DraftKings NBA Picks March 29: The grand return of KD
We are down to five games tonight, but eight of the ten teams in action are fighting for either a playoff spot or playoff positioning. That should make this more like a mid-season night than tanking central. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of value out there with the M*A*S*H* unit known as the Golden State Warriors in action.
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Russell Westbrook ($11,400): Westbrook bears mentioning on a short slate just because he should outscore everyone else. That doesn’t mean he hits value though. Westbrook is only averaging 47.7 DraftKings points in three games with the Spurs this year. This is far from an optimal matchup. This may be a night to fade Westbrook and build a balanced lineup.
Eric Bledsoe ($7,000): Okay, would you rather have John Wall on a minutes limit or Eric Bledsoe at full speed. It’s a no-brainer. DraftKings botched this pricing. Bledsoe picked up 39.25 DraftKings points in the first meeting with the Warriors. Tonight he gets the added perk of not having to deal with Curry. Bledsoe’s output has been very consistent over the last month. You are getting somewhere between 28 and 40 DraftKings points. You can write that in Sharpie.
Goran Dragic ($6,700): There is inherent risk in playing anyone for or against a team that is out of the playoffs. This game reeks of a blowout, but the Bulls are so horrible against point guards and the price on Dragic is reasonable enough that he can hit 5x value in 28 minutes or so. He has averaged 36.5 DraftKings points in 35 minutes per game against the Bulls this year. However, that was with some combination of Kris Dunn or Jerian Grant guarding him. That wont be the case tonight. Dunn is likely still out, and Grant is lucky to see the floor most nights.
Quinn Cook ($6,400): It’s getting harder for Cook to destroy value, but he should still be around 5-6x, even at this price. Cook struggled against Indiana’s good point guard defense and still picked up 25.5 DraftKings points. That’s a decent enough floor to roll him out there against Milwaukee. Their point defense isn’t quite as good as Indiana, but they are still in the top ten. Temper your expectations for Cook tonight.
Reggie Jackson ($4,800): It’s baseball season, so that must mean it’s time to switch gears back to Jackson. He is playing more minutes than Smith right now, which means more production. 28 minutes may be his ceiling for the rest of the season, but with Jackson at this price, he will flirt with 6x value most nights, even with the minutes limited.
Tyler Johnson ($4,400): Johnson should see extended run tonight when this game gets out of hand. Maybe. Johnson is one of those players that is vital to the team in his bench role, so in a blowout like this promises to be, there is a chance that players behind Johnson get more run than he does. Still, Johnson looks like a solid value at this price even if he only sees his customary 25 minutes.
My pick: Dragic(PG), Jackson(G)
Victor Oladipo ($8,500): Oladipo continues to lead the team in scoring most nights, but that doesn’t always translate to him hitting 5x value. The Warriors game on Tuesday was the first time that Oladipo topped 5x value since March 9th. He certainly has the ability to put up another game like he did against the Warriors, but I don’t see it happening. Oladipo only had 25 DraftKings points in 28 minutes in the first meeting against the Kings. Another blowout seems likely.
Khris Middleton ($7,700): Consistency is his middle name. Okay, it’s not. Middleton’s middle name is actually Khristian. James is his first name. Introductions aside, Middleton has been over 35 DraftKings points in all but one game since the end of February. That makes him money in cash games. Middleton has enough upside for use in GPP formats as well, especially against a depleted Warriors team. KD handled him in the first meeting, but may not take the court tonight. If Durant is in, Middleton is an acceptable fade.
Buddy Hield ($5,800): Hield has only had one game that could kill a lineup since his breakout performance over All Star weekend. This consistency is nice to see for us DFS people because he still has very good upside. SG is a pretty weak position tonight, especially in the middle tier. If you are confined to this price range by your other picks, you can do worse than Hield right now. This solid floor is a very welcome sight.
Dwyane Wade ($5,400): Honestly, I don’t trust the Miami or Chicago guard situations much. The only thing here is that Wade is a Chicago native and played for the Bulls last year. No revenge motif, just players playing well against their hometown team. That and Wade has 61 DraftKings points over the last two games. Miami obviously wants Wade as a part of their playoff rotation, so they are going to keep working him in for the rest of the season.
Nick Young ($4,900): All of us who rolled with Young on Tuesday were excited when Young put up ten points in the first quarter. He scored just two more the rest of the game. Young is a dart throw only because he is so reliant on scoring. Adding to the risk is the impeding return of Durant. The Warriors said on Tuesday that he would play Thursday. If KD is in, I want no part of Young even though he is still starting for Klay. There just aren’t enough shots to go around.
Shaun Livingston ($3,300): Livingston has done a good job backing up Cook. He only plays around 20 minutes per game, but Livingston is still close to 5x value most games. There is no upside, but if you are looking for a value pick that will give you 5x value, Livingston is one of the safer picks right now.
My pick: Wade(SG)
Kevin Durant ($10,800): Durant’s usage rate is off the charts with Curry and Klay out. If he is able to return for this game, expect it to be the same. The Warriors don’t usually roll their players back out there unless they are ready to go without restrictions. This is where the full lineup lock really sucks, because we may not have official word on whether Durant is playing tonight or not 3.5 hours BEFORE tipoff. That makes Durant an enormous risk, but the potential reward is significant.
Otto Porter ($6,600): I’m pretty sure that the definition of insanity is to keep throwing Paul George out there against the Spurs and expecting anywhere near 5x value. It hasn’t happened the previous three times. I like this matchup for Porter, and he has averaged 43.9 DraftKings points per game in three tries against Detroit this year. The only thing to watch is the status of Wall. At best, Wall will still be on a minutes restriction, so Porter should be safe tonight regardless. Wall will decrease his value some though.
Thaddeus Young ($6,500): Young has been on a roll lately, putting up at least 30 DraftKings points in seven of the last eight games. He put up 29 in the first game against the Kings, so Young should be right around that 30 mark again. He doesn’t have a ton of upside with Sabonis back, but Young is a total mismatch for the Kings if he plays the three. There is value potential still.
Jabari Parker ($5,100): I don’t trust Parker. He has struggled with consistency coming off of the Milwaukee bench. However, there is good upside here if he is playing well. That makes him worth a shot in a GPP lineup, but even then, it’s a hard sell based on his last two games.
Justise Winslow ($4,500): Winslow is still getting good run with all of the injuries for the Heat. Most of his value lies in rebounding, which gives him a pretty good floor. Winslow still runs mostly with the second unit, but that unit could get a good workout tonight against the Bulls if this game turns into a blowout like it should.
Justin Jackson ($3,600): The Kings are committed to running Jackson out there, but he is wildly inconsistent. Still, Jackson has topped 20 DraftKings points in three of the last four games, and the one that he missed was against Boston. There is good value potential here, but a fairly substantial risk as well.
My pick: Durant(SF), Young(F)
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,600): Giannis struggled in the first game against a full strength Warriors squad. Let’s face it, the only real question here is whether Draymond plays. If Draymond is in the lineup, I want nothing to do with Giannis here. I would rather spend in the money on Durant if he plays.
Draymond Green ($8,300): Which brings us to Draymond. The Warriors said that Green is likely to play tonight. That’s as good of an answer as we will get before the lineups lock. Green racked up 48 DraftKings points in the first game against the Bucks, but more importantly, he locked down Giannis the entire game. Green is a much safer play if healthy, though he doesn’t have quite the upside.
James Johnson ($6,700): Johnson has been a key piece for the Heat lately will all of the injuries to the frontcourt. After going through a brutal February, he seems to be back on track. However, this price seems a little high against a Bulls team that will turn this game into a blowout. The Bulls also got Markkanen back last game, so fading Johnson may not be a bad idea despite all of the open playing time in the frontcourt for Miami.
Lauri Markkanen ($5,400): Markkanen put up a solid 30.5 DraftKings points in his return to the court, against Houston no less. The Rockets have one of the best power forwards defenses in the league. As does Miami, but Markkanen has averaged 35.9 DraftKings points per game against the Heat in three tries this year. He looks very underpriced here.
Skal Labissiere ($5,200): Randolph played just 15 minutes last game, so it appears as though the Kings are going to play Skal a lot over the final few games. That makes him a prospective GPP pick for the rest of the season. Labissiere has 91.75 DraftKings points in 90 minutes over the last three games. The potential is there, especially if his close calls actually turn into double-doubles.
Jordan Mickey ($3,200): Mickey started with Bam and Whiteside out on Tuesday. It’s fair to assume that he would again. We should have concrete status on Whiteside by the time the full lineups lock a half hour prior. If Mickey is starting, he is a sure 5x value at this price.
My pick: Markkanen(PF), Mickey(UTIL)
Andre Drummond ($9,400): There isn’t much at center tonight. This is a tough matchup for Drummond, but he has averaged 47.8 DraftKings points in three games with Washington earlier this year. Blake is really struggling lately, so Drummond is carrying the full load that he was before Griffin got to the Motor City. The Pistons are still clinging to hope for a playoff berth, but they will need to keep winning. Drummond is the catalyst behind that.
Kelly Olynyk ($6,900): Well, if nothing else, the Heat have learned that Olynyk can be a key contributor in this league over the last couple of months. He picked up 36.75 DraftKings points in just 25 minutes in the blowout win over the Cavs on Tuesday. Olynyk wont have to play big minutes tonight either, but he can do similar damage against the Bulls.
Myles Turner ($5,800): Turner has been dreadful over the last three games, scoring just 19 points combined in those matchups. His rebounding isn’t good enough to carry the whole load. There is still potential here because Turner can’t shoot 21% forever, right? Right? There is solid potential here, but his slump could also keep going.
Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,500): Labissiere has actually outplayed WCS lately. However, neither of the two are playing poorly, and when you consider their price, they fall within the desired range. It’s hard to play a guy just for value though. You want some kind of upside with it. That could come tonight since Turner is a notoriously poor defender.
Cristiano Felicio ($4,500): Felicio detonated a few lineups after being forced out of last game with back stiffness. The Bulls say it isn’t anything serious. If that’s right, there is some decent value potential here for Felicio against the Heat without Whiteside and Bam Adebayo. However, if Whiteside does return tonight, I would stay off of this one.
Domantas Sabonis ($4,400): Sabonis is back, but looks a little rusty and is on a minutes limit. However, the Pacers would still love to improve their playoff standing in the ultra-competitive East. That will include contributions from Sabonis, especially with Turner struggling. The Pacers could up his minutes some from the 24 he played on Tuesday. If they do, there is decent upside at this price. We all saw what he did earlier this season when given the opportunity.
My pick: Olynyk(C)
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