Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 3/8/23
We have fewer than 20 games remaining for every team, which is crunch time in the Western Conference. We have 13 teams battling for 10 playoff spots, and all of them are realistically in contention.
It's crazy to have so many teams relevant at this point of the season, but it should lead to some fun basketball over the closing six weeks.
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Damian Lillard FD - $11200 DK - $11500
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 54.5 DK - 57.3
Many people will see that Dame is facing Boston and fade him, but that's an excellent opportunity to hop on the train. It really doesn't matter who Lillard faces right now, scoring at least 52 DraftKings points in 16 of his last 22 games. He's also averaging 60 DK points per game for that span and is doing everything for this offense with Anfernee Simons sidelined.
That's led to Lillard taking 26 shots a night over his last eight outings while playing nearly 40 minutes a game. That usage is absurd, making Dame tough to fade, no matter who he faces. It's not like the Celtics defense has been scary recently anyway, allowing at least 107 points in 11 straight games while surrendering 118 points per game in that stretch.
Delon Wright FD - $5800 DK - $5200
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 28.92 DK - 27.34
This guy showed us on Tuesday why he's such a good fantasy option. Wright scored just three points on four shots but finished with 28 DK points in another stat-stuffing gem. What's made him so good is stepping into this expanded role, taking over starting point guard duties in the absence of Monte Morris.
It's allowed Delon to post a 32-point average across his last eight outings. That's all you can ask for from a sub-$6K player, and he's proven to be a per-minute stud throughout his career, thanks to his stat-stuffing nature. Atlanta is an amazing matchup too, ranked 21st in both points allowed and defensive efficiency.
Kyrie Irving (FD $9600 DK $9400) is averaging 55 DK points per game over his last three outings and is clearly benefiting from all the attention Luka Doncic gets.
Bradley Beal FD - $8600 DK - $8100
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 40.46 DK - 41.51
Beal got off to a rough start this season, but the former All-Star is slaughtering his opponents right now. The sharpshooter has scored at least 35 DraftKings points in 12 of his last 14 games, scoring at least 41 fantasy points in 10 of those. He's also providing a 43-point average in that span and has taken on more ball-handling duties with Morris out for the foreseeable future. Getting to face the Hawks is the best part of this though, with Atlanta allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing SGs. When they played last week, Beal bludgeoned them to the tune of 53 DK points in one of his best games of the year.
Josh Giddey FD - $8400 DK - $7600
Opponent - PHO
Proj Pts FD - 35.59 DK - 36.79
It looks like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will sit here, and with Jalen Williams nicked up as well, Giddey should do everything for the Thunder. The Aussie is amid the best stretch of his career right now, scoring at least 50 fantasy points in four straight fixtures. Giddey is averaging 20.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 12.5 assists per game in that span. As long as SGA remains out, JG should flirt with triple-double averages just because of how much usage he'll receive.
Facing Phoenix is scary, but it doesn't really matter since OKC could be without Gilgeous and Williams. They also own a 15th OPRK against opposing SGs, and that's clearly one of their weaknesses.
Dejounte Murray (FD $8500 DK $7700) should never be below $8,000 behind his 40-point average.
Jimmy Butler FD - $8900 DK - $8700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 42.77 DK - 41.96
There are periods when Jimmy Buckets looks like one of the best players in the NBA. He's in one of those right now, averaging 22.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.3 steals across his last 12 outings. He's also got at least 41 fantasy points in five of his last six games, and he's taken over point guard duties in the absence of Kyle Lowry. A matchup with Cleveland can be concerning, but JB has at least 39 DK points in five of their last six meetings. All of that makes him a solid value below $9,000 on both sites, and you know he'll be motivated with such little time left in the season.
Brandon Ingram FD - $8300 DK - $8400
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 43.57 DK - 45.3
It's sad what's happened to the Pelicans, but it's no fault of Ingram. The former All-Star reserve has taken over this offense since Zion Williamson blew his hamstring, posting a 32 percent usage rate with the lefty off the floor. That's led to Ingram scoring at least 29 DraftKings points in 14 straight games while generating a 39-point average in that span.
He's also taking 21 shots while playing 36 minutes a night in that span, and as long as he has that sort of role, BI should have one of the highest floors from an $8K player. Dallas used to be a daunting matchup, but they have one of the worst defenses since acquiring Kyrie Irving. In their last matchup, BI collected 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists just a month ago.
Jalen Williams (FD $7700 DK $7100) rested on Tuesday but could be one of the focal points of OKC's offense with SGA expected to sit here. That's scary since he's flirting with a 40-point average over the last month.
Kristaps Porzingis FD - $9800 DK - $8900
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 44.64 DK - 44.56
It's strange that this 27-year-old is on his third team already because he feels like the sort of player you want to build around. The seven-foot unicorn is averaging a career-best 43 DraftKings points per game. He's been even better in the second half of the season, scoring at least 37 fantasy points in 14 of his last 17 games. KP has also scored at least 49 DK points in nine of those, and he's establishing himself as the go-to player in this offense. We've already talked about how atrocious Atlanta's defense has been this year, with Porzingis providing 63 fantasy points in their most recent matchup.
Al Horford FD - $5700 DK - $5500
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 0 DK - 0
Horford sat on Monday, but he should be ready to roll here after his best game of the season on Sunday. The big man is being moved to the center spot with Robert Williams (hamstring) out, dropping a season-high 57 DraftKings points in that masterpiece on Sunday. We don't expect him to do that again, but Big Al averaged 35 DK points per game when Rob-Will was out last year. That means Horford should be closer to $7,000 on both sites, and it's hard to understand why he remains so affordable after playing 46 minutes in that season-best performance. Portland is a phenomenal matchup too, allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing big men.
Michael Porter Jr. (FD $6700 DK $5800) has at least 28 DK points in 11 of his last 13 games, generating a 31-point average in that span.
Nikola Jokic FD - $11900 DK - $11600
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 57.55 DK - 60
With numerous teams playing a back-to-back here and the injury report being packed with studs, it should be easy to squeeze Jokic into your lineup. Getting those guaranteed points is massive because The Joker is the safest option in DFS. The two-time reigning MVP has scored at least 49 DraftKings points in 41 of his last 44 games, averaging 25.4 points, 12.5 rebounds, 10.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game in that span. Numbers like those are hard to fathom, but it has Jokic as the frontrunner for MVP once again. While Denver blew out the Bulls in their one matchup earlier in the year, Jokic still had 42 DK points across 28 minutes. If he plays the 35 minutes we anticipate, that should be another 60-point gem for Jokic.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $6400 DK - $6900
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 24.75 DK - 25.4
This is a bit risky with the way Valanciunas has had his minutes limited, but it will be hard to keep the big man off the floor. This team was already struggling without Zion, but missing Larry Nance Jr should guarantee JV 25-30 minutes a night. The big man has played at least 25 minutes in 36 games this year and is averaging 36 DK points per game in those outings. He's also got a 42-point average when he plays at least 29 minutes, and it's clear he will be a fantasy beast when given the opportunity. If Valanciunas were playing 30 minutes a night, he'd be an $8K player on both sites. Dallas is a good opponent for him to destroy, with JV scoring at least 34 DK points in four of their last five matchups.
Nikola Vucevic (FD $8800 DK $7900) has at least 34 DK points in 34 of his last 38 games and should go crazy against a defensively inept Jokic.