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NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Thursday (3/31)

Mar 31, 2022
Donovan Mitchell

This week has been excellent. I’ve been crushing it with these wacky rotations, and it has me ready to keep rolling. There’s a lot to discuss, though, so, let’s go ahead and get into it!

After a massive slate on Wednesday, we’re down to just five games for this Thursday card. It’s a strange one in that it features most Eastern Conference teams. It’s actually some of the best Eastern Conference teams out there, with Philly, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Cleveland all in action. That’s rare to see on a five-game card, but it has me excited to break it down!

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

Schedule and Odds

  • PHI at DET (PHI -11) O/U: 222.5
  • CLE at ATL (ATL -5) O/U: 221
  • MIL at BKN (BKN -1) O/U: 238
  • LAC at CHI (CHI -3.5) O/U: 223.5
  • LAL at UTA (UTA -12.5) O/U: 225

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

Injury Report

Core Plays

Joel Embiid (C – PHI): $11,500 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Embiid is the frontrunner for MVP, and it’s easy to understand why. The big man has scored at least 40 DraftKings points in all but three games this season, averaging 56 fantasy points per game. That’s the third-best total in the NBA, with Joel scoring at least 60 DK points in three of his last four games. That total should be easy to reach against Detroit, with the Pistons ranked 21st in points allowed and 24th in defensive efficiency.

Paul George (SF – LAC): $9,400 DraftKings, $9,700 FanDuel
How fun was it to watch PG13 return the other night? This guy is quite simply one of the best players in our sport, dropping 58 DraftKings points in his return to action. That’s pretty much the guy we’ve seen all year, with PG posting a 47-point average for the season. The simple fact is, he has to do everything with Kawhi out of the lineup, and he’s happy to take on that sort of role. In his one meeting with Chicago earlier this season, George generated 52 DK points, despite shooting 7-of-25 from the field.

Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG – UTA): $8,800 DraftKings, $8,100 FanDuel
Utah has really been struggling recently, but it’s certainly no fault of Mitchell’s. The All-Star guard has scored at least 38 DK points in nine of his last 10 games. The simple fact is, his usage and shot attempts are on the rise because someone needs to step up with Bogdanovic out of the lineup. We love all of that against the Lakers, with LA surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. In their two matchups, DM is averaging over 46 fantasy points per game!

Cash Game Considerations

Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF – MIL): $11,800 DraftKings, $11,900 FanDuel
Outside of Nikola Jokic, Giannis is the best cash game option in fantasy. The Greek Freak has scored at least 31 fantasy points in every game this season, ranked second in the NBA with 57 DK points per game. That’s scary since he has at least 58 DraftKings points in 13 of his last 15 games. Getting to face the Nets might be the best part of this, though, with Brooklyn ranked 19th in points allowed and 22nd in defensive efficiency. That’s led to Giannis scoring at least 53 DK points in all three of their matchups this year.

Russell Westbrook (PG – LAL): $8,600 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel
It’s been a frustrating season for Russ, but this is the time for him to thrive. With LeBron and AD both sidelined, Westbrook should be back to the triple-double ways that made him an $11K player in the past. He’s shown flashes of that recently, scoring at least 37 DK points in five straight fixtures, en route to a 43-point average in that span. That’s amazing from an $8K player, and Utah’s defense has struggled since the All-Star break.

Rudy Gobert (C – UTA): $7,700 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
Gobert is leading the league in rebounding, which always makes him one of the best cash game options on every slate. It’s established a ridiculous floor, with Rudy scoring at least 27 DK points in 65 of 70 games this season. That’s led to a career-high 41-point average, which should be easy to reach here. We say that because he faces a Lakers team that ranks seventh in pace and 27th in points allowed.

GPP Targets

Lauri Markkanen (SF – CLE): $6,600 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
This is another spot where someone needs to step up for a shorthanded team. The Cavs frontcourt has been obliterated by injuries, missing Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Dean Wade. That means Markkanen should see an increase in everything, posting a 31-point average over his last 11 games played. We certainly don’t expect an atrocious Atlanta defense to slow him down, with the Hawks ranked 23rd in points allowed and 26th in defensive efficiency.

Andre Drummond (C – BKN): $6,000 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel
Why is Drum still just $6K on DraftKings? This guy has been crushing it ever since he joined the Nets, scoring at least 34 fantasy points in three straight games. He’s done that damage despite not playing much, and he’s easily one of the best per-minute producers in the NBA. He’s killed the Bucks all season, too, averaging over 49 fantasy points per game in their two matchups this year.

Isaiah Stewart (C – DET): $5,000 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Beef Stew has found his form in the second half of the season. The big man has scored at least 22 DK points in 23 of his last 25 games, with the two duds being a game where he got injured and the one where he returned to action. He’s averaging 30 fantasy points per game in the other 23 outings, and he needs to keep playing well with Jerami Grant still sidelined.

Value Plays

Killian Hayes (PG/SG – DET): $4,300 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
This $4,300 price tag on DK is insulting. This kid has been playing at a $6K level for weeks, scoring at least 29 DraftKings points in four of his last five games. That’s all you can ask for from such a cheap player, especially a former Top-10 pick who’s starting to come into his own. He’s done well against a stingy Philly defense this season, too, averaging over 24 DK points per game in their two meetings.

Delon Wright (SG – ATL): $4,000 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
The Hawks have chosen to go small with John Collins and Danilo Gallinari sidelined, leaving Wright with a starting role. He’s playing 25-30 minutes a night in this expanded opportunity, and he’s always been a stud with that sort of role. In fact, Delon is averaging over 27 DK points per game in the 14 outings he’s played at least 27 minutes. Good luck finding that from another sub-$5K player!

Brook Lopez (C – MIL): $3,900 DraftKings, $4,700 FanDuel
We’ve been waiting for Brook all season, and now that he’s back, he’s way too cheap. The big man was a $7K player in the past, and he’s finally getting a full allotment of minutes. He’s played at least 28 minutes in two of his last three games, scoring at least 22 DK points in four of his previous five games. That’s absurd from such a cheap player, particularly since he faces one of the worst defenses in the NBA here.

Advantageous Pricing

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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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