Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Sunday, 3/12/23
This is a huge day for yours truly. Many of my season-long leagues are coming down to the wire, and this slate determines where my teams will end up in terms of playoff positioning. That has me motivated more than ever because I've done a ton of research to get ready for this card.
The only thing that drives me crazy is that we have OKC playing a B2B. Who knows who will play for the Thunder a day ahead of time which sucks because they have the best matchup on the board. With that said, let's kick things off with the best scorer in the NBA right now.
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Damian Lillard FD - $10600 DK - $10500
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 49.52 DK - 51.99
We don't have a ton of games, so it's going to be impossible to fade Dame with the way he's playing right now. This All-Star is leading the league in scoring over the last month, averaging 36.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists across his last 28 games. Lillard has also scored at least 39 DK points in all 28 of those, averaging nearly 60 fantasy points per game in that span. He's simply doing everything for a team trying to sneak into the postseason, and this is an important game against a struggling Pelicans team. In his last five matchups with New Orleans, Dame is posting a 59-point average against them.
Josh Giddey FD - $8000 DK - $8000
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 39.59 DK - 40.87
We're taking a bit of a guess here, but we're going to assume that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams are rested in this B2B. Both guys had to sit earlier in the week in a B2B, and both guys played significant minutes on Saturday night. That means Giddey should do everything for Oklahoma City, averaging a career-high 37 DK points per game with those two in the lineup. We expect 40 fantasy points to be his floor if both of those guys are out because Giddey has at least 50 DraftKings points in four of his last six games. Facing San Antonio is the best part of this, though, with the Spurs sitting last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. We like Giddey whether those two suit up or not, but he's the best play on the board if they're both out.
Isaiah Joe (FD $4400 DK $4800) could see a bump in minutes and usage if SGA and Williams are rested in this B2B.
Donovan Mitchell FD - $9900 DK - $9300
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 48.44 DK - 49.82
Mitchell has been inconsistent at times this season, but he's amid a career year in Cleveland. The All-Star guard is averaging nearly 45 fantasy points per game, coming into this matchup with a 48-point average across his last 11 outings. Mitchell has actually scored at least 54 fantasy points in seven of those 11 games and could be asked to do even more here if Darius Garland is to miss another game. Don has played nine games without Garland this year, averaging over 56 DK points per game in those outings. One of those could be in play against Charlotte, sitting 24th in total defense while surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing guards.
Immanuel Quickley FD - $7000 DK - $6900
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 36.66 DK - 37.75
Quickley has established himself as the favorite for Sixth Man of the Year, but we expect him to start here. Brunson had to leave a game earlier in the week due to a foot issue, and IQ is always forced into a 40-minute role whenever Brunson is out. In fact, Quickley has started six games for Brunson this year, scoring 26, 73, 22, 43, 59, and 51 DK points in those outings. That equates to 46 DraftKings points per game, and it's no surprise since he's the primary ball-handler in a 40-minute role. A matchup with LA's lackluster defense only adds to IQ's intrigue, surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing guards this year.
Tyrese Maxey (FD $6600 DK $7300) has been averaging 35 DK points per game since his reinsertion into the starting lineup.
RJ Barrett FD - $6900 DK - $7000
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 33.46 DK - 35.22
Tom Thibodeau is notorious for running his starters into the ground, and Barrett appears to be one of those guys. The former Duke forward has regularly been playing 40 minutes a night since he was drafted, totaling a 37-minute average over his last four fixtures. RJ has also scored at least 37 DK points in three of those, which is no surprise since he's being asked to do more in the absence of Brunson. In the last three games JB has missed over the last month, Barrett has scored at least 41 DK points in all of them en route to a 48-point average. His role is what has made him so dangerous, with Barrett playing 39 minutes while taking 23 shots a night in those outings.
Cameron Johnson FD - $6300 DK - $6200
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 32.54 DK - 33.32
Johnson was an underrated piece in that Kevin Durant trade. He's now the go-to shooter on this Brooklyn team and should be locked into a 35-minute role as long as the Nets avoid the funny business we saw earlier in the week. The sharpshooter has scored at least 24 DraftKings points in 11 of his last 13 games, posting a 29-point average in that span. He's also got at least 33 fantasy points in five of his last seven games and should continue to do that as long as CJ is playing 30-35 minutes and attempting 15 shots a game. Denver is the top team in the west, but their 14th-ranked defense doesn't deter us from wanting to use CJ.
Austin Reaves (FD $5900 DK $5000) has been averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game since LeBron James got injured and remains too cheap below $6,000.
Julius Randle FD - $9800 DK - $9800
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 46.68 DK - 51.3
This Knicks-Lakers game will be the hammer at the end of the night. We expect these surging teams to battle, and Randle is the best option in this game. The big man has scored at least 39 DraftKings points in 42 of his last 44 games. He's also generating a 50-point average in that span and will be asked to run this offense if Brunson is out again. In the last six games that JB has missed, Julius has scored at least 49 DK points in five of them while flirting with a 60-point average. That's scary in a revenge game against LA, who ranks second in pace and 25th in total defense. In his last five matchups with LA, Randle has scored at least 42 DK points in all of them while averaging over 50 fantasy points per game.
Evan Mobley FD - $8200 DK - $7500
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 40.48 DK - 41.34
This second-year player doesn't get the publicity he deserves because this youngster has developed into one of the best all-around players in the NBA. The big man has scored at least 29 DK points in 29 of his last 30 games, totaling a 39-point average in that span. That's the best stretch of this kid's career, and he's getting better by the day. What really adds to his value here is the fact that Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen could both sit. That means Mobley will see a massive boost in usage, shot attempts, and rebounds, which is sensational since Charlotte surrenders the most fantasy points to opposing big men. In their one meeting this season, Mobley mauled them to the tune of 58 DK points in the highest-scoring game of his career.
Michael Porter Jr. (FD $6000 DK $5700) got ejected in the most recent game, but he had at least 35 DK points in four of his previous seven games before that.
Zach Collins FD - $6800 DK - $6200
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 30.53 DK - 31.07
It's hard to understand why Collins remains below $7,000 on both sites. This guy has taken over starting center duties since Jakob Poeltl was traded and has established an excellent floor since he was gifted the expanded role. ZC has scored at least 27 fantasy points in nine of 10 games since taking over this job, posting a 35-point average in that span. That's all you can ask for from such an affordable player, and it should continue in this outstanding matchup. Oklahoma City ranks 20th in total defense, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. It's also a game that could stay close if OKC rests players, making Collins an even more enticing option.
Nick Richards FD - $5400 DK - $4000
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 31.01 DK - 30.2
If Mark Williams is out again, Richards is one of the best per-dollar plays on the board. Williams took over starting center duties when Mason Plumlee was traded, which shifted Richards into the backup job. Now that Williams is out, Richards should take over the 30-minute role as the starting center. That's what we've seen the last two games, with Nicky scoring 31 and 34 DK points since Williams went down. He also played at least 29 minutes in both of those, and it's far from shocking since Richards is averaging over 1.1 DK points per minute this year. That makes it hard to understand why Richards is still just $4K because Charlotte needs him to play big minutes to oppose this large Cleveland frontcourt.
Nikola Jokic (FD $11800 DK $11600) is the safest bet for 50 DK points on every slate and is an easy choice if you have the salary.
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- Damian Lillard, Raul Neto: (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)