Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Friday 3/4/22
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Point Guard/ Shooting Guard
I’m piling the Point Guard and Shooting Guard positions together here because most of these guys overlap with both positions on both sites. That’s just the nature of these things now, and it makes sense from a labeling point of view.
The Hawks are fighting for their playoff lives right now and are going to need to get everything they can out of Trae Young down this home stretch of the season. He’s been playing huge minutes of late, running 37+ in each of the last four games. And in that stretch, he’s averaging 29 points, 10 assists, and three rebounds. The dude is putting up about 20 shots per game and trying to carry this squad back into the playoff mix. The Hawks are on a back-to-back here which is a moderate concern, but considering their place in the standings (10th in the East) I think they will continue pushing Trae here. The FanDuel price is a pretty easy call, though it does get a little closer on DraftKings.
Anthony Edwards is set to miss another game for the Timberwolves which should send a bunch of usage Russell’s way here against the Thunder. Russell has the second-highest usage rate on the team behind Karl-Anthony Towns this season when Edwards is off the court and should be in line for more ball-handling duties as well. Russell’s assist rate climbs by 5% when he doesn’t share the court with Edwards. I think this becomes a pretty easy play all things considered and I suspect he’s a popular option on both sites. When a higher usage player is out of the mix, the next guys up tend to be excellent values.
Similarly, I think we are in a good spot with Beverley here as well. While Edwards isn’t, by any means, a point guard, having him off the court does open up opportunities further down the chain. With Beverley still in the starting lineup, I think he should push up close to 30 minutes if the game stays close. That didn’t happen last time around, the Timberwolves pulled away late against the Warriors and most of the starting lineup got their minutes buzzed off. That could happen again against the Thunder, but at these price points, I think you take the risk.
Malcolm Brogdon FD - $7200 DK - $7600
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 39.26 DK - 42.25
It sure doesn’t look like there are going to be any minutes restrictions moving forward for Brogdon considering he came on Wednesday and promptly ran 41 minutes in the Pacers’ overtime win against the Magic. He was masterful in this one, putting up a whopping 31 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. This continued to lay to rest the idea that he would have trouble with fantasy production while sharing the court with Tyrese Haliburton. The Pacers are playing a quick pace now with their guards and this game has the third-highest total of the slate at 230.5. I don’t think Brogdon’s price has adjusted enough here, especially on FanDuel.
Scottie Barnes FD - $6900 DK - $6300
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 38.37 DK - 40.3
This play is at least somewhat contingent on Fred VanVleet sitting out another game for the Raptors. The injury reporting on FVV has been weird in the short term with it seeming like he was close to coming back only to be ruled out late. It’s led to great performances from Barnes who has a lot more to do with the offense when the Raptors are down another guard. Over the last three games, Barnes is averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and some defensive stats, all while running around 40 minutes when the game stays close. The price has ticked up some, but not nearly enough, especially on DraftKings. If VanVleet is out again, Barnes makes an easy play here.
Aleksej Pokuševski FD - $5200 DK - $4900
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 29.74 DK - 31.99
The Thunder have all kinds of injury issues right now and are playing a lot of no-names off the bench. That’s pushed Pokuševski into the starting lineup. And from a fantasy perspective, it has the Thunders’ lottery pick from two years ago in a very good spot at these prices. For all of his failings as a real NBA player, Poku does have a solid fantasy floor. Last game out, also a start, he ran 29 minutes and finished with nine points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and four steals+blocks. It’s going to be tough for him to find a lot of usage sharing the court with Shai, but I do think he provides enough everywhere else to warrant strong consideration here.
Power Forward/ Center
Karl-Anthony Towns FD - $9300 DK - $10100
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 53.9 DK - 57.11
We said with Russell and Beverley that there would be work for the rest of the Timberwolves’ lineup with Anthony Edwards out. And that’s definitely true for Karl-Anthony Towns. With Edwards off the court this season, Towns has a team-high 34.6% usage rate which is well ahead of number two. And last game, the dude put on a show with 39 points on 14-22 shooting in just 32 minutes. We could see something similar in this one against a Thunder team that is about average in terms of pace and defensive efficiency. The FanDuel price on KAT makes things pretty easy here and the DraftKings one isn’t pushing the envelope either. With blowout risk for Jokic, I think Towns is the clear play at center.
Kyle Kuzma FD - $9000 DK - $9400
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.75 DK - 47.67
It didn’t all come together for Kuzma until late last game, but this is still a guy with a very high fantasy floor considering how the Wizards are using him now that Bradley Beal and Spencer Dinwiddie are no longer on the team. Kuzma has averaged more than 21 shots a game over the last three and in that stretch is putting up 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks+steals that is about as good as you’ll see in fantasy. He’s just become a stud. Atlanta is the 27th-ranked defense on the season and this offers a good opportunity for Kuzma to pile it on once again.
Isaiah Jackson FD - $5900 DK - $5300
Opponent - DET
Proj Pts FD - 33.83 DK - 33.18
Death, taxes, and this guy getting into foul trouble. It’s been an issue in each of his last three games and we are definitely concerned with it happening again. But man, when he is able to play the minutes the dude just puts up numbers. He’s averaging three defensive stats a game over the last four and is also putting up 13 points and more than five rebounds. There is, for sure, risk here but against a weaker opponent in Detroit, I can make the case, especially at a weaker power forward position. And along those lines, I think there is a case for Jalen Smith (FD 5800 DK 5200) off the bench considering what he’s been doing on a fantasy-point-per-minute basis since coming over the Pacers.
Consider Jarred Vanderbilt (FD 4200 DK 4300) with Anthony Edwards out.