NBA DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for March 11, 2018
For the 3/11/18 NBA DFS slate, we’ll take a look at the best picks for the guards, forwards, and centers we’re considering rostering in our Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used when crafting your strategy on the FantasyDraft.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis, and value plays at the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice. Always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
3/11/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
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PLAYERS RULED OUT
Ryan Anderson (hip)
Brandon Ingram (groin)
Rodney Hood (back)
Cedi Osman (hip)
Kevin Love (hand)
Tristan Thompson (ankle)
INJURY NEWS TO MONITOR
James Harden (knee)
Dennis Smith Jr. (knee)
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NBA DFS Slate Breakdown for March 11, 2018
Houston Rockets (-12.5) at Dallas Mavericks (Over/Under – 214)
James Harden and the Rockets couldn’t extend their 17-game winning streak against the Toronto Raptors last week, but now they get a gimme of sorts against the Mavs. Still, it’s hard to predict how a team will perform a few days after losing for the first time in over a month.
One thing we can predict, though, is that James Harden will likely sit out this one with a knee injury. That opens the door for Chris Paul ($7.8K DK, $8.2K FD)to take on additional usage. The veteran point guard is a bit more appealing on DraftKings at $7.8K than he is on FanDuel, but no one else on the Rockets sees a greater increase in usage and plus-minus differentials with Harden off the court than Paul. You can deploy in tournaments and cash games.
Eric Gordon ($5.1K DK, $5.6K FD) sees the next greatest increase in usage behind Paul, but the shooting guard has really cooled off in the New Year. He could get you a score in the mid-30s, or a score in the low-teens, so Gordon is GPP only for me, and I’ll have very limited exposure since Wesley Matthews will probably guard him. He, like Paul, is also priced more leniently on DraftKings at $5.1K compared to his $5.6K tag over at FanDuel.
Speaking of Wesley Matthews ($5.0K DK, $5.3K FD), he dropped 50 DraftKings points against Houston back on January 24. The Mavs are expected to have Dennis Smith Jr. back, but the backcourt is still a bit battered and his minutes are secure. You can justify going with the normally uninspiring Matthews given he is capable of getting you to an 8x return on salary in what will be a somewhat competitive game without Harden.
Smith ($6.9K DK, $6.9K FD) is probably a better play, though, as the rookie has scored 40+ fantasy points in each of his last two outings. He tallied a double-double the last time he took the floor against the Rockets and will continue to be the leading playmaker in this shallow offense. He’s very reasonably priced at $6.9K across both major sites.
With Smith likely back, J.J. Barea and Yogi Ferrell are complete stay-aways for me.
Harrison Barnes($6.1K DK, $6.2K FD) is also a tough sell. He’s scored less than 20 DK points in each of his last two games against the Houston Rockets, a team with plenty of wings who can guard Barnes. I don’t think this is the best spot for him, even if the Rockets’ pace and high-scoring tendencies suggest this could be a shootout.
One of the wings who could give Barnes a tough time is Trevor Ariza ($5.0K DK, $5.3K FD). He dropped 30+ fantasy points (depending on site) against the Mavericks the last time he played them, and without Harden, should see some additional usage. I like him to be a more efficient fantasy play than PJ Tucker, Joe Johnson, or even the aforementioned Barnes.
Moving onto the frontcourt, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Powell have a tough matchup against a team that doesn’t allow much out of power forwards (1st in DK points allowed to the PF position), so I don’t have much interest, especially considering Dirk can’t keep up with this Houston offense. Nerlens Noel could find success in a matchup against Clint Capela, but he’s hard to trust (though his salary puts him in play in GPPs).
Capela ($6.5K DK, $7.2K FD) is a very strong play, as he managed 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in his last game against Dallas. Without Harden and Ryan Anderson, he could get more looks in the offense, while providing a solid floor with double-double potential.
Indiana Pacers (+6.5) at Boston Celtics (Over/Under – 209)
This game isn’t a particularly exciting one for me, as I don’t expect an artful offensive shootout, but it should be scrappy.
Let’s start with the Center position. Boston has allowed the fourth fewest DK points per game to that position, which makes Myles Turner (5.9K, 6.3K) an unappealing option. Indiana, meanwhile, has been fourth best in DK points allowed the the Center position over the last 10 games, on average, making Al Horford ($6.6K, $6.8K) and Greg Monroe ($4.1K, $4.1K) equally unappealing. I’m staying away from the centers in this one, but if I had to choose, I’d choose Turner.
At the four, Daniel Theis ($3.5K, $3.6K) and Marcus Morris ($5.4K, $5.0K) stand out for Boston. The latter has scored at least 15 real points in three of his last four games and has been a consistent double-digit scorer on a nightly basis. The former sees inconsistent minutes, but in a physical game, foul trouble and the grind on the interior could lead to more minutes off the bench for Theis. That’s not the most ringing endorsement, and it’s not meant to be — a much prefer Morris to Theis.
On the Pacers side, Thaddeus Young ($4.9K, $5.8K) is a top option, as he scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds the last time the Pacers met the Celtics. He’s an absolute steal on DK at just $4.9K, and I think his slashing style of play is problematic for Boston’s old school defense.
Domantas Sabonis is also intriguing, but I worry that he’ll get too locked up on the interior to get much going offensively. The last time he played Boston he managed five points, five rebounds and one assist. His style does not match up well with Boston’s D.
In the backcourt, Kyrie Irving and Victor Oladipo will draw the most attention. The former has terrific upside on most nights, but there are nights where Irving plays second fiddle to his teammates. This doesn’t feel like a matchup that would provoke a 60 fantasy point night out of Uncle Drew.
Oladipo, on the other hand, really only operates on one speed. He dropped 60 DK points the last time he faced the Celtics, but that’s a tall order to repeat. I believe Boston’s defense is more likely to limit Oladipo to a modest performance than allowing another big night. I’ll likely stay away from both Irving and Oladipo in tournaments, though each should be fine in cash.
Sadly for the likes of Marcus Smart, Darren Collison, and Terry Rozier, no one else truly stands out in this game. I think Young is the best GPP target in a game that may not offer a lot of high fantasy scorers.
Philadelphia 76ers (-6.5) at Brooklyn Nets (Over/Under – 217)
De’Angelo Russell ($6.1K, $6.8K) played just 22 minutes his last time out, which sets him up nicely for 30+ on this Sunday slate. He’s the only true pure scorer on this team, and he should figure out a way to get it done against Ben Simmons and the Sixers, who rank very poorly against the PG position. Philly ranks in the bottom 10 against point guards from a fantasy perspective.
Outside of Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie ($5.7K, $6.4K) has some appeal over at DraftKings, but his minutes aren’t as secure as they once were with Russell now healthy. Jarrett Allen ($4.7K, $5.0K) is the most interesting frontcourt option, as he comes in at a modest price point with some upside if he can get the minutes. And last time he faced Philly, the big man dropped 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists. He’s a solid tournament option here.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($5.8K, $5.7K) is the last Brooklyn Net I’m interested. With the frontcourt lacking depth, he could continue to see extended run. He’s seen more than 30 minutes in two of his last three games, which says something considering how widespread the minutes are in Brooklyn. And DeMarre Carroll brings some intrigue having scored more than 30 fantasy points in each of his last four games. He can be a usage machine at times, and if Brooklyn wants a chance, they’ll need Carroll to carry a hefty amount of workload.
Other than that, Brooklyn is largely just a guessing game.
On the Philly side, the aforementioned Simmons ($8.3K, $8.8K) very much does appear to have a ceiling that is in the mid-40s at this point in the season, which is to be expected. He’s a rookie, and rookies typically do wear down at some point in the second half of the season. He’s GPP only because there is upside against this Brooklyn team, but in his last matchup with them, Simmons didn’t hit value. And at his price point, mid-40s ceiling is not the baseline you want for that metric.
Joel Embiid ($9.5K, $9.4K) is a much more interesting play, as the Brooklyn frontcourt is extremely short on depth. Embiid managed 29 points in his last matchup with Brooklyn (he also added 14 rebounds), but he’s expensive. Still, if you’re going with an elite guy on Philly, I’d suggest Embiid over Simmons.
Beyond that, the only other strong Philly option is Dario Saric ($6.4K, $6.3K), a somewhat versatile forward that has reaped the benefits of serving as a deeply alternative scoring option. The Nets are awful against opposing frontcourts (27th against PF in DK scoring). Saric could exceed value as he may stand to benefit the most from this matchup.
Cleveland Cavaliers (-2.5) at Los Angeles Lakers (Over/Under – 228.5)
Is LeBron James headed to Los Angeles in free agency? Well, he’s there this weekend, and I expect the fans to give him a very warm reaction. If there’s one criticism of LBJ, it’s that he’s dominated a terrible Eastern Conference for the better part—if not all—of his career. A move to LA would be at the same time astonishing and totally unsurprising.
But I digress. LeBron was already the heart and soul of this team, but with Kyrie Irving gone, and Kevin Love injured, he’s literally the only thing maintaining a pulse in Cleveland.
Still, the Cavs are favored against the Lakers, and LeBron ($11.6K, $12.5K) is the reason why. You can roster him in GPP formats and cash formats, alike. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say you need him in this one. I’ll put it this way: if he puts up a triple double here, his leverage is somehow even greater than it was before.
I’ll put it another way: without Kevin Love, and barring injury/ejection/etc., he legit has a 50 fantasy point floor. Fire away.
LBJ aside, the Cavs don’t offer much. But you can feel good riding the Larry Nance ($7.4K, $7.8K) narrative. He’s the only good member of the frontcourt available, and he gets a revenge matchup that isn’t particularly intimidating. By that logic, Jordan Clarkson ($5.3K, $4.2K) also has some intrigue, but the numbers don’t support him as much as Nance, who has secure minutes. I’m only looking for Clarkson on FanDuel.
And I’ll add that George Hill ($5.0K, $4.6K) is a sneaky pivot, considering the Lakers have allowed the second most DK points per game to opposing point guards and, well, unlike the majority of his teammates, he’s accustomed to the Western Conference.
Onto the Lakers, who may be one of the worst talented teams ever. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is an elite two-way player by old school standards, Lonzo Ball has all the potential in the world, Isaiah Thomas is one of the league’s best pure scorers, and Julius Randle has defied every critic by actually being good. Then there’s Brook Lopez and crew, who bring this team back to Earth. They need Paul George. Or LeBron James. Or both.
But today. All you need is Isaiah Thomas ($6.4K, $6.3K). Narrative is often overrated in DFS, but IT has always been a chip-on-the-shoulder kind of guy. Facing a Cleveland team that has wronged him (at least from his perspective), I expect a strong outing for Thomas. It doesn’t hurt that Cleveland struggles against point guards, allowing the third most DK points per game to opposing PGs this season, on average.
KCP ($6.2K, $6.8K) is another option, as he should get more shots and usage with Ingram sidelined. The former Piston has scored at least 30 fantasy points in three of his last four outings, solidifying his offensive prowess with Ingram on the bench.
Still, Kyle Kuzma ($6.0K, $6.8K) stands to benefit the most from a minutes standpoint and should see 30+ with Ingram sidelined. I think he’s a strong cash game option with a high probability to hit value against a Cavs team that just isn’t very healthy.
You may also look at Brook Lopez ($5.4K, $59K), who could dominate from a sheer size perspective against the much smaller Nance. That said, he isn’t a bruiser, and Nance should be at least somewhat familiar with how to defend him, so, for the most part, I’m staying away.
With most of the Lakers having some upside, Julius Randle ($7.3K, $8.1K) still stands apart. He’s constantly disproved haters by actually being good, and the Cav’s have no frontcourt right now. Cleveland ranks 8th over their last 10 games against the PF position, and Randle should carve out extra scoring for himself without Ingram. Of all the Lakers, I think he’s the guy you really want.
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