FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA picks for 3/23/18
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Simmons hasn't quite been the same player with Joel Embiid in the lineup but it has lowered his price to these tempting numbers. Even with that in mind, Simmons is still averaging 47 fantasy points per game across his last two fixtures and he's still a threat for a triple-double every time he takes the floor. What really makes Simmons an intriguing option here is the matchup, with Atlanta ranking first in pace and dead-last in total defense. In addition, they allow the most fantasy points in the league to opposing point guards. It also doesn't hurt that Simmons is averaging 59.5 DK points per game in two games against them this season.
Jones has taken over starting point guard duties in the absence of Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague and it's done wonders for his fantasy value. In 13 starts this season, Jones is averaging 30 DraftKings points per game. The minutes are hard to overlook too, with Jones playing at least 27 minutes in five-straight starts while averaging close to 31 minutes per game. That's approaching 6X value in its own right and he should have success against a Memphis backcourt without Mike Conley.
Quinn Cook should start and see about 20-25 minutes in the absence of Stephen Curry, which makes him a value at this price. Shaq Harrison has also been much better recently and remains a great value in the $4,000-range.
It's hard to fade Beal right now, as he's become one of the most consistent players in fantasy basketball. Where that's really evident is in his floor, with Beal scoring at least 46 DK points in 18 of his last 20 games while averaging 52 fantasy points per game in that span. That's the production of a player who should be closer to $11,000. It's easy to understand why he's been so dominant when looking at his usage. Since John Wall went down, Beal is leading the team with 39 minutes and 21 shots per game while posting a usage rate north of 30 percent. He's also running the offense, and leading the team in assists since he took over the primary ball handling duties from Satoransky. That's all you can ask for from a player who dropped 54 DK points in his last game against Miami.
Jimmy Butler FD - $8400 DK - $7100
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.98 DK - 42.38
Butler has really found his rhythm recently and it's clear that he's becoming a much bigger part of this offense. In fact, Butler has at least 27 fantasy points per game in 11-straight outings while averaging 38.5 DK points per game in that span. He's been even better recently, scoring at least 45 fantasy points in three of his last four games. That increase in production is even more intriguing in this matchup, with Atlanta allowing the most fantasy pointsin the league to opposing shooting guards this season. For what it's worth, Butler dropped 46.5 DK points in his one game against the Hawks earlier this year.
Don't forget about:
The Memphis shooting guards who pop up highly on our projection system. Delon Wright and Tyler Dorsey saw big ownership and phenomenal performance last night, and everyone on on the Grizzlies is seeing extended minutes in the absence of Mike Conley.
Kevin Durant FD - $9600 DK - $9100
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 49.59 DK - 50.63
With Curry expected to miss this game, Durant should be in full-on takeover mode. When Curry is sidelined, Durant leads this team with a 39.5 percent usage rate while averaging 1.6 DK points per minute. That's monster production and it looks even better when you consider this price. Durant was typically an $11,000 player in his time with OKC and that's the sort of player we expect to see here with this expanded role. Durant has had success against the Mavericks this season too, averaging 50.1 DK points in three outings against them. That's no surprise when you consider the fact that Dallas allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing SF's this season.
Miles Bridges FD - $4900 DK - $4000
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 21.15 DK - 20.88
Bridges has been spectacular the last two games and it's not indicative of his price. In fact, Bridges is averaging 33 DK points per game in that span while averaging 30 minutes a game. That's unbelievable production from a player in the $4,000-$5,000 range, as he's currently hitting 8X value. The matchup against Boston is obviously tough but it's hard to fade any player who has 8X upside. If Nicolas Batum is brought off the bench again, that only adds to Bridges already sky-high value, as Bridges will play at least 30 minutes with Charlotte battling for a playoff spot.
Bobby Portis FD - $5700 DK - $5800
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 37.75 DK - 40.38
Portis is simply too cheap for someone with 50-point upside. What's concerning about Portis is his minutes but the fact that he played at least 36 minutes in back-to-back games shows that the Wizards are willing to ride him. One major reason why is because Trevor Ariza is expected to miss this game. That should make Portis a near guarantee for 30 minutes of action, as he's a great bet to reach 7X value if he plays 36 minutes yet again. Portis averages about 1.2 DK points per minute with this current roster and that's why his projection is close to 40 fantasy points at this tempting price tag.
Daniel Theis FD - $3500 DK - $1600
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 32.46 DK - 31.96
With Al Horford and Aron Baynes sitting this game out, Theis is one of the best values on the board. His per-minute production speaks for itself, with Theis averaging 14 DK points per game across 13.8 minutes of action. That means he's always worth a bet as long as he plays 20 minutes and that should be the floor here with Horford sidelined. In games where Theis has played at least 19 minutes, he's averaging more than 25 fantasy points per game. If he reaches that total here, Theis will provide an unheard-of 15X value on DraftKings early slate and 8X value on FanDuel. Charlotte's not a team we need to fade either, as they sit 22nd in defensive efficiency.
Josh Jackson pops up high on our projections, as he gets to face a Kings defense who sits second in pace and 25th in total defense.
Joel Embiid FD - $12100 DK - $10700
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 57.53 DK - 59.16
Embiid is the final piece of our Philly stack, as he's easily the best option on the board. What's amazing about Embiid is his floor, scoring at least 49 DK points in 19 of his last 20 games while averaging 56.7 fantasy points per game in that span. His last two games have been downright monstrous, with Embiid scoring at least 75 DK points in back-to-back games. That absurd form looks even better when you consider this matchup, with the Hawks playing at the fastest pace in the league while ranking 30th in points allowed to opposing centers. It's rare to say this, but Embiid appears to have a 60-point floor in this game as long as it stays competitive.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $7800 DK - $6800
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 44.8 DK - 46.24
Valanciunas has been a beast since joining the Grizzlies and he should continue that form here. His performance on Friday is really hard to overlook, with Valanciunas collecting 23 points, 24 rebounds, three assists and four blocks. That's nearly 70 fantasy points and that shows just how special he's been for the Grizzlies. In 14 games with Memphis, Valanciunas has at least 30 DK points in 12 of those outings while averaging close to 40 fantasy points per game. That dominant form is particularly enticing in this matchup, with Minnesota ranking 22nd in defensive efficiency. He did play a lot of minutes in the overtime game last night, but with Memphis' current skeleton crew he should be in line for significant minutes again tonight.
Willie Cauley-Stein is coming off a career-best 18 rebounds in his most recent game and gets a spectacular matchup against a terrible Suns defense.