Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 3/1/23
Did the month of February even happen? It blew my mind to write March 1 when preparing this article, but that's just what happens when you're having fun. DFS is a good mixture of fun and chaos, but we feel like we have a great read on how these rotations are playing out right now.
It was a bit strange directly out of the trade deadline, but everything is coming together right now. We've also had some big-name injuries recently that will open up some value but let's get started with two of the best point guards in the NBA!
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Damian Lillard FD - $11000 DK - $11900
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 52.74 DK - 55.48
Fading Lillard would be silly. This sharpshooter took down the three-point contest at All-Star weekend but has been the best scorer in the NBA over the last month. Dame has scored at least 56 DraftKings points in 15 of his last 20 games, averaging nearly 40 raw points per game in that span. He also flashed a 93-point upside just a few days ago, and it's clear Portland will allow Lillard to do everything with Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic both sidelined. New Orleans is far from scary, allowing 120 points per game in their current 7-20 stretch. In his last four matchups with the Pelicans, Dame is averaging nearly 65 DK points per game!
Ja Morant FD - $10000 DK - $9900
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 46.58 DK - 47.94
Ja was dropping jaws on Tuesday night, collecting 39 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists en route to 74 DraftKings points. That's one of the best games of his career, but it becomes less surprising when you see his 50-point average for the year. Ironically, his highest-scoring game before this was in this same matchup against Houston. The Rockets rank 27th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing point guards. That was on full display when Morant amassed 73 DK points in their one matchup this year, doing that damage across just 31 minutes of play.
Dennis Smith Jr. (FD $6100 DK $5100) will likely start at point guard with LaMelo Ball out and was averaging 30 DK points per game in that role earlier in the year.
Terry Rozier FD - $8200 DK - $7200
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 36.01 DK - 37.21
Now that LaMelo Ball is out for the remainder of the season, this offense is going to be run by Rozier. That's what we've seen all year, with Scary Terry totaling a team-leading 31 percent usage rate with Ball off the floor. In the 16 games that Ball missed in the first two months of the season, Rozier averaged over 36 DraftKings points per game. His role is what made him so reliable, taking 21 shots and playing 37 minutes a night. He was able to flirt with that 40-point average despite shooting 41 percent from the field, and it's scary to think how good he could be if he finally gets hot.
Dennis Schröder FD - $5900 DK - $5400
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 27.89 DK - 28.9
It's funny that Schroder is shooting guard eligible because he's the starting point guard in Los Angeles right now. What we really like about him here is the fact that he's going to be the showman for LA. We say that because LeBron James and D'Angelo Russell are injured while Russell Westbrook is playing for the Clippers. That means Schroder should be a lock for 35-40 minutes, 10-15 shots, and a 30 percent usage rate. When all of those guys were out on Tuesday, Schroder scored 29 DK points. We've also seen him drop 40-plus on numerous occasions without LeBron earlier in the year, and one of those could be in play here with Oklahoma City ranked 20th in total defense.
Josh Giddey (FD $7800 DK $7600) was horrible on Tuesday night, but we have to assume he'll be the primary ball-handler with SGA already ruled out.
Brandon Ingram FD - $8300 DK - $8300
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 39.23 DK - 40.83
It's sad what's happened to the Pelicans since the Zion Williamson (hamstring) injury, but it's allowed Ingram to take over this offense. BI has a 32 percent usage rate with Zion off the floor and is averaging 1.2 DK points per minute. That's evident in his recent form, averaging 39 DraftKings points per game across his last 11 outings. He actually had a minutes restriction at the start of that run, but he's back to playing 35-40 minutes and taking 20 shots a night right now. Getting to face Portland is the best part of this, though, with the Trail Blazers ranked 27th in defensive efficiency ratings. In their two matchups last season, BI averaged 44 fantasy points per game!
Jalen Williams FD - $6200 DK - $6200
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 29.33 DK - 28.91
This youngster is one of the frontrunners for Rookie of the Year, and it's hard to understand why he's not getting more credit for what he's doing. The Santa Clara alum is averaging 34 DK points per game across his last 14 outings. He's also coming off a 49-point masterpiece on Tuesday night, and it looks like he's going to be the primary playmaker as long as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander remains sidelined. A 21-year-old kid seeing bumps like this is frightening for the rest of the league, particularly a defense like the Lakers. Los Angeles ranks third in pace and 24th in points allowed while surrendering the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing ball-handlers.
Gordon Hayward (FD $6700 DK $6400) is averaging nearly 40 DK points per game over the last two weeks and should see a boost in usage with LaMelo out.
Anthony Davis FD - $11500 DK - $10200
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 56.1 DK - 55.92
It's possible that AD sits in the second half of a back-to-back set, but he's the best play on the board if he doesn't. The Lakers always run their offense through the big man whenever LeBron is out, posting a 34 percent usage rate with LBJ off the floor. That number could get to 40 percent with D-Lo and Westbrook out of the picture, and it looks even better since AD is averaging 1.6 DK points per minute in those circumstances. That was evident on Tuesday, with Davis collecting 28 points, 19 rebounds, and five blocks. That's his second straight game with at least 60 DK points, and he shouldn't have any issues reaching that with OKC owning a 23rd OPRK against opposing big men.
Marvin Bagley III FD - $5600 DK - $4900
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 24.53 DK - 24.21
Bagley is not a great real-life basketball player with his lack of playmaking and defensive abilities, but he's an effective fantasy option with his scoring and rebounding. The big man is finally getting a prominent role in Detroit, seeing a full allotment of minutes with Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart both sidelined. That means Bagley is guaranteed 25-30 minutes, scoring 38 and 47 DK points in the last two games without those guys. That's absurd from such an affordable player, and he's done that despite playing just 52 combined minutes in those outings. It's not like Chicago is a startling matchup, ranked 18th in defensive efficiency.
Jarred Vanderbilt (FD $5900 DK $4900) should play 30-plus minutes with LeBron out, making him way too cheap after a 47-point gem just a few nights ago.
Mark Williams FD - $6800 DK - $6300
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 34.83 DK - 32.99
If you ever watch the Hornets, this guy just dominates the paint. Williams was doing that in a reserve role all year, averaging 20 DK points per game across 16 minutes a night. That elite rate earned him the starting center job because Charlotte decided to ship Mason Plumlee to Los Angeles. The inflated per-minute averages might've looked like a fluke on the surface, but Williams has scored at least 34 DraftKings points in three of his last four games. As long as this monster keeps playing 30 minutes, Marky Mark needs to be at least $7K on both sites. Phoenix is far from a great matchup, but Charlotte needs to play Williams big minutes to oppose Deandre Ayton.
James Wiseman FD - $5800 DK - $4800
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 27.67 DK - 28.23
It's wild that we have two Detroit big men in here because these guys are going to be impossible to use when this roster is fully healthy. The good news is that Duren and Stewart are both injured right now, leaving Bagley and Wiseman all the minutes they can handle. We know this former top-two pick has the ability to be a stud, averaging 15 DK points per game across 14 minutes a night for the year. We expect both of those totals to double in this expanded role, dropping 32 DK points across 27 minutes in his most recent outing. That's all you can ask for from a $5K player, and this kid hasn't even cracked the surface of what he could be in this league.
Jonas Valanciunas (FD $6200 DK $6500) is always better when Larry Nance Jr is out because it guarantees him 30 minutes of play. JV is averaging 35 DK points per game when playing at least 29 minutes this year.