NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Monday (3/21)
We’re down to the final three weeks of the NBA season. Part of me feels like we’ve been doing this for too long, and another part of me feels like the season just started. In any case, it’s been a fantastic season, and I’m ecstatic to keep chugging along and finish the year strong!
After some ugly scheduling last week, this week is much better. We’re kicking off the week with a nine-game card here, featuring some highlight matchups between some elite teams.
Schedule and Odds
- LAL at CLE (CLE -6) O/U: 222.5
- POR at DET (DET -7.5) O/U: 224.5
- NOP at CHA (CHA -6) O/U: 235
- UTA at BKN (BKN -2) O/U: 229
- MIA at PHI (PHI -1) O/U: 216.5
- TOR at CHI (CHI -4.5) O/U: 225.5
- WAS at HOU (WAS -5) O/U: 234.5
- BOS at OKC (BOS -12.5) O/U: 216
- MIN at DAL (DAL -3) O/U: 230
- LeBron James (20 years) Questionable
- Kyrie Irving (vaccine) OUT
- Karl-Anthony Towns (forearm) Questionable
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) Questionable
- Anthony Davis (foot) OUT
- Damian Lillard (abs) OUT
- Jusuf Nurkic (foot) OUT
- Jimmy Butler (toe) Questionable
- Zion Williamson (foot) OUT
- Brandon Ingram (hamstring) OUT
- Fred VanVleet (knee) Questionable
- Ben Simmons (who knows) OUT
- Anfernee Simons (quad) OUT
- John Wall (rest) OUT
- Josh Giddey (hip) OUT
- Jarrett Allen (finger) OUT
- Jerami Grant (knee) Questionable
- Lonzo Ball (knee) OUT
- Devonte Graham (ankle) Questionable
- Luguentz Dort (shoulder) OUT
- Mike Conley (old) Questionable
- Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) OUT
- Gordon Hayward (ankle) OUT
Kevin Durant (SF/PF – BKN): $10,700 DraftKings, $10,800 FanDuel
We always want to use KD in this spot. He’s already playing some of the best basketball of his career, but he’s the de facto point guard with Simmons, and Irving expected to miss this game. He’s averaging nearly 55 DraftKings points per game when Kyrie is out this season, generating a ridiculous 34 percent usage rate. Facing Utah sounds tough, but this has been a below-average defense since the All-Star break.
Darius Garland (PG – CLE): $9,300 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
Using point guards against the Lakers is a cheat code. They currently rank 25th in total defense and fourth in pace, surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing ball-handlers this year. That’s scary against a breakout player like DG, with Garland scoring at least 38 fantasy points in 11 straight games while flirting with a 50-point average in that span.
Rudy Gobert (C – UTA): $7,800 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
Rudy is one of the most reliable players in DFS. He’s scored at least 27 DK points in all but three games this season, averaging 42 fantasy points per game for the season. That should be easy to duplicate against Brooklyn, with the Nets ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency. They’re also surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing centers and simply have one of the worst defensive center rotations in the NBA.
Cash Game Considerations
Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $12,000 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel
Luka is doing everything for the Mavericks. He was already leading the NBA in usage before they traded away Porzingis, and that number has gone up even more since then. That has led to Doncic averaging 60 DK points per game since the trade, leading the NBA in that span. It’s not like Minnesota is a tough matchup either, with the T’Wolves playing at the fastest pace in the NBA.
Cade Cunningham (PG – DET): $8,300 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
This rookie got off to a slow start this season, but he’s crushing it right now. In fact, Cade has collected at least 32 DraftKings points in 12 straight games, generating a 41-point average in that span. That’s the stat-stuffer we’ve been waiting to see, and it should keep rolling against a Portland team that ranks 27th in points allowed and 29th in defensive efficiency. In their one matchup earlier this season, Cunningham compiled 44 DK points in one of the best games of his career.
Evan Mobley (C – CLE): $7,900 DraftKings, $7,900 FanDuel
Mobley is another rookie who’s completely rampaging through the league right now. The big man has scored at least 40 DraftKings points in six of his last eight games, scoring at least 45 fantasy points in half of those. That directly correlates with Jarrett Allen‘s injury, and it’s clear that Mobley is being asked to do more for this shorthanded Cleveland team. In his last matchup with the Lakers, Mobley dropped 40 DK points.
Kevin Porter Jr (PG – HOU): $6,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
KPJ is a volatile player, but this guy can go off in the right circumstance. This is undoubtedly one of those spots, with Washington ranked 24th in defensive efficiency ratings this season. That’s wonderful for a guy like Porter, with the southpaw scoring at least 26 DK points in 19 of his last 25 games. That’s the best stretch of his career, and it’s clear that he’s becoming the primary ball-handler for this young Houston team.
Lauri Markkanen (PF – CLE): $6,000 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
We just talked about how Allen’s absence has opened up more for Mobley, but it’s been a massive boost for Markkanen as well. That has led to Lauri scoring at least 26 DK points in six of his last seven games, averaging 35 DK points per game in that span. Getting to face the Lakers is the icing on the cake, though, with Los Angeles owning a 25th OPRK against opposing power forwards this season.
Jaxson Hayes (C – NOP): $5,400 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
We’ve been waiting for Hayes to play big minutes for most of his career, and injuries to Zion and Ingram have given him that opportunity. Those injuries have led to Jaxson playing at least 27 minutes in five straight outings, averaging 30 DK points per game in that span. Getting to face the Hornets is incredible, too, with Charlotte sitting third in pace and 28th in total defense.
Mason Plumlee (C – CHA): $5,000 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
Big Mase has been in this section all season. The big man has scored at least 22 DK points in 21 of his last 25 games, generating a 28-point average in that stretch. That’s all you can ask for from a $5K player, especially since he’s been playing more since Hayward’s injury. It’s not like New Orleans is a tough matchup either, with the Pelicans ranked 19th in total defense.
Patrick Beverley (PG – MIN): $4,700 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
This pricing makes no sense at all. Pat-Bev has scored at least 20 DK points in 18 of his last 22 games, with two of those duds being shortened due to injury and an ejection. If you take out those stinkers, Beverley averages 30 fantasy points per game. That makes it hard to believe that he’s sitting below $5K, and you know he’ll be feisty in a matchup with Doncic.
Precious Achiuwa (PF/C – TOR): $4,600 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
I’ve never been keen on Precious as a fantasy producer, but it’s hard to overlook what he’s doing right now. He’s scored at least 21 DK points in six straight outings, playing at least 33 minutes in three of his last four games. He’s also scored at least 35 DK points in two of those, a ridiculous total from a player this cheap. Chicago has been sliding defensively, too, ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency over the last 15 games.
- Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $12,000 DraftKings, $10,600 FanDuel
- Tyrese Maxey (PG – PHI): $6,200 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
- D’Angelo Russell (PG/SG – MIN): $7,700 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
- Jose Alvarado (PG – NOP): $4,600 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
- Jalen Brunson (PG/SG – DAL): $7,000 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel