Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday 3/19/19

Well, this Wednesday already has given us a ton of injury news (and there could be more to come). At the time of this post Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid and Lebron James have already been ruled out. Even one of those guys sitting would open up a slate's worth of value. And now we have at least three superstars sitting.  

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Point Guard

Ben SimmonsBen Simmons FD - $9400 DK - $8500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 49.92 DK - 51.41

We have a decent comp for what fantasy life is like for the Sixers when Joel Embiid isn’t around considering he had an eight-game stretch missed right after the All-Star Break. During that time, Simmons took the reins, averaging 37 minutes, 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists per game. Combine that kind of outlook with the price dropping over the last week because Embiid returned to the mix. We have a perfect combination of circumstances leading us into Simmons as a cash play against the Hornets.

  There is just a ton of point guard value opening up here with injury news coming in during the day.  

Eric Bledsoe (FD 7400 DK 6400) is now in a fantastic spot with Giannis being ruled out against the Lakers. Bledsoe has a 27% usage rate with Giannis off the court this season. The former did struggle back on 2/25 when Giannis sat, playing only 26 minutes, but I think he’d still be in line for much more on Tuesday.

Similarly, Rajon Rondo (FD 6500 DK 6000) should be in line for a ton of run with Lebron James ruled out. The latter sat out last Friday and Rondo played 37 minutes, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie (FD 5800 DK 6000) also makes for an interesting cash game play even coming off the bench for the Nets. With Allen Crabbe out of the mix, Dinwiddie did play 33 minutes. He was horrible from the field, shooting 2-16 and coming in under value. You have to love the usage rate though and I’d go back to the well.


Shooting Guard

D'Angelo RussellD'Angelo Russell FD - $8100 DK - $7400
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 38.9 DK - 40.9
  Caris LevertCaris Levert FD - $5200 DK - $4900
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 31.59 DK - 31.99 
A few tough losses in a row has the Nets’ playoff hopes just a tad in doubt at this point. They are still two losses up in the standings but that’s nothing close to a lock. So I think we can aggressively project the starter’s minutes and that should mean solid run for both Russell and Levert. The former has seen the usage spike in the short term, getting up 25 shots in each of the last two games. In fact, he’s chucked up 20+ shots in four of the last eight games. He’s an incredibly volatile fantasy play and has the highest DraftKings coefficient of variation (.33) of anyone in his average points per game tier. When he has it, he has it. When he doesn’t? Oof. Some of that has to do with the variable minutes for sure, and I’m less concerned about that in the short term. But just understand that he’s anything but safe.  

And then there’s Levert who entered the starting lineup for Crabbe on Sunday. He played 32 minutes and got up 15 shots against the Clippers, finishing with 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds. This is an even better matchup against the Kings who run the second-fastest pace in the league (106.1) and play below average defense. This has all the trapping of an up and down game. Levert’s price didn’t move much game over game and he makes a great way to stack the Nets on this slate.  

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $8600 DK - $7100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 46.01 DK - 45.11 I doubt anyone on the Sixers wants Joel Embiid to be off the court as much as Jimmy Butler, at least from a usage perspective. With Embiid on the court this season, Butler has a paltry 18.4% usage rate that jumps to 29.4% when Embiid isn’t around. The assists and rebounds spike as well and Jimmy makes for a great cash game play, especially on DraftKings where he’s coming very cheap. The $7100 price tag is a borderline joke and I suspect he’s one of the highest-owned plays on that site for Tuesday.  

And finally, keep an eye on the Houston Rockets’ situation. They are on the front of a back-to-back and will have four games total in six days. This is an ideal spot to rest someone against the Hawks.  

Small Forward

Khris MiddletonKhris Middleton FD - $7700 DK - $6700
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 38.51 DK - 40.02 Sometimes it pays to right these articles just a little bit later than normal. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for the Bucks, opening up, well basically, everything for Milwaukee in this matchup against the Lakers. Few teams see as drastic a shift in allocated fantasy stats when Giannis is off the court. Considering he does just about everything for the team, there are shots, rebounds and assists to go around. Middleton goes from a full-season 24% usage rate to 32% with Giannis off the court, and the rebounds tick up about 13% as well. There’s other value available on this slate, which is about the only reason Middleton isn’t a must play in this situation, but he stands to be very popular on both sites.

  DeMarre CarrollDeMarre Carroll FD - $4100 DK - $4300
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 23.52 DK - 24.77 Carroll didn’t start on Sunday, but saw a major increase in minutes with Crabbe out. The former ran 33 minutes off the bench and was the value play of the late Sunday slate with 22 points and seven rebounds. The price climbs some slate-over-slate but not enough to put him out of the cash game range if these are going to be his minutes with the Nets short on wings. He could very well be major chalk again on here against the Kings.


Power Forward

Kyle KuzmaKyle Kuzma FD - $6500 DK - $5900
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 38.36 DK - 39.82
Kuzma should be in line for an uptick of both minutes and usage with Lebron James off the court on Tuesday. The sophomore power forward jumps up about 5% in usage rate, and 3% in rebounding when the Lakers are playing shorthanded. And the minutes should be there as well. He played 38 on Saturday against the Pistons and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds on 5-14 shooting. While the looks are better with Lebron around, it doesn’t stand to reason Kuzma will go 0-4 again on defense. Plus, the Bucks get markedly worse on defense with Giannis off the court. Kuzma will likely be a popular play at power forward, especially on FanDuel.  

After Kuzma, like some of the other positions, we might need to take a wait and see approach on where to lock down some of the value plays.  

Ersan Ilyasova (FD 3500 DK 3300) drew the start for Giannis last time the latter missed a game, playing 24 minutes finishing with 10 points and six rebounds. But that was before Nikola Mirotic was fully in the fold (the latter played 23). We might need to wait to see how the Bucks handle the starting lineup here.  

Draymond Green (FD 6600 DK 6300) is interesting with Demarcus Cousins still out. That being said, I’m a little skeptical of what kind of minutes the Warriors want to run on the second half of the back-to-back after losing to the Spurs on Monday.

  And if you are looking to just punt the position away, Ed Davis (FD 3900 DK 3500) isn’t a terrible option on FanDuel.



Boban MarjanovicBoban Marjanovic FD - $6800 DK - $4100
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 28.38 DK - 28.43
When Joel Embiid last sat it was unfortunate that Boban was actually hurt as well. It deprived us a chance to roster the greatest big man the world has ever seen. But we are right back at it on Tuesday with Boban likely drawing the start against the Hornets and coming very cheap on DraftKings. The FanDuel price is a bit much, but he’s coming as almost a punt play on DK. Obviously, this dude can do crazy damage if just given the minutes. On the season, per 25 minutes of playing time, he’s averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and more than a block and steal. Pushing up against this kind of run (which he’s done a couple of times in the short term) would make him an easy cash game play on DraftKings.

  Willie Cauley-SteinWillie Cauley-Stein FD - $5900 DK - $5300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 32.62 DK - 31.83
The Nets still rate as the best matchup (fantasy-wise) for opposing centers this season. Their lack of size, plus pace of play make them ideal to roster big men against. Even with Marvin Bagley back, WCS still sees 29-30 minutes in close games and is averaging close to a double-double over the last five. He’s make for a price pivot on FanDuel if you didn’t want to pay up at the position.



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