Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Thursday 3/5/20
After a big nine game slate on Wednesday, things have calmed down with a little four gamer for Thursday. While Wednesday's slate was categorized by an over-abundance of cheap value on Boston and Cleveland, Thursday is sort of the opposite. While the plays might not be as obvious, there still should be plenty of ways to get an edge, so let's take a look.
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Kyle Lowry FD - $7300 DK - $8600
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 42.67 DK - 44.14
The question of the night, as it has been ever since Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka have been sidelined, is whether the Raptors will still be shorthanded. If they are you can expect to see nearly unanimous ownership on Lowry and the other pieces in what is by far the best match-up on the slate in Golden State. On FanDuel Lowry's price is so negligent that you'll play him without a second thought regardless of the status of the other guys. You can't convince me that whoever maintains FD's pricing algorithm isn't on vacation right now.
Shake Milton FD - $5400 DK - $6500
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 31.32 DK - 32.34
With Simmons and Embiid out indefinitely and Josh Richardson still in the concussion protocol, there are still plenty of minutes and shots to go around in Philadelphia. While some of the other pieces are getting expensive, there is some chance that Milton is just a flat out bargain right now. Yes, he was less than spectacular against the Lakers, but try not to forget that he was absolutely stunning in a similarly bad match-up in the game prior against the Clips. We may have been spoiled by him topping 50 fantasy points in that one, but I think the prior games of 30+ fantasy points are pretty likely here. On a short slate, I'll happily jam him in there against the second worst defense on the slate in Sacramento.
Norman Powell FD - $5500 DK - $6600
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 34.56 DK - 34.93
Powell's viability is totally dependent on Fred VanVleet's status. If FVV is out, you just play Powell and count on 35-40 minutes and the 34 fantasy points he's averaged in his last three games. If FVV is back, you have to cross Powell off. As of right now it looks like Powell's role will remain constant, though, and shooting guard is shallow enough here that you'd better hope so.
Cody Martin FD - $4300 DK - $4500
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 25.85 DK - 25.87
Gary Harris FD - $4400 DK - $4400
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 22.95 DK - 22.73
Damion Lee FD - $5400 DK - $5700
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 26.52 DK - 26.95
These plays all seem identical to me, as cheap options with significant question marks. Martin is coming off his best game yet, where he started, played 34 minutes, and cobbled together 27 fantasy points. That level of opportunity wasn't common, though, and I don't know that you can count on it, especially if Devonte Graham comes back. Harris is in a similar spot - coming off of a good game after weeks and weeks of severe mediocrity. He gets bonus points here for having a good match-up.
Lee has arguably been the best performer of this group, but he gets by far the worst match-up against the Raptors. Not only are the Raps a stout defense, but the Warriors also have significant blowout risk here. Shooting guard looks sort of like a crap shoot to me tonight, and when that's the case I'm looking to escape the position cheaply.
Also considered: Harden, of course. He was pretty well bottled up in the Rockets' last meeting with the Clips, but if you're looking for a pay up option the raw volume might be attractive.
Pascal Siakam FD - $8500 DK - $9100
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 45.09 DK - 45.78
OG Anunoby FD - $5800 DK - $6400
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 31.29 DK - 30.45
Siakam is among the easiest plays of the night if the Raptors are short handed, and is playable even if they are at full strength. Anunoby is certainly dependent upon there being injury considerations, but the man is averaging 49 FanDuel points a game over his last three on a 37-40 minute rotation. The big fly in the ointment for any Raptors stack tonight is the potential blowout, of course, but on a four game slate it seems like fading them would just be scared money.
Tobias Harris FD - $7100 DK - $7900
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 35.27 DK - 36.12
You're likely sensing a theme by now, and that theme isn't going to stop here. Harris has shown flashes of his days in LA recently, trying to carry this Philly offense in the absence of the super stars. In his last three games he's put exactly 60 shots in the air, and when you throw in the other contributions he can make he's just not a $7,100 player. Leave it to FanDuel to be asleep at the wheel once again, leaving us a little extra value on a short slate.
Kawhi Leonard FD - $9200 DK - $9300
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 52.26 DK - 52.54
Kawhi winds up being pretty underrated for DFS purposes because of his crazy rest schedule, which manifests itself in him not only missing entire games but leaving games early at the first whiff of a blowout. The Clips don't tend to mess around in these potential playoff preview games, though, and giving Kawhi anything like the upper end of his rotation means he's a steal in the low $9,000s. He's averaging 48.1 FanDuel points a game this season, and virtually guaranteeing his minutes in a huge pace up game against the Rockets should be fantastic for him.
Al Horford FD - $6300 DK - $7000
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 33.61 DK - 33.58
If there has been one beneficiary of the slew of injuries in Philly, it's been Tobias Harris. If there are two, the second is Al Horford. Yes, he's been locked into 33-34 minute rotations once again. Yes, Embiid's absence has meant he can spend more time near the basket and gather more rebounds. But perhaps most interesting of all are his assist numbers. Horford has always been a great passer, but on a team of ball dominant players he hasn't gotten to flex it much this year. With 28 assists over his last five games they are trusting him with the ball more, and it's been great for his fantasy value. Don't overthink this one as well, because Horford will see nearly unanimous ownership.
The great center break down! It seems like this happens every time we have a four game slate, but as usual there are some real questions around the center position on FanDuel. Let's just go game by game for a hot minute.
Denver at Charlotte: Biyombo went from DFS staple to DNP-CD, and Zeller hasn't really benefited much even with Biyombo sitting. Our system rates Jokic as pretty mediocre, but at least he is going to play his minutes, and this is a good match-up. I'd really rather spend up elsewhere, but you might just have to once you see these other options.
The Clippers at Houston: Houston notoriously doesn't field this position, either in DFS or in real life. The Clippers have Harrell, but he has been relegated to 20-28 minute rotations, and you can't imagine that will rise against the under-sized Rockets. This game looks like a pass.
Philadelphia at Sacramento: With Embiid out, neither team fields the position.
Toronto at Golden State: Chriss' minutes have been inconsistent, but the performance hasn't. Throw in a terrible match-up with Toronto, and I'd really rather not. Toronto has Chris Boucher, who went from playing 24 minutes and scoring 14.3 FanDuel points over two games to exploding for 45 fantasy points in 28 minutes against the Suns. Don't ask me what you're supposed to do with him here, though the big tournament upside is obvious.
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