Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 3/17/21
If this first week of the second half is any indicator of what's to come, we're in for a crazy final three months. The good news is that we haven't had any COVID breakouts recently, and that makes our jobs a little easier. We do have a ton of close games expected on this slate, though, and that's a pleasant surprise with so many blowouts seemingly every night. There's a lot to discuss, so let's go ahead and get into it!
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Wright has been a favorite of mine all season long, and it's peculiar to see him remain below $6,000. We say that because he averaged 32 DraftKings points per game in the 21 games before getting injured. We'd understand the price drop if he was struggling, but he has at least 30 fantasy points in two of his three games since returning. That's really all you can hope for from a sub-$6K player, and he's going to do more ball-handling than ever with Blake Griffin in Brooklyn and Dennis Smith Jr sidelined. The matchup with Toronto isn't too bad either, with the Raptors ranked 17th in defensive efficiency while surrendering a triple-double to DSJ in Detroit's last matchup with Toronto.
Strangely, Chicago has benched youngsters like Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr, but two wins with this new lineup is certainly an encouraging sign. The biggest bump went to Sato here, starting at PG for Chicago. He actually averaged 25 fantasy points per game in that role last season and has collected 23 points, eight rebounds, 14 assists, four steals, and two blocks combined in his first two games in this role. That means he's scored at least 30 fantasy points in both of those, which is truly absurd from a player below $4,000. The matchup isn't terrible either, with San Antonio owning a 27th OPRK against opposing PGs this year.
Derrick White has at least 40 fantasy points in two of his last five games and has some serious upside around $5K.
Beal has hovered around five figures all season long, and we have to love him in this price range in this sort of matchup. Let's start by talking about his opposition, with Sacramento owning the NBA's worst defensive rating. That looks even better when you see that they surrender the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards. We love that for a beast like this, with Beal averaging 49 DraftKings points per game, scoring at least 38 fantasy points in all but two games this season. He's crushing it recently, too, scoring at least 54 fantasy points in eight of his last 15 games.
Caris Levert FD - $4400 DK - $6800
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 32.67 DK - 33.45
This is one of those cases where LeVert is a fade on one site and a lock on the other. You can already tell which by the pricing, with Caris being one of the best values of the day on FanDuel. This $4,400 price tag is ridiculous, and it's clear why DraftKings has him closer to $7K. We're talking about a guy who's averaging 35 DK points per game for the season and has played at least 27 minutes in the two games since his return. While his fantasy production has been lacking, all you need is 25 fantasy points from him on FanDuel to reach value, and that seems like the floor. The matchup only adds to his intrigue, with Brooklyn sitting 25th in defensive efficiency and it being a revenge game for LeVert.
Andrew Wiggins has been struggling, but he's too good to be sitting around $5,500 on both sites.
Kevin Porter Jr. FD - $6300 DK - $6800
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 40.97 DK - 41.46
Everyone knew that Porter is a talented player, and he's really getting an opportunity to show just how talented he is in Houston. This is a team in full-on rebuild mode, and it seems likely they'll be without John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Christian Wood, and Danuel House here. That means Porter will get all the usage and minutes he can handle, which is scary when you look at how productive he's been. After collecting 22 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two blocks across 40 minutes on Wednesday, KPJ is now averaging exactly 40 fantasy points per game. Good luck finding that from another sub-$7K player, especially against a Golden State team that plays at the second-fastest pace in the NBA.
Will Barton FD - $5500 DK - $5400
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 29.26 DK - 29.68
Barton was terrible in the first few months of the season, but recent results would indicate that he's at full boar now. In fact, Will the Thrill has at least 26 DraftKings points in seven-straight games, averaging over 32 fantasy points per game in that span. That makes it hard to believe he hasn't gotten above $6,000 on both sites, with DK and FD clearly sleeping at the wheel. That recent form looks even better when you consider this stupendous matchup, with Charlotte surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards while ranked 21st in points allowed.
Kenyon Martin Jr has been seeing a ton of minutes for the rebuilding Rockets and could play extra here with all those guys expected to sit.
Tobias Harris FD - $7800 DK - $8400
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 44.95 DK - 45.33
Toby has quietly been one of the best players in the NBA this season, and he's nearly impossible to fade with Joel Embiid out for the next two weeks. With him off the floor, Harris has a usage rate approaching 30 percent, averaging 1.2 DK points per minute. That was on full display Tuesday night, with Harris tallying 30 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks against a stout Knicks defense. That's his second-straight game with at least 48 fantasy points, playing some of the best basketball of his career. A matchup with Milwaukee always sounds tough on the surface, but they've been down this year. In fact, the Bucks rank 20th in total defense while ranking seventh in pace.
Tony Bradley FD - $3500 DK - $4000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 24.99 DK - 24.04
We discussed Milwaukee's pace in the Toby write-up, but Philly's pace shouldn't be overlooked either. They currently sit fifth in pace, leading to this being one of the highest-scoring game on this slate. That's huge news for a guy like Bradley, getting the starting center nod with Embiid out of the lineup. While he did go scoreless in 16 minutes on Tuesday, he's shown the ability to go off in this role before that. In fact, Tony averaged 28 DK points per game in the seven outings he played at least 20 minutes before Tuesday, and one would have to believe he'll reach that minute total here with Dwight Howard playing the second half of a B2B. What really limits his risk is this price, though, with Bradley needing just 20 fantasy points to reach value around $4K on both sites.
Chris Boucher has seen a usage increase with so many Raptors out and is definitely in play.
Nikola Jokic FD - $11200 DK - $10800
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 61.28 DK - 63.65
Jokic is the league leader in the NBA with 60 DraftKings points per game, and that honestly makes him a great play no matter what. The big man is averaging 27.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Those absurd averages look even better recently, with Joker scoring at least 53 fantasy points in 14 of his last 15 games en route to a 61-point average over his last seven outings. Those numbers put him in play against anyone, but we already discussed how bad Charlotte's defense is in the Barton write-up. They're actually even worse against centers, surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to them this season.
Richaun Holmes FD - $6900 DK - $6700
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 35.17 DK - 33.98
Holmes is quietly in the running for Most Improved Player of the Year, playing the best basketball of his career over the last month. In fact, Richaun has at least 30 fantasy points in seven-straight games, averaging a ridiculous 41 fantasy points per game in that span. That makes this some of the most egregious pricing on this slate, and he should play some heavy minutes with Marvin Bagley and Hassan Whiteside both out of the lineup. The matchup against Washington is simply the icing on the cake, though, with the Wizards ranked 27th in defensive efficiency while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA.
Robert Williams has some of the best per-minute numbers in the NBA and is always a sneaky play below $6K.