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NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Sunday (3/13)

by Evan Ritter | @Ev_Ritt3 | Featured Writer
Mar 13, 2022
Trae Young

As we come to the end of the weekend, we’re also inching nearer and nearer to the end of the NBA regular season. We’ll continue the grind with a five-game slate, hopefully ending on the right side of the cash line! It’s important to note that today’s slate does have a 6:00 P.M. EST start, so be prepared for news and lineup confirmations to roll out earlier than usual. So with that being said, let’s go ahead and break this thing down.

The Primer is a first look article filled with all the information you need to help get your lineups rolling. We’ll begin with the schedule and odds to highlight which game environments stand out. We follow that up with the injury report, an essential part of any DFS player’s daily process. Then we shed light on some of our top plays of the slate, including core building blocks, GPP candidates, cash game considerations, and salary relief targets. Finally, we’ll always wrap up with our advantageous pricing segment, which uncovers price discrepancies between FanDuel and DraftKings.

So without further ado, let’s jump into another edition of the NBA DFS Primer brought to you by FantasyPros.

View the best player prop bets for tonight’s slate with our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

Schedule and Odds

  • PHI @ ORL (+13) O/U: 223
  • IND @ ATL (-11.5) O/U: 236
  • HOU @ NO (-4.5) O/U: 227.5
  • MEM @ OKC (+13) O/U: 229.5
  • LAL @ PHO (-8.5) O/U: 228

Note: IND is on the back end of a back-to-back

Injury Report

The injury report can change at any minute, and all player statuses are subject to change whether they’re on the injury report or not. Paying attention to as much news as possible is crucial to long-term success in DFS. It can also give you a severe leg up on anyone in the field who fails to do so. Once the later game information becomes available, be sure to take advantage of late swapping. Late swap allows you to get off the chalk and plug-in value plays that may not have been expected or get to a high upside play in an attempt to take one last run at the top of the leaderboard. Keeping up with all the news and information that comes out can be a lot to manage, but it’s essential.

Check out our consensus game odds as well as the odds from each sportsbook at BettingPros >>

Core Plays

LeBron James (SF/PF/C-LAL): $11,800 DraftKings, $10,900

There’s no way I could start today’s Primer with any player other than “The King,” LeBron Raymone James. At 37 years old, the man is still playing in the NBA at an elite level. It’s truly amazing to witness, and when LeBron is this locked in, the sky is the limit. James has scored over 70 DraftKings points in his last three games, including two 50 point performances and a triple-double. Per the norm, he is questionable with a knee injury, but I fully expect him to suit up and continue his dominance. LeBron is playing too well not to find a way to get exposure to him. Even at a hefty price tag and against a tough Suns defense, I’ll most likely come in over the field as I continue to ride the best basketball player in the world.

Trae Young (PG-ATL): $10,100 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel

“Ice Trae” is another player that’s been locked in lately. He’s scored 25 or more points in six of his last seven games and logged a double-double in five of them. Young has averaged a double-double in that seven-game span with 29.1 points and 10.3 assists. I don’t see any reason for this to be the game where he slows down as he and the Hawks will face off against the Indiana Pacers, who are 26th in defensive rating (113.3). With a 34.3 usage rate, Trae Young will get plenty of opportunities to be one of the top plays on this slate against a lousy defense. Continue to look his way in all formats.

Cash Game Considerations

Cameron Payne (PG-PHO): $7,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel

Since Cam Payne has been forced into a more prominent role due to the Chris Paul (thumb) injury, he has played great. Over the past five games, Payne has averaged 42.9 DK points and 40.7 FD points. He’s been good for a double-double during that span, too, with 18.6 points and 10 assists. The Lakers do not defend the point guard position well, carrying an OPRK of 30th on both sites. Nevertheless, Payne should be able to stay hot against this Lakers D.

Buddy Hield (SG/SF – IND): $7,600 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel

Buddy made the article yesterday and played exactly as expected, which is why I’m willing to go back to him in cash games. As I said yesterday, Hield isn’t the type of player that will blow a slate wide open, but he has a significant enough role on this Pacer’s team that he’s not going to hurt your lineup either. The veteran guard/forward continuously scores double-digit figures, scoring ten or more points in 12 straight games. He also grabs rebounds, assists the ball, and grabs a steal or two. A solid floor is exactly what you want in cash games, and Buddy Hield consistently provides precisely that.

GPP Targets

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (SG – OKC): $10,300 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel

SGA pretty much is the Thunder’s entire offense, especially since Josh Giddey (hip) and Luguentz Dort (shoulder) have been out of the lineup. SGA bolsters a whopping 36.4% usage rate with those players off the court and scores an average of 1.54 fantasy points per minute. Uncharacteristically, the star point guard is coming off a down game. He only scored 8 points in 31 minutes last game and has a tough matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight, so he may not garner as much roster percentage as he typically does. On the other hand, I think we see an excellent bounce-back game from SGA. Before his off game, Shai Gilgeous had been on an absolute tear, scoring around 30 points a game and easily having five or more assists a night. The Grizzlies are top ten in pace, and the Thunder are just outside at 11. Both of these teams will want to get up and down the court, leading to plenty of scoring opportunities. Look for SGA and his massive usage rate to thrive tonight.

Jonas Valanciunas (C-NOP): $8,300 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel

The Pelican’s top two scorers, Brandon Ingram (hamstring) and CJ McCollum (protocols), have been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets. That should pave the way for Jonas Valunciunas to take on a much more significant role than usual and have a big night against this young Rockets team. The Rockets have the league’s worst defensive rating (116.1), rank 28th in defensive rebounds allowed (32.5), and allow the most points in the paint in the NBA at 52.1 a game. So naturally, they also carry the worst OPRK against the center position. J-Val should be the primary source of offense tonight and be able to crush the boards. I’m expecting a monster game from the Pelicans big man.

Value Plays

Naji Marshall (SF/PF-NOP): $4,600 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel

With such a massive chunk of their offense missing, the Pelicans will be a go-to source for salary relief again tonight. Devonte’ Graham was the piece of value you wanted from this team on Friday night, but he has since had a major salary increase, leaving little value left. Therefore, I’m going to turn to Najii Marshall. The young forward looked good against the Hornets on Friday night in an increased role. He ended the game with 14 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in 29 minutes on the floor. Marshall should be able to produce a solid return on investment for his backers tonight against a porous Rockets defense who runs at the second-fastest pace in the NBA.

Jalen Green (PG/SG-HOU): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel

Staying within the same game for some more value, we’re going to highlight the Rockets’ young guard, Jalen Green. FanDuel has Green priced appropriately, but there’s still some value to be squeezed out of him on DraftKings, in my opinion. Over the past six games, Jalen Green has averaged 35.5 DK points. At his current price tag on DK, that average is good for six times the return on investment. So, look for Green to have a big game, as he should take advantage of this undermanned Pelicans squad.

NOTE: As always, there will be better value to open up. These are the plays I like from a first look standpoint.

Advantageous Pricing

  • Jalen Green (PG/SG-HOU): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel
  • Naji Marshall (SF/PF-NOP): $4,600 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
  • Cameron Payne (PG-PHO): $7,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
  • LeBron James (SF/PF/C-LAL): $11,800 DraftKings, $10,900 FanDuel
  • James Harden (PG/SG-BKN): $11,000 DraftKings, $10,000 FanDuel
  • Austin Reaves (SG-LAL): $3,700 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel
  • Joel Embiid(C-PHI): $12,000 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel
  • Devin Booker (PG/SG-PHO): $9,200 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel
  • Tobias Harris (PF/SF-PHI): $6,900 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
  • Mo Bamba (C-ORL): $5,900 DraftKings, $4,400 FanDuel

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