NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Friday (3/18)
This is college basketball’s weekend to thrive, but the NBA has its own thing going on. After just one game on Thursday, we’re looking at one of the most oversized cards of the season here!
What is the NBA doing with these schedules? We had 12 games on Wednesday, one game yesterday, and 12 games here. It would have been much easier to have seven to eight games every night, but here we are! It leaves us with another massive player pool and a million players to break down. With that in mind, let’s kick things off with the schedule and odds!
Schedule and Odds
- DAL at PHI (PHI -3) O/U: 221.5
- MEM at ATL (MEM -4.5) O/U: 236
- DEN at CLE (DEN -2.5) O/U: 221.5
- POR at BKN (BKN -14) O/U: 225.5
- WAS at NYK (NYK -5) O/U: 224
- LAL at TOR (TOR -8.5) O/U: 224.5
- IND at HOU (IND -3) O/U: 239.5
- OKC at MIA (MIA -15) O/U: 220
- NOP at SAS (SAS -3) O/U: 237
- LAC at UTA (UTA -7) O/U: 218.5
- CHI at PHX (PHX -6.5) O/U: 230
- BOS at SAC (BOS -9.5) O/U: 224.5
- Joel Embiid (back) Questionable
- LeBron James (old) Questionable
- Trae Young (ankle) Questionable
- Anthony Davis (foot) OUT
- Kawhi Leonard (knee) OUT
- Paul George (elbow) OUT
- De’Aaron Fox (hand) Questionable
- Jimmy Butler (toe) Questionable
- Donovan Mitchell (calf) OUT
- Damian Lillard (abs) OUT
- Jusuf Nurkic (foot) OUT
- Brandon Ingram (hammy) OUT
- Zion Williamson (foot) OUT
- Anfernee Simons (quad) OUT
- Ben Simmons (who knows) OUT
- Josh Giddey (hip) OUT
- Chris Paul (hand) OUT
- Jarrett Allen (finger) OUT
- Lonzo Ball (knee) OUT
- Luguentz Dort (shoulder) OUT
- Norman Powell (foot) OUT
- Isaiah Jackson (concussion) OUT
- John Collins (foot) OUT
- Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) OUT
- Myles Turner (foot) OUT
- OG Anunoby (hand) OUT
- Jamal Murray (knee) OUT
- Michael Porter Jr (back) OUT
Ja Morant (PG – MEM): $10,200 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
Ja missed the last game due to a back injury, but all reports say he’ll be ready to return and dominate here. Morant has scored at least 34 DraftKings points in all 36 games since returning from injury, generating a 51-point average in that span. That’s awful news for Atlanta, with the Hawks ranked 21st in points allowed and 27th in defensive efficiency.
Devin Booker (SG – PHX): $9,100 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel
Book is one of the best players in the NBA, despite what this price tag says. He’s scored at least 40 DK points in 10 straight games, flirting with a 50-point average in that span. It’s easy to understand why, with Book stepping up in the absence of Chris Paul. In this expanded role, DB is regularly taking 25 shots while posting a 35 percent usage rate. He went crazy in his last matchup with Chicago, too, collecting 38 points, four rebounds, and five assists.
Jordan Clarkson (SG – UTA): $5,800 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
Man, this is risky, but something tells me Clarkson will go off here. Mitchell and Bogdanovic are both missing for the Jazz, leaving about 70 minutes and 35 shots on the table. You know a chucker like Clarkson will be happy to take that on, leading the club with a 33 percent usage rate with this current roster. If he plays 30-plus minutes and takes the 20-plus shots we anticipate, Clarkson should be $7K, at least!
Cash Game Considerations
Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $11,500 DraftKings, $11,200 FanDuel
Here we are again. The Joker has scored at least 41 DraftKings points in all but one game this season, leading the NBA with over 60 DK points per game. That makes him a worthy play against anyone, especially since his price has dropped. The matchup against Cleveland looks tough, but Jokic finished with 24 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, and three steals in their one meeting earlier this season.
Kevin Durant (PF – BKN): $10,500 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
We love the Slim Reaper whenever Kyrie is sitting games. That’s going to be the case a ton over the final three weeks, with Durant generating a 34 percent usage rate with him off the floor. That’s awesome since Joe Harris and Seth Curry are out as well, leaving KD with all the offense he can handle. The best part is this is the matchup, though, with Portland owning a 30th OPRK against opposing wings.
Mike Conley (PG – UTA): $5,700 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
You probably could have seen this coming once we mentioned Bogey and Mitchell were out. That leaves Conley as the primary ball-handler, and we know this guy can play at an $8K level in this sort of role. We’re already talking about a guy who’s averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game for the season, scoring at least 31 DK points in each of his last three games.
Alec Burks (PG/SG – NYK): $6,100 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
I truly don’t understand why Burks has remained so affordable all season. He’s seen an expanded role for this dismantled backcourt, starting in the absence of Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose. He’s now started 31 games for NY, averaging just shy of 30 DK points per game. That’s all you can ask for from a player this cheap, particularly with Burks scoring at least 34 DK points in four of his last six games. We certainly don’t mind that he faces Washington, with the Wizards ranked 25th in defensive efficiency.
Jaxson Hayes (C – NOP): $5,100 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
The Pelicans have been bombarded by injuries, missing Zion and Ingram. Those two guys play Jaxson’s position, leaving him with a 30-minute starting role. That’s allowed Hayes to score at least 23 DK points in three straight games, posting a 29-point average in that span. The best part of this is the matchup, though, with San Antonio sitting fourth in pace and 25th in points allowed.
Goga Bitadze (C – IND): $3,400 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
This FanDuel price is appropriate, but this DraftKings price is silly. Goga has scored at least 29 DK points in each of his last three games, stepping up since the Sabonis trade. That looks even better here, with Turner and Jackson both sidelined for the Pacers. That means Bitadze could be looking at a start and a season-high in playing time, which is incredible with the Rockets ranked dead-last in every defensive metric.
Jalen Smith (PF/C – IND): $5,700 DraftKings, $6,100 FanDuel
We just discussed how shorthanded Indiana’s frontcourt is, leaving Smith and Goga with monster roles. Smith has probably been their most productive big man, scoring at least 23 DK points in 12 of his last 13 games. He’s also got a 30-point average in that span, and it should continue with Houston surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing centers.
Goran Dragic (PG – BKN): $5,000 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
The Dragon has been a sneaky pick-up for the Nets, and he should continue to play a huge role with Kyrie, Curry, and Harris all out of the lineup. He’s actually played at least 36 minutes in two of his last three games, and if he does that, this dude should be $2,000 more on each site. The matchup with Portland is brilliant, too, with the Trail Blazers ranked 27th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency ratings.
Nic Claxton (C – BKN): $3,400 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
With Aldridge out for the Nets, Claxton is finally getting the minutes he deserves. He’s played at least 20 minutes in five straight fixtures, generating a 27-point average over his last four games. That’s a crazy total from a player this cheap, and he should continue that success against one of the worst defenses in the NBA.
- Goga Bitadze (C – IND): $3,400 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
- Nic Claxton (C – BKN): $3,400 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
- Russell Westbrook (PG – LAL): $8,300 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel
- Tyrese Maxey (PG – PHI): $6,800 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
- Dillon Brooks (SG/SF – MEM): $5,800 DraftKinga, $4,800 FanDuel
- Mitchell Robinson (C – NYK): $5,600 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel