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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Friday (3/12)

Mar 12, 2021

Collin Sexton’s price has been climbing, but he’s still a great value in a plush matchup.

Happy Friday, everyone! We didn’t have any games last Friday while enjoying the All-Star break, but now we’re back in full swing. After a huge 11 game slate last night, we have a moderate seven-game slate to break down tonight. Let’s dive right in.

Check out today’s NBA Tip-Off from DraftKings >>

Most Value Per Dollar 

Since the NBA is just returning from the All-Star break and we have so many teams playing the second half of back-to-back sets, we have some seriously mispriced players we can take advantage of tonight (see Kevin Porter Jr.). We also continue to have teams dealing with injuries and health protocols. Now on top of that, we have the trade deadline fast approaching. At this time of the season, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the NBA news of the day and check in on the updated list of expected point totals, along with point spreads, at BettingPros

Collin Sexton (CLE) $8,100
I could’ve put Sexton in the studs section, but I wanted to emphasize that even though his salary has climbed over $8,000, he should still be considered a value tonight. He was one of the hottest players in the league headed into the All-Star break, topping 57 DK points in his last two games. The matchup against the Pelicans tonight couldn’t get much better. New Orleans has the worst defensive rating in the association and gives up the most DK points to point guards. 

Dejounte Murray (SA) $7,500
 The Spurs will be down two mainstays Friday night with DeMar DeRozan away for personal reasons and LaMarcus Aldridge waiting to be moved, leaving all the usage in the world available for Murray. He’s topped 50 DK points multiple times this season and could be in line to again tonight against the Magic, who has a bottom ten defensive rating in the league and is giving up the third-most DK points to point guards on the season. 

Kelly Olynyk (MIA) $5,700
Olynyk’s salary has increased $1,000 over his last two games, but he’s still a value. He’s averaged nearly 42 DK points/game, a healthy 7.3x value, over that span while teammate Bam Adebayo has been sidelined. With Adebayo already ruled out again tonight, Olynyk should be a staple of cash game lineups against the fast-paced Bulls. 

Will Barton (DEN) $5,400
Barton isn’t going to win you a GPP, but he’s about as safe as it comes tonight. He’s racked up at least 14 points and six rebounds in four straight games, something he shouldn’t have trouble duplicating tonight when he matches up with a Memphis team that gives up the most DK points to the position on the season. 

Steven Adams (OKC) $5,300
Adams put up 31 DK points and notched a double-double last night against Minnesota. He could be in line for another double-double tonight against Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers, a team that’s given up the sixth-most DK points to centers over the last 15 games. On a slate that’s full of high-priced centers, he offers the best discount at the position.   

Derrick White (SA) $4,900
 I already mentioned that the Spurs are going to be a bit short-handed tonight, and White is another player that should stand to benefit. Not only do the Magic bleed DK points to point guards, but they also give up the most DK points to shooting guards. White topped 43 DK points in the last full game he played before his extended absence, and he has a shot at getting back there tonight.

Justin Patton (HOU) $4,900
It doesn’t look like Christian Wood is quite ready to return, and the Rockets have agreed to part ways with P.J. Tucker, leaving Patton as the lone viable center for Houston tonight. He’ll get all the work he can handle against Rudy Gobert, and while that doesn’t guarantee fantasy production, he’ll at least have the opportunity. He’s an even cheaper, albeit riskier, center option than Adams.  

Furkan Korkmaz (PHI) $4,200
Korkmaz has topped 28 DK points in two of his last three games. He has the chance to do so again tonight against the Wizards, a fast-paced, poor defensive team. That chance is even better with Ben Simmons and, possibly, Joel Embiid missing the game.

Kevin Porter Jr. (HOU) $3,200
In case you missed it, Porter made his Houston debut last night against the Kings and promptly dropped 42 DK points against Sacramento. Since it was the latest game of the night, there was no time for DraftKings to adjust his price. Utah is a far superior team defensively, but the fact remains that Porter is far too cheap, especially considering the depleted state of Houston’s roster at the moment.

Matisse Thybulle (PHI) $3,100
Thybulle entered the starting lineup last night and racked up 30 DK points. It remains to be seen if he’ll stay in the starting lineup or if Joel Embiid will return tonight, but his matchup and salary make him worth a shot. 

Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,900: This one is pretty straightforward. He’s the only center in the league with legitimate triple-double upside every time he steps on the court, and that’s no different tonight against the Grizzlies. There’s really no reason for Jokic to be under $11,000 dollars.
  • LeBron James (LAL) $10,400: We’re now past the All-Star break, which means it’s time for the Lakers to make a run at the top seed in the West. LeBron is fully rested, and with Anthony Davis still out, he’ll look to put the team on his back tonight against the Pacers.
  • Nikola Vucevic (ORL) $10,300: Vucevic has averaged nearly 55 DK points over the last four games, and for some reason, his salary dropped $100 from his last outing. The Spurs won’t have an answer for him tonight, and he’s a perfectly strong option if you can’t find the extra cash to pay up for Joker.
  • Jimmy Butler (MIA) $9,200: I’m not generally a big believer in revenge narratives, but I’ll make an exception for Jimmy Buckets against his former team in Chicago. Not to mention he’s averaged nearly 59 DK points over his last four games. 
  • Donovan Mitchell (UTA): $8,800: Mitchell has been red hot lately, and the Rockets have been just the opposite. He’s hit at least 45 DK points in four of his last five games, and Houston gives up the second most DK points to shooting guards. As long as the game stays at least somewhat close, Mitchell shouldn’t have a problem paying off his salary tonight.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Domantas Sabonis (IND) $9,900: It’s been five games since Sabonis has topped 50 DK points, and I don’t expect him to get there tonight against the Lakers. I’m not sure why his salary is creeping back up, but I’m looking elsewhere for high-priced options tonight.
  • Bradley Beal (WAS) $9,700: Beal has underperformed, at least by his standards, in two of his last three games. Now he draws a questionable tag tonight with a sore knee. Even if he ultimately plays, it’s going to be hard to spend such a high salary on him.
  • Jonas Valanciunas (MEM) $7,700: It’s tempting to go right back to Valanciunas after his 67 DK point explosion on Wednesday, but I’m staying away. He’s notoriously inconsistent, and Denver gives up the second-fewest DK points to centers. There are plenty of better options at center tonight.

Create DraftKings lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

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Aaron Larson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @aalarson.