Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 3/23/22
It's been a grind of a season, but the finish line is in sight. There are only three weeks left in the season, and many of these teams are jockeying for positioning. We're surely going to see the standings change here, with 11 games making up this massive Wednesday card. That leaves us with a monster player pool and plenty to discuss!
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Let's kick things off with a couple of cheap point guards. Mitchell might be the best value out there, filling in for this shorthanded Sacramento team. De'Aaron Fox, Terance Davis, and Domantas Sabonis are all expected to miss this game, leaving Mitchell as the focal point of the offense. He was treated with that role on Sunday, dropping 47 fantasy points across 46 minutes in a matchup with the best defense in the NBA. This matchup is far from scary, with the Pacers ranked 24th in points allowed and 26th in defensive efficiency. As long as he gets this massive role against this putrid Pacers defense, DM should be $2,000 more on each site.
Jones is actually in a similar spot as Mitchell. He's being asked to step in as the starting point guard in Memphis, filling in for the injured Ja Morant. Tyus has been terrific in that role all season, averaging 29 DK points per game in his 16 starts this season. More importantly, he's handling the ball on nearly every possession, running this elite Memphis offense at ease. That makes it hard to believe that he remains so well below $5K, especially in such a tasty matchup. Tyus gets to face the Nets, with Brooklyn ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency ratings this season. Getting these two cheap guards in your lineup is a great way to start lineup construction, opening up the door for numerous studs that we'll mention later on.
Brandon Williams has been excellent as Portland's starting point guard and could be asked to do more with so many players out.
It's bizarre to see Harden below $10,000 on each site. What makes it even more peculiar is the fact that he's been a beast since joining the Sixers, scoring at least 41 DraftKings points in 10 of his last 11 games, generating a 50-point average in that span. That's the Harden we've become accustomed to, and he's doing that damage despite Joel Embiid swallowing up a ton of usage. The matchup with the Lakers might be the best part of this, though, with Los Angeles ranked fifth in pace and 25th in total defense. Not to mention, Los Angeles is surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing PGs this season. He's played them twice this year, scoring at least 30 points in each while picking up a triple-double in both.
Jalen Brunson FD - $5300 DK - $6700
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 32.58 DK - 33.37
This $5,300 price tag on FanDuel is the best play out there. Luka Doncic has already been ruled out for this game, leaving Jalen with the Doncic role. Luka leads the NBA with a 36 percent usage rate, and it looks like Brunson will take on most of that. If you look at the 15 games that Luka has missed this season, Brunson is averaging 38 fantasy points per game. That's an absurd total from such an affordable player, and this happens to be the best matchup in fantasy. Not only does Houston rank dead-last in points allowed and defensive efficiency, but they also play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA. That's on full display when you see JB's 37-point average in their two meetings this season, despite playing 26 minutes a game.
Dillon Brooks FD - $4800 DK - $5600
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 29.7 DK - 29.97
With Morant out of the lineup in Memphis, there are many opportunities for other players. Brooks is actually one of the focal points of the offense when Ja is out, posting a 29 percent usage rate with him off the floor. He really hasn't gotten going since his return from injury, but getting this expanded role should get him back to the $6,500 player we've become accustomed to. The simple fact is, he'll be doing a ton of ball-handling in this role and should take 15-20 shots at ease. As long as that's the case, DB is way too cheap. We also don't mind that he faces one of the worst defenses in the NBA, especially since Brooks will have to play more to oppose elite offensive players like Kyrie and KD.
Justise Winslow FD - $5300 DK - $5900
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 33.75 DK - 32.86
It feels weird to have Winslow in here at this price, but he's quite simply one of Portland's best players at this point. They don't have a single starter on the current roster from opening night, with Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, and Anfernee Simons all injured, while CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and Robert Covington are playing elsewhere. That has left this offense in Josh Hart's hands, but he's been ruled out for this game too! That means it's all up to Winslow, with Justise scoring at least 29 DraftKings points in seven of his last nine games. The matchup with San Antonio is sensational, with the Spurs sitting fourth in pace and 24th in total defense.
With Portland missing so many players, don't forget about CJ Elleby.
Trey Lyles FD - $5000 DK - $5500
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 33.47 DK - 34.01
Man, it's clearly the end of the NBA season when we have Lyles and Winslow back-to-back. In any case, these guys are in brilliant spots, and Lyles might be one of our favorite values on the board. We already talked about how Fox and Sabonis are out, but Richaun Holmes is out for the Kings as well. That leaves Lyles as one of the only frontcourt players left, and he's been surprisingly productive with his new team. In fact, Trey has started the last 11 games for Sacramento, averaging 24 DK points across 26 minutes a night. He's been doing that damage with Fox and Sabonis, but his usage and shot attempts should increase exponentially with those guys out of the lineup. Facing Indiana is incredible, too, with the Pacers having one of the worst frontcourts in the NBA.
Obi Toppin FD - $3500 DK - $3400
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 27.03 DK - 27.04
Obi has been stuck behind Julius Randle all season long, but whenever Randle is out, Toppin is one of the best options out there. Being stuck behind him has kept him cheap all season, but Tom Thibideau doesn't really take Toppin off the floor when Julius is out. In his three starts for Randle, Toppin is averaging 28 DK points per game across 33 minutes a night. That would be a decent total from a $6K player, but it's unheard of from a guy sitting well below $4,000. Facing Charlotte is the icing on the cake, though, with the Hornets ranked third in pace, 23rd in defensive efficiency, and 28th in points allowed. With all that said, we do love Randle if he plays and will completely fade Toppin.
Jaren Jackson Jr leads Memphis in usage with Ja off the floor and remains a great GPP play below $7K.
Joel Embiid FD - $11000 DK - $11000
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 55.6 DK - 57.35
Not much needs to be said when recommending a guy like Embiid. He's the frontrunner for MVP for a reason, averaging 56 DK points per game. His consistency makes him such a fantastic option, scoring at least 40 fantasy points in all but three games this season. All of that is awful news for this Lakers defense because they've been playing LeBron James at center. He obviously can't guard him, and it'd be a disaster for them if they choose to start Dwight Howard or one of these other 50-year-olds. In their one matchup earlier this season, Embiis tallied 26 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks.
Chimezie Metu FD - $3800 DK - $3400
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 30.05 DK - 30.09
It's unclear who will start for this shorthanded Sacramento team, but we're going to gamble on Metu. This guy has been excellent at times this season when they were in full health, and it's going to be hard to take him off the floor with Fox, Sabonis, Holmes, and Davis all missing. He's played at least 27 minutes in seven games this season, averaging 33 DK points per game. We believe that 27 minutes are his floor here, and we love that with that talent this guy possesses. Facing the Pacers is incredible, surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing center, while posting the ugly defensive numbers mentioned in the Mitchell write-up.
There is a chance Damian Jones starts at center for Sacramento, so don't forget about him.