
 

Damian LillardDamian Lillard FD - $10000 DK - $9000
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 45.07 DK - 46.49
C.J. McCollum has already been ruled out for this game meaning we should get a ton of Lillard usage and minutes. With Portland in a dogfight for the fourth seed in the Western Conference (and home court in the first round) this is very much a spot to pay up for Dame. He goes from a full-season 29.6% usage rate to a 41% when C.J. is off the court. That’s about as big a bump as you’ll see in the league from one situation to the other. Lillard is getting a little expensive considering he’s been healthy and productive basically all season, but he’s very much in play, especially on DraftKings.
 

If Tyler Johnson is out again, then I think we could consider De'Anthony Melton (FD 3800 DK 3500).
 

Additionally, if Dennis Smith Jr. sits, then Emmanuel Mudiay (FD 4900 DK 4800) would be in line for major minutes once again.
 


 

Shooting Guard

Dennis SchroderDennis Schroder FD - $6000 DK - $5100
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 37.09 DK - 38.8
Russell Westbrook picked up his 16th technical foul of the season on Saturday and will now have to sit out Monday’s game against the Heat. That leaves the door open for Dennis Schroder to join the starting lineup and play a ton of minutes for the Thunder. Westbrook missed an eight-game stretch back in November and during that time Schroder played 34 minutes a game and averaged 19 points, six assists and six rebounds. It actually wasn’t an overwhelming fantasy stretch for him considering the opportunity, but he’s still very much a cash game play here on Monday with Westbrook out. He sees about a 15% usage bump with Russ off the court, though interestingly enough the rebounds and assists actually dip down a tad. Regardless, I suspect we see Schroder as a chalk play on this slate.
 
The rest of shooting guard, especially on FanDuel is going to be something of a wait-and-see approach. If Stephen Curry sat because of rest (only speculation right now, the Warriors have a crazy five-games-in-seven-nights week) then Klay Thompson (FD 8400 DK 7600) would be in the mix.
 
Additionally, Tim Hardaway Jr. (FD 5200 DK 5200) would look like a value play if Luka Doncic were to sit again.
 
And finally, Devin Booker (FD 9800 DK 8500) would look real good on DraftKings if Tyler Johnson sat again.

 

Small Forward

Paul GeorgePaul George FD - $11200 DK - $9700
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 51.19 DK - 52.24
Much like Schroder, there’s the easiest case in the world to play Paul George on Monday. He picks up about 5% more usage and 6% more rebounding with Westbrook off the court. During that aforementioned stretch when Westbrook sat, George played more than 36 minutes a game and put up 26 points and 10 rebounds. Admittedly though, that was a bit before PG took something of a leap with his production, so I expect even healthier fantasy lines this time around. For starters, the 20 shots per game he took stand to increase considering he’s putting that up of late even with Westbrook playing max minutes. Expect to see George as the highest-owned big money player on Monday.
 
Kelly Oubre Jr.Kelly Oubre Jr. FD - $6900 DK - $6500
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 37.89 DK - 37.36
You’ve got to hand it to the Suns, they’ve played tough over the last couple of weeks. They beat the Warriors and Bucks and hung tough with the Rockets and Blazers. In fact, they’re 6-4 in their last ten. Not bad for a team that really should be in full tank mode. Oubre’s been one of the catalysts, and in the last four games is averaging 24 points, five rebounds and 2.5 steals. He’s playing consistent minutes and it stands to reason he’d see just a tick more run if Tyler Johnson sat out again. The Suns draw a great matchup against a defensively deficient Bulls’ team as well.

 

Power Forward

Pascal SiakamPascal Siakam FD - $8300 DK - $6800
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 43.8 DK - 43.8
It sure looks like Kawhi Leonard will sit this second half of the back-to-back on Monday considering he hasn’t played single b2b this season. That should leave a lot of opportunity for Siakam who, also without Serge Ibaka, stands to see greatly increased usage and rebounding opportunities. He’s coming off a big-time struggle against the Pistons on Sunday, but the DraftKings’ price is tough to ignore and he’s right in that middle-tier of value that’s so important when rounding out lineups. It might be a little expensive on FanDuel considering some of the other pay-up options around.
 
Dwight PowellDwight Powell FD - $6600 DK - $6200
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 37.44 DK - 37.07

Maximilian KleberMaximilian Kleber FD - $5200 DK - $4800
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 24.39 DK - 23.55
Power forward is once again pretty weak on FanDuel (after Siakam) and we might need to roll with one (or two) of these upper middle tier plays. Powell remains in the starting lineup and has played 32 or more minutes in six of the last eight games. In that stretch he’s averaging 17 points and seven rebounds while pitching in some blocks and steals here and there. New Orleans ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency this season and has had trouble defending the interior (even with Anthony Davis around).
 
Meanwhile, Kleber continues coming off the bench, but the minutes have been consistent over the last four. He’s played 31, 34, 29 and 25 with three double-doubles in this four games. I like the savings you get going from Powell to him, though there’s of course more risk involved because the bench role always has more variance around the minutes.
 
Strongly consider Blake Griffin (FD 8500 DK 7200) but there’s some concern he rests at least some time this week. It might be on Monday against a weak Cavs’ team, though the Pistons also might just try to pocket the win here.

 

Center

Deandre AytonDeandre Ayton FD - $7500 DK - $6600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 39.32 DK - 40.37
DeAndre Ayton’s had some up and down performances of late. He got ejected early against the Pelicans, missing an OT game in which the Suns put up 138. But that was a game removed from dropping a 17 points, 14 rebound line on the Rockets. The Suns went through a rough patch of opponents (before the Pelicans) but will now get the Bulls who are among the worst in the league at defending opposing centers.
 
After Ayton, there isn’t a ton to like about center on FanDuel. I don’t mind Steven Adams (FD 6400 DK 5500) with Westbrook out. The big guy does get small usage and rebounding bumps with Westbrook off the court.
 
I could also see playing Marc Gasol (FD 7000 DK 6200) though he’s coming off a 37 minute game on Sunday and I’d be kind of shocked if the Raptors pushed him here.

 

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