Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA picks for 3/30/18
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There are a ton of injuries in every slate but this one is absolutely fascinating. The laundry list of studs who are expected to sit Saturday is amazing. In fact, we're expected to be without Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter, Kris Dunn. That doesn't even include players like Al Horford, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard, who could all be rested in the second half of a back-to-back set. That's why keeping an eye on injury news will be critical in this slate and it'll be fascinating to see what sort of value opens up come lineup lock time.
Dragic has dealt with injuries all season long and it's kept his price extremely affordable. His most recent game showed the sort of upside he presents, as he collected 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists across a season-high 38 minutes en route to 62 DK points. That's easily his best performance of the season and Miami will need to continue to ride Dragic with their playoff hopes hanging on a thread. What really adds to his intrigue here is this superb matchup, as he faces a Knicks defense who ranks 28th in defensive efficiency while allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing PGs.
With Kawhi Leonard ruled out for this game, VanVleet should make yet another start. In 26 starts this season, VanVleet is averaging more than 30 fantasy points per game. It's easy to understand why, with VanVleet posting a 20 percent usage rate with Leonard off the floor. He's also playing more than 30 minutes a game in these circumstances and should be priced closer to $7,000 in this expanded role. The matchup is the icing on the cake though, with Chicago ranking dead-last in defensive efficiency.
Shaquille Harrison continues to play big minutes with all the injuries in Chicago and remains a good value in the $5,000-range.
When Joel Embiid is sidelined, Butler is always worth a look. In fact, Butler is leading the team with a 27 percent usage rate with Embiid off the floor while averaging 1.2 DK points per minute. In the last 11 games without Embiid, Butler is averaging 40 fantasy points per game. That alone makes him an attractive option but the revenge narrative is hard to overlook too. This is actually Butler's first game in Minnesota since trying to single-handedly destroy their franchise and he should surely play with some fire in this tasty matchup. It also doesn't hut that Minnesota allows the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season.
Wayne Selden FD - $5000 DK - $5000
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 26.35 DK - 27.47
Antonio Blakeney FD - $4000 DK - $4100
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 24.08 DK - 24.83
With Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen all expected to miss this game, the Bulls should put out this G-League lineup once again. While it looks ugly on the surface, this actually gives us some great value for DFS purposes. In fact, all these cheap players see huge minute boosts in these circumstances and it allows us to get more studs into our lineup. Let's start with Blakeney, as the 22-year-old is averaging 20 DK points per game across his last three outings. Selden is right there too, averaging 31.4 DK points per game across his last two starts. Those are monster numbers from players in this price range and they should continue to see huge minutes and increased roles for this diminished roster.
J.J. Redick FD - $5200 DK - $5500
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 30.41 DK - 32.51
Redick is one of the highest per-dollar projections on this slate, as he continues to be undervalued on FanDuel. In fact, Redick is averaging 26 fantasy points per game, which alone is 5X value. He should be asked to take on a much bigger load here too, with Embiid's 35 percent usage rate and 20 shots out of the lineup. With Embiid sidelined, Redick is one of the team leaders with a 24 percent usage rate and could see close to 20 shots in this circumstance. Facing Minnesota is a treat too, as they rank 23rd in defensive efficiency.
Harrison Barnes FD - $5200 DK - $5400
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 25.18 DK - 26.34
Barnes doesn't necessarily have a huge upside but he's too good to be priced this cheaply. Over his last 15 games, Barnes is averaging 26.7 DK points per game across 35 minutes of action. That's all you can ask for from someone in this price range, as he could be asked to play even more with Nemanja Bjelica and Harry Giles potentially missing this game. Houston is not a team to fear either, as they currently rank 19th in defensive efficiency.
Bruno Caboclo is playing close to 35 minutes per game right now and remains a great value in this price range.
Pascal Siakam FD - $8000 DK - $7900
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 41.42 DK - 41.37
Siakam is always a good play but he's nearly impossible to fade when Leonard sits out. In fact, Siakam is averaging 1.2 DK points per minute with Leonard off the floor. His numbers have been even better recently, with Siakam scoring at least 34 DK points in the last seven games without Leonard while averaging 45 fantasy points per game in that span. That's ridiculous production from someone in this price range and he should continue that dominance against a Bulls defense who allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season. That's evident by the fact that Siakam is averaging 32 DK points per game in three meetings with Chicago this season, despite playing fewer than 28 minutes per game.
Tobias Harris FD - $7000 DK - $6900
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 38.13 DK - 39.37
Harris is another huge part of our Philly stack and he very well might be the best value. A recent slump has lowered his price to this enticing number but he should return to his dominant form with Embiid missing this game. In the last nine games without Embiid, Harris is averaging 39 DK points per outing. That's actually above our lofty projection, as he's easily one of the best bets to surpass 5X value on this slate. The matchup is hard to overlook too, with the T'Wolves allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing PF's this season.
Kevin Love continues to produce and should abuse a Clippers defense who allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $11400 DK - $10400
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 60.78 DK - 62.87
Towns has been the best player in fantasy since the all-star break and he should absolutely abuse a defense without Embiid. In fact, Philly already allows the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing centers with Embiid, and that statistic will obviously be worse without him. Their defense all-around is poor too, with the Sixers ranking 18th in points allowed. Towns recent production speaks for itself, averaging 54 DK points per game across his last 28 outings. His upside has been ridiculous too, with Towns scoring at least 67 fantasy points six times in his last 14 games.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $8500 DK - $8000
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 46.15 DK - 47.49
Many people looked at the Marc Gasol trade and assumed that Toronto obliterated that deal but Valanciunas is showing that Memphis may have won out. In fact, Valanciunas has at least 36 fantasy points in eight of his last nine games while averaging 48 DK points per game across his last six fixtures. With Noah already ruled out, he will almosot certainly benefit as well. That's absurd production and it should continue against a Suns team who ranks 29th in total defense while allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Enes Kanter remains too cheap, as he has huge upside with Jusuf Nurkic sidelined. I know it hasn't played out this way in the last two games, but that was largely due to some crazy game scripts. If the game stays close, look for him to go off.